Listen to the new single from Elevation Worship!

Listen to the new single from Elevation Worship!

JFH Music News

JFH Music News Archive

May, 2005



*Tuesday, May 31st, 2005 - UPDATE**


Michael W. Smith
Rocketown Records announced today the August 2 release of Ultimate Music Makeover: The Songs of Michael W. Smith, a new album that features many of today’s modern artists offering their versions of classic Michael W. Smith hits. From his first moments bouncing around stage as Amy Grant's opening act to his current position as the Christian music community's de facto worship leader, the man who founded and owns Rocketown Records has proven again and again that great songs transcend place and time. Ultimate Music Makeover: The Songs of Michael W. Smith takes classic Michael W. Smith songs and gives them a “new do.” The disc includes 10 of his hit songs from the past re-interpreted by many of today’s creative, young talents, including Michael’s eldest son Ryan. Michael W. Smith enthusiasts are guaranteed to love the new arrangements and nostalgic flair while younger fans of Christian music will bet with certainty these songs were just written. Rocketown Records founder and Chairman Michael W. Smith, who recently heard the project that salutes his songwriting prowess, said, “When I first heard about this project being planned, I thought it sounded fun but really didn’t have a lot of preconceived expectations. I have to say that when I finally heard the project I was blown away. I love the artist line-up and thought it was great that they each got to pick whatever song they wanted to do. There are songs on the project that I couldn’t have anticipated. Who ever thought there would be a cover of ‘Lamu’?!?! I’m really thrilled with how the tracks turned out. The record is definitely fun, but it’s also really great to hear some great young artists make over some of the old material. They definitely breathed some life into some classic old tracks.” Rocketown President Don Donahue said, “No matter what era or style or time, great songs stand up year after year. To hear these songs that I grew up with given a new twist by some of today’s great artists is a very fresh way to tip our hat to Michael and Debbie, Wayne Kirkpatrick and all the great writers of these songs. The soundtrack to my teen years can now be the soundtrack to my son’s teen years. How cool is that? Not many artists have that sort of staying power.” Ultimate Music Makeover: The Songs of Michael W. Smith includes the following tracks and artists:
All Star United, “Go West Young Man”
Sarah Kelly, “You Need a Saviour”
Shaun Groves, “Rocketown”
David Crowder Band, “Secret Ambition”
Taylor Sorensen, “Lamu”
Todd Agnew, “On the Other Side”
Tree 63, “Missing Person”
Ryan Smith, “The Race Is On”
Plumb, “Pray for Me”
Stryper, “Friends”
The album’s first radio single, “Go West Young Man” from All Star United, goes for adds at CHR and Rock formats on June 17. All Star United frontman Ian Eskelin, who also produced the Sarah Kelly track, said, “In 1990, when 'Go West Young Man' released, All Star United was barely even a twinkle in my eye. Overwhelmed by the imminent end of the decades-long Cold War, I spent most of my time in my Wheaton College dorm room growing my bangs and learning the chords to dreary Depeche Mode songs. I first heard ‘Go West Young Man’ at a Chuck E. Cheese world wide web debut party when my mobile phone weighed 25 lbs. and came with its own backpack. I now own the song as a ring tone.” (from Rocketown Records)

*Tuesday, May 31st, 2005*


Sanctus Real
R & R’s most played Christian Rock band of 2004, Sanctus Real, receives its third No. 1 radio hit with “The Fight Song” from its Modern Rock Album of the Year, GMA Award-winning album, Fight The Tide. “The Fight Song” hit the top of the R & R Rock chart last week as the band’s fastest selling album to date continues to churn out the hits. The first single from the album sparked the mega CHR/Rock No. 1 hit single, “Everything About You.” Sanctus Real has also officially announced their newest member. Bassist Dan Gartley, who has most recently been on the road with Relient K, joins Sanctus Real this month as their newest edition. His first concert with the band was May 6th at the Agape Festival. Former bass player Steve Goodrum, who remains a close friend of Sanctus Real, is pursuing another aspect of ministry. Drummer Mark Graalman issued this statement on the band’s website (www.SanctusReal.com): “After much prayer and simple searching of our hearts, Sanctus Real has decided to have a change in lineup. After April '05 we are sad to say that our bass player, Steve Goodrum, will no longer be with us. For about the last eight to ten months it's become increasingly obvious to Steve and us that God is just simply calling Steve elsewhere and that his time with the band has come to an end. Though it's hard to let go of our friend, we know that this is definitely the Lord's leading in his life and that we would be cheating him by encouraging him to be anywhere other than where God truly wants him. We as a band will greatly miss Steve and his wife Jodie being out on the road with us, but we are excited for whatever it is God has in store for them. Please keep us all in your prayers as we go through this huge change, and also please join with us in welcoming our new bass player and partner in this ministry, Dan Gartley. Also please pray for God's guidance into His perfect will for Steve and Jodie.” (from Hoganson Media)

Fusebox
Fusebox is currently in the process of writing songs and making demos for their new album. They are shooting to be in the studio and recording the new project by July 2005. The release date for this new album is set for sometime in the spring of 2006. This project promises to be their most personal album to date. In other band news, Fusebox frontman, Billy Buchanan, was recently asked to be a guest host for the TV show, “Bridges.” They will be taping the show on August 16th. (from Fusebox)

4th Avenue Jones
4th Avenue Jones recently recorded a live session for Sony Connect at the Sony studios in Santa Monica, CA. The 4th Avenue performance should be available in about a month or so at www.connect.com. It takes a minute to mix the tracks and get everything ready to post. 4th Ave is getting a bunch of traffic on their Myspace page and are lovin' it. Ahmad Jones has a new blog up now and fans of the band are staying in touch with the Jones and each other on the page. To check it out, visit http://www.myspace.com/4thavenuejones! (from 4thavenuejones.com)

Riley Armstrong
Riley Armstrong is poised to release his next album La Loop any day now... "We are days away from releasing the new album on the internet, it's going to be worth it, I promise. I'll email you real soon with a little write up behind the making of the album La Loop and the way to obtain a copy for yourself," stated Armstrong in a newsletter late last week. "It will be really simple for folks on high speed internet, I even figured it out with my limited computer hacking skillz. You'll be able to download the album and then for a couple extra dollars we'll send you the full version hard copy too. If you don't have High Speed maybe you could start be-friending someone that does, besides its always good to make new friends!" (from Riley Armstrong)

Everlife
As a part of Disney's So Hot Summer campaign, Radio Disney and the Disney Channel are unveiling a new collection of shows that are specifically geared to bring families together. Disney Channel will offer a 'sneak peek' of the summer programming today, May 31st, with new programming beginning June 10th. However the network is offering a lucky viewer a chance to celebrate the end of the school year and the ability to see the shows before anyone else through the Sneak Peek Sweepstakes, and Everlife has been offered to be a part of the promotion. Fans can register to win by entering that day's code on the Disney website, which can be obtained by listening to Radio Disney, or by winning games of skill on the air. Disney will be giving a lucky viewer a new plasma TV and entertainment center. Everlife will deliver the entertainment center to the winners home and perform the theme to the original Disney film "Go Figure" for the winner and 2 of their closest friends. The event will be aired on Disney at the end of the summer. The contest is valid in the US, District of Columbia and US Territories, to listeners 14 and under. The contest began at 3am on May 26th, and will run through 3pm, Monday June 6. (from Biscuit PR)

Andrew Peterson
The past few weeks have meant lots of progress for Andrew Peterson's forthcoming album, The Far Country. He just returned from New York where he worked with renowned engineer Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn, David Wilcox, Jonatha Brooke) to mix the project. The Far Country features musical appearances by Jill Phillips, Andy Gullahorn, and Andy Osenga, and includes songs Andrew co-wrote with Pierce Pettis, Randall Goodgame, and Ben Shive. Mark your calendars for an August 30th release. (from AndrewPeterson.com)

*Wednesday, May 25th, 2005*


Chris Rice
As a noted singer/songwriter recognized for his introspective lyrics, Chris Rice prepares to release his full-length project, Amusing, on August 23. Amusing is Rice’s first studio release in two years and his first project on eb+flo/INO Records. eb+flo is both a record label and online music store that was launched in 2002 by Rice, Monroe Jones and Ken Lewis. Amusing includes 10 original songs produced by Monroe Jones (Third Day, Holly Williams, Ginny Owens, Steven Delopoulos). The project also features guest musician “King of Twang” Duane Eddy on “Love Like Crazy” and the prelude. Eddy has sold more than 100 million records and is behind the hit singles "Peter Gunn” and “Cannonball.” Releasing simultaneously with Amusing is the DualDisc featuring “In the Studio,” and “Making of the Record” footage, as well as a “Day in the Life” of Rice. The DualDisc format combines music, video and other features on a single, two-sided disc that plays on existing CD and DVD players. With the new label partnership, Chris Rice redefines his artistry exploring topics that touch on universal themes including optimism, hope, and a love for life. Discussing his new project, Rice explains, “These songs are a surprising mix about my faith, falling in love, and about my usual themes of time, nature, and longing for heaven. ” One such song about love is the first radio single, “Love Like Crazy,” which goes for radio adds June 24. “The world is supposed to say that you’re crazy to love like Jesus did; you don’t get anything in return,” Rice says. Showcasing the theme of life experiences are “Lemonade” and “When Did You Fall,” which are fun love songs penned in an old romantic fashion. The heartfelt “Breakfast Table” was written based on conversations with individuals who have lost loved ones and have the hope of reuniting someday. Closing out the project is “The Best Song Ever.” This tongue-in-cheek title points to the longing to be a part of something bigger in this life. In addition to the release of Amusing, Chris Rice recently filmed a full-length Live DVD at his home in Franklin, TN. The DVD will be released October 11 highlighting fan favorites along with new music from Amusing. (from The M Collective)

Chris Tomlin
Sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records’ Chris Tomlin received his second consecutive No. 1 radio hit with “Holy Is The Lord” from his current, best-selling recording, Arriving. Tomlin recently made radio history by becoming the first artist ever on R & R’s Christian AC chart to have two singles simultaneously in the Top 10. Both his first No. 1 radio hit “Indescribable” and his “Holy Is The Lord” not only hit the Top 10 together March 4, but stayed there for 5 consecutive weeks. This week “Holy Is The Lord” takes it’s turn at No. 1 on the R & R AC Monitor chart, as well as No. 1 on the Inspirational chart for it’s third consecutive week. The multi-format hit song is also No. 1 on both CRW’s AC and Inspirational charts for a combined audience impression of 12.2 million, as well as No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian Adult Contemporary chart with 4.1 million audience impressions. (from Hoganson Media)

The new video from Philadelphia's favorite brothers, mewithoutYou, has made it's way onto mtvU.com. Head to the mtvU.com site and watch the video for "January 1979" here! And while you're there, be sure to take a peak at Subseven's new video for "Free To Conquer!" (from Tooth & Nail)

Rebecca St. James will talk about her current book "SHE" this week from May 25-27th on "Family Life Today" with hosts Dennis Rainey & Bob Lepine. Check out www.familylife.com to find the radio station near you that carries the daily broadcast! (from Morning Star PR)

The Awakening, a new worship CD for men produced by Integrity Music in conjunction with Promise Keepers (PK) recently went on sale at Promise Keepers' first men's conference of 2005 in Ft. Wayne, Ind. on May 20. The Awakening CD along with accompanying CD trax and a songbook will later be released to retail on July 12. In addition, as part of its new partnership with the men's organization, Integrity Music will produce the live worship music during "The Awakening - An Unpredictable Adventure," PK's men's conferences for 2005 which begin in Ft. Wayne and conclude in late October in Tacoma, Wash. after 20 events across the country. Produced by Dove-nominated producer/songwriter Bernie Herms (Natalie Grant, R.J. Helton, CeCe Winans), The Awakening CD features 11 new and classic worship songs sung by PK7, a worship band created specifically for the CD and the Promise Keepers events. Comprised of worship leaders and studio musicians from around the U.S., PK7's name comes from the creed of the men's ministry, known as the "Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper." Lead vocalists for the band are Anthony Evans, Jared Anderson, Curt Coffield, Jason King and Dave Lubben. "From the choir to the musicians on the recording and even the songwriters of all the songs, The Awakening is uniquely targeted to a male audience. It is filled with worshipful moments that will stir men's souls and awaken them to our unique challenge to be bold witnesses for Christ…to be men of both strength in our faith and humble in our love for the Lord," said Chris Thomason, senior vice president of Integrity Label Group. (from Spinhouse PR)

Mark Miller, founder of Beach Street Records and frontman of country music phenomenon Sawyer Brown, today announced the signing of artist Josh Bates to the label’s roster. Bates joins platinum selling, flagship band Casting Crowns on the Beach Street roster. Bates (22) is slated to release his debut album Perfect Day on September 16 with the first single impacting radio in July. “Even from an early age, Bates’ musical talent was effortless and natural,” comments Miller, who also produced the album. “It’s a privilege to introduce people to Josh. We’ve worked on his music for seven years and he’s grown into a talented artist all the way around.” “I’m just so amazed,” said Bates of signing with Beach Street. “Mark has been such an incredible mentor over the years and to have him ask me to be part of this label is very humbling. I’m excited to be able to minister with this album. I’m so excited to say something for Christ!” Singer/songwriter Josh Bates was only 15 years old when he became acquainted with Miller, which set off a seven year mentoring friendship. A uniquely talented musician, Bates has played mandolin since he was eleven and now plays guitar and piano. He grew up singing in church, influenced by the culture of the Appalachian region. (from Beach Street Records)

*Saturday, May 21st, 2005*


Ginny Owens
Rocketown recording artist Ginny Owens has formed the Fingerprint Initiative, an organization designed to assist humanitarian efforts nationwide. The program’s kick-off event is a benefit concert in New Orleans tonight, on May 21. Ticket proceeds will go to fund a home built by the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. The brainchild of award-winning singer/songwriter Ginny Owens, Fingerprint Initiative’s purpose is tri-fold. First, it will aid the creation and development of humanitarian programs that seek to serve others in a godly manner. Second, it will operate alongside of and provide support for other nonprofit organizations engaged in such work. Finally, the Fingerprint Initiative will partner with concert-goers and fans in providing financial as well as physical assistance to specific non-profit organizations, communities, or individuals whose needs directly reflect its annual theme. This year, Fingerprint has adopted the theme “Touching Little Hands—Bringing Hope to Kids.” There will be two facets to the organization’s work, namely Fingerprint Projects and Fingerprint Events. This year’s Fingerprint Projects are Habitat for Humanity, Compassion International and International Justice Mission. The Habitat for Humanity benefit concert in New Orleans is one of several Fingerprint Events scheduled for 2005. Other such community service activities include a character education seminar for students at Mississippi School for the Blind, creative writing classes and fundraisers, among others. “Launching the Fingerprint Initiative has been one of my most favorite endeavors to date,” comments Owens. “I consider it a gift to step outside the music realm into an everyday world where I’m called to love and serve others.” Owens’ debut event with Habitat for Humanity, Fingerprint Initiative will host a concert at First Baptist Church in Covington, La. on May 21. The ticket cost includes a copy of Owens' Live from New Orleans project released earlier this month. Money raised will fund a new home for the Gaines family of seven in Tammany, La. Their house will be the cornerstone of Hope Village, a new development sponsored by Habitat. The Fingerprint Fund will continue to provide for additional homes in Hope Village and other Habitat neighborhoods across the country. Funds for the Fingerprint Initiative will come from Web site donations, contributions at concerts, grants from local and national businesses, as well as from Owens’ ministry. For more information on Fingerprint Initiative, visit: www.fingerprint initiative.com. (from Savvy Media)

Petra
Although we've already reported the news on Petra's impending disbanding, here is the official press release from InPop Records... After 33 years of music and ministry, Christian rock pioneer Petra will come to a close. December 2005 will mark the end to a ministry that has boldly and consistently proclaimed the gospel in the United States and abroad. The decision to retire the band was mutual by all members. “It has been a privilege and honor to represent our Savior and participate in His Great Commission. We have nothing but thanks to God for all He has done,” says Petra founder, guitarist and primary songwriter Bob Hartman. “God used Petra in my life in so many ways, as He did in so many other lives,” says lead singer since 1986, John Schlitt. “I am truly thankful for having been part of Petra. We’ve had a good long run and have seen so much. We’ve seen God’s hand at work in our music on every continent and in every language,” he says. The band has impacted generations of musicians and fans alike over the years with over seven million CDs sold, four Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Petra, initially formed in 1972 by Hartman on vocals and guitars, paved the way for the rock genre perhaps more than any other in the Christian music industry. Though a rotating cast of musicians comprised Petra’s lineup over the years, the band is closing 2005 strong with over 20 albums to its credit, the latest being the 2003 Grammy-nominated Jekyll & Hyde. At present, Schlitt and Hartman have made no immediate plans for the future. “I’m not sure what the future will bring for me,” says Schlitt, “but when God chooses to show us His will, then we just go in faith and walk in faith toward Him. He has never let us down, and He never will.” There are currently talks of a live album or box set to release in the future. Final Petra tours in the United States and Europe are in the planning stages. There will be no further concerts booked after this year. “Petra has always been one of the biggest names in Christian rock,” says Inpop Records President Wes Campbell. “Petra’s contributions to our industry are innumerable, and the band was very instrumental in the beginning stages of newsboys career. We are honored to have supported Petra in its ministry and music,” he says. (from InPop Records)

RSJ
Grammy Award winning singer Rebecca St. James, whose book on abstinence Wait For Me, reached the bestseller charts in 2004, believes that a lawsuit filed Monday (16th) by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging the federal government has improperly used taxpayer dollars to fund Christian religious activities through the nationwide program Silver Ring Thing, shines a clear light on why sexually transmitted diseases are at an all time high in the U.S. "Apart from a return to God's values encouraged by programs such as Silver Ring Thing and True Love Waits, there is no real definitive answer in convincing young people why they should remain sexually abstinent until marriage," noted St. James in Los Angeles today. "We live in a totally 'if it feels good do it world' fueling kids from every direction-- including too often their own classrooms-- with messages like 'condoms are a safe sex alternative' or 'oral sex is not really sex.' As I tell kids, abstinence before marriage is the only guaranteed protection. Inspite of that fact, in researching for my latest book we found that even in the face of the risk of HIV and the more than 15 million new STD infections diagnosed each year, 33% of 8-11 year olds and 49% of 12-15 year olds said that the pressure to have sex is a big problem for them. It's a sad commentary on a system that's just not working." St. James, 27, who has shared her views on abstinence from major concert stages all over the world, herself wears a silver purity ring symbolizing her commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage--a r ing she began wearing at the age of 16 prior to selling millions of records internationally and using her platform as a popular Christian singer to challenge other young people to follow the path of premarital purity. Her self written hit song Wait For Me has become a major anthem for the abstinence agenda worldwide, spawning the best selling book of the same title. Most recently a Wait For Me curriculum book from which the faith based abstinence agenda can be taught has been added to Rebecca's literary 'voice' on a subject she's passionate about. "My passion for this issue is fueled by seeing so many of my generation being ripped off. Our society has made sex a mandatory component of happiness and fulfillment. Young people discover instead that it satisfies only for a short time, while it's consequences, when indulged in outside of marriage, live on," noted the Australian born singer. "I believe that deep down most people respect those who stand for purity. Underneath it all, they know it's the right way to go." (from Morning Star PR)

Joy Electric's new 7 inch, entitled Workmanship will be arriving in late May on Republic of Texas Recordings. This will be a vinyl only release, so fans are encouraged to order directly from ROTR so that future Joy Electric vinyl's will be possible. Pre-ordering has begun at http://www.anastasisrecords.com/store.html for just four bucks! (from JoyElectric.com)

Supertones
For anyone curious as to what Supertones frontman "Mojo" will be up to when the band is done, Supertones.com had this to say recently... "Well, he will be getting into speaking on Apologetics. For those of you who dont know what that is, it is a branch of theology that deals with the defense of the faith. Mojo is getting starting in this new venture right away. If anyone is interested in this, Mojo will be speaking at Rocketown in Nashville, TN on June 16th and 23rd around 7:00pm. These events are free! There will be a discussion time after each talk. Also, it would be wise to attend both nights because there will be two different talks. This subject has been a passion of Mojo's for a long time now. So please come out and have your notebooks ready, your about to get a ton of info. Lastly, to answer a question that people will probably ask... No, he will not be playing Supertones songs..." In the meantime, see the band right now as they cross the country on their farewell tour! (from Supertones.com)

Tait fans may do double takes soon when they recognize an old familiar face in the band at their live shows. Former guitarist Justin York will be playing select dates with the band throughout the Summer. Justin left the band to join Steven Curtis Chapman's entourage for his recent, highly successful All Things New Tour... (from Taitband.com)

For a glimpse of new Plumb music from her pending new release, Chaotic Resolve, surf on over to Plumbinfo.com now! Check out the emotional rocker "I Can't Do This," which Plumb debuted last Summer at her live shows... (from Plumbinfo.com)

*Wednesday, May 18th, 2005*


Pillar
Rob Beckley of Pillar will be hosting the XXXChurch.com Charity Golf Tournament on Monday June 6, 2005 at Battle Creek Golf Club in Tulsa, OK. All benefits go directly to XXXChurch.com. XXXChurch exists to bring awareness, openness, accountability and recovery to the church, society and individuals in the issues of pornography. Celebrity artists will be participating in the tournament including- TobyMac, members from Mercy Me, Relient K, Pillar, Spoken, and Disciple. The event will be auctioning off each artist to play with the highest bidding team. If you don’t win a bid you will still be able to meet your favorite artist during dinner. Dinner will be provided by Texas Roadhouse Grill following the event. The day is going to be filled with fun for everyone including Long Drive, Straight Drive, Putting, and Closest to the Pin challenges. The event has an 8am shotgun start, but get there early to enter the putting challenge, as well as free club repairs from KJ’s Custom Stix! The cost is $125 per person or $400 for a team of four. The Mulligan Package gives you two mulligans and entry into all the challenges for only $25 per player. There will also be numerous door prizes to win. You don’t have to be a good golfer to have fun. For more information go here. (from Pillar)

Disciple
EPIC/S/R/E Recordings band Disciple is currently on tour in promotion of their upcoming self-titled album to release June 7th. This seasoned rock-n-roll band of four Tennessee natives fuses together heavy guitar riffs and lyrically strong choruses forming a message for today’s young generation. This album follows the band’s previous success with six No. 1 rock hits, four Dove nominations, and their independent project Back Again (2003), selling more than 35,000 copies. In the February 2005 issue of CCM Magazine Reader’s Poll, Disciple was runner-up in the “Favorite Indie Artist” category. Disciple is composed of Kevin Young (Lead Vocals), Brad Noah (Guitars), Tim Barrett (Drums), and Joey Fife (Bass). Disciple will be distributed both in the mainstream and CBA markets by S/R/E, partnering with Epic Records. (from Big Machine Media)

Big Daddy Weave
Acclaimed Fervent Record band Big Daddy Weave will release its anticipated and third national project, What I Was Made For, July 26. Included on the record is Big Daddy Weave’s No. 1 AC hit, “You’re Worthy Of My Praise,” which features labelmates BarlowGirl and was recently released on Fervent’s Absolute Modern Worship compilation. Another guest artist highlighted on What I Was Made For is industry veteran Fred Hammond on the song “Killing Me Again.” Produced by members Jeremy Redmon and Mike Weaver, the duo that fronted production on Big Daddy Weave’s 2003 applauded album Fields Of Grace, What I Was Made For follows along the same path of defining the band’s relationship with God. “We were created— from Adam, in the beginning—to know and have a relationship with God,” says Weaver, lead vocalist and songwriter. “It was Creator and the created. That’s what we were made for. The reason why we’re walking and breathing and living on this earth is because of Him. We were made, not just to go do our own thing, but we were made for Him.” Because of a strong relationship with God, Big Daddy Weave’s Mike and Brother Jay Weaver, Jeremy Redmon, Jeff Jones and Joe Shirk were able to record What I Was Made For amidst devastation left by 2004’s Hurricane Ivan. Based in Mobile, Alabama, the band lost its main offices and the Weaver’s family home along with photos and other memories. Redmon explains, “From a recording side, there were a lot of things that all came together at once that allowed our album to be postponed past our deadline, including the hurricane. It definitely put a halt on things—our worlds kind of went upside down there for a little while, in good ways and bad ways.” “But God is faithful,” Mike adds. “At the end of the storm, making the album—I feel like all of us are at a better place than when we went into it. We can see the hand of God. We can see how God drew communities together in our area. In the middle of the abundant life He’s promised, in the middle of even the worst parts of that, honestly, He can turn disaster into something miraculous.” (from Word Records)

Amy Grant
NBC has announced that Three Wishes, starring five-time GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist Amy Grant, has been added to the network’s new fall season and will air on Fridays from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (EST). The hour-long, unscripted series features Grant as she leads a team of experts to "grant" wishes to help make the hopes and unbelievable dreams of deserving people come true. Viewers will follow the deeply personal and heartwarming stories as Grant and her team transform these hopes into a life-changing reality. The full spectrum of wishes ranges from paying tribute to an unsung hero to helping a despairing family in the grip of a loved one's life-threatening medical crisis. Additional "wish" examples include: tearful reunions with long-lost relatives; living out a mind-blowing sports fantasy, and helping to save a dedicated teacher's job. Carpenter Carter Oosterhouse ("Trading Spaces"), contractor Eric Stromer ("Clean Sweep") and architect Amanda Miller ("Knock First") comprise Grant's team of experts. Andrew Glassman (NBC's "Average Joe 1-4") and Jason Raff (NBC's "Average Joe 1-4") are the executive producers, and Tony Croll (NBC's "Average Joe") is the director of this pilot from Glassman Media and NBC Universal Television Studio. In addition to her work on Three Wishes, Grant recently released her twentieth record, Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith, to critical and commercial acclaim. The project made its debut at #1 on both the Christian and the Christian Overall SoundScan charts, and entered the Billboard Top 200 sales chart at #42. (from Word Records)

Dead Poetic
This summer, Dead Poetic will be hosting The Dead Summer City Tour 2005. The tour will feature Dead Poetic, The Beautiful Mistake, As Cities Burn, Classic Case, and Brandtson on select dates. The tour will begin in late June and span the entire nation until early August. Keep in mind that this will be Dead Poetic's first tour with the new line-up - featuring Dusty Redmon (Beloved) and Jesse Sprinkle (Demon Hunter, Poor Old Lu). Don't miss this tour! Stay tuned for tour dates and more information!

British Columbia singer/songwriter Carolyn Arends has several trophies to add to her mantle after winning big at this year’s 4th Annual Shai Awards, formally the Vibe Awards. Arends who also went into the evening with the most nominations, won in four of the seven categories she was vying for. Arends' album Under the Gaze was named Folk album of the year. She also won for Inspirational Album of the year, and seasonal album of the year for “Christmas an Irrational Season.” She also won a high honour as fans voted her as female soloist artist of the Year. Vibe Gospel Music was pleased to introduce for the first time the Aboriginal Category. Several artists were nominated for this award including Shezza from Manitoba who won for Aboriginal Album of the year. In addition, popular rock group Thousand Foot Krutch snagged "Group Of The Year" while newcomers Starfield won "Artist Of The Year." VGM, a volunteer organization founded in 1998 by Dionne Smith, was formed for Canadian gospel artist’s who needed a platform to showcase their talent and attain a position of credibility in the Canadian Contemporary/Gospel and world music arena. Dionne’s vision and passion for Canadian gospel musicians and the belief in the ability to move people through the power of music has compelled her to transport this forum to all of Canada. Since it's inception in Calgary 2002, the show has transformed from a music showcase to a full-fledged awards show open to all gospel artists throughout Canada, encompassing the various genres of music. For more information, go to www.shaiawards.com. (from The Shai Awards)

Big Idea
Big Idea’s VeggieTales have teamed up with Third Coast Sports to sponsor the 2005 “Faith Night” Series. The series joins Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber with eleven minor league baseball teams across the US this summer for twenty-three "Faith Nights." These nights include a pre-game Christian concert, testimonies from players, promotional giveaways and appearances by VeggieTales characters Bob and Larry on select dates. In areas such as Nashville, TN, Faith Nights have brought an increase of almost 3500 fans per night over the season average. “What I have always enjoyed about baseball is how it pulls the family unit together,” says Bob Starnes, Big Idea VP, Publishing and Consumer Products. “At Big Idea, we believe that having VeggieTales as a part of Faith Nights at minor league parks around the country is a good thing. We have seen smiles on the faces of kids from one to 100. We are delighted to be partners with Third Coast Sports.” Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato play with one of their new friends during a Nashville Sounds “Faith Night.” “The vision of Third Coast Sports is to offer a great family outing that ties music, sports and ministry all together for each community. We want these events to be a ‘safe place’ for all attending,” said Kevin Huffman, Vice-President of Third Coast Sports. “The involvement of Big Idea’s VeggieTales with Third Coast Sports does nothing but enhance the inviting ‘family’ atmosphere that coincides with the ‘Great American Pastime’ at any ballpark.” In addition to offering the first 1,000 fans through the turnstiles at most all of the “Faith Night” games a Bob the Tomato baseball (this number will vary with certain cities), Big Idea will also be showing its 26th episode, Minnesota Cuke & The Search For Samson’s Hairbrush, at select events. The episode releases June 25, 2005, during the “Faith Night” series. The action-packed adventure stars Larry the Cucumber as the courageous new action hero, Minnesota Cuke, and is jam-packed with kid friendly bonus features, including the Catacombs game, an interactive storybook, how to draw Minnesota Cuke and much more. The episode also features family-friendly lessons on dealing with bullies, forgiveness and patience. GRAMMY Award-winning artist Charlie Daniels co-wrote and recorded the “Minnesota Cuke” theme song. (from Hoganson Media)

Switchfoot
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently announced its April certifications. Switchfoot's "Meant To Live" was certified Platinum as a Digital Single for surpassing 200,000 downloads. In addition, the band's "Dare You To Move" was certified Gold for surpassing 100,000 downloads. The RIAA amended its Gold and Platinum awards program in October, adding digital certification criteria in recognition of the burgeoning digital music market. (from GMA)

*Friday, May 13th, 2005*


Blindside
Swedish rockers Blindside are in the studio finishing up their new, as yet still untitled, record. The guys will be releasing their first ever DVD entitled Ten Years Running Blind on June 21st and will be touring this Summer on the Black Friday Tour with Showbread and The Showdown. New dates can be found on their site at BlindsideOnline.com. The band has also announced that their new record should be in stores on August 2nd! More details soon, but for now, check out the rereleases of their classic albums, the self-titled 1997 record and 1999's A Thought Crushed My Mind. Both records hit shelves with new art and bonus tracks this past Tuesday on the 10th. (from Blindside / Myspace.com/Blindside; special thanks to Jake)

toby
Recent rumors circulating the net have been confirmed. TobyMac is indeed working with various producers to remix songs from Welcome to DiverseCity for a brand new remix album in the same vein as Remix:Momentum. Also, the theatrical release of Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is December 9th and will be accompanied by an album featuring songs inspired by the movie. An as-yet-named track from tobyMac will be included on the album. More details to come... (from TobyMac.com; special thanks to GodzJedi)

Matt Kearney
Mat Kearney has recently recorded five new songs for his mainstream debut on Columbia/Aware Records. The new release, expected this Fall, is set to be his 2004 InPop release Bullet with the new songs added on. Kearney told Jesusfreakhideout.com recently that some songs from the original release will probably have to be cut, but the songs to get axed have yet to be decided upon. Right now you can catch Kearney on tour with new act MuteMath on select dates... (from Mat Kearney)

Krystal Meyers
Krystal Meyers, sixteen year-old Essential recording artist, hit No. 1 on the R&R and CRW CHR charts this week with her single "The Way to Begin." This is Krystal’s first single released to radio. “Krystal’s sound and music is unlike anything else getting airplay today,” said Andrew Patton, vice president national promotions, Provident Label Group. “Radio has overwhelmingly supported "The Way to Begin" and we are excited to see strong female-driven music at the top of the chart!” Krystal is sitting high on the R&R ROCK chart this week as well at No. 8 and climbing as she prepares to release her self-titled debut album June 7 featuring producers, “The Wizards of Oz” (Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair) and artist/producer Ian Eskelin. She is currently featured on the Rock 4 Food tour with headliner Day of Fire and will join them in concert with Seventh Day Slumber for summer 2005. For our PReview of Krystal Meyers, click here! (from Essential Records)

Haste The Day
It’s hard to believe that with just over a year under their belts with Solid State Records, Haste the Day are becoming seasoned veterans at the label. But as Solid State has picked up a brand new batch of up and comers, Haste the Day have continued on their non-stop trek to win fans over, one show at a time. It’s no wonder then that their fan base has exploded this past year as Haste the Day pummeled through 264 shows in 2004 alone. Playing tours with everyone from As I Lay Dying to Zao and Strung Out to Underoath, Haste the Day proved their passion night after night with unwavering intensity, leading them to sell over 26,000 copies of their debut release, “Burning Bridges” in just over a year’s time. Now as summer approaches, the band prepares to release their highly-anticipated sophomore album entitled, When Everything Falls, produced by Benny Kaplan and GGGarth Richardson (From Autumn to Ashes, Kittie, Mudvayne) and set to hit shelves June 28th. Currently on tour with Extol, Dead to Fall and Embrace the Day, Haste the Day’s tour will lead up to their June 28th CD Release Show at Knights of Columbus in their home city of Indianapolis, Indiana. (from Tooth & Nail)

Kids In The Way
Flicker Records band Kids in the Way recently shot a music video to accompany the title track of its May 10 release, Apparitions of Melody. Produced by Stray Dog Films' creative team, "The Brads," the video was shot entirely against a green screen. Combining photographs and computer generated graphics to create a dark, moody landscape in front of which the band performs, "Apparitions of Melody," will make its way to national video outlets beginning this week. We've seen the video and it's really, really cool. Be looking for it soon! In the meantime, check out the band's rocking new sophomore record Apparitions of Melody... (from Savvy Media)

Casting Pearls
Casting Pearls, and indie act fronted by Newsboy Bryan Olesen (who replaced guitarist Jody Davis), has recently signed to InPop Records. The band has already established a reputation as one of the hardest-working independent bands in the Midwest. The guys are now set to release their label debut in August. The band's self-titled release, produced by Jason Burkum and Nathan Dantzler (Audio Adrenaline, Tree63, Kids In The Way), offers pure and honest guitar-driven rock with pop anthems that aim to make the listener think and move. The disc features the songwriting talents of Mark Heimmerman (dc Talk) and Tim Hughes, along with guest vocals from fellow newsboy Phil Joel. (from InPop Records)

Sarah Brendel
German artist Sarah Brendel will release her national debut on July 19th from InPop Records. Sarah has already established herself as one of Germany's most talented, unique voices, and this artist has earned the critical acclaim and mainstream radio success abroad to prove it. Now, she brings her alternative-rock style stateside with her self-titled Inpop Records debut. Electric guitars, atmospheric soundscapes and honest lyrics decorate this disc that's sure to establish Sarah as one of the premier artists in the music industry at large. More soon! (from InPop Records)

The Rocket Summer
S/R/E Recordings has just announced a partnership with the Southern California based The Militia Group to release The Rocket Summer’s (TRS) project, Hello, Good Friend, to the CBA market this July 26th. 22-year-old Bryce Avary, the man behind The Rocket Summer, has crafted in “Hello, good friend”, a piano and guitar-driven rock ‘n roll project that slams home a message of belonging. As a talented multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer, Bryce has proved himself as the epitome of the hard-working musician. This hard work has developed a hard-core following of fans that rally around the warmth and connection created between Bryce and his listeners. “Bryce is one of the most straight up guys I know,” commented Rory Felton, CEO of The Militia Group. “Not only does he write incredible songs, his faith in Christ has always been first and foremost in his life and his art. When the opportunity arose to work with a Christian market partner, it really just made complete sense to join forces with S/R/E. Bryce wants the world to know that he is a Christian and that his faith is the most important thing to him.” In November 2004, Avary teamed up with producer Tim’ O’Hier (The All-American Rejects, Sebadoh, Hot Rod Circuit, The Jealous Sound) in Brooklyn to co-produce his second album Hello, Good Friend. This new album showcases the diversity in Bryce’s musical mind with honesty and sincerity. “There are not many opportunities to work with an artist as gifted and genuine as Bryce. He has had the opportunity to perform his music in front of artists that we only dream of - from Jimmy Eat World to Something Corporate to Copeland,” says Steve Ford, GM of S/R/E Recordings. “I want to support an artist who is a true ‘Roaring Lamb’ – impacting culture with his music and exposing them to the love of Christ.” Since the age of 14, Avary has been obsessed with music, making records, connecting with people, and touring the world. After The Rocket Summer’s debut release, Calendar Days on The Militia Group, TRS developed an underground following in the U.S., which quickly spread abroad. Soon, TRS traveled to Japan, where Bryce and Co. rocked the legendary stage of the Summer Sonic festival in 2003. (from The M Collective)

Amy Grant
Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith, the twentieth album from Word Records’ multi-Platinum and GRAMMY Award-winning singer and songwriter Amy Grant made its first week sales debut at No. 1 on both the Christian and the Christian Overall SoundScan charts. The project entered Billboard’s Top 200 sales chart at No. 42 and follows the recent Gold certification of Grant’s first hymns project, Legacy…Hymns & Faith. Produced by Vince Gill and Brown Bannister, Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith contains twelve classic hymns and worship songs, including a “Rock of Ages” duet with Gill, along with a newly recorded version “El Shaddai,” which was named “A Song of the Century” by the RIAA in 2001. After recording Rock of Ages, Grant taped the pilot episode of Three Wishes, for NBC. Set to air this summer or fall, Grant will host the program and lead a team of experts to a small town to help make the hopes and unbelievable dreams come true for deserving people. (from Word Records)

*Wednesday, May 11th, 2005*


POD
On Tuesday, P.O.D. entered the studio with 5-time grammy award winner Glen Ballard. For the past five months, P.O.D. have been writing and demo-ing material. It's been a powerful creative journey that started in San Diego, and then to moved to Palm Springs, San Francisco, back to San Diego, and now to L.A. P.O.D. met with Glen several weeks ago to play their demos. It was a bit of a long shot, but Glen loved the material and re-arranged his schedule to be involved. P.O.D. have said for months now that the record will be done when it's the best of their career. Atlantic Records have supported them in this and haven't said the usual, ‘We need a record by the 4th quarter, etc.' We'll keep you posted as the production continues to develop! (from P.O.D.)

David Crowder Band
David Crowder Band tips its hat to the The Truman Show and offers a four-webcam view of “The Crowder Show” online 24/7 at www.acollisioniscoming.com. Pushing the boundaries of worship music, the band members are now giving fans an unprecedented look inside the recording process as they work on their highly anticipated, third national release, A Collision, releasing Sept. 27. The recording, which wraps up soon, is taking place in David Crowder’s new studio built in the historical barn in Waco, TX where Pepper the horse once lived, and the birthplace of the Dr Pepper soft drink formula. Crowder recently purchased the barn along with the home of the late Dr Pepper beverage creator, Wade Morrison. First sold in 1885, Dr Pepper is the oldest soft drink in America and a beverage of choice for Crowder. In addition to the webcam view, the band members are posting blogs from the barn throughout the recording process at http://www.myspace.com/davidcrowderband. The site also features the video of the band’s “Here Is Our King,” recorded live at Passion 05 and featured on last month’s No. 1-selling CD, Passion: How Great Is Our God. The studio version of the song will be featured on A Collision. (from Hoganson Media)

Project 86
Project 86 is currently tracking vocals in the studio with GGGarth Richardson in Gibsons, British Columbia and are extremely pleased with the results thus far! Tooth & Nail recently had the opportunity to sit down with singer Andrew Schwab and ask about the recording process and more. In the interview, when asked about the album's spiritual aspects, Schwab stated, "I don't ever think we have wanted to be a "positive" band, but this record definitely brings our hope to the surface. There is reason why we are doing this, and I definitely want the whole world to know that reason without being too predictable in the presentation. This process has infused life back into each of us." The as of yet untitled record is looking at a September 27th release. Click here to check out the full interview with pictures from the studio! (from Tooth & Nail; Project86.com)

Pillar
Back by popular demand, Pillar’s 2004 chart-topping album, Where Do We Go From Here, will release as a limited edition CD/DVD May 24. The project includes two additional songs as well as more than 60 minutes of documentary-style video footage. Comprising 14 tracks, Where Do We Go From Here: Limited Edition features “Bring Me Down (The Underground Mix),” a new industrial club version of last year’s hit, produced by Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., Spoken, Disciple). Also making a first-time appearance on Limited Edition is the remixed, remastered cover of U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” originally recorded by Pillar for Sparrow Record’s In the Name of Love: Artists United for Africa. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” will be the record’s debut single, going for ads at Christian rock and CHR radio on May 20. The limited edition DVD contains never-before-seen live footage, including “making of” Where Did We Go From Here and the “Bring Me Down” video. Fans also receive the “Bring Me Down” video in 5.1 and stereo as well as “Further From Myself” in 5.1, stereo, stereo live and 5.1 live. The complete package is a “must-have” for every Pillar fan. Where Do We Go From Here has sold in excess of 175,000 copies to date, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard Christian sales chart when it released last June. The record additionally turned out a No. 1 hit radio single, “Bring Me Down,” whose accompanying music video received airplay on both FUSE TV and MTV2. The song has also been confirmed for use on multiple video games releasing in 2005. Where Do We Go From Here most recently garnered two 2005 Dove Award nominations for “Rock Album” and “Short Form Music Video.” (from Savvy Media)

Tim Hughes
Following his first-ever nationwide States tour last fall, EMI CMG/Worship Together lead worshipper and songwriter Tim Hughes prepares for the upcoming Soul Survivor Momentum conference June 22 – 24, 2005, in Newport Beach, CA. Hughes will lead worship and teach workshops on worship leading and songwriting at the conference and will close the festival with a “Night of Worship” on Friday, June 24. Held at the Newport Dunes Resort, Soul Survivor “Momentum” is a three-day conference and festival for young adults, leaders and worshipers, ages 18 to 30. With a diverse program of main sessions, lab intensives and discussion cafes, the Momentum conference is focused on mobilizing church leaders in worship, social justice and evangelism. Momentum includes lead worshippers Hughes, David Ruis and Rita Springer and speakers Mike Pilavachi (founder of Soul Survivor), Todd Hunter (ALPHA USA, president), Mike Breen (founder of ChurchNext.net), Greg Russinger (pastor of The Bridge in Ventura, CA) and Scott Bartchy (UCLA professor of religion and philosophy) among others. Additionally, Hughes has a brand new, unreleased worship song, “To Act Justly,” available for download at Soul Survivor’s Momentum Web site (www.soulsurvivorusa.com/momentum). For more information on Tim Hughes and the Night of Worship, Momentum and The Pastor’s Forum, visit www.soulsurvivorusa.com. (from Hoganson Media)

Pc3
Paul Colman, former frontman for Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning act Paul Colman Trio, is steady at No. 1 for the 15th consecutive week on the Australian radio charts. Upon the single's release to the Australian market, “Gloria” was the highest debut charting single as well as the most added song. “Gloria” marks the first single released from Colman's first solo effort in seven years, Let It Go. The single represents Colman’s eighth No. 1 in his home country. Let It Go, produced by Ed Cash (Bebo Norman, Bethany Dillon) and Vince Emmett (Rebecca St. James), features 11 well-crafted pop tracks all written or co-written by Colman. Colman is currently on the World Vision-sponsored All God’s Children tour with Tree 63 and Building 429. (from Inpop Records)

The recently resurrected 38th Parallel has posted rough demos of two brand new cuts on their myspace.com page at http://www.myspace.com/38thparallel. Titled "Thoughtless" and "Finding You," the demos continue the style their 2002 debut Turn The Tide began. (special thanks to Nate)

*Tuesday, May 10th, 2005*


Petra
Josh Renaud of PetraRocksMyWorld.com has posted an exclusive article recently announcing legendary Christian rock act Petra's pending retirement after thirty three years. Renaud writes, "Europeans who saw Petra perform recently sent word to American fans that founder Bob Hartman and lead singer John Schlitt had been talking about retirement. Hartman confirmed to Petrarocksmyworld.com that it wasn't just talk. He and Schlitt have decided 'it's time to call it quits,' Hartman said. 'This will most likely be our last year of ministry,' he said. 'We don't expect to be doing any concerts after November at the latest.' Petra's manager, Wayne Seboa, told Petrarocksmyworld.com that the band will publish an official press release this Thursday on their website, Petraband.com." Renaud's informative article goes on to discuss the band's future plans, which does not include a new studio record. For the full article (which is a great read), visit PetraRocksMyWorld.com. (from Josh Renaud / PetraRocksMyWorld.com)

Eric Champion
Eric Champion is back! Champion secured quite the pop/contemporary fan base in the early nineties with his hit records Save the World and Vertical Reality, and turned the heads of rock fans with a brilliant stylistic shift with 1996's Transformation. His 1998 follow-up Natural was a modest effort and Champion all but disappeared from the Christian music scene entirely, becoming heavily involved with FullSail Real World Education. Last year, buzz began building about a new solo project from Eric, as well as his involvement with a new band, but little details surfaced. As of this month, Champion is back with two brand new 4-song EP's: a solo project entitled Unexpected and an EP entitled Bad Memory from his band Rook. For more details on these exciting new projects, visit www.EricChampion.com! (from Luminous Art Media; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Canadian artist Riley Armstrong is making a return this month as well! Following the release of his 2002 Flicker Record sophomore release Whatever The Weather, Riley is releasing a new effort entitled La Loop. For more details, visit RileyArmstrong.com, or the website for Riley's own new record label 7 Spin Music, 7spinmusic.com. (from 7 Spin Music; special thanks to Luke)

David Crowder Band
David Crowder Band is keeping busy working on new material and you're invited to be involved... TONIGHT! "This is an invitation," David announced recently on DavidCrowderBand.com. "We have been thinking of you during this whole recording and although we have truly felt that you were a part of what we have been doing with the webcams and all, there has still been distance. So here's what I propose - Tuesday at precisely 6pm we will be gathering as we always do every evening at 6pm upstairs in the barn for the hoedown. We would like to invite you to join us. In the barn. For the hoedown. In person. You see, we need to record some friends of ours having a joyous time singing along with us, and we think it would be just perfect with you there. So here is the deal: come to the parking lot on the corner of 15th and Columbus Avenue in Waco, Texas. A fellow by the name of Ben will be waiting for you there. You will see ben. You will see the barn. You will see the Dr Pepper House. We will be upstairs awaiting your arrival and then we will sing together. We will have a hoedown. Now you can't stay. You will have to leave. You cannot reside with us forever and ever. But for an evening, we will have some times for sure! So you are invited to join us Tuesday, May 10th at the barn for the hoedown to record with us for the new record. It will be fun." Sounds good! If you're anywhere near Waco tonight, it looks like you've got plans! (from davidcrowderband.com)

Playdough
As a member of ill harmonics & deepspace5, Playdough already has a lot on his plate. Playdough's contributions to the new Deepspace5 album, Unique, Like Everyone Else is now available in stores, but his second solo album has recently released on 7SpinMusic this spring. The new album, entitled, Don't Drink The Water, even has P.O.D.’s frontman Sonny Sondoval excited. “When it comes to rhymes I think Playdough is one of the illest MC’s out right now.  His spiritual and positive vibes are refreshing in the world of Hip Hop.  Not too many can touch him!” Check out the release now at 7spinmusic.com. (from 7 Spin Music)

Mae
Check out Mae on Wednesday, May 18th at 10pm EST (7pm PST) and Thursday, May 19th at 4pm EST (1pm PST) as a part of Fuse's exclusive Bamboozle coverage airing on Steven's Untitled Rock Show during the week of May 16th. Fall Out Boy, Chris Carrabba and the Starting Line also take time out of their busy festival schedules to hang out with Steven during this episode. Don't miss any of the Bamboozle coverage! Click www.fuse.tv to find Fuse on your cable system. And visit www.fuse.tv/bamboozle during the week for exclusives from the festival.

The Fold
Tooth & Nail Records is proud to announce the signing of Chicago based rock outfit, The Fold. Begun from the remnants of four previous bands, including Warner Brothers group, Showoff and Chicago-based bands Starstruck and Epsin 12, The Fold began in 2002 as the brainchild of lead vocalist and guitarist, Daniel Castady. Rounding out the line-up of early twenties-somethings is Aaron Green on guitar, Keith Mochel on bass and Mark Rhoades on drums. “It will only strengthen the structure that we have already been building,” Castady elaborates on their recent signing to the Tooth & Nail. “The people there are very much in tune with what we’re trying to do and we are confident that we have an exciting road ahead!” What they have been building is a solid fanbase not only in the midwest, but throughout the nation as well via their already packed tour schedule, joining groups like Allister and Spoken on the road. Additionally, having already established themselves in previous bands has not only allowed The Fold a chance to mature via their experience, but to also have a more concise focus on what they would like to transpire in their future. “The band FAR really inspires us, though they broke up a good 5 years ago,” Castady explains. “Musically we would like to pick up where they left off.” Now The Fold will have their chance to do just that. Gearing to head to the studio with Steven Haigler (Brand New, Quicksand, Fuel) in New York City this month, look for The Fold’s debut Tooth & Nail Records release tentatively scheduled for the fall. “I think it’s going to be a great sounding record,” Castady concludes. “As for the songs, we’re writing about three times as many as we could possibly use, so we hope that through the process of elimination we come out with a timeless selection of music.” To listen to previous recordings from The Fold, visit their Purevolume site here! (from Tooth & Nail)

*Friday, May 6th, 2005*


Switchfoot
Switchfoot's Tim Foreman threw a little tidbit to the fans earlier this week, via their official newsletter, with the following news about the band's newest album, "Well friends, after months of recording, we've finally given birth to our newest album, Nothing Is Sound. This album was recorded all over the world while on tour in places as far as Germany, Africa, and Australia, and also places as close as our backyard. We are in the final stages of mixing what we all feel to be our strongest record yet... which is scheduled to release... (dramatic pause) in early August. We feel like proud parents, and we can't wait to introduce you to our newest creation. I'm not sure if it's a boy or a girl, but it definitely has teeth." Rumors have it the "teeth" means the album will have more edge, while a probable release date is August 2nd. The album was originally looking at a July release but has been delayed so the band could continue to add finishing touches to it. (from Switchfoot)

toby
Along with Marvel Comic's Fantastic 4, Kingdom of Heaven, and Batman Begins, you can now check out TobyMac's music video for his hit single "Gone," now one of only two music videos up on Apple's Quick Time HD Gallery: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/hdgallery/ High Definition video brings the widescreen vistas, clarity and color depth of film to the television and computer screen. So you can view movies and videos the way film directors intended. Check out this gallery of amazing High Definition video, and see what's in store! (from The M Collective)

BarlowGirl
Nashville-based Word Entertainment announces the acquisition of Spirit-Led Records, which includes Fervent Records, home to such artists as BarlowGirl, Big Daddy Weave, By The Tree and others, to its label group. An independent artist driven label with 2005 sales to exceed $7 million, Fervent Records is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Word Entertainment. The label will continue to operate with its current staff under the direction of its founder and President, Susan Riley, an eight-year veteran of the Christian music industry and one of the only women to own and operate an independent label in any genre of music. "Fervent Records has a large roster of cutting edge Christian artists whose music is reaching a broad mainstream audience," says Warner Bros. Records Chairman & CEO, Tom Whalley. "I join the rest of Warner Bros. Records in welcoming them to our family of labels." Fervent introduced one of the most successful breakout acts, BarlowGirl, in 2004. The best-selling new artist in the industry last year, the three-sister band shipped more than 250,000 units of their debut, self-titled album. Fervent and Spirit-Led Records will further be distributed worldwide by Word Distribution into the Christian marketplace and WEA into mainstream retail outlets starting June 1, 2005. In addition to the labels, Word Publishing has acquired the two publishing arms owned by Riley, Open Worship Publishing and Fresh Springs Publishing. (from Word Entertainment)

Relient K
Relient K won Yahoo! Music's "Who's Next" poll with a whopping 63% of the votes!! You can watch an exclusive performance and interview with the band on Yahoo! Music starting Monday, May 9th. “We would like to thank Yahoo! Music. 'Who’s Next?' is a great program, and we’re really happy to be part of it. We would also like to thank all the people that voted for us. You’re all a bunch of sweethearts," said frontman Matt Theissen. In other RK news, the band recently covered the Bangles track "Manic Monday" for the upcoming Punk Goes '80s compilation out June 7th on Fearless Records. Head over to the Punk Goes 80s MySpace page to hear the track and more from the album! (from Relient K)

Todd Agnew
Todd Agnew is set to release his sophomore effort, Reflection of Something, on August 9th. Following the release of his breakthrough 2003 solo debut, Grace Like Rain, Agnew’s new project hits shelves August 9, 2005 on Ardent Records/SRE Recordings. During the two years since his first release, Agnew analyzed the reasons and motivations behind what he sees, says and does, in turn expressing those reasons and motivations into the dozen songs he penned - both words and music - for Reflection of Something. The project, produced by John Hampton (Gin Blossoms, North Mississippi All Stars) and recorded in Memphis’ Ardent Studios, showcases a plethora of Agnew’s musical tastes, from rock to blues to worship, from intimate ballads to powerful choruses. “I feel like I’ve grown up a bit more musically. I realized we needed to stay true to what we had done so far, but I didn’t want my second project to just be a copy of the first one. When I listen to this record, I catch echoes of the music that I care about and that has shaped me: Kansas, Led Zeppelin, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Memphis Blues, funk. As far as what it will mean to other people, it’s still kind of up in the air. That’s why I’m looking forward to letting people hear it so they can tell me.” The songs found on Reflection of Something showcase themes of worship and salvation, bound to strike the listener’s heartstrings. The majestic “Isaiah 6” represents the glory of a heavenly encounter with God, while “Mercy In Me” reflects the importance of worship as an earthly lifestyle. “Blood On My Hands” counts the high cost of our salvation, while “Where Were You?”, influenced by Job 38, considers God’s presence and omnipotence. But it is the poignant “My Jesus” which is the emotional centerpiece of the project. Agnew wrote the song almost a decade ago, but rarely played it because of the spiritual self-examination required to perform it. Last year, he and his band brought it out again and were humbled by the tremendous audience response. Agnew continues, “The question always is, if you’re a reflection of something, what is it going to be? At the conclusion of your life, will it be the relationships you have? Your job? All of us reflect something out to the world. Why not let it be a reflection of Jesus?” The first radio single from Reflection of Something is “Unchanging One,” shipping to radio in late May, and a promotional tour is currently being planned, hitting key markets such as Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Colorado Springs. Agnew is currently headlining World Vision’s “In The Name of Love” Tour, sharing the stage with his friends, artists BarlowGirl and Warren Barfield. (from The M Collective)

SCC
Steven Curtis Chapman’s most successful tour to date, the “All Things New Tour,” came to a close this weekend in Raleigh, NC, to a crowd of well over 10,000 attendees. The entire 72-city nationwide tour saw Chapman perform in front of nearly 350,000 fans with 16 sellouts and incredible crowds at every show on the tour, averaging 5,000 people a night. Sellouts were in markets such as Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Tulsa, Kansas City, Ft. Meyers, Little Rock, Lakeland, Knoxville, Greenville, Birmingham and Memphis. The show in Washington, D.C. sold out three weeks in advance, while Minneapolis and Houston both had capacity crowds of over 10,000 people and the New York City date had over 14,000 in attendance. Concert promoters were impressed with turnouts and were excited about the ministry of each evening. Creative Artists Agency agent John Huie, commented, “The gracious manner in which Steven introduced and performed with his touring mates, Chris Tomlin and Casting Crowns, served to represent what our business should be about. The trademark infusion of faith and family throughout his show truly made the night one to remember.” The “All Things New Tour” delivered its promise each night of the tour, with Chapman giving an amazing concert experience for which he has become so well-known. The tour, held in large venues all across the country, featured songs from Chapman’s current album, All Things New, as well as his hits from the past 17 years. The tour was shared with sixstepsrecords artist/worshiper Chris Tomlin and Beach Street Records’ group Casting Crowns. Chapman shared his thoughts about having the All Things New Tour come to an end. “It is so bittersweet for all of us, but we’re ready to be home after months of touring. Yet, this brings to an end the best tour experience I’ve ever had.” Chapman explains, “Before this tour began, Mary Beth and I prayed that this would be a significant time in the life of each person God brought to be a part of this tour. It seems that prayer has been answered and God used this time in a very powerful way. Our sincere thanks to our local promoter partners and all our friends at newspapers, magazines, retail, television and radio around the country for their support of the tour.” For two reviews from Jesusfreakhideout.com staff regarding the tour, please visit our Concert Reviews & Tour Dates section... (from The M Collective)

Subseven
Flicker Records hard music bands Pillar and subseven are included on a Major League Baseball CD sampler available at Best Buy Stores nationwide. Consumers who purchase any 2005 Major League Baseball video game title will receive a copy of the disc FREE. The CD features music from MLB video games including Pillar's "Bring Me Down," subseven's "Free to Conquer" as well as tracks by Theory of a Deadman, Louis XIV, and Nightwish, among others. "Free to Conquer," the debut video from subseven's first full-length label release Free to Conquer, has officially been added to MTV.com, MTV-U, MTV VOD, and the MTV hits channel. Additional outlets now airing the video include FUSE ON DEMAND, a digital cable service available to 7.5 million Comcast Digital Cable subscribers, and Havoc TV, a video on demand service available to Adelphia, Time Warner, and Comcast Digitial Cable systems. (from Savvy Media)

Big Idea
Families looking for an action-packed adventure need not comb the video aisles any longer, as Big Idea, Inc. presents VeggieTales: Minnesota Cuke & The Search For Samson’s Hairbrush. Introducing a courageous, new action hero - Minnesota Cuke, this CGI animated episode features the comedic adventures of America’s favorite vegetable, Larry the Cucumber, with family-friendly lessons on dealing with bullies, forgiveness and patience inspired by Matthew 5:44. The episode is jam-packed with kid friendly bonus features including the Catacombs game, an interactive storybook, how to draw Minnesota Cuke and much more. VeggieTales: Minnesota Cuke & The Search For Samson’s Hairbrush will release on VHS ($12.99 SRP) and DVD ($14.99 SRP) June 25 and 28 in the CBA and general markets respectively. Additionally, Big Idea is thrilled to welcome GRAMMY and CMA award-winning artist Charlie Daniels to the “VeggieTales” team as the co-writer and performer of the Minnesota Cuke theme song. Larry's wildly popular silly songs also return with Pizza Angel, featuring Larry lamenting a late pizza delivery that will have the whole family dreaming of gooey, cheesy goodness. (from Hoganson Media)

*Sunday, May 1st, 2005*


Audio A
A friend of the Hideout reported last evening that last night's Diverse City Worldwide tour stop in Winter Haven was "interesting for unfortunate circumstances." Earlier in the afternoon, Audio Adrenaline frontman Mark Stuart received a call from home that his grandmother was on her deathbed, and he decided to fly back to Nashville in order to be there with her and his family. AudioA guitarist Tyler Burkum ended up covering for Mark instead, and the band decided to perform a shorter set than usual, letting TobyMac close out the evening in their place. It wasn't made known how long Stuart would be out or which shows that he won't be with the band, but please keep the Stuart family in your prayers during this tough time for them. (thanks to J. Tinker)

MercyMe
Compelled by his rich history in the church, and by hymns his Grandma sang to him as a child, Bart Millard, the voice of MercyMe, has crafted one of the most musically innovative CDs of the year. With bold interpretations, Hymned, releasing on INO Records August 9th, is a musical fusion of Texas blues, traditional gospel, and classic southern influenced hymns featuring Millard’s signature vocals. Being described as a “refreshing and exceptional musical journey,” Hymned was produced by Brown Bannister and features guest vocal appearances by Vince Gill, Russ Taff, and labelmate Derek Webb, and guest musicians including country singer Steve Wariner and Robert Randolph. About his inspiration for this project, Millard explains, “My grandmother, Ruby Lindsey, was an amazing woman. I have a vivid memory of her singing every song on this record to me and my brother growing up. Of course she sang hundreds, so I just had to weed through them and choose my favorites.” Further describing his love for hymns, he says, “My wife and I grew up together in a church where we sang hymns every Sunday – there was no such thing as contemporary worship – these hymns were as contemporary as it got. All of our memories are fond of that time – no matter how boring or great it was, we just smile looking back on it now. So, when my 3 – year old son Sam was born, it hit me that he probably wouldn’t have these memories that we have, and it was just kind of sad to me. I hope this record will help me share these special songs with him.” The new DualDisc format will also be available for Hymned, featuring in the studio footage and diary of the musical journey of making this record. The DualDisc format combines music, video and other features on a single, two-sided disc that plays on existing CD and DVD players. (from The M Collective)

Shawn McDonald
iTunes will feature Shawn McDonald’s song “Don’t Walk Away” as a free Discovery Download for one week beginning Tuesday, May 3. The track is from the soulfully acoustic singer/songwriter’s acclaimed debut album, Simply Nothing. Indeed, Shawn seems to be everywhere these days. He appeared on the April cover of CCM magazine in a photo collage of other buzzworthy musicians including Bono, Switchfoot, and Jeremy Camp and is named among the “10 Artists You Should Know” in that same issue. McDonald also has the cover story in the new issue of Christian Single magazine, and his uniquely crafted concert album, Live In Seattle, hit stores nationwide this past Tuesday (April 26). (from Sparrow Records)

Kirk Franklin
Hot on the heels of a second run of "The Hopeville Tour, the most successful Gospel tour of all time, Multi-platinum selling Gospel artist Kirk Franklin is currently in the studio working on a brand new album, his first since 2002's Platinum selling The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin, which spawned a 2003 "Song Of The Year" Stellar Award for "Hosanna." His first studio album since 1998's The Nu Nation Project, the new release is due in stores late this summer and will be the first release on Franklin's new Fo Yo Soul Entertainment label, in association with the newly formed Zomba Gospel Group. In preparation for what will undoubtedly be a career-defining work, Franklin has launched a brand new website at www.KirkFranklin.us where he will be unveiling special sneak peeks of the making of the new album in the coming weeks and months leading up to the late-summer release. Also on deck is "The Takeover Team," Franklin's first ever concentrated street team initiative which will be being recruiting in mid-May. (from Fo Yo Soul)

Kids In The Way
Flicker Records hard music band Kids in the Way pairs its screaming sound with equally intense lyrical themes on Apparitions of Melody, in stores May 10. The group’s new music is quickly finding an online audience, ranking among the most played artists on MySpace.com. Produced by Nathan Dantzler (Tree63, Staple, subseven) and Sam Shifley (Mortal Treason, Staple, subseven), Apparitions of Melody delivers the band’s edgy, high-energy sound while addressing relevant themes ranging from transience and metaphysical warfare to social injustice. Songs like album opener “Last Day of 1888” empathizes with those who have been falsely accused, as was the man nearly arrested for Jack the Ripper’s slayings. “Apparitions of Melody” addresses life’s impermanence and the desire to make a lasting impression. Tracks including “Burt Rutan” and “This Could Be the Song That Will Change Your Heart” beg listeners to surrender their lives to a higher power. As Kids in the Way frontman David Paul Pelsue comments, “The album is a lot deeper. In many ways, it’s similar to what we’ve written before, but the lyrical content and musicianship are much stronger. We tapped into something more intense this time around.” Preceding Apparitions of Melody to retail outlets, the project’s title track is currently spinning on Christian Rock radio stations nationwide. The band has also created a video for “Apparitions of Melody.” Shot entirely against a green screen, this performance video is a unique blend of photographs and computer generated graphics. Additional details are forthcoming. Kids in the Way is quickly gaining favor on the Web, as previews of its upcoming album are already available at purevolume.com and MySpace.com, among other outlets. MySpace.com recently ranked Kids in the Way among the Top 10 most played bands in multiple music genres, namely rock, screamo, and punk. Check out www.myspace.com/kidsintheway or www.purevolume.com/kidsintheway. (from Savvy Media Solutions)

Spring Hill Worship, a new line of worship products created specifically for the desires and needs of today’s church and church leaders, has announced the June release of The Rocks Cry Out. A twelve-song collection of new worship songs, The Rocks Cry Out is an upbeat, guitar-driven recording that features songs penned by Billy Sprague, Joe Beck, Rick Cua, up-and-coming worship leader Carl Cartee, new artist Anadara, Chaz Bosarge, Brian White, Chad Chapin (Tait), Elias Dummer, Jan and John L’Ecuyer and Leonard Ahlstrom. Produced by Joe Beck and Jim Frazier, The Rocks Cry Out is a combined vision of such collaborators as industry veteran and songwriter/singer/musician Rick Cua, of Rick Cua Entertainment, known recently for his vision with the top-selling Worship Together Series; Spring Hill’s Director of Publishing and award-winning Songwriter Joe Beck; and A&R Director/Producer/ Songwriter Phil Johnson. The project features the vocal talents of Cartee, Anadara, Charity Von, Kate Miner, Cole Young, Elias Dummer, Jan L’Ecuyer, Tom Lane and others. The collection of newly penned songs offers worshipers and worship leaders unforgettable, driving tunes while continuing Spring Hill Worship’s tradition of “meaty” lyrical content joined with melodies that are easy to sing. “The Rocks Cry Out is one of those rare worship compilations with plenty of tempo,” stated Cua. “From start to finish it is full of energy while never losing the depth of worship that is found in slower songs.” (from Spring Hill Music)


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