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Get the new FREE JFH MP3 compilation -- Vol. 12!

JFH Music News Archive

July, 2003

*Wednesday, July 30th, 2003*

Bleach U.S. Army Captain Joshua T. Byers, formally decorated for his military excellence and known among those closest to him for his deep commitment to faith, family and country, was killed in action in Iraq, Wednesday, July 23. Bleach band members Milam and Jared Byers seek to honor their brother along with family and friends. Following one of the greatest successes of the war on terrorism with the death of Saddam Hussein’s sons, Captain Byers was on route near Baghdad when his vehicle was struck by a remote-controlled bomb, killing him and severely wounding others. Assigned only 40-days prior to his death as the company commander to Fox Troop, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Fort Carson, CO, Captain Byers was an Army Ranger and did special operative missions. The Cavalry unit in which he served is the most decorated in the Army. “Josh was our hero,” says his youngest brother, Jared. “He risked his life everyday and would not have had it any other way. Josh loved his family more than anything in the world, and he loved his country. I know that he felt a calling from God for his service, and God made him a hero, not just in his death, but his whole life.” Capt. Byers Early in his life, Captain Byers knew he wanted to be in the military. After joining the ROTC program in high school, attaining the highest rank possible, Commander, as well as being named high school class president, Byers later attended the prestigious United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, graduating in 1996 with high honors. Following graduation from USMA, Josh completed Airborne and Ranger Training. His first post was at Fort Stewart, GA from where he was deployed for six months to Kuwait in 1998. He and his wife, Kim, then moved to Fort Leonard Wood, MO where he completed his Officer Advanced Course training and received a Masters in Engineering degree from the University of Missouri Rolla, graduating with honors at the top of his class. The couple then moved to Fort Carson, CO and Josh was assigned to the General’s staff. He soon became Aide-de-Camp to Commanding Major General Charles Campbell. “General Campbell called our parents this week to tell us how much he loved Josh and said that there was not a better soldier anywhere,” says Milam Byers. “There have been numerous reports about how Josh’s actions have saved many lives. We have been told that one time he saved 100 soldiers that were in harm’s way. Another soldier had a family member call Kim to let her know that Josh saved his life three times! Josh would tell us ‘I know I’m on the front lines too much, but I love my troops, I love my men and I love my country. I’m going to do all I can to make sure they come home safely.’” In a Colorado Springs Gazette feature that ran July 26, Captain Byers’ former commander, Lt. Col. Toby Green was quoted as saying that Josh was “universally loved in the squadron…Josh was a great pick-me-up all the time.” “His dream was to become a company commander of a Cavalry Unit,” says Jared. “While in Iraq, he became company commander of the Fox Troop, one of the best Cavalry units in Iraq with 140 troops under his command. He was so proud to be chosen to be commander of this unit. He also did a lot of the volunteer work on his own to help his country, risking his life everyday. “While in Iraq, he told us how a child whose father was just killed was crying for her mother,” continues Jared. “Josh scooped the girl into his arms and held her safe until he could locate her mother. Another time Josh went out into a minefield to rescue an Iraqi boy. A fearless soldier respected by his troops, Josh also loved children. He and his wife were hoping to have children of their own when he returned from Iraq.” The Gazette feature also quoted Captain Byers’ wife, Kim, saying, “In every letter he would write about how much he loved command. It was his dream. It was what he felt he was born for. He would say, ‘I love my soldiers: I would do anything for them.’” As Bleach members, who all loved and respected Josh, considered canceling the current Bleach tour to give the family time to grieve, brothers Milam and Jared realized that Josh would not have wanted the band to stop touring. “Josh would have told us to carry on,” says Jared. “He would go on and on about how proud he was of us. ‘You are my heroes,’ he would say. He was Bleach’s No. 1 fan. Before he left for Iraq, he made me promise to keep taking care of business with the band, as he took care of business in Iraq. He thought of everyone in Bleach like his brothers. He even made Sam [Bleach guitarist] promise to take care of his little brothers while he was gone.” “One of the ways we want to honor Josh is to not let his story be forgotten,” says Bleach member Sam Barnhart. “Over the last few weeks, he said that he was worried about us here in the states forgetting about our soldiers. Many of us think that the war was over and won when our troops reached Baghdad, but Josh reminded us that, really, the war had just begun and that brave men are laying down their lives everyday.” Sharing that story on the road, Bleach decided to continue its touring, albeit doing acoustic sets instead of their usual full rock ensemble, where possible. Guitarist, Milam, and drummer, Jared, while temporarily off the road to tend to family, will soon rejoin the band with a renewed mission to honor the memory of their hero, Captain Joshua T. Byers. Prior to Wednesday’s news, Bleach had already decided to dedicate its new album, due to release nationally in October, to Josh and his Fox Troop. Milam had also already written a song inspired by Josh that will be featured on the album. Josh further sent a photo of himself in Baghdad with the word BLEACH written with black tape across the face of a Hussein painting. The band plans to feature the photo in the album artwork. Contributions can be made to the Byers¹ family at any Academy Bank, Air Academy National Bank or Armed Forces Bank location. Memorial gifts can also be made to the Guam Baptist Association, PO Box 326008, Hagatna, GU 96932-6000.

Shaun Groves’ sophomore release Twilight arrives at stores August 5th. No need to wait until the 5th to check out the album, go to or to listen and pre-order Twilight. Currently, all pre-orders through will receive a personally autographed copy of Twilight and a FREE limited edition sampler including Apt.Core and new Rocketown artist, Taylor.

KJ-52 has a NEW album coming out September 30th. It’s Pronounced Five Two will surely appease all current fans and will create new ones. It is exactly what you have come to expect from KJ-52. CCM Magazine even just noted KJ-52 as being the 16th Most Important Artists Shaping Christian music today! Pretty awesome stuff. Be sure to check him out on Festival Con Dios this fall. If you read some of the cool magazines out there, you are bound to see some KJ-52 in your area. Look for cover features and stories in both 7 Ball and U Magazine coming this fall!

While the dust around the P.O.D. controversy involving the exodus of original guitarist Marcos Curiel was settling, a new side project was solidifying. Appropriately titled The Accident Experiment, this harder-edged project boasts Curiel on guitar and a familiar face on vocals. Yes, the rumors are, in this case, unfortunately true that the band is being fronted by none other than Pete Stewart. Most know Pete as a short-term member of Michael Tait's Tait band, and frontman for the Forefront Records rock act Grammatrain in the late 90's. This year, Stewart has had his hands heavily involved in projects like Peace of Mind with KJ-52 and the upcoming !Hero Rock Opera. But one must wonder, after further investigation, what is up with the Experiment? The band's official website is plastered with skulls and dark images, and, on top of that, displays lyrics that feature some profanity including a couple uses of the infamous "s" word (sound clips also demonstrate Stewart's usage of these lyrics as well). As word circulates about this new project, you may want to steer clear. In the meantime please keep Stewart, Curiel and the other members of The Accident Experiment in prayer.

*Tuesday, July 29th, 2003*

Michael W. Smith On the heels of a successful European tour, performing before thousands over multiple headlining festival dates this summer, and celebrating his 20-year anniversary in music, multi-platinum, award-winning artist Michael W. Smith announces “The Celebration Tour” with special guest MercyMe. The 19 city fall tour will kick off in Milwaukee, Wis. at the US Cellular Arena on October 16th. “I’m looking forward to being out on the road this fall with MercyMe,” noted Smith. “I’m excited about 'dusting off some of my older songs and performing 20 years worth of music. It will be fun to share everything from the early hits to the music from the Worship records on this tour. I really think it will be a unique tour both musically and visually with some of the video things we have planned.” MercyMe frontman Bart Millard commented, “To tour with Michael W. Smith is a dream-come-true! All of us in MercyMe are life-long fans of his music and, more importantly, his ministry. We are honored for the opportunity to join him in advancing the Kingdom of God.”

POD A relatively recent article in long-time running Christian hard music magazine HM took a more inside look at the band known as P.O.D. since their recent member changes. The article discusses their new guitar player, the new record, and even their Christianity and how it affects the artists around them. "...We hang with these bands for months at a time. It takes 'em a while to understand what a Christian is. Their concept of Christian is 'religious fanatic that gets up in the morning and prays at the sky.' It takes a while to kinda let people catch the vibe and know what you're about. And know that God created you as an individual and He created your character, so everybody's different. We just spend our day-to-day time with these people and we kinda let the day-to-day thing be effected. Bands come up to us all the time, whether it's Papa Roach... I know just recently, cuz Blindside was on tour with Papa Roach, and the singer would always come to them, man, and just be like, 'Can you pray for me, man? Can you do this?' They actually asked him if he wanted to accept Christ, and he was like, 'You know what, man? I want to, but I'm not ready right now.' You know what I'm sayin? It's those little steps. Those little seeds that you kinda sow every day. Those are big steps, because when it's all said and done and they're sitting by themselves, those are the questions they want answered. They see your life and that's the kind of joy they want in their life. So, you just kinda got to be loving the Lord and let Him be the joy in your life and let that shine out to everybody. Just because we're in a band and all of us are Christians doesn't mean that we have all the scriptures for everybody or we can turn 'em right to the page. That's just not how it is. Other people are gifted in other ways. It's the little steps, the day-to-day things that I think are the most effective." For a look at the full article, visit HM Magazine's official site:

Bleach Following up on our recent report about Bleach and the loss of Milam and Jared's brother Josh in the recent Iraq conflict, we have a letter from the band that has been passed on...
"Hey guys,
Many of you already have heard the news, but for those of you that haven't, Josh Byers (Jared and Milam's older brother) was killed (last) Tuesday serving our country in Iraq. Josh was a unit leader in the Fox Troop and was on the front lines doing some amazing things for our country. This is obviously the toughest thing that Bleach have ever gone through. The other three in the band have decided to continue through the summer doing a more intimate acoustic type of show in honor of Josh. Josh was a HUGE support/fan/encouragement to the band and we know that he would be mad if the guys didn't continue their calling while their brothers spend time with family. Josh gave his life for his God and his country, the least we can do is to push forward with this ministry and hopefully influence kids one tenth the way that Josh has influenced us. Many people have contacted us wanting to know what they can do to help. I spoke at length with Jared today and they really NEED your prayers more than anything else. PLEASE pray for them, Lloyd and Mary (parents) and Kim, Josh's wife as much as you can.
The Bleach Family"
On behalf of the JfH community here, let us join our hearts and lift our petitions to Christ in support of the Byers family this week. Thanks guys.

Be sure to listen for the distinctive vocals of Sixpence None the Richer's Leigh Nash on August 15th when you go to the theater to see MGM's Uptown Girls with Brittany Murphy, Heather Locklear and Dakona Fanning. Nash recorded the song "A Charmed Life," which will be featured in the movie and can also be heard on the soundtrack hitting store shelves on August 5th.

The hit song "Hanging On" by Everyday Sunday has been featured in a recent episode of the new NBC show So You Want To Marry My Dad. That airs on Monday nights at 10 PM ET. This fall, the band will head off on the Watch For Falling Rock tour with 24 Idaho. It kicks off on September 1st, and wraps up sometime in November.

Dove Awards The Gospel Music Association (GMA) will make key changes to Dove Awards voting including the addition of a new "Worship Song of the Year" category, announced John W. Styll, president of the GMA. “It’s important that the Dove Awards be an accurate representation of the music having the most influence in our genre. Worship music has become a major part of today’s musical landscape and it is appropriate that we honor its vital place in our genre with this new category,” Styll said. The new "Worship Song of the Year" category will recognize songs that are having the greatest impact in the church. Because these types of songs are often recorded and/or performed by multiple artists, the Dove will be awarded to the songwriter and publisher of the song, not an individual artist. The new category will be placed in Division V of the voting, along with "Musical of the Year," "Children’s Musical of the Year" and "Choral Collection of the Year," all categories reflecting music impacting the church. Additionally, changes will occur in the album and recorded song categories to better define music styles. The Pop/Contemporary category, which has always had the largest and most diverse number of eligible entries, will be divided into two categories for both album and song. There will now be a Pop/Contemporary and Rock/Contemporary category. Hard Music and Modern Rock/Alternative categories, which traditionally have fewer entries, will be combined in one Modern Rock category. Finally, dance will be dropped from the Rap/Hip Hop/Dance category and dance music will be considered under the appropriate pop category.

David Crowder Band David Crowder Band, is honored as premiere guitar maker, Tom Anderson, names his latest guitar offering after David Crowder. Featuring guitars played by such music icons as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), Don Felder (Eagles), Steve Miller (Steve Miller Band) and a host of others, Anderson’s newest addition to his instrument line is called the “Crowdster Acoustic.” Since its introduction just a few weeks ago, the Crowdster Acoustic has already been played by Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), guitarists acquainted with Crowder and additional guitar enthusiasts. Unlike other instruments, the Crowdster Acoustic is not a revamped electric guitar but an all acoustic-feeling instrument. The guitar is already reputed for its abilities to perform unmatched “plugged-in” acoustic tones before a live audience without any of the feedback often associated with acoustic guitars.

Darlene Zschech, the woman at the forefront of the modern worship revolution and the songwriter of the hugely popular worship anthem “Shout to the Lord,” is readying the release of a solo studio project. Titled Kiss of Heaven, the new CD is due October 14th, 2003. While staying true to her first calling, leading worship, Zschech uses this release to explore horizontal as well as vertical expressions of love and our constant need for each other within the body of Christ.

Critically acclaimed comedian, Brad Stine, will be releasing a new video Put A Helmet On! August 5th that will be available in the DVD, VHS, and CD formats and offers Brad’s fans sixty minutes of his edgy, rapid-fire comedy. "Put A Helmet On!" marks the second release for Perpetual Entertainment Group and the project will be distributed by New Day Christian Distribution. The title of the DVD Put A Helmet On! comes from a catch phrase Stine uses throughout his act, which spotlights society’s misguided attempts to protect people from themselves, such as requiring helmets for bicyclists or overusing antibacterial wipes on your kids. At the same time, Stine can bring a crowd to a hushed silence as he professes his faith by following Jesus and the absolute truth of His word.

downhere recently partnered with WAYFM for the "Hometown Tour," an evening of down home fun - pizza, hockey, and music from downhere! The tour made stops in the cities of WayFM's translator stations in Cleveland, TN, Cookeville, TN, Rome, GA, Montgomery, AL and closed out the tour with a bang in Huntsville, AL as the Canadian foursome drew a full-capacity crowd of 1,500. Eager fans flocked to cheer the band on as they challenged the area youth pastors to a hockey game before the show.

Nicole C. Mullen signed on as spokesperson for "Prayer Team 4 Kids", a ministry designed to help provide a national prayer support network for parents whose children are facing immediate, life-threatening, medical crises. Nicole filmed a promotional video for the organization, which will be shown at all the Teen Mania "Acquire The Fire" events as well as several other large conferences and conventions across the country, urging people and churches to get involved. This nationwide crisis prayer ministry provides a network of prayer warriors and a place of support for Christian and non-Christian families alike who are facing tragedy in the life of a child. For further information about the Prayer Team 4 Kids ministry, please visit

What ever happened to Phat Chance? Well, besides a member or two changing, the band is no more!... Well, kind of... In what is definitely a wise career move, the guys have changed their name and style to Stereo Motion! The band explains the name, "IT's music that moves you physically and spiritually. Yes, the band has changed their name but the vision of the band remains the same. They have grown as a band musically and most of all spiritually. We see that God has changed names of men in the Bible to represent God's visions and dreams He has for them, so change is a good thing. And besides, who really uses the word "phat" anymore?" For more information about the guys, visit their new site at

After five successful Passion recordings, selling nearly a million units combined, and two DVD projects, Passion is preparing to release its sixth album, Passion: Sacred Revolution- Songs From OneDay03, August 19. Recorded live at the OneDay03 gathering that was held May 24-27 in Sherman, TX, the highly anticipated project features brand new music from critically acclaimed lead worshippers Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman and others.

Get ready to strap on those spurs and saddle up as Big Idea Productions, creators of the best-selling and critically-acclaimed VeggieTales children’s video series, rides into the wide open range with the release of The Ballad of Little Joe, the newest VeggieTales adventure! Packed with a posse of rootin’ tootin’ fun, kick-up-your-heels singing and hilarious storytelling to get even the biggest, baddest varmint to fall off their horse laughing, The Ballad of Little Joe will be available in stores August 5, 2003 at the great new low price of $12.99 SRP for VHS and $14.99 SRP on DVD from Word Distribution. You’ve heard the story of Joseph and his multi-colored coat many times, but only VeggieTales can tell it in the Wild, Wild West! Inspired by “Bonanza” and an amalgamation of so many other beloved Westerns, The Ballad of Little Joe begins at the Lazy Eye Ranch, the Veggie equivalent of the Ponderosa. Join Larry the Cucumber as Joseph, a mild-mannered cucumber with great organizational skills who lives an uneventful life on the ranch with his family. Watch as Joseph’s eleven jealous brothers – cowboy peas with a French accent! – sell him to some bandit desperadoes, beginning a journey that will take him from an abandoned mine shaft to a pizza saloon in Dodgeball City! Children and adults of all ages will enjoy this timeless classic and it’s valuable lesson of faithfulness and facing hardships.

*Friday, July 25th, 2003*

Bleach Yesterday evening, Tooth & Nail Records sent out this following message. PLEASE join us in prayer at this time of tragedy for the Byers family...
"Dear Brother and Sisters,
Yesterday afternoon, we here at Tooth & Nail received some tragic news. It was to our dismay that we received word that Josh Byers, brother of Bleach members Jared and Milam Byers, was killed serving our country in Iraq. If any of you had the opportunity to talk to either Jared or Milam concerning their brother, you know they regarded Josh with the highest esteem. They were truly in awe of his passion for his calling to service, and their eyes would light up with delight at the mere mention of his name. In fact, the night previous to his death, they talked to the art staff here about dedicating their upcoming album to their brother, complete with a photo of him in the Middle East. The timing couldn’t have been more shocking. Please read below for further details in the message from the Bleach family. We ask you to pray for the hearts of the family left behind, that they might find comfort amidst their grieving and hope in a trying time.
Thank you, and God Bless,
Tooth & Nail / BEC Records."
Again, please pray for Jared, Milam, and their family. And we want to say thanks to Josh for protecting this great nation. Thank you!

Thousand Foot Krutch have just wrapped up their recording of their new record Phenomenon! Since early June, TFK has been camped out at Compound Studios in Seattle, WA pushing out their debut release for Tooth & Nail Records. You have heard their first single “Bounce” on the X 2003 2-disc compilation and have seen them over the years progress and live past many different trials. Phenomenon hits stores September 30th, 2003.

Attention Demon Hunter fans! This weekend, on Saturday, tune in to Headbanger's Ball and check out the Demon Hunter video for "Infected". On Wednesday night the video was spun on M2's Extreme Rock show, so look for it in regular rotation. Can't wait until Saturday? Check out the video here!

A major profile on Rebecca St. James -her music and her 10th anniversary in the ministry- is set to air on CBN in August. Tentative airdate: August 1lth. Rebecca is also taping two half hours specials for Inspiration Network next month, as well as a special for TBN.

*Thursday, July 24th, 2003*

Supertones In what has come to a surprise and major disappointment to Supertones fans, bassist Tony Terusa has decided to leave the band. Here's a recent statement from guitarist Ethan Luck on Tony's exit and the future of the band. "The fact is, his family is his main passion now, not that music is not, but when people like Tony get married and have a kid, sometime it works and sometimes it doesn't, being in a touring band. If it does not work, like in Tony's case, it is not a bad thing. Tony LOVES his wife and child more than anything, and that is an amazing thing. All of us in the band support Tony and we would like you all to as well. Trust me, I don't want him to leave either but you can't argue with a man wanting to be there with his wife and be there when his child is growing up. If any of you can make it to Fish-fest, please come and support tony. There is a small chance that in Oct. we will be doing a proper last show for Tony in OC where we can play like 3 hours and Tony can speak and it would give people the chance to get out to say bye to Tony. This is still all in the works so don't think it's happening until I give the OK. We really want to make this show happen for tony and make it special for him so I will keep you all posted on that subject. If you would like to send a letter of any kind to Tony please email me at and I will be glad to pass it on to him. He would love to hear from some of his biggest fans. Regarding our future.... We will continue. our great friend Chris Beaty (formerly of Seven Day Jesus) will be playing bass. I know that nobody will ever be able to bring what Tony did but Chris is a great player and will bring alot to the Tones. As far as our next record is concerned... We will begin recording sometime at the beginning of the new year. Mojo and I have been demoing alot of songs and let me just tell you, it is some of the best stuff we have done... ALOT OF SKA!! That's right, we are going to do what we do best... Ska Punk Rock and reggae. that is all I have to say. So be sure to email me letters to Tony and be keeping Tony in prayer for his new step in life. Thank you from all the Tones."

Former Guardian lead singer and a personal friend of the JfH, Jamie Rowe and his new band London Calling have released their debut record! You can order the album online right now for just $13.00. Support this great band and help them raise the funds to tour this summer by picking up one of these stellar rock records! Visit for more info and song clips!

Michael W. Smith Celebrating 20 years in Christian music, Grammy and Dove award-winning artist and composer Michael W. Smith, prepares for the release of The Second Decade 1993 – 2003. The project celebrates his unparalleled career by featuring 13 hits from the past 10 years and two new songs, which offer a sneak peek at his highly anticipated 2004 studio album. Smith’s son Ryan (19) teamed up with his father on “Signs,” one of the record’s new songs and its first radio single. This occasion marks the first time the two have collaborated on a musical piece. “Ryan loves film and directing,” notes Smith. “He’s extremely artistic, but we’d never written songs together before. I wrote this melody and Ryan ran with it. I’m really proud of him.”

Relient K Well, you can now purchase brand new music from Relient K on the limited edition 7 inch vinyl (this is not a cd) called The Vinyl Countdown. There are only 1,500 being made available through our the indie rock label Mono Vs Stereo. It features 4 brand new songs, including 2 versions of the tribute song "Five Iron Frenzy Is Either Dead Or Dying," and the title track song inspired by RK Fanclub Member Jesse Alkire. Head on over to and get it for only $5.

Joy Williams Joy Williams recently claimed the No. 1 spot on the Radio and Records Christian Hits Radio chart with her second single "Every Moment," from her sophomore project By Surprise. This is Williams' first ever number one hit! Williams has been perched at No. 2 for the past weeks and claimed the spot from Third Day's "You Are So Good To Me." Jeremy Yoder, program director for WJLF / Gainesville, Fla. notes, "'Every Moment' touches the listener emotionally and creates that nostalgic connection that will keep it a perennial favorite. It's awesome to see such a great song like 'Every Moment' go all the way to a No. 1 song."

Out of the Grey’s Christine Dente recently put the finishing touches on her solo debut, Becoming, a 10-song album that reflects on the ongoing journey of becoming a woman of God. Produced by her husband and Out of the Grey partner Scott Dente, Becoming is scheduled for an October 7 street date. A graduate of Boston’s Berklee School of Music, Christine’s involvement in Christian music stretches over more than a decade. In addition to being nominated for a 1995 Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, her six CDs with Out of the Grey, as well as the critically lauded 1994 album Along the Road with female trio Ashton Becker Dente, have cemented her position as one of the Christian music industry’s premiere vocal talents.

FiF Rumor has it that The End is Near is not the final release we'll see from Five Iron Frenzy. According to a message on the band's forum, trumpet player Brad Dunham answered a fan's question with, "We will ba releasing them on DVD next year. We also did a video for "Farsighted" and we are doing one for a song on TEIN (The End Is Near). It will be done by one of the animators for Happy Tree Friends. I can't wait to see it." Neither can we!

The next Jars of Clay project has been given a title and release date! You can look for their new album, Who We Are Instead hitting shelves on November 4. More details on the fall album are forthcoming.

Dynamic pop rocker Nate Sallie has landed a position on this year’s seventeen MAGAZINE/JCPenney’s Nationwide Back to School Mall Tour. The Tour is brought together by seventeen Magazine and JCPenney bringing the hottest back-to-school looks, music, and other products to the summer/back-to-school shoppers. Girls and guys will be able to catch a performance by Nate Sallie, get a mini-makeover from the JCPenney salon with John Paul Mitchell products, see a fashion show and get spotted by the “Style Squad” at the fashion show and possibly appear in seventeen Magzine. Nate will also be signing autographs and do a meet and greet on site following the show.

Word Records’ award-winning Canadian rock band, downhere, is partnering with the launch of (Not For the Weak), Aug. 2. In addition to providing sample music clips from its critically acclaimed sophomore release, So Much For Substitutes, the band will participate in a live web chat with teens visiting the site that evening at 5:00 p.m. PST/8:00 EST. is an online community for teens that want to be real with themselves, with each other and with God.

Ardent Records’ critically acclaimed new artist Todd Agnew climbs to No. 1 on R&R’s Christian CHR chart this week with “This Fragile Breath” as his highly anticipated freshmen project, Grace Like Rain, releases nationwide at retail today. The accomplishment marks the first time ever any new Ardent artist has garnered top honors with a debut single. "A difficult feat for an established artist, the No. 1 song for Todd Agnew is a tremendous testimony of the enthusiasm for this remarkable new artist,” says John Fry, President of Ardent Music, LLC. “The Ardent team is so pleased to see Todd and his music reach so many people. He is the kind of truly humble spirit that never seeks to exalt himself but wants all the glory to go to Jesus."

It has been announced that there are plans for an upcoming fall release from Steven Curtis Chapman. Unfortunately, that's all Steven's home label is saying for now...

The award-winning modern worship brand, City on a Hill presents its third non-seasonal volume and final installment, The Gathering, Sept. 23. In support of City's last chapter, the project will receive prime positioning at retail and radio. The Gathering will be prominently showcased at CBA retail this fall, featured on multiple Provident Music Distribution promotions. The record is PMD's October 2003 Album of the Month, claiming key placement on "Now Playing" endcaps in stores nationwide. Additionally, as part of the "Blur: Music That Brings Focus" campaign, The Gathering's title track will be included on a CD sampler along with songs by best-selling artists Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay and Third Day, among others. Blur, in 1700 participating outlets, will be free to consumers with the purchase of select PMD titles. Essential Records also plans to secure catalog advertising in fall pieces for all major chains and regional stores. The Gathering will be a main focus of Provident viewscan and in-store play loops beginning in October. Merchandising opportunities for the project will include endcap materials comprising header, flats and shelftalkers.

Fervent Records’ best-selling band, Big Daddy Weave, is slated to release its highly anticipated sophomore album, Fields Of Grace, Sept. 30. The recording follows its 2002, Top-5 Christian SoundScan industry debut, One And Only. Produced by Big Daddy Weave’s own Jeremy Redmon and Mike Weaver, Fields Of Grace demonstrates the heart behind the band’s ministry. Lyrically, the songs provide a glimpse of Big Daddy Weave’s life as a band, embodying one’s personal journey with God. Musically, the sounds capture the style of how one would hear Big Daddy Weave live.

On August 19th, Sparrow Records will release It Takes Two, a collection of the best duets and collaborations in Christian music. The album features 13 classic duets as well as three new tracks that were recorded for this project. With pairings such as Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith, Avalon and Aaron Neville, Nichole Nordeman & Fernando Ortega, and dc Talk and Charlie Peacock, it encompasses a diverse yet solid array of styling appealing to fans of Christian music. A complete track listing is below. The first radio single "Expressions Of Your Love" by Rebecca St. James & Chris Tomlin will be released to Adult Contemporary (AC) and Christian Hit Radio (CHR) formats on August 8th and "Never Alone" by Jody McBrayer & Jadyn Maria will also be released to AC and CHR formats on August 29th.

*Tuesday, July 15th, 2003*

Rock The Universe The biggest names in Christian Rock, combined with thrilling rides and attractions, will electrify audiences during one of the nation's most powerful and inspiring music events this September at the sixth annual Rock The Universe at Universal Studios Florida. On Friday, September 5 and Saturday, September 6, 2003, 17 of Christian Rock's top artists will perform at Universal Studios Florida throughout the weekend for Christian and mainstream music fans alike. The powerful line-up includes: Grammy-winning Third Day with their unique blend of Southern-tinged rock and inspirational lyrics; TobyMac with his musical blend of old-school hip-hop, R&B, reggae and grinding guitar rock; the polished and energetic songcraft of the Newsboys; and the clever, innovative and compelling music of Audio Adrenaline - in addition to the alternative rock sounds of Pillar, Skillet, Big Dismal and Justifide; the pop rock stylings of Superchic[k], Bleach, The Elms and Mercy Me; the R&B-focused Souljahz; and the pop sounds of Taylor, Kristy Starling, Paul Colman Trio and Across the Sky. Captivating speakers David Nasser and Jay Strack will also appear during the weekend. "With the Christian music genre exploding in popularity, Rock The Universe gives fans an inspirational and thrilling event where they can enjoy their favorite performers while experiencing a weekend of adventures at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk," said Skip Sherman, senior vice president of entertainment, Universal Orlando. In addition to the performing artists, guests attending Rock The Universe will experience all of Universal Studios Florida's thrilling attractions throughout the weekend, including JAWS, Men In Black Alien Attack, Back to the Future - The Ride, Twister … Ride it Out, the new Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast and Shrek 4-D, opening this June, with select attractions open until 1 A.M. Special group tickets are also available including the spine-tingling rides of Islands of Adventure. Rock the Universe tickets and vacations can now be purchased in advance online at, by calling 1-866-RTU-INFO (1-866-788-4636) or through Ticketmaster. Tickets will also be available at the gate on Friday, September 5 and Saturday, September 6, 2003.

He's back folks! No, not Arnie, but that's a given too. We're in fact referring to pop/rock extraordinare Eric Champion! We recently received this update directly from Jeremy Dean of Full Sail, "Hey this is Jeremy and I'm the current guitarist in a band with former Essential artist Eric Champion. We both work at Full Sail a huge Recording Studio/College. We just finished a new album! We haven't determined if it will be called Eric Champion or be a actual band project but I just wanted to give you a heads up that Eric is still around and in my opinion has wrote one of the best albums of his career. I'll keep ya posted as to when we'll have a release date." Sounds great! We'll keep you guys posted as this develops...

Blindside Here's the latest from Blindside regarding a new project on the horizon... "We are proud to announce we have begun work on our new record – About a Burning Fire. We will be back in the studio with Howard Benson fresh from his work on the new P.O.D. album. We are all very excited about this new record and the new opportunities it will bring. We have learned so much over the last year of touring and playing live, and we feel inspired by so many of you to make this record more than we can even imagine right now. We plan to have the record out this year so stay tuned to for updates. We want to thank all of you who bought the Silence CD and came out to see us over the last year. We are honored to have such amazing fans. We promise not to disappoint you with About a Burning Fire. We filmed every minute of our Cornerstone '03 show and are working right now to edit a full length DVD for release with About a Burning Fire. We will include some behind the scenes footage and a special impromptu performance out in tent city - we have always wanted to be one of those bands who got to play by the side of the road with the homemade PA. Thanks to the bands who loaned us their gear and the people who stopped to listen."

Awhile back, Cool Hand Luke posted on their web site that they would have a big announcement at Cornerstone and the news is in, original guitarist Justin is leaving the band. Justin played his final show at Cornerstone '03 in Illinois in what became a pretty emotional performance for the guys. Stay tuned to for further updates.

*Friday, July 11th, 2003*

SCC Sparrow Recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman has hit #30 on the Mainstream AC chart (R&R) with his new single “How Do I Love Her,” from his best-selling CD, All About Love. Having added the song to her nationally syndicated “Love Songs” show, popular radio host Delilah also recently interviewed Steven. Delilah’s program is heard by millions of listeners daily on 220 stations nation wide. “How Do I Love Her” is currently being played in several key markets such as Minneapolis, Dallas, Denver, Austin and Monterey, with new adds this week in Pittsburgh and Spokane.

ZOEgirl The much-anticipated new release from ZOEgirl will be in stores September 16, 2003. Different Kind Of Free captures the sound of today’s pop culture climate with songs that are upbeat, direct and always relevant. Different Kind Of Free reflects a musical evolution while showcasing ZOEgirl’s individual style and passion for many of the issues facing young women in today’s culture.

David Crowder Band David Crowder Band, one of the most sought after bands on college campuses, is preparing to launch its sophomore sixsteps/Sparrow Records album, Illuminate, Sept. 16. Regarded as one of the most unique and talented singer/songwriters of today, David Crowder’s new album follows the band’s critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut, Can You Hear Us?. In addition to penning all of the songs for the new album, the band, for the first time, worked with noted producers: Charlie Peacock (dcTalk, Switchfoot) and Mitch Watkins (Joe Ely, Abra Moore), as well as Zach Lind of the Platinum-selling band Jimmy Eat World, perhaps best known for the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks No. 1 hit song, "The Middle." In order to satisfy his curiosity, Crowder sent an email back to the suspected prankster posing questions that he believed only Zach would know. “Against all odds, it turned out to really be Zach! Since we were working on our new album, I thought, ‘why not go for broke and ask him to produce a song.’” After working out the logistical details in both bands’ busy schedules, Lind joined the David Crowder Band in the studio producing the song “How Great” featured on Illuminate.

Justin McRoberts Justin McRoberts has started tracking for his new album, entitled Intersections, slated for an early October release. Please keep him in prayer as he creates his 5th studio project. Justin desires to communicate Truth, through music, as he writes about love, relationships and God. Fans familiar with his funny and unique t-shirts will be happy to know he now has a new design! Check it out:

true vibe Well, apparently TRUEvibe is not officially over and done with. Here's the latest from the last and remaining member, Jonathan Lippmann, "To All the faithful fans of TRUEvibe, As the founder of TRUEvibe, I am please to formally announce that there have been some positive changes within the group which our Lord has allowed in His providential will. First off, let me assure you that I have continuously sought after much thought and prayer, as well as pastoral counsel, through this process. The other 3 former members of TRUEvibe have chosen to leave to pursue other endeavors and I wholeheartedly wish them the best. TRUEvibe's focus and ministry continues to be and will always be to point others to our Saviour Jesus Christ and bring Him glory, honor and praise on and off stage. TRUEvibe's mission will remain standing firm before Him. When I started TRUEvibe I have always said and will continue to say that the ministry of TRUEvibe will not be compromised or have lack of integrity. I will continue to pray for His Word to nourture and guide each of them as I do for myself and for TRUEvibe. That being said, I have some great news. As I am putting the final touches on getting the right men for TRUEvibe I have recieved many emails enquiring about auditioning. We still have one spot available for TRUEvibe and I have decided to open the auditions to everyone. You must be a male at least 21 years old and must have a strong passion for singing for the Lord AND the ability to sing in a tight, 4-part harmony group. (meaning you must have a great ear) Please know that we will NOT be dancning at all in TRUEvibe. You will need to send a NON-RETURNABLE video or audio tape of yourself singing a song that will show off your strengths, as well as singing a scale from your lowest note to your highest note in "chest" with the last few notes in your "head voice". Also send a recent picture of yourself. Make sure to list any training or experience you may have had. You must also list 3 references not related to you. You can send all info to:
P.O. BOX 1384

MercyMe Congratulations to MercyMe as in a fit of odd mainstream success, their 2000 album Almost There has received RIAA Platinum certification! On top of that, Almost There goes to #93 on Billboard Top 200 (7/12 issue), and to #2 on Christian/General Market combined chart, scanning almost 12,000, nearly 3 years after its release! Their most recent album, last year's Spoken For jumped up to #18 on the combined chart, and #12 on the Christian retail chart. (as of 7/7/03)

Superchick Superchick reinvents their biggest hits by stripping away what was to RE[generate] a sound that is up-to-the-minute and in-your-face. Their new project RE Generation features 8 fan favorites including "Barlow Girls", "So Bright" and "Hero", plus the brand new song "Me Against The World", as featured exclusively on the Legally Blonde 2 soundtrack.

Bleach Here's the latest from Bleach: "It has been awhile! Things are kicking back up here in Bleach world. Before we know it, October 21st will be here and we can share with you Astronomy, our fifth studio release. We just finished our photo shoot and hope to be giving the web site a new look soon! In touring news, our friends Holland will now be joining us on ³The Winners Never Quit² Tour in place of PAX217. We are very excited! We will be sharing a bus with them for the whole tour. Lots of fun for sure!"

Mae's new video for "Summertime" will be premiering on "Advanced Warning" on MTV2 on Sunday, July 13th! It will also be airing again on MTV on July 17th and will be repeated many times throughout the following week. Check your local listings for showtimes! Can't wait until Sunday to check out Mae's video? The video will be making it's world online premier today Friday, July 11th on Look for it on the front page of today and tell all of your friends to check it out too!

Coming off a whirlwind year of phenomenal success, NewSong - whose members include Eddie Carswell, Billy Goodwin, Michael O'Brien, Matt Butler and Scotty Wilbanks, enter the next phase of their career with the release of More Life. Bowing at retail on September 9, More Life is a collection of 12 energetic, pop-flavored melodies and powerful ballads that showcase the group's signature vocal harmonies. The means of creating this project enlisted the collaboration of Carswell and O'Brien, who wrote on each of the ten original tracks. "When you write with Eddie Carswell, it totally changes everything," O'Brien explains. "He is a genius at coming up with hooks and ideas. He's such a talented guy who has a great heart for God and for the music. I would just look over at him and say, 'Man, thank you for letting me be a part of this.'" In addition to the ten original tracks, More Life includes a Keith Green remake, "Your Love Broke Through," and "You Are My King" from the 2003 WOW Worship project.

With several albums and popular worship songs like, “Give Us Clean Hands” and “Salvation” under his belt, Charlie Hall has brought his newest album to the next level. With 12 brand new songs, Charlie’s On The Road To Beautiful is sure to impact every ear that hears it. On The Road To Beautiful streets 8.19.03!

The funny-woman herself, Chonda Pierce was recently awarded a Gold plaque for her video “be afraid..BE VERY AFRAID”. This is Chonda’s fourth Gold-selling video, according to RIAA certification!! For those of you who don’t know (but now you do...), Chonda will release her upcoming CD/DVD, Have I Got A Story For You on M2.0 Communications coming September 23rd!

Multiple Gold-selling comedienne Chonda Pierce, whose most recent tour was among the Top Five best attended Christian-market tours, teams this fall with Platinum-selling GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning Word recording artist Sandi Patty for the 30-plus city The Girls Are Back in Town tour. Chonda will be touring in support of her latest best-selling video, Have I Got A Story For You, while Sandi Patty continues to support her critically acclaimed CD Take Hold of Christ. The two acclaimed performers launch the highly anticipated tour Sept. 19 in Asheville, NC, and traverse the nation into 13 states bringing their brand of comedy, music and friendship to audiences across the country. Before wrapping up in Wheeling, WV, Nov. 16, the duo’s entourage will hit such major markets as Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Oklahoma City and more.

Six-time Grammy Award winner CeCe Winans is set to release her worship album aptly titled, Throne Room, on Wellspring/Epic/INO labels September 9. Produced by Victor and Cedric Caldwell (Whitney Houston), Throne Room has all the components to create a sanctuary atmosphere for genuine worship. With CeCe writing and co-writing nearly every song on the project, Throne Room is a transparent representation of her heart. One song that expresses CeCe’s personal desire for this project is the title track co-written with her longtime friend and gospel legend, Andraé Crouch. CeCe hopes to draw people nearer to the throne of God through the words and music on Throne Room.

Michael W. Smith Michael W. Smith recently returned from the last shows of the "Come Together and Worship" tour. Michael is readying for a European tour that kicks off June 5 in Denmark. Upon his return, Smith will add finishing touches to his Oct. 7 release The Second Decade, which will feature hits from albums spanning Smith's last ten years, as well as new music that will lead up to a highly anticipated 2004 release.

Rocketown Records recently announced the signing of its first rock artist, Taylor. A Belmont University senior who will graduate in December 2003, Taylor admits his pure rock and melodic pop styles reveal the influences of a steady diet of Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Elvis. But his upcoming debut, a five-song EP set to release October 7, explodes with a uniqueness that is all his own. Crunchy guitars, plaintive vocals and Dave Perkins’ production (Over the Rhine, Chagall Guevara) surround Taylor's insightful and honest songwriting on the EP, titled The Fill. “Taylor is a writer wise beyond his years,” said Rocketown Records President Don Donahue. “I've known him since 2000, and due to his songwriting and an amazing live show that he has honed around Nashville for years, I realized he’s someone who can widen the musical scope of Rocketown and still make sense for our label. The key element is the songs are incredible, and the lyrical focus is clear to listeners of his generation.”

Creative Trust Workshop will release the companion music CD to the Next Door Savior: Near Enough To Touch, Strong Enough To Trust (W Publishing Group), the upcoming new release from best-selling author Max Lucado, on August 12, featuring music from Christian artists Michael W. Smith, Third Day, Fernando Ortega, Selah, Ginny Owens, Warren Barfield, Watermark and others. Next Door Savior, the CD, will include nine classic hymns plus two original songs, chosen by Lucado to be the soundtrack for his new book, which explores the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as both divine and human. John Schreiner (Fernando Ortega, Crystal Lewis) is producing the project; Provident Music Group will distribute. The CD is being released simultaneously with the book, a first for any Lucado-inspired music product.

Jill Paquette, Reunion Records recent signing, recently performed at the Munce Marketing Group's managers conference. Jill performed songs off her upcoming self-titled debut, releasing July 22, 2003. Jill performed along with distribution mates Paul Colman Trio (Essential Records) and newcomer Warren Barfield (Creative Trust Workshop). Before the showcase, Jill met up with the Provident sales team and the other performing artists.

*Monday, July 7th, 2003*

After John and Amy's June 21st wedding and then honeymoon from the 22nd to the 29th, the Hideout is getting back into the swing of things. We apologize for the delay in updates and new news reports so if some of these tidbits are old to you, we just have some catching up to do! Enjoy! (And just for you guys, check out these shots of John and Amy on their honeymoon in Disney! -- they're not very exciting but it's all we have right now!!)

Sanctus Real One of the most sought after new rock bands, Sparrow Records’ Sanctus Real recently recorded a 5-song bonus CD entitled SVERIGEEP, which means “Swedish EP.” Fans can obtain the limited edition CD FREE with purchase of the band’s critically acclaimed debut, Say It Loud, at retail outlets nationally beginning Aug. 19. Featuring live acoustic studio versions of the current R & R and PDAdvisor Top 10 CHR single “Hey Wait” and the hit Rock single, title track and video “Say It Loud,” SVERIGEEP also includes a unique Joy Electric remix of the song “Inspiration” from the band’s debut. The Sanctus Real bonus CD further boasts two songs available nowhere else, “Other Side” and “Craving,” from the band’s independent release, Nothing To Lose, which is out of print.

RSJ Rebecca St. James and her latest video release-"I Thank You" have gone this week where artists from the Christian genre too seldom get to go - to national mainstream television! Those who channel surfed over this long holiday weekend may have caught edits of the St. James video in rotation on the TV Guide Channel where its positive, upbeat patriotic message debuted just in time for the holiday. The video is taken from a special re-mix of her recent #1 single on the national CRW AC chart-"I Thank You"-which the Grammy Award winner dedicated to America's troops. The video contains military and patriotic footage as well as audio bytes of President Bush and everyday American's expressing gratitude for their freedom as well as for the men and women who serve our country in the military.

In celebration of this past weekend's 4th of July holiday in the United States, comedian Bob Smiley prepared a top 10 list of tips for those who were celebrating this weekend. Click here to download the mp3 of Bob's list.

Rock N Roll Worship Circus Online stores are already taking preorders for the pending release of Rock 'N' Roll Worship Circus' follow-up to last year's incredible national debut. When you order the brand new record, A Beautiful Glow, you get a free 3-song sneak preview disc absolutely free! If you order the record today, you'll get a sneak preview/appetizer to hold you over! It's the same sneak preview that, until now, was only available at the Circus' worship concerts! And not only that, but when the record ships to you on street week (August 26th), it will be autographed by the band! It's a way for the folks at INO records and the kids in the band to say "thanks" to all of you friends and fans who have been supporting their ministry for so long. Preorder it at today!

Newsboys Since its release in April, Adoration: The Worship Album has quickly become Newsboys’ fastest-selling album ever, selling over 145,000 units in only 11 weeks. With radio success, an amazing new video, major tours and performances, Newsboys are on track to have an amazing year! The band will return to headline the third annual Festival Con Dios this fall. Newsboys founded this first ever traveling festival, which garnered significant media coverage, including the cover of Newsweek. You can check out their new video of "He Reigns" online now!

Superchick Inpop recording artist Superchic[k] recently recorded “Me Against the World,” an exclusive song for MGM’s Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde film, which released to theaters nationwide on July 2nd, and stars Reese Witherspoon. Due to their use and success with Superchic[k]’s “One Girl Revolution” for the original Legally Blonde film, and for the sequel’s current trailer, MGM requested Superchic[k] to record a song for the new film, and provided input in the direction of the song as well. In addition to the film’s official soundtrack (Curb Records), “Me Against the World” appears as the end-title song, just as “One Girl Revolution” did in the original film. “"Writing for a picture is always challenging, since we were writing from Elle's perspective rather than ours, but we love doing it,” stated Superchic[k]’s Max Hsu “It's always fun to do something in your basement and then go hear it at the theater.”

SCC Sparrow Records and EMI Christian Music Publishing’s singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman has won the title of BMI’s Christian Songwriter of the Year. BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), the performing rights organization, saluted Chapman and other writers and publishers for the past year's most performed Christian songs, during the BMI Christian Music Awards held this past Monday evening at their headquarters in Nashville, TN. Along with Songwriter of the Year, sharing that title with Gerald Crabb and Kirk Franklin, Chapman was given top airplay honors for his penned songs, “God Is God” and “Magnificent Obsession,” both No. 1 hits from his RIAA certified Gold project, Declaration. Eddie DeGarmo, President, EMI Christian Music Publishing, comments about Chapman’s awards, "Steven has been one of our top writers for many years. He continues to impress us with his amazing talent, and we congratulate him on these well-deserved awards."

JoC Speaking of the BMI's, Jars of Clay earned the BMI Crystal for Most Performed Christian Song of the Year as writers of “I Need You,” while Chapman, Gerald Crabb and Kirk Franklin shared the title of BMI Christian Songwriter of the Year. Other songwriters receiving BMI Awards were Toby McKeehan, Michael Tait, Marc Byrd, Audio Adrenaline, Dottie Peoples, Chad Chapin, Rodney Griffin and Norman Hutchins, plus a special presentation to songwriter/composer/producer/publisher Greg Nelson.

Salvador is gearing up for their newest live worship album and recently spent a few days in Albuquerque, New Mexico recording the event. Look for the band to perform on the 40-city Jaci Velasquez Unspoken tour this Fall.

Finally! They're back! The Insyderz have head back to the studio to start recording their new album, Soundtrack to a Revolution. Royce from the Suicide Machines will be producing and Skye McCaskey will be behind the board. This will be their first new material in over three years! The release date for Soundtrack to a Revolution is set for Oct 14.

FiF Five Iron Frenzy has changed their minds about a crucial decision... No, unfortunately the band STILL has plans to split this Fall, but the band's original plan was to have their final album only availble at the summer festivals and the fall tour. However, because so many of fans wanted to get it early, the band has made it available to order online. The guys (and gal) have partnered with to have the album available for you to purchase, and are also including a free tour poster with each order. So, to get a copy of FIF's final CD (it's excellent by the way!), entitled The End Is Near, you can come see the band at any show from now until Nov 22 and buy it from them directly, or you can visit the following web site and order it online: The final FIF show will be in Denver, CO on Sat 11.22.03 at the Fillmore Auditorium. Tickets are now available at

Pillar Here's an exciting update on Pillar from the band's own bassist Kalel, "Hey, what's up? Some crazy stuff went down lately and we wanted you all to know the deal. Universal Music Group owns MCA, Geffen, Interscope, and a ton of other labels. Universal decided to merge MCA Records and Geffen Records- with Geffen taking over. So now we are basically on Geffen Records (check This is a very good thing for us. Geffen has a really strong rock department and they are excited about Pillar. Geffen has made Pillar their #1 rock priority right now. The timing of the label change wasn't the greatest with the album just releasing, but Geffen will be re-pushing Fireproof this fall (doing a lot of promotion). Right now they are working on getting us on some huge mainstream tours this fall. We will let you know which bands we will be hitting the road with the second we find out. Everybody is hoping that we will finally make a Fireproof video sometime this summer."

Petra Inpop Records Grammy and Dove Award-winning rock group, Petra, is set to release their 20th studio record, Jekyll and Hyde, on August 19. Petra’s founder Bob Hartman has re-joined the group for what is arguably their most aggressive rock record to date. Hartman, who wrote or co-wrote each of the ten songs on the project, will tour as Petra’s guitarist for the first time in over 7 years. Jekyll and Hyde is produced by Newsboy’s frontman and Inpop Records co-owner, Peter Furler. In addition to his role as producer, Furler adds his signature drumming to the collection of straight-ahead rock tracks. “It seems odd to say that this record is our most aggressive rock record so far,” states Petra lead singer John Schlitt. “For years, our fans have been asking for an all-out rock and roll record. Jekyll and Hyde is just that, and we think it will have been worth the wait.” Hartman adds, “It may have been a few years since I’ve been an active part of Petra, but my heart has never left. I’m more excited about this project than anything else I’ve done and I can’t wait for people to hear it.” “I think almost everyone has a ‘Petra’ story or can remember the first time they heard the band,” comments Furler. “Petra has played a very important role in our industry, and laid some ground for all of us to walk. I respect them for their hard work, and have been personally impacted by the band over the years.” Petra was founded in 1972 and has sold over 7 million records over their 30+ year career. They have been the recipient of four Grammy Awards and ten Dove Awards, and in 2000, the group was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The band is currently finishing work on Jekyll and Hyde and in the process of finalizing their summer and fall touring schedule.

Fervent Record’s best-selling band Big Daddy Weave is currently in the studio recording its anticipated, Sept. 30 release, Fields Of Grace, the follow up to last year’s critically acclaimed debut, One And Only. Renown with commercial success, One And Only became the highest SoundScan sales debut for any new artist in 2002. In addition to garnering a New Artist of the Year Dove Award nomination, Big Daddy Weave also has the distinction of receiving the highest charting single for a new artist at AC radio with "In Christ."

South Carolina's Silers Bald releases its first Essential Records project, Real Life, Sept. 30. An indie favorite throughout the Southeast, Silers Bald extends its acoustic-pop sound and bona fide lyrics to a national audience with Real Life, produced by Josh Moore of Caedmon's Call. Claiming independent sales of more than 40,000 albums as well as a following that keeps the band on tour 200 days annually, Silers Bald blends eclectic instrumentation with buoyant melodies and southern charm on its upcoming record. Producer Josh Moore comments, "One of the newer pop-rock approaches incorporates a diverse palette of songs, ranging from cuts that are pretty intense and heavy to those that are softer, relaying a melody. Because the guys play and sing with such confidence, I encouraged them to go in any direction they wanted, and they really pulled it off."

New act Fleau has just released their self-entitled full CD that is distributed nationwide by Grassroots Music. Co-fronted by Rod Shuler, former member of the band Reality Check, Fleau offers a fresh sound (Exotic, down-tempo hybrid of hip hop beats and keyboards, layered with ethereal sound effects and breathy, jazz-inflected vocals--called Trip Hop) to the CCM scene. Fans of Reality Check won't want to overlook this release.

I know you have been wondering who is all a part of Festival Con Dios this fall. Well... here is the word: Newsboys, Plus One, Kutless, Thousand Foot Krutch, KJ-52, Seven Places, Sanctus Real, FM Static and a few others. Check out all the the latest info at!

Jeremy Camp will be hitting the road again this fall- following all the summer festivals- and taking out label-mates Telecast- for a 35 city fall tour.

Point of Grace recently wrapped up their promotional "24 Album Release Party" nationwide tour. The ladies visited Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee and were met by large turnouts at each event, averaging between 1000-2000 fans. Point of Grace will also be full force in September with a new batch of Girls Of Grace conferences hitting California, Georgia, Oklahoma, Minneapolis, and Kentucky- check out for more specifics!

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