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JFH Music News Archive

April, 2005

*Friday, April 29th, 2005*

Sanctus Real Ohio-bred rockers Sanctus Real is saying goodbye to one of the band's original members... "As some of you may know, this weekend will be Steve [Goodrum]’s last show with Sanctus Real," announced the band in a newsletter sent out this week. "Steve and Jodi felt God’s calling to end his time with Sanctus. He is extremely excited to see what the Lord has for his future. Steve will remain a close friend and brother to Sanctus Real and his time with the band was a true blessing. Please keep Steve and Jodi in your prayers as they start a completely new time in their lives. So, now we need to introduce you to the newest member of Sanctus Real, Dan Gartley. Dan has been on the road working with Relient K over the past months, and we are honored to have him on the road! Dan’s first show will be May 6th at the Agape Festival, so if you get the chance to come out to a SR show over the next few months, make sure you say HI to Dan and welcome him aboard." In other Sanctus news, the band's new studio project will be released sometime around January or February of 2006. The guys will be in and out of the studio over the next couple of months so keep them in your thought and prayers as they work on the next release! (from Sanctus Real)

Skillet Skillet has begun work on two new projects!... sort of... Frontman John Cooper and wife Korey are planning for parenthood once again, pending the arrival of their second child, a son! John also announced this week the plans for a new record... "We are beginning to work on some new music. I can make no promises to when the record will be finished, or released for that matter. We will know more over the next couple of months. I hope to be ready to record after festival season. For those of you who are frustrated because you want some new skillet to rock your head off to, you can pray for us to be inspired to write! Over the last year I have witnessed so much hurt, pain, and emptiness in the world. I want to write some songs that will inspire people to have hope. It's actually a difficult thing to do. Writing your thoughts in a way that sounds cool is really hard! It is becoming easier in some ways because people are more open to talking about Jesus and spiritual things. In a lot of ways, Jesus is becoming a fad. But we know that Jesus is not a fad, he is hope, and He is everything in life that is worth living for." (from Skillet)

Matthew West The widely acclaimed singer/songwriter Matthew West recently received the Song of the Year honor at the 27th Annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards for his debut hit, “More.” ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) is the leading Performing Rights Organization in the United States, representing the world's largest repertory which totals over 8 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 200,000 members. Co-written with Jason Houser and featured on Matthew West’s first album, Happy, “More” was an out-of-the-box, record-breaking radio smash that spent over two months at #1 on the Christian adult contemporary chart. The track also registered as one of ASCAP’s Most Played Songs of 2004. In related news, “More” was nominated for the 2005 GMA Music Song of the Year Award and Pop/Contemporary Song. Also, West was a New Artist of the Year contender, and Happy was nominated for Pop/Contemporary Album as well as Album Packaging, winning the latter award. Matthew West is currently recording his second album, History, scheduled to release June 21. (from Sparrow Records)

BarlowGirl Renowned Fervent Records bands Big Daddy Weave and BarlowGirl garnered their first-ever AC No. 1 (R&R AC Indicator) this week with “You’re Worthy Of My Praise.” From Fervent’s acclaimed Absolute Modern Worship album released earlier this year, Big Daddy Weave’s “You’re Worthy Of My Praise” featuring BarlowGirl additionally garnered top 10 positions on R&R’s AC, Billboard’s Hot Christian AC, PDAdvisor’s AC and CRW’s AC charts. The song is further adding spins at CHR and INSP. "We are thrilled with the acceptance of ‘You’re Worthy Of My Praise,’” says Fervent president, Susan Riley. “The timing was perfect for these bands as Big Daddy Weave prepares for their summer release and with BarlowGirl’s success in other radio formats. The Fervent team is grateful for the Big Daddy Weave and BarlowGirl collaboration and for radio stations believing in this song and in the artists.” (from Word Label Group)

Everlife SHELTERecords recording artists Everlife have been chosen to record the theme song for the upcoming Disney movie Go Figure. Go Figure will play on Disney TV throughout the summer, and stars newcomer Jordan Hinson. Everlife will be featured in all advertising regarding the show. The title song was written and produced by Andy Dodd and Adam Watts, the team behind the Jesse McCartney hit "Beautiful Soul," with vocal arrangements by Kevan Cyka (Lifehouse, REM, Hilary Duff) and Dan Needham (Stacie Orrico, Steven Curtis Chapman). The girls will also be shooting a video in the next week for the project at the Southern Ice Rink outside of Nashville. Gary Chapman will be directing the video that will coincide with the release of the show, and will be featured in all TV ads and all teasers. Go Figure is a story about a girl who, in trying to study figure skating with a w orld-renowned Russian teacher at a private school, has to join the hockey team on scholarship to afford the tuition. "Disney has become an integral part of our marketing campaign with Everlife. Between the opportunities we have received through Radio Disney, Radio Disney events and now Disney TV, we have been able to make more effective use of our marketing dollars. Disney has welcomed Everlife into their family with open arms, and we are thrilled to be a part of their network," explains Kevan Cyka, Producer. (from Biscuit PR)

Big Idea VeggieTales fans should get ready to sing, dance and laugh! The VeggieTales gang is hitting the road to perform their silly songs for audiences nationwide during their 31-city, major market VeggieTales Rockin’ Tour LIVE! Fans can experience the silliness at top venues across the country. Combining all of the well-known VeggieTales Songs, some new Veggie friends, timeless values and plenty of that wacky humor VeggieTales fans enjoy so much is what makes this the perfect show for kids of all ages. Taking the show out on the road like a true concert tour, audiences can expect to see some of their all-time favorite VeggieTales characters come to life right before their very eyes, as well as experience a few really fun surprises! “The high-participation performance truly rocks the stage with interactive video screens, a lighting show and surprises that will get everyone excited and in the mood for Bob, Larry and friends,” says Terry Pefanis, Big Idea president and COO. “If you think VeggieTales characters are funny on video, wait ‘til you see then up close and personal.” Steve Moore, Moore Entertainment Group, adds, “We are thrilled to represent the VeggieTales characters in this exciting NEW LIVE show. It is the perfect entertainment event for young children, with uplifting themes and engaging visuals. For some children, it will be their first ‘live’ show experience. And the characters, the songs, the entire production will make for a very memorable time for these children and their parents.” (from Hoganson Media)

Justin McRoberts is working on a new record right now for a Summer release. Justin announced this week, "We are excited to announce that Justin will be recording his sixth full length record this June! The new songs sound like a cross between old Metallica and Mariah Carey. While this is nowhere near the truth, we are still proud of the new tunes and can't wait to share them with you all." Sounds good to us, we'll keep you posted on the details... (from Justin McRoberts)

*Monday, April 25th, 2005*

38th Parallel It looks like 38th Parallel may have been resurrected! The band recently posted on their page that they're working on new material... "Well everyone, you will all finally get what you've been asking for... 38th has been resurrected from the dead. That's right, we are back together for real. We'll be working on new demos this summer and hopefully playing a lot of shows again. So we will see how things go. By the way, sorry for taking so long, but here we are fully returned!" The band has begun playing shows again around the Ames, IA area where they're from. They played the first one last week on Friday the 22nd for free, and played one on the Iowa State University campus on Saturday. For more info, visit (from, thanks to Kevin V.)

SCC Though it was 75 and sunny in Nashville last week, Steven Curtis Chapman was seen sporting a scarf and turtleneck. Hmmm... Preparations are in the works for an album that will hit stores October 11th. Steven told the fine folks that run his newsletter that this collection of songs "will be best for listening between Thanksgiving and the end of the year." Stand by for more information on Steven's new Christmas project... (from

Project 86 Project 86 will be flew to Vancouver this past weekend to begin the recording process! Fans can check the journal section at for updates from the studio. The band will also be shooting behind the scenes footage as well for the DVD during the next month which will be released in conjunction with the new record. Keep the band in your prayers as they are currently still writing new material for the record this week! (from Project 86)

While we don't usually want our MTV these days, the Ohio good ole boys in Relient K are featured on the front page of, with their "Be My Escape" video being number one in this week's "Top 5" videos! You can check it out, along with the video itself, at (from, thanks to Brad M.)

Disciple 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)

Seventh Day Slumber Seventh Day Slumber lead singer Joseph Rojas is honored to be a part of Max Lucado’s new mega-bestselling book It’s Not About Me teen edition, live like you mean it. The book explores how from day one we’ve been demanding our own way, and we’re still constantly bombarded with messages telling us to “look out for #1.” It sounds reasonable, but what happens when we just end up feeling unsatisfied and empty? That’s how Rojas felt and as a teen from a broken home, troubled past, drug abuse and attempted suicide, he finally realized that God had not forgotten him and called out to Jesus to save his life. Rojas' inspirational testimony was captured in this book, hoping to inspire all teens to come to know God and to call out to Him when they also find themselves unsatisfied and empty. He realized it wasn’t about him, but instead it was all about God! Seventh Day Slumber is currently on their Once Upon A Shattered Life headline tour with supporting acts Sevenglory, Benjamin and Red Umbrella. In July they embark on the Day Of Rock tour with supporting acts Day Of Fire and Krystal Meyers. This Fall they will be part of the third national ShoutFest tour. SDS will also perform at the following major festivals this summer: LifeFest, Spirit West, ProLife, Kingdom Bound, Let Freedom Ring, Newsong Festival, FreedomFest 2005 and Joshua Fest. (from The M Collective)

*Thursday, April 21st, 2005*

Kainos Ben and Hannah Stacy of the new Southern Signal Records group Kainos are recovering from a serious hit & run car accident that occured Monday night in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. They were returning from dinner at a local restaurant with their publicist Brian Mayes of Nashville Publicity Group when Mayes' Ford Explorer was struck by another vehicle that ran a red light at a high rate of speed. The heavy impact caused the Explorer to spin and roll over, totaling the vehicle. "God was with us, and I could feel His hand keeping us from continuing to roll over," comments Hannah. "It was a reminder that we are mortal, and at any time we can go home." To the surprise of rescue workers, there were no serious injuries, but a lot of bumps and bruises. The driver fled the scene but was caught by police moments later and deemed to be under the influence. Mayes and the Stacy's are recuperating at home. Alive, the debut CD from Kainos, will be in stores April 26 from Southern Signal Records, EMI EMM and EMI CMG. Their debut single "Selfish Me" debuted last week on the Rock Chart (R&R, Christian Format) at #27. For more information on Kainos, please visit the official website at (from Nashville Publicity)

The Afters American Airlines selected The Afters and their mainstream radio single “Beautiful Love” for the American Way magazine “Road Warrior” promotion. “Beautiful Love” will air during their in-flight video during May, June, and July. During this promotion, “Beautiful Love” will be heard on approximately 29K flights and 4.2 million passengers! The music video for “Beautiful Love” can also be seen during April and May in more than 3,000 national retail stores such as American Eagle, FootLocker, Nordstrom and more. (from The M Collective)

Blindside On June 22nd, 2005, Blindside will return to America for their first US concert dates in almost a year. They will bring with them a brand new live show, new songs and 2 very exciting new bands. The tour will be called “Black Friday” In the tradition “The Internal Storm Tour,” Blindside once again are bringing you the most original and entertaining tour of the summer. Tour support will be the outstanding Showbread ( This seven piece powerhouse has developed a reputation for a crazy live show that must be seen to be believed. Opening the show is The Showdown ( This young band is being courted by several majors and is sure to make a very loud noise in 2005. For more info, visit! (from Blindside)

Andy Hunter andy hunter°, the innovative British DJ whose music has taken the film, TV, and gaming industries by storm (including major placements in Alias, The Italian Job, SSX 3, and Enter The Matrix), announces the launch of the MIDI signal-- a fan-based awareness network equipped and mobilized to reach the masses with his music. Members of the MIDI signal will receive exclusive online content and first notice of andy hunter° news and updates. They will also play a critical role in grassroots promotional projects designed to raise awareness for andy°s unique, beat-driven music. the MIDI signal's initial projects will lay the groundwork for the May 24 release of Life, andy­°s follow-up to 2002's Exodus. For more information, read the personal message from andy hunter° at (from Sparrow Records)

Chris Tomlin Two of today’s most recognized artist-worshipers, sixstepsrecords’ Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman each received their first GMA Music Award during the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards presented last week at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The awards show will be televised in national syndication during the month of June with an expected audience reach of at least 75% of U.S. households. Chris Tomlin, nominated for three awards, received the nod for Praise & Worship Album of the Year for Arriving. Nominated for four GMA Music Awards, Matt Redman received the award for Worship Song of the Year for "Blessed Be Your Name." “Blessed Be Your Name” also became an anthem of the evening as the attending artists, celebrities and audience arose to their feet and sang the song with Redman, Tomlin and label mate David Crowder leading on stage. The crowd continued to worship with Tomlin as he seamlessly launched into his current radio hit, “Holy Is The Lord.” “Receiving our first two Dove awards was pretty special for our sixstepsrecords family,” says Louie Giglio, sixstepsrecords founder. “God has used Chris and Matt to influence the church in worship all around the world and it's great to step back and give thanks for all He has done.” “But the night was made complete because we were able to share it together,” continues Giglio, “both leading during the night as a sixsteps family and walking together through it all. Life doesn't get any better than having the privilege of carrying the Story of God with people you love.” Peter York, President of EMI CMG Label Group, comments on the awards, "It is amazing to see how our industry has embraced Matt and Chris this year as artist-worshipers and songwriters. We have watched them be faithful to their giftings and calling to serve and resource the church over the years. It is a pleasure to see their accomplishments recognized.” (from Hoganson Media)

*Friday, April 15th, 2005*

Switchfoot Multi-platinum rock band Switchfoot was named Artist of the Year at the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards ceremony, leading the list of EMI CMG winners that also included worshipers Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin, rockers Sanctus Real, and the dynamic tobyMac. Switchfoot, whose breakthrough 2003 album, The Beautiful Letdown, continues to bridge a gap between mainstream and Christian music audiences, was the night’s big winner with four awards. In addition to the Artist of the Year top honor, the band won statuettes for Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year and Short Form Music Video (“Dare You To Move”) and Long Form Music Video (Live In San Diego). The band is set to release a brand new album later this year. Matt Redman, the modern worship leader whose songs are widely embraced by churches and other recording artists worldwide, received the Worship Song of the Year honor for “Blessed Be Your Name.” Chris Tomlin, another favorite modern worship leader whose third project, Arriving, recently charted a major #1 hit (“Indescribable”), was awarded the Praise & Worship Album of the Year trophy. Sanctus Real, the melodically-charged Ohio rock band that earned massive critical acclaim for its recent sophomore album, Fight The Tide, won Modern Rock Album of the Year. tobyMac, an innovative Christian music mainstay whose work with dc talk has earned many previous pop and rock honors, won Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year for Welcome To Diverse City. (from EMI CMG)

Jeremy Camp BEC Recordings artist Jeremy Camp was awarded three Dove Awards at Wednesday night’s 36th Annual GMA Music Awards, held in Nashville, TN at the Grand Ole Opry House. Camp won, for the second year in a row, the Male Vocalist of the Year Award and was awarded twice as performer and songwriter for Rock Recorded Song of the Year for “Stay,” his No. 1 single from his debut album Stay. Camp was 2004’s Male Vocalist of the Year from last year’s GMA Music Awards as well as New Artist of the Year, bringing his Dove Awards total to five. Camp also walked away with top honors at the 27th Annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards as he was named Songwriter of the Year for his No. 1 singles “Right Here” and “Walk By Faith.” The awards held in Nashville Monday, April 11th. (from The M Collective)

SCC Rumor has it that Steven Curtis Chapman's already at work on another Christmas album due out in the late Fall/early Winter, and a new Christmas tour is in the works for that album, planned for the Fall and Winter. No official announcement has been made yet about this news, but we'll keep you posted! In other SCC news, Steven took home two Dove Awards Wednesday night for his contributions to The Passion Of The Christ: Songs and for co-writing "Voice Of Truth" with Casting Crowns' Mark Hall. Also, Chapman and producer Ed Cash let it slip to the press later that night that they will be working on a song together for the upcoming Chronicles Of Narnia film due out this Winter. Rumor has it that two "inspired-by" compilation projects - one from mainstream and one from the Christian industry - will be released... (thanks to J.T. for the news)

Brave Saint Saturn Five Iron Frenzy recently announced the closing of their forums due to bandwidth issues, but at the same time made an announcement regarding the future of Brave Saint Saturn... "On a brighter note, there will be a similar, albeit temporary, forum opening on Brave Saint Saturn's website sometime in the near future, to give loyal fans an opportunity to keep the community alive as well as to generate interest in the band's third and final project, The Dreams That You Dare to Dream, set to arrrive in stores Tuesday, November 15th of this year. We look forward to seeing you all there!" (from Brave Saint Saturn, thanks to S. Griffis)-->

Day Of Fire Rock band Day of Fire accepted its first Dove Award at Wednesday night’s 36th Annual GMA Music Awards. The band won Rock Album of the Year for its debut album Day of Fire that released on 10/26/04 and generated the No. 1 Hit, “Cornerstone.” Co-written by band mates Joshua Brown and Gregg Hionis, the album features production by Scott Humphrey (Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Rob Zombie). As the band stood together to accept the award, front man Joshua Brown told the crowd he always knew what he would say in his acceptance speech. “I give all the glory to God, who not only saved me from drug addiction but has given all of us a chance at new life,” Brown said. His words were followed by a standing ovation from the audience. Day of Fire presented three of the night’s awards with Christian music icon Sandi Patty showing the wide range of musical styles represented that evening as they jokingly compared similarities. “I have lots of colorful artwork on my refrigerator,” said Sandi Patty. “And I have lots of colorful artwork on my arms,” countered Joshua Brown rolling back his jacket sleeve to reveal his tattoo covered arm. (from Essential Records)

Nicole C. Mullen Word Records’ renowned singer/songwriter Nicole C. Mullen and acclaimed rock newcomer Building 429 collected Dove Awards in top categories at the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards, held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. GRAMMY nominated and now nine-time Dove Award recipient Nicole C. Mullen was named “Female Vocalist of the Year,” an honor she previously claimed in 2002. She and husband, David Mullen, additionally took home trophies for her third national release, Everyday People, winning in the “Urban Album” category. Currently with over 1 million in unit career sales, Nicole C. Mullen was first honored with a Gospel Music Award in 1998 for co-writing the radio hit, “On My Knees.” Multi-GMA Award nominated Building 429 received top-category honors as “New Artist of the Year.” Further categories in which the band was up for awards included “Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year,” for its critically applauded 2004 release, Space In Between Us, and “Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year” and coveted “Song of the Year,” for Building 429’s “Glory Defined,” one of the most successful debut radio singles ever. Last year, the song reached No. 1 on CRW’s AC radio chart faster than any song in chart history and remained there for 10 consecutive weeks. Both Nicole C. Mullen and Building 429 were additionally spotlighted during the evening as each were invited to present awards to other artists. Up for multiple GMA Awards, BarlowGirl (Fervent Records, a division of Word Label Group) also received a standing ovation following their performance of the hit single, “Never Alone.” Other GMA Award wins included the “Country Album” honor for Randy TravisPassing Through and the “Modern Rock Recorded Song” Dove for Teleprompt/Word artist Mute Math for “Control” from its 2004 EP release, Reset. (from Word Label Group)

Casting Crowns Casting Crowns picked up three Dove Awards at Wednesday night’s GMA Music Awards held at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. The band took home the coveted Group of the Year trophy and the Inspirational Recorded Song and Pop Contemporary Recorded Song categories for “Voice of Truth” and “Who Am I,” respectively. In addition, Mark Hall, the band’s lead vocalist and primary songwriter, received individual recognition for his songwriting. He garnered the prestigious Songwriter of the Year title for the second straight year as well as honors in the Song of the Year category for “Who Am I,” one of the most played songs on Christian radio in 2004. Hall also received Doves as songwriter for the band’s two Recorded Song winners. With these new honors, Casting Crowns continues its journey into unprecedented levels of success with the RIAA Platinum certification of its self-titled debut album for sales of more than one million copies. This momentous occasion came only fifteen months after the Sept. 30, 2003 release of its award-winning album, making them the fastest selling debut artist in recent Christian music history. Spurred on by record-breaking success at Christian radio, with three consecutive No. 1 singles, its latest hit, “Voice of Truth,” is currently spending a record-setting thirteenth week at the top of R&R’s Christian AC Monitored Chart. Two weeks ago, the band set a record at radio for being the first artist on the R&R AC Monitored chart to hold the #1 spot for 11 consecutive weeks. With massive touring already underway for 2005, the opening chapters of this amazing success story are still being written. (from Provident Music Group)

Roper Roper announced this week an unique way to raise money for a great cause... "In our continued effort to give something back, we have decided to do something that will benefit one of you, as well as the orphanage we support in Kenya. Nick White, Roper's drummer, has decided to raffle his drum set. This is the same drum set that Nick uses live during Roper's shows. You may be thinking, "Why would I want a drum set? I have never even seen a drum set up close". Well, you don't need to play drums to appreciate this $4,500, custom-made Pork Pie drum set. You could make it into furniture, learn to play, or just keep it in your house to drive your parents insane. You could even sell them to someone else or give them away. Whatever you do with them, the kids in Kenya will definitely appreciate the support. You can register to win at any Roper show by buying a $2 ticket or buy one online through at Roper's site - The drawing will take place on August 31. Remember, the more tickets you purchase, the better your chances of winning the drum set, as well as more money for the orphanage in Kenya!" (from Roper)

Nichole Nordeman At a press conference held during Gospel Music Awards Week, Christian artist Nichole Nordeman announced an exclusive partnership with SongTouch, Inc. Making a bold statement for the industry, Nordeman announced that a preview of her newest single, Brave, will be available for purchase exclusively to listeners on The web service was launched at the same press conference. Developed by industry giant Howard Rachinski, SongTouch is the newest and most comprehensive web service dedicated to family-friendly downloads and content. “Brave really feels like a next step for me creatively and evidence of my own musical evolution these past few years,” notes Nordeman. “Releasing it first to made perfect sense to me, as they are on the forefront of an evolution as well, one that the artistic community can trust, and one that the listening community will come to depend on and greatly appreciate." Nordeman credits Rachinski with opening doors for Christian musicians worldwide. His parent company, CCLI Inc., has broadened the music options legally available for distribution in churches worldwide, SongTouch hopes to host the largest library of family friendly music available on the World Wide Web. Brave is Nordeman’s first studio release in three years. The download purchase of its title track will cost 99 cents and includes bonus audio commentary from Nordeman about the song's meaning. It will be available in stores May 24. (from FWA PR)

Pillar Rock act Pillar also announced an exclusive partnership with SongTouch, Inc. during the press conference held this week. “Bring Me Down (The Underground Mix),” a single from Pillar’s May 24 release Where Do We Go From Here: Limited Edition, will be available for online purchase exclusively through from April 14th until street date. The Web service was launched at the same press conference. The brainchild of Howard Rachinski, SongTouch is the newest and most comprehensive web service dedicated to family-friendly downloads and content. Noted Pillar vocalist Rob Beckley, “We’re excited to be part of this landmark event in Christian entertainment and look forward to our continued partnership with” Pillar applauded Rachinski for providing such a service to Christian musicians worldwide. Rachinski’s parent company, CCLI Inc., has broadened the music options legally available for distribution in churches worldwide. SongTouch hopes to host the largest library of family-friendly music available on the World Wide Web. “Bring Me Down (The Underground Mix),” a new industrial club version of last year’s hit, was produced by Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., Spoken, Disciple). The song is one of 14 on Pillar’s forthcoming project, including two bonus tracks. Price to download the single is $0.99. (from FWA PR)

Riley Armstrong Riley Armstrong has been working hard on a new album and just this month signed to a new record company in the US. "The plan is to release a fresh new album next month (May)," announced Armstrong earlier this week. "The album will have the tune 'Cellphone' as well as the song 'Melting' on it (I have been sharing them live for a while now), along with some more songs that I am really excited about. The album will be available online as early as the first week in May. I will be emailing a newsletter that day to direct you to where and when... I know what you're thinking 'sure you'll email us a newsletter...' but honest I will." For more info on Riley, visit! (from Riley Armstrong)

Word Label Group announced last week the re-launch of the renowned Myrrh Records brand. Originally founded in 1972 as a division of Word Records and discontinued in 2000, Myrrh became the largest division of Word Records with such discoveries as teenage singer Amy Grant, who hit the Christian music scene in 1977 and has gone on to sell over 25 million units worldwide. Returning to the vision behind its name, Myrrh re-launches with a desire to resource today’s church with new worship artists and songs. Utilizing the many strengths of Word Entertainment, including print, publishing and new media, Myrrh will aim to bring an offering of worship that expresses what God is doing within His Church. Jim Van Hook, Word Entertainment CEO, says, “Church music is the fabric of our company. It’s what Word set out to create over 30 years ago. As we rebuild and refocus as a label group, it is without question that we start by resourcing the church. Re-launching Myrrh as a worship brand is our commitment to that goal.” “Myrrh desires to bring new forms of worship to churches and worship leaders who feel the need for songs that express where they are as a body,” explains Jessica Wolstenholm, Senior Director of Marketing for Myrrh. “As we serve to connect these leaders to what God is doing, we hope to encourage congregations to continue to go to a deeper place in their worship—with music by the church for the church.” Myrrh plans to introduce new artists and resources later this year. More information can be found at (from Word Label Group)

White Heart member Billy Smiley has joined forces with Dave Ellefson (formerly of Megadeth) to form the band Symphony in Red. Their worship-oriented album will also feature guest lead vocals by Bryan Oleson (Newsboys) and new worship artist Aaron Shust. Song DISCovery's May/June disc features Symphony in Red's inspirational/worship single "Jesus I Come," and the first AC/CHR single "Spirit of the Living God" will be releasing later this month. Symphony In Red is part of the new Worship Hymn series debuting this month with two other albums - Kristina's The Old Made New, and Worship Hymns, Volume 1. For the past three years, Smiley has been developing, rewriting, and rearranging hymns in a worshipful new setting for a new generation, with a group of "hymnboys" comprising of 15 worship leaders and songwriters from around the country. The result is 150 new versions of the hymns coming to the church on various Worship Hymn albums (Traditional, Inspirational, Contemporary, Modern Rock) over the next 12-18 months. The Worship Hymn series will also be unveiling the "2005 Worship Hymn Song Search Contest" - in which 12 song winners will be featured on a nationally released album in 2006 called Worship Hymn - Around the World! The Worship Hymn series is available through New Day Distribution, Central South, Spring Arbor/Ingram, MPI International, and CMC Canada. (from Nashville Publicity)

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its winners for its 2004 annual competition. Called "the songwriting competition to take note of" by the New York Times, ISC received over 11,000 entries from 77 countries in its third year.ISC prizes include more than $100,000 (USD) in cash and merchandise and are shared by 50 winners in 16 categories. Winning First Place in the Gospel/Christian category is Mike Shaw from Hoover, AL, USA for his song "Belong." The winning song is also the first single from Mike's CD project New Songs and Hymn Reconstruction. "Broken And Blessed" by Carmen Calhoun/Chad Ballantyne/Brad Baerwald took Second Place honors. The song is the title track from Carmen's debut album, an eclectic collection of songs in various styles. Coming in Third Place is "Beautiful" by Josh Zandman from Morgansville, NJ, USA. Josh is an accomplished songwriter and musician and is one of the original members of the Dove Award-winning band Burlap to Cashmere.
Gospel/Christian category winners:
First Place - "Belong" Mike Shaw/Jason Elgin/Jacob Bunton/Rodney Reaves, Hoover, AL, USA
Second Place - "Broken And Blessed" Carmen Calhoun/Chad Ballantyne/Brad Baerwald, Washington, DC, USA
Third Place - "Beautiful" Josh Zandman, Morganville, NJ, USA
Honorable Mentions in the Gospel/Christian category include:
"Heal Me" Kelly Chapman/Ryan Lott, Cleveland Heights, OH, USA; "Here I Stand" Ken Sutherland, Dallas, TX, USA; "Glory Hallelujah" Danny Brooks, Milton, ON. Canada; "Can I Get A Witness" Kechia B. Jenkins, Jackson, NJ, USA; "Endlessness of Grace" Chris Shandrow, Normal, IL, USA; "Still Waters" Peter Stein Bellevue Hill, NSW, Australia; "Restore Me" Melissa Polinar/Chris Rodriguez, Keene, TX, USA; "Sweet Savior's Arm" Grey De Lisle Glendale, CA, USA. For a complete list of winners, please go to (from The ISC)

*Thursday, April 14th, 2005*

Switchfoot We just got back from the ultra-cramped press room at the 36th Annual GMA Awards at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Congratulations to all of the artists who took home Doves at the event! Switchfoot, although not present at the ceremony to accept any awards, was graced with the Artist Of The Year award and won three others including Rock/Contemporary Song Of The Year for "Dare You To Move," as well as Short Form Video for the song and Long Form Video for Live In San Diego. The southern gospel powerhouse The Crabb Family grabbed a healthy four awards as well, while Casting Crowns, and frontman Mark Hall, took home a staggering six awards including Group Of The Year, Songwriter Of The Year, and Song Of The Year. Jeremy Camp scored Male Vocalist Of The Year for the second year in a row while Nicole C. Mullen humbly accepted Female Vocalist Of The Year for the second time and Building 429 was a shocker as this year's New Artist Of The Year. We want to extend our special congratulations to our friends in Sanctus Real for their win of Modern Rock Album of the Year with Fight The Tide, TobyMac for Welcome To Diverse City in the Rap/Hip Hop Album, and MuteMath for their win with the Modern Rock Recorded Song "Control." For a full list of all the winners, visit

*Tuesday, April 12th, 2005*

Audio A It's GMA week! And we're reporting to you from Nashville, Tennessee! Audio Adrenaline's frontman Mark Stuart announced in a pressroom event yesterday that their new album Until My Heart Caves In has been given a release date of August 30th. Also, Stuart mentioned the band's plans for a Fall Tour called the "Until My Heart Caves In: The Festival" that will feature six bands. The lineup includes Day Of Fire, Sanctus Real, Superchick, Pillar, Kids In The Way, and headliners Audio Adrenaline! More soon! (from Audio Adrenaline)

Sarah Kelly is currently preparing for her sophomore Gotee Records release that is tentatively titled At About Midnight. Be on the look out for the new project from the Grammy-nominated artist this Fall! (from Sarah Kelly)

Subseven Subseven is readying to take their new record Free To Conquer to the masses this year by touring with Disciple, followed by another tour with Project 86 and Spoken and finally the Warped Tour this summer with Mae, Underoath, Relient K, and many mainstream artists. Support the guys live when they hit your area sometime this year! (from Subseven)

Jeremy Camp Reigning Dove Award-winning Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year Jeremy Camp has announced he will be headlining the Restored Tour this fall, hitting over 40 cities across the nation. Singer/songwriter Bethany Dillon and band Tree63 are confirmed as supporting acts on this highly anticipated tour. The tour, acquiring its name from Camps current release on BEC Recordings, will begin September 2nd and go through November 21st. Tour dates are listed below. While planning the third headlining tour of his career, Camps manager, Matt Balm of Flat-Out Entertainment, commented, "When we started talking about who to tour with this fall, Bethany Dillon and Tree63 were definitely our first choice. Luckily, they agreed and we are honored to have them with us. With this lineup, we feel there will be an amazing blend of different musical styles that will appeal to a broad demographic," Balm continues. Those who come to the show are going to connect with these amazing artists on a spiritual level as well as a personal level. All three artists have had tremendous radio success, giving the fans songs to look forward to hearing during the night. The concert goer can count on a low ticket price, amazing production, and mostly, a place to meet with God. Currently on the Undone Tour with MercyMe, Camp will be hitting the main stages at all the major summer festivals as well as performing in Morocco at Friendship Fest May 6th through the 8th. Friendship Fest, the outdoor festival and historic gathering bringing together Christians and Muslims, will feature musicians from both the U.S. and Morocco on the same stage to celebrate peace and tolerance. Visit for more information. (from The M Collective)

Superchick Superchic[k]'s first week sales for their brand new -- and much delayed -- project, Beauty From Pain, were indeed beautiful. Beauty From Pain entered at Number 1 on Soundscan's Top Christian Album Chart selling over 6,500 units, and at Number 6 on Soundscan's Top Current Contemporary Christian chart, selling nearly 8,800 units combining the CBA and General markets. "This is a big release for Superchic[k] and we knew going into this record that the stakes were high," comments Inpop's General Manager Rob Poznanski. "We're ecstatic that the marketplace has responded so positively to this band. Superchic[k]'s fans are incredible, and the retail and radio response is overwhelming." Bruno Pirecki, General Manager of Inpop's Sales and Distribution added, "It's great to see the culmination of efforts from all parties bear fruit. This is a such an intimately accessible record, and it's just getting started." (from The M Collective)

Kevin Max's Northern Records debut is aiming for a late summer release in either late July or August. Keep an eye out for the record as Max has been describing the project as a more straight-up rock album. More to come! (from Kevin Max)

*Wednesday, April 6th, 2005*

Switchfoot Multi-platinum California rock act Switchfoot - named after a surfing technique - will host the Switchfoot Bro-Am, a surf contest/concert event at Moonlight Beach in San Diego, on May 14, 2005, to raise money for Care House, an organization serving homeless kids there in the band's hometown. Best known for national hits "Meant To Live" and "Dare You To Move" from its current album, The Beautiful Letdown, Switchfoot collectively stated, "Surfing and music have occupied most of our lives...introduced us to our dreams, our friends, and most of our favorite places. The support that we've received from the music scene and the surfing community over the years has been simply amazing. So we've dreamed up a way to give back to the San Diego community that has given us so much." A strongly promoted local event, the Switchfoot Bro-Am will be held from 7:00 am - 3:00 pm and is raising Care House funds via public awareness and surfing contest entry fees ($500 per four-member team) that include 12 tickets to a Switchfoot concert and Bro-Am awards ceremony later that same evening. The concert will be exclusively held for Bro-Am contestants, radio contest winners, and Care House kids. Throughout the day, the Switchfoot Bro-Am sponsors will give homeless kids a great day at the beach, providing free shoes and clothes, surf lessons and INT foam boards, Taylor guitars and guitar lessons, and most of all: a chance to dream. "The biggest thing that we can do for these kids is to show them that they are important and needed and loved," the band says. (from Sparrow Records)

Celebrating 15 years in the music industry, The Kry is marking the milestone by releasing their long-awaited first worship project on their newly-created record label, LeKri Music. God of Infinite Worth will be available nationwide April 19th. “From the very beginning, worship has always been the center of everything The Kry has done,” says Yves Lajoie, drummer and band co-founder. “We started as a youth group praise band at a Calvary Church in Albuquerque and still today about 80% of what we do is worship. This album is just an extension of that.” Produced by Eli Thomson (Crystal Lewis, Chris Lizotte) God of Infinite Worth was released in Canada in late 2004. In a recent press conference, Vibe Gospel Music announced that the two French-Canadian brothers have been nominated for three SHAI Awards: “Group of the Year”, “Song of the Year” for “Holy Is Your Name” and “Praise and Worship Album of the Year”. Formerly known as the Vibe Awards, the SHAI Award winners will be determined by fans, with online voting beginning April 5th and the prizes being given out during a ceremony on May 15th in Ontario, Canada, which will be taped for later broadcast over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). “We are very honored to receive these nominations,” says Jean-Luc Lajoie, frontman for The Kry. “We have never released a project with the goal of winning awards, producing hit radio singles or even consciously making an album that would be ‘popular’ within the music industry. Our hope is to simply produce music that will move and inspire people to worship Jesus.” The album’s first radio single, “Faithful” is currently being added to the Inspirational, Adult Contemporary and CHR formats in the U.S., and the band just finished filming a music video for the same song. The video will be serviced to television outlets across the country. God of Infinite Worth will be distributed nationally through Infinity Music Distribution, in partnership with Central South Distribution. With the release of God of Infinite Worth, The Kry is also debuting their newly-formed record label LeKri Music. Created with the goal of bringing some recording freedom to the table and releasing their own projects at their own pace, the Lajoies are also open to consider helping others find a home for their music as well. (from Springboard Entertainment)

Hawk Nelson Hawk Nelson kicked off their spot as the opening act on Saturday in Ohio for the Spring Worldwide Diverse City Tour with Audio Adrenaline, TobyMac, and Kutless. Before they could make it to their next date on Sunday in Williamsport, PA, the band's bus caught on fire! According to bass player Daniel Biro on, a fellow Canadian warned the band about the hazard and kept the guys out of harm's way. Due to the bus problems, the band regretfully had to miss the Williamsport date entirely. Now the guys have a replacement bus, so hopefully Hawk won't experience any further travel troubles! (from

Elms The Elms have created a home for fans to get a glimpse of the band's new music, photos, writings, and more. Fans can now listen to rough versions of "Who Puts Rock & Roll In Your Blood?" and "The Towers and the Trains" at Lyrics to the songs accompany the tracks, and you can read new bio material and see new photos of the band. More will be added soon to the MySpace site, including scenes from The Elms' new live concert film, Burn The Fields: The Elms Live In Indiana. Get on the band's friend list, and invite others to The Elms' MySpace site! (from

Grits The offical launch of Grits brand new record label "5e Entertainment" will be during GMA week, April 11th-13th, 2005. Grits' 5e Entertainment will hold the First Annual 5e Masquerade. On April 12th, 2005 @ 10 PM (doors open @ 8:30 PM) at the "Rhythm Kitchen" on 174 3rd N. in Nashville, TN. That night will include the 5e Entertainment artist showcase, Grits clothing/remix fashions fashion show, and the Masquerade Afterparty! Also that night, Grits will be shooting part of their video for their brand new single "HIGH". It's a free admission event as well! The first release on 5e Entertainment will be the soulful vocalist CATT, who hails from Nashville, TN. CATT's EP will drop by the summer of 2005 and her album debut will be coming out spring of 2006 5e's first hiphop phenom goes simply by the name "IZ", straight from Jacksonville, FL. Be looking for these artists to hit the road with Grits as soon as the summer hits! Be on the lookout - Grits has begun recording for their new album due out in early 2006, and they also just shot their brand new video for "HIGH!" (from

The Big Daddy Weave collaboration with BarlowGirl "Worthy of My Praise" is Fervent Records and Big Daddy Weave's fastest rising single ever. The song, currently at number three on the AC indicator charts, is featured on the album Absolute Modern Worship and will also be on Big Daddy Weave's third studio release, What I Was Made For, releasing summer 2005. (from

*Tuesday, April 5th, 2005*

Skillet Ardent Records has announced it has recently inked a deal with S/R/E Recordings, the active rock label under INO Records, to distribute and market its entire roster, including Todd Agnew, Jonah 33 and Skillet. New projects from Agnew and Jonah 33 are expected this fall, with a project from Skillet anticipated in early 2006. "We are delighted to begin a new chapter in our history by partnering with S/R/E," said Ardent President John Fry. "We feel a strong bond of shared commitment to ministry, authenticity, and excellence. The resources of S/R/E and the INO/Integrity system will provide exciting new opportunities for our artists while allowing us to continue to identify and nurture innovative artists and produce records with the independent spirit which has focused the attention of music fans on Memphis for decades." The Ardent partnership places S/R/E firmly on the map of active rock labels in the Christian market, just two months following its formation. S/R/E's release schedule for 2005 already includes the June 7 release from DISCIPLE, and will now feature a summer release from Todd Agnew, and late fall release from Jonah 33. In addition to the advantage this gives S/R/E, Ardent welcomes the marketing and distribution facets the staff at S/R/E is uniquely positioned with, and the skills they have to provide these artists with opportunities and outlets they may have not had before. "We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with Ardent Records. They have an amazing history of being involved with some great rock records, from both the studio side and the label. I believe the Ardent team will continue to develop and record relevant and excellent music,” states Steve Ford, S/R/E's Vice President/General Manager. “To work with another label that desires to impact culture with music is refreshing and fun. “ (from The M Collective)

Stryper The multi-platinum and Billboard charting legendary rock band Stryper have signed a multi-album deal with Big3 Records. The band will release their first full-length studio record since 1991 this year. The official release date will follow soon. Fans can expect a major tour announcement in the near future along with information on the band’s first ever soon-to-be-released DVD. Check back the week of April 4th to hear a song sample from the forthcoming album! All official Stryper news will first be sent to the email list. In other Stryper news, the band is proud to officially announce Tracy Ferrie as the bass player for Stryper. Ferrie's bass talents are well displayed on the forthcoming Stryper albums on Big3 Records. Tracy Ferrie is not entirely new to the Stryper family as he spent many years playing in Michael Sweet's band and performed in Orlando with Stryper at Disney's Night of Joy festival in September of 2004. (from

Shaun Groves Rocketown recording artist Shaun Groves and his wife Becky recently celebrated the birth of their third child, a daughter. Penelope Ann Groves was born Tuesday morning, March 29, in Franklin, Tennessee, literally just hours after her dad placed the finishing touches on his upcoming third CD, White Flag (releasing July 12). Weighing in at 8lbs 13oz and 21 inches long, Penelope goes home today to join sister Gabriella, 4, and brother Gresham, 2. Congratulations to the Groves family! (from Rocketown Records)

Relient K The wait is finally over! is featuring the exclusive premiere of Relient K's new video for "Be My Escape." The video is on Relient K's MySpace profile and features a glimpse of the trio expanded to a quintet! "Be My Escape" began playing in regular rotation on FUSE and mtvu yesterday. In other RK news, the band is hitting the road again - this time opening for Good Charlotte and Simple Plan on the “Noise to the World” tour. The tour kicks off May 2nd at the Expo Square Pavilion in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (from Relient K)

Amy Grant Word Records’ multi-Platinum and GRAMMY Award-winning singer and songwriter Amy Grant has announced the release of her twentieth album, Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith, on May 3. The project follows the recent Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Gold certification of Grant’s first hymns project, Legacy…Hymns & Faith, marking sales in excess of 500,000 units. 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. “It’s not worth making a record unless you’ve really got something to say,” said Grant. “If I have albums to make and creative energy to do it, I want to create something timeless, and these songs have stood the test of time.” In addition to extensive radio and retail promotion, Grant’s Rock of Ages… Hymns & Faith will be supported by appearances on national mainstream shows coupled with extensive print exposure. The project is already receiving widespread media coverage with Grant recently featured on the cover of March’s CCM Magazine along with being scheduled as the cover artist for the magazine’s June issue. She also recently performed to enthusiastic standing ovations at two sold-out Women of Faith conferences, leading Women of Faith president Mary Graham to comment, “Not surprisingly, having Amy Grant at our Women of Faith events delighted the hearts of the entire audience. Her tender heart expressed through personal story and song is remarkable, and the courage of her faith is extraordinary. Some things never change.” “Amy is an artist who has defined our industry,” said Jim Van Hook, Word Entertainment CEO. “Her music continues to challenge and inspire listeners around the world and we’re thrilled to be a part of her career which has been and continues to be filled with so many record-breaking accomplishments. Rock of Ages...Hymns & Faith is a project that will be impacting people for years to come.” (from Word Records)

GMA The GMA Music Awards will showcase fresh faces, musical diversity and all 44 Dove Awards winners this year, according John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA). On the weekend, Styll announced that Casting Crowns, The Crabb Family, Selah, J Moss, BarlowGirl, Bethany Dillon, Natalie Grant, Watermark, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Tonéx and Skillet have been confirmed to perform at the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13. "This year's GMA Music Awards will be a reflection of the impact that many younger, newer artists are having in gospel music. The diversity and freshness of this group of performers will make for a unique and exciting show," said Styll, who added that every performer is also a Dove Award nominee and will perform the music for which they were nominated. Also announced recently were presenters for the GMA Music Awards including MercyMe, Michael W. Smith, Joy Williams, Jeremy Camp, tobyMac, Matthew West, Building 429, Nicole C. Mullen, Day of Fire and Phillips, Craig & Dean. Radio personalities Delilah and Rick & Bubba, "The World's Strongest Man" Shane Hamman and NASCAR Driver Bobby Labonte will also present at the GMA Music Awards. Denver & The Mile High Orchestra will be the awards show house band. Tickets are still available for the Doves at or by telephoning 615-242-0303, ext. 238. (from Spinhouse PR)

Bebo Norman Acclaimed folk-pop artist Bebo Norman tops the charts again, securing back-to-back radio hits with his compelling anthem “Nothing Without You” reaching the No. 1 spot on Radio & Records Inspirational chart this week. This song is the follow up to Norman’s No.1 success “Disappear,” both appearing on his latest album, Try. Critics also champion Norman’s current hit song, claiming, ‘“Nothing Without You” resonates with such beautiful delicacy and simplicity that the listener can’t help becoming mesmerized.” - CCM Magazine In addition to his impressive radio success, Norman continues to pack in audiences on the road, selling out venues for his national tour this spring, tri-headlining with Fernando Ortega and Sara Groves. “The Ortega, Norman, Groves Tour” hits 25-plus cities and launches April 21 in Chattanooga, Tenn., playing major markets including Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cleveland, Albuquerque, Ft. Worth, Colorado Springs and more. For the most updated tour dates, go to For more information on Bebo Norman, please visit (from Provident Label Group)

Supertones The Supertones are out on the road with Roper right now for the first leg of their farewell tour. "Just a quick note to tell you all that we are starting to book the last part of the farewell tour for this fall," the band announced on their site last week. "The dates should start coming in soon. We will be begining around the last week of August and then ending in Orange County on October the 8th. This is when we hope to play our last show but it is subject to change. Mark that on your calendars now! More info for the final show and tour coming soon. over and out..." We'll keep you posted as more details are released! (from

Plumb Finally, Plumb's next project, following the birth of her new baby boy Solomon Fury Lee on March 22nd, has been given a release date! Tiffany announced on her official website last week, "The album was mastered and totally complete on Friday March 18 and Solomon was born the following Tuesday. Not bad timing eh? As of right now the slated release date is August 2, 2005." For more details on the birth, head on over to! (from

ZOEgirl Room To Breathe, the fourth studio release from pop trio ZOEgirl, has climbed to #1 on Billboard magazine's Heatseekers chart in its second week of release. Indeed, Room To Breathe has quickly become ZOEgirl's highest charting project to date (#1 Heatseekers, #5 Christian Albums, #108 Billboard Top 200) and features the new radio hit, "About You." Media reviews are equally as strong with calling Room To Breathe "as relevant and bold as ever" while sites the "knockout, original numbers." says, "Don't miss this powerful, beautiful CD from one of the best pop groups in music." ZOEgirl begins a national tour in support of Room To Breathe on March 31 with co-headlining act Jump5. For a complete list of concert dates, check out: (from Sparrow Records)

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