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JFH Music News Archive

May, 2007

*Thursday, May 31st, 2007*

SCC As he puts the finishing touches on his sweet sixteen studio album with Sparrow Records, GRAMMY© Award winning singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman is announcing his fall 07 and winter 08 tour. The nationwide tour of 50+ dates will be featuring Sanctus Real (Sparrow Records) and Bethany Dillon (Sparrow Records). The yet to be named tour, which will be in support of Chapman’s upcoming fall release, will kick off on September 20th in Grand Rapids, MI and will close the year on November 16th in Nashville, TN. A spring leg will resume with the same stellar line-up. Special guest band members include Chapman’s sons Will Franklin (Drums) and Caleb (Guitar), who recently earned their keep and band roles with their dad during the recent Winter Jam tour. Although music and touring is becoming a family affair and balancing act for Chapman and sons, education will continue to be priority while on the road as it did this spring. In addition to playing for his dad, Will Franklin just recently filled in for Jeremy Camp’s band as well as continues to do session work when time allows. Meanwhile, Caleb Chapman continues to write songs and will likely make a step out guest vocal on his dad’s upcoming studio release. Prior to heading out in the fall, Chapman will be crossing overseas to Asia. He will be doing extensive work with his family at the local orphanages as well as other Shaohannah’s Hope orphan related efforts. Chapman will also take time to play two events in the Philippines (June 29 and 30) and perform as a part of the amazing Hillsong Conference in Australia (July 4 and 5). The fall tour follows Chapman co-headlining the popular Winter Jam Tour with Jeremy Camp as well as an international tour this past summer playing seven different countries that included sold-out dates in Australia, New Zealand, China, Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore as well as performances for U.S. troops based in South Korea. This historical performance was the first Christian concert for the troops based there. Chapman also co-headlined a Christmas tour with MercyMe in 2005 in support of his GRAMMY© nominated project All I Really Want For Christmas. “I’m so glad the Sanctus guys and Bethany accepted my invite to join me on this tour. I love their music, songwriting, and their hearts for Jesus. I’m also humbled at the chance to again get out on the road and share the new music that God has given me. There’s a modern edge to the music, what I hope is a fresh and compelling theme across the songs.” Chapman says. “My passion in writing, recording and touring continues to be to know God and make Him known, and that’s what each night on this tour is going to be about. That’s our prayer.” Steven also mentions, “I’m not sure words can express how truly excited I am to have the chance to share the stage with my boys. It’s a true career highlight and a dream come true for this proud Dad.” “Getting to know Steven on the Winter Jam Tour this year was a highlight of the tour for us,” says Sanctus Real frontman Matt Hammitt. “He has been a huge blessing and inspiration, not only from a career standpoint with all that he has accomplished, but because of the kind of person he is on and off stage. We are all really excited to be a part of this tour and anticipate great things to happen in our own lives, and for those that attend this tour!” "It's such an extreme privilege to have the opportunity to minister alongside of such sweet, wonderful people!” shares Bethany Dillon. “Steven's heart for creating a night that really welcomes the Spirit of God has ALREADY taught me so much, just from hearing him share his vision for the upcoming tour... and there couldn't be a more genuine, humble group of guys than those in Sanctus Real. I can't wait for people to come and experience what the Lord has for this tour and for them to enjoy what I know will be a very unique night of worshipping and loving Jesus as a body!" Please visit Steven Curtis Chapman for the most updated tour information. (from The M Collective)

toby As TobyMac’s latest hit record Portable Sounds continues to be a top 10 best-seller, and as he hits the road for all the major summer festivals, he is coming to towns all across the U.S.… the virtual world for teen and pre-teen girls and boys, with more than 2-million "citizens" Thousands will be able to catch TobyMac live in concert when he appears at Whyville's Greek Theatre, featuring songs from his new CD and a few of his old favorites too. The pre-concert festivities, concert and after-party will take place in Whyville,, Saturday June 16th from 1-3:30pm PST. Fans can join the pre-party starting at 1 pm PST in Whyville, and should register for a free account early (if you’re under 13, be sure to check with your parents and get their permission). Whyville is a virtual world for teen and pre-teen girls and boys, with more than 2-million "citizens" who come from all over the world to chat, learn, create, and have fun together. Whyville has places to go, things to do, and of course, people to see. Whyville has its own beach, car dealership, disco, mall, museum, City Hall newspaper, Senators, its own, its own suburbia, and even its own economy. Citizens of Whyville earn "clams" by starting a business or playing games. There is so much more to tell you, so you will have to join to find out the rest. Also coming soon, fans will be able to check out TobyMac’s new music video for the song “Boomin’’, filmed in LA recently and is in post production. TobyMac is also continuing to get unprecedented support from radio. Two weeks before the add date, TobyMac’s second single “I’m for You” debuted on the R&R AC Indicator chart at #27. “I’m for You” captured the #15 spot on the CHR chart after only 3 weeks. The TobyMac fan video contest in which fans will create a video for a song from “Portable Sounds” is also currently underway. The winning video will be premiered on the JumboTron before Toby’s set at Creation Festival Northwest on July 28. The winner will receive a trip for two to Creation NW to meet Toby and see the video premiere and other prizes (detailed on the next page). Three honorable mentions will receive a 30GB iPod and an autographed copy of Portable Sounds. For contest details go to: Portable Sounds debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at No. 10 and No. 1 on SoundScan Contemporary Christian Overall chart, marking this his highest solo career debut selling 50,645 units. Ringing true to the title and TobyMac’s intent on making this project “portable” for the masses, 14 % of street week numbers were from digital sales landing at No. 4 on the Billboard Digital Sales chart. Also during street week, “Portable Sounds” broke into the Top 10 overall albums on iTunes. Prior to street week, TobyMac’s retail single “Made to Love” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Singles chart and remains in the Top 5. This single also topped the SoundScan Christian Digital Track chart. (from The M Collective)

Audio A Gospel Music Channel will be airing a special on the Hands & Feet Project this weekend! The GMC crew tagged along on one of Audio Adrenaline's trips to Haiti and the resulting one-hour "Gospel Angels" episode will air Saturday, June 2nd at 9pm EST. Check out the trailer on the band's myspace blog here. Mark & Will are both down in Haiti right now, checking on the Hands & Feet Project's progress and visiting with the kids. There are currently 16 children at the Project, including the new twins, Rood & Roodly, who joined the H&FP family just a few weeks ago. Please continue to pray for all of the groups that will be coming down to the project this summer and for all of the work they will be doing as we continue with construction. For more info on the Hands & Feet Project, check out the H&FP MySpace, website, or e-mail In related AudioA news, for those of you who missed it, frontman Mark Stuart made an appearance on the '700 Club' this week, talking about the disbanding and legacy of Audio Adrenaline. Visit the band's blog here for the video! (from Audio Adrenaline)

The Showdown The Showdown is slated to join the Ozzfest Tour this summer for 24 dates nationwide, making the band the only Christian act to be included on the bill. In addition, each step of the way will be documented by the band in an exclusive online tour blog at HM Magazine's site HM Magazine's site receives over 215,000 unique visits a month and will feature the exclusive tour journal by the heavy-metal road dogs. "I think it's a fantastic idea," said HM Magazine Editor Doug Van Pelt. "I'm a fan, too, and I can't wait to read what they say. I'll honestly be awaiting each blog entry with excitement." The Showdown was also honored as the cover story for HM's January/February issue. The band's Mono Vs Stereo album Temptation Come My Way, which released March 20th, was hailed by the Alternative Press Magazine saying, "strong vocals, intriguing guitar sounds masterminded a southern-rock influences breakthrough - in simpler terms it totally shreds dude!?" (March 2007) At radio, their single "Death Finds Us Breathing" has landed in the Top 10 on the Christian Rock chart. Temptation Come My Way has also found a #2 spot on the New & Active for Rock radio. The Showdown has toured extensively this year including an April tour with Days Of The New, and a current run with label mates Chasing Victory as well as Showbread. Temptation Come My Way opened strong first week out with a #191 spot on Billboard Magazine's Top 200 Album chart, as well as a #6 spot on the Heatseeker's chart, and #15 spot on the Christian Album chart. In addition, Temptation Come My Way landed a #45 spot on I Tunes Rock Album charts. With over 4,500 units sold out of the box, the album has set a record as Mono Vs Stereo's biggest-selling debut in the label's history. (from LB PR)

Third Day Touted by David Nasser as “the little project that could,” the Glory Revealed Tour recently wrapped up a 16-city run with several sold out shows including the kick-off show in Frederick, Maryland. The tour ended in front of another near sold out crowd in Mac Powell’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia that featured a guest appearance by Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. “Words cannot describe how wonderful Glory Revealed made people feel,” said Carol Auxier of DC Concert Ministries. “All of these outstanding artists on stage together at one time gave the audience a feeling of what real Christian fellowship is and how much the artists truly cared for each other. This set an example of how we should all treat each other as followers of Christ. An amazing concert.” The Glory Revealed Tour (, included a cast of Christian music’s finest artists. Lead by Third Day’s Mac Powell and author/speaker David Nasser, the tour featured Shane & Shane, Brian Littrell (Backstreet Boys member and Reunion Recording artist), Tim Neufeld (Starfield), Shawn Lewis (Hyper Static Union), Trevor Morgan and Candi Pearson Shelton. “All of us on tour recognized early on that this was a rare and special thing to be a part of. It was obvious that God was up to something big. We were all humbled to get to be a part of it,” said Nasser. The evening featured all artists in the round singing familiar worship songs as well as several cuts from the album, Glory Revealed: The Word of God in Worship. The night also contained a powerful message from Nasser encouraging attendees to truly discover the Word through a relationship with Jesus Christ and through the Bible. “Personally, I could not have asked for more,” said Powell. “The friendships that were grown on the tour mean a lot to us and the responses that we received from the audiences every night were amazing. It was truly one of the most unique and special nights that I have ever been a part of, what an awesome time we had on the Glory Revealed tour!.” One concert-goer in Florida remarked to the promoter that, “the Glory Revealed concert last night was one of the most amazing events I have ever attended (and I am 58 years old). My wife and I went because of Mac Powell, but discovered that everyone there was fantastic!! Candi Pearson-Shelton blew us away and so did Shane and Shane. Trevor Morgan is hugely talented and David Nasser was amazing!! You should be very proud that you were associated with such a great event! It was truly Glory Revealed!!!” The tour was sponsored by World Vision, and The Worship Network, who supplied the video for the tour. In addition to providing images on three screens during each concert, The Worship Network worked with David Nasser and “Jesus Painter” Mike Lewis to create an original video for the song, “By His Wounds.” “The Worship Network was thrilled to be involved with Glory Revealed – to see how God used David, Mac and all of the artists to lead people in worship, and to see His glory revealed through song, the Word and images of his majestic creation,” said Bruce Koblish, President/CEO of The Worship Network ( The book, Glory Revealed: How The Invisible God Makes Himself Known has enjoyed an exclusive early partnership with Family Christian Bookstores and will be released on July 10th for national distribution. It includes 20 study chapters examining different attributes of God found in the Scriptures and how they can reveal His glory in our everyday lives. To purchase the book or album or see video from the tour, go to (from Creative Trust / Provident)

*Wednesday, May 30th, 2007*

Mark Schultz Platinum selling, award-winning Word Records recording artist, Mark Schultz, began his ACROSS AMERICA bike ride May 7 to raise support for orphans and widows. Having biked 1,287 miles and raised over $75,000 so far, Schultz also plans to make a special appearance June 8 with The Kansas Children’s Service League (the League) to help bring awareness to the more than 900 children in Kansas that are currently in foster care waiting to be adopted. This is also the same agency from where Schultz was adopted. Based in Wichita, KS, the League noticed that Schultz’s benefit bike ride is coming through their area and invited him to appear at its Klicks for Kids Exhibit, a photo exhibit of 67 Kansas children that are currently waiting to be adopted. The exhibit is being held in Meadowbrook Mall in Pittsburg, KS. “This was something that I immediately knew I needed to do,” says Schultz. “If it wasn’t for the caring people at this amazing organization, I don’t know where I would be today. May is National Foster Care Month, and I want to encourage family’s to consider making a lifetime of difference for the most vulnerable in our communities, the young lives of children.” “We are excited to have Mark visit our exhibit,” says Christy Barton, East Region Community Relations Coordinator, Kansas Children’s Service League. “Mark’s life is a testament to the positive impact a forever family can have on a child. His appearance will help raise awareness of the hundreds of children in Kansas foster care awaiting adoption.” The Kansas Children’s Service League (the League) is a statewide not-for-profit agency with over 100 years of experience protecting children and strengthening families in Kansas. The League serves over 40,000 children and their families each year through a variety of community based and child abuse prevention programs, Head Start and Early Head Start services, agency infant adoption, adoption services through its contract with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, and foster home services. The League’s mission is to protect and promote the well-being of children. On his way from California to New Hampshire, Schultz is posting daily video blogs documenting his journey, as well as completing a daily 60-second update from the road that is being offered to radio stations across the country through Westar Media Group. To date, 69 stations are using the updates to inform their listeners. Schultz is also stopping along the way to perform concerts featuring music from his acclaimed, best-selling album, Broken & Beautiful (Word Records). A recent concert review along the bike tour can be found at More information about the Across America ride, including tour dates, how to sponsor Mark, video blog updates, and Mark’s progress can be found at Schultz’s inspiration to make this 3,500-mile ride came from a visit he and his wife, Kate, made to orphanages in Mexico. In the spring of 2006, they went on a mission trip with The James Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Family Christian Stores, to meet the needs of orphans and widows in distress. Schultz’s own adoption drew him to explore this ministry. Seeing firsthand the harsh realities for many orphans and realizing that he could have easily been one of the boys in the orphanage, he wanted to make a difference. (from Hoganson Media)

BarlowGirl Be the first to hear BarlowGirl's new album How Can We Be Silent! Fervent Records sister rock-trio BarlowGirl launched their first listening party on May 21. The album will be in stores July 24, but you can visit each Monday from now until the release to hear a different song from the new album. Again, the listening event is only available on Mondays, so check back each week for a new song at For more news about BarlowGirl visit or! (from Word Records)

Hawk Nelson Back in April, Hawk Nelson shot a video for their new single "Zero," and TODAY the video is debuting on MYSPACE! Visit to check it out! Also, starting today, you can request the new "Zero" video at MTV, MTV2, MUCH MUSIC, FUSE, and any other music TV outlet! In other Hawk news, while on their current stint on the Tooth and Nail Tour, frontman Jason Dunn informed that the guys are beginning to write for their third release which is currently projected for a Spring 2008 street date! More on that as things continue to come together... (from Hawk Nelson;

Red GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning, Red’s current single at mainstream radio, “Breathe Into Me”, has launched in to the Top 10 at Active Rock Radio, currently No. 10, on the heels of Saliva, Sevendust and Nickelback. Responding to its current radio success, Red bassist, Randy Armstrong shared, “I seriously can’t believe what is happening with our music, especially ‘Breathe Into Me’. The dreams we all have continue to come true and to look at the radio charts and see our name in there is unreal. We can’t thank all of our supporters enough.” Red’s current radio single at Christian Rock Radio, “Break Me Down”, is No. 2 on the R&R Rock Chart, and No. 9 on the CRW Rock Chart. Red is currently on tour with Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin and Puddle of Mudd. The next stop on the tour is Cleveland, Ohio at the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater. Red will be playing over fifteen festivals throughout the summer. Visit for all upcoming tour dates. (from Provident Label Group)

Todd Agnew A song teaming that is being boldly dubbed as a 'vocal event of the year' in contemporary Christian music finds Rebecca St. James joining vocally in the studio with the wonderfully gifted artist Todd Agnew on a powerful single rendition of “Our Great God” hitting radio this coming week! Todd, the signature voice behind such powerful songs pouring through Christian radio such as "Grace Like Rain," "My Jesus," and "In the Middle of Me," will include the track with Rebecca on his forthcoming new album Better Questions, releasing in July from INO Records. Notes Rebecca, “For me this teaming was such a natural thing. Todd has been a real friend since we toured together about four years ago and he called and said, 'Hey, Rebecca what do you think about this idea of doing a duet together?' I was immediately into the idea—even more so when I heard the song. It's a powerful worship song—I have such a passion for worship—as does Todd. This was a wonderful opportunity to record with a friend and really honor God together. Todd and I have been able in our friendship to personally kind of encourage each other—we're both 'book worms' and in a little Christian book club together with a couple more friends. Through this amazing little personal link over the years we've really seen God enable us to be a source of mutual encouragement to each other. Working together on this song project with “Our Great God” is a nice outpouring of our friendship.” To hear the new track, you can call your local Christian radio station and request “Our Great God” today! (from Rebecca St. James;

*Friday, May 25th, 2007*

Red GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning, Red, has been selected to have its hit single, “Breathe Into Me”, featured in Apple Retail Store listening stations across the country, among artists such as Justin Timberlake, The Fray and Pink. Red’s current radio single at Christian Rock Radio, “Break Me Down”, has hit No. 2 this week on the R&R Rock Chart, and No. 12 on the CRW Rock Chart. “Breathe Into Me” is No. 12 with a bullet on the mainstream Active Rock Radio Chart. Since the June 6, 2006 release of its debut album, End of Silence (Essential Records), Red has toured non-stop, collected two No. 1 radio singles (“Breathe Into Me” and “Already Over”), won a Dove Award (Rock Recorded Song for “Breathe Into Me”), and received a GRAMMY nomination in the category Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album for End of Silence. (from Provident Label Group)

Family Force 5 have officially won the Yahoo Music Who's Next! Thanks to all who voted to support good music and a great band! In response, FF5 wrote, "Y'ALL ROCK! Stay tuned to Yahoo Music for an exciting performance from us, your favorite band." More details to come... (from Family Force 5;

Switchfoot Switchfoot is gearing up for the June 2nd date of the Third Annual Switchfoot Bro-Am. The band writes, "This is the day that combines many of our favorite things (surfing, music, friends, san diego, etc...), all with the purpose of making a lasting difference in the lives of kids throughout San Diego. As many of you remember, last year was pretty insane, with over 6,000 people showing up to watch some of their favorite surfers (including Tom Curren and Dane Reynolds) and favorite bands. This year looks to be even better than ever, with huge support from the local community, legends/pro-surfers/musicians Tom Curren and Timmy Curran, and many of our favorite bands and musicians from around So. Cal -- Jason Mraz, Sean and Sarah Watkins (Nickle Creek), The Jade Shader, This Holiday Life, Reeve Oliver, Alex Woodard, Escalera (featuring pro-skaters Danny Way and Bob Burnquist), Years Around the Sun, Ryan Ferguson, and more! All proceeds from the event will benefit Care House, an amazing organization serving homeless kids and teens in crisis throughout San Diego. This year's event also features a silent auction on May 30, and an afterparty at the Belly Up, after the contest is finished, all directly benefitting Care House." To find out more information about the event, check out The band has also added a brand new fan-run blog to the site. "In other news, we've just finished overhauling our home page, and we've added a brand new blog, which will be updated with new content, news, etc... on an almost daily basis! And not only that, but each post allows for comments, and other cool features. And most exciting of all, you can signup for free email updates, delivering the latest switchfoot content, bootlegs, downloads, etc... straight to your inbox. Check it out now, and make sure to sign up at the bottom to stay current:" The band's latest record Oh! Gravity. is available now. (from Switchfoot;

On Wednesday night, Jordin Sparks, who is just three years removed from winning the Spotlight Overall title at the GMA Academy in D.C. event, was crowned this year's "American Idol" in front of a live audience of 4,000 in the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, and the 30 million people who were watching on FOX. A record 74 million votes were cast to determine Sparks as the winner over Blake Lewis. And in a storybook ending that could only be appreciated by those involved in the Christian/gospel music community, Sparks, a 17-year-old from Glendale, Ariz., capped the evening by performing "This Is My Now," the winning song in the "American Idol" songwriter competition, which was co-written by veteran Christian artist/songwriter Scott Krippayne. The GMA has followed Sparks' journey, along with several other contestants, during an "American Idol" season that seemed to be filled with Christian/gospel music connections. Besides winning at GMA Academy in D.C. in 2004, Sparks also competed at GMA Music in the Rockies that summer where she placed second in the Southern Gospel vocal category. She also befriended Michael W. Smith and family and traveled as a singer with his Christmastime tour. When she became a finalist for "American Idol," she included her GMA Academy win as one of her proudest moments in her life. Sparks was not alone among the Top 10 "American Idol" finalists with such ties to he GMA. Chris Sligh also competed at GMA Music in the Rockies, placing first in the Pop-Adult Contemporary/Inspirational song category in 2003. He also served as the worship pastor at his South Carolina church, the same position held by Phil Stacey at his church in Jacksonville, Fla. There also was Melinda Doolittle, from Brentwood, Tenn., a long-time background vocalist for many Christian/gospel artists, never betraying her own powerful vocal skills. Even LaKisha Jones, while having no "professional" ties to Christian/gospel music, often declared her love for it and the influence it had on her life. So, while only Sparks won the title of "American Idol," all five of the finalists that GMA followed throughout the competition returned for Wednesday's finale, all five will participate on the "American Idol" tour this summer and all will most likely be offered the opportunity to record their own projects. As the winner, Sparks is already confirmed to sign a recording contract with Sony/BMG. In addition to Krippayne's song, which he wrote with his pastor and friend Jeff Peabody and is already among the top downloads on iTunes, Wednesday's finale featured an on-stage reunion of BeBe and CeCe Winans, who joined Doolittle, one of their former back-up singers, for an electrifying performance of "Hold Up The Light." The finale also served as a reunion of sorts for previous seasons' winners and finalists with Mandisa and George Huff among the many in attendance. (from GMA)

MxPx Come hang out with MxPx at select Sam Ash locations throughout New York and the Midwest. The band will be playing a free live in-store acoustic show and after the set the band will be on hand for autographs. Here are the list of dates. Click here for full details! 5/25/07 - Carle Place, NY - 3:30PM; 5/27/07 - Lyndhurst, OH - 1:00PM; 5/28/07 - Columbus, OH - 3:30PM; 5/30/07 - Nashville, TN - 3:30PM; 6/2/07 - Cincinnati, OH - 1:00PM; and 6/5/07 - Burbank, IL - 3:30PM (from Tooth & Nail Records)

Sanctus Real Sanctus Real is currently in the studio working on an early 2008 release. Drummer Mark Graalman writes, "Our quick lil' tour with Need To Breathe & This Beautiful Republic finished up well, great bands, great times. Thank you to all who came out to hang with us! Now we are in Nashville recording three more songs for the new record! Drums are tracked, some guitars done, and as I'm writing this Matt is recording some of the most passionate vocals I've ever heard him sing! I'm pretty sure that there is a really good record coming out of us right now people! I'm excited! I can't wait to share these new songs with you all, but wait we will, because this bad boy is slated for a February 15th 2008 release date. Unfortunately, release dates always seem to change two or three times so hopefully I'm not lying to you all right now without realizing it. Ok, side note: Right this moment we just had one of those "magical" moments in the studio where you just try something different and pure coolness occurs! As Matt was recording vocals he started saying to our producer, Chris Stevens, that he was digging the melodies he sang on his scratch tracks more than what they were coming up with just now. Stevens went back and had Matt sing along with his scratch track to "re-learn" how he was singing it earlier, and when we heard both sets of vocals coming through the moniters, it was like hearing a vintage Beatles record! It just sounded so great doubled! And that's just how it goes in the studio. You re-write. You experiment. You put tape on your ride cymbal and Chris' dirty sock in your hi-hats to get a little "drier" of a sound. You double a vocal track kind of like how Paul McCartney used to do and what were simple demo's become something beautiful and very special. Keep praying with us that God will steer this thing and create through us what He wants." Sounds great to us! We'll keep you posted. And check out the band when they hit the road this Fall with Steven Curtis Chapman! (from Sanctus Real;

n an agreement announced last week by ION Media, The Worship Network will be added to the digital channel line-up of Verizon’s groundbreaking FiOS TV, according to Bruce Koblish, president of the Worship Network. ION Media, formerly known as PAX, negotiated a carriage agreement with Verizon under which Verizon FiOS TV will carry ION Television, ION’s flagship network, and ION’s 24-hour multi-cast diginets, which include The Worship Network as well as qubo, ION Life and iMetro. The anticipated launch date on Verizon FiOS network is July 1, 2007. Making it possible for The Worship Network to be part of the Verizon deal is a long-term agreement between ION and The Worship Network which allows for The Worship Network’s programming to be carried in all ION markets as one of the 24-hour multi-cast digital channels and for The Worship Network to be included under additional carriage agreements ION is negotiating. As one of the innovators in delivering triple-play service (phone, internet, television) to consumers, Verizon provides its FiOS TV over an advanced fiber-optic network, straight to customers' homes. Verizon FiOS TV offers all-digital programming, more than two dozen high-definition channels, 8,600 video-on-demand titles and more. Verizon FiOS TV is currently available to nearly seven million households in parts of California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, with growth projections that give FiOS TV a 35-40 percent market penetration by 2010. “As the country prepares to make the transition to all digital television in 2009, Verizon’s FiOS TV is a formidable and innovative player, and The Worship Network applauds ION Media for reaching this agreement,” said Koblish. “Becoming part of FiOS programming line-up now has immediate benefits and will also yield unlimited dividends in the near future as Verizon continues to exponentially grow its triple-play service. As importantly, we believe this new relationship helps to position The Worship Network as a unique and viable programming choice, particularly as content becomes available across many new and emerging platforms.” (from Spinhouse PR)

*Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007*

Caedmons Call INO Records’ announces the signing of award-winning Christian group, folk-pop sensation Caedmon’s Call. The group will be releasing their 15th project Overdressed on Aug. 28, and features former member-turned-solo singer/songwriter Derek Webb on the project and upcoming tour. “It was definitely a no-brainer to record with Derek again, especially when we [Caedmon’s Call] joined INO, which has been Webb’s label for years,” says Cliff Young. “We all sat down one day and thought ‘I wonder what it would be like to make an album together’.” “We have all grown so much over the past six years, and I know for me [and I’m sure the others] it was a natural process to switch to INO and then have Derek re-join us for this project and upcoming tour. Overdressed is a 12 song CD collection unlike any other Caedmon’s Call record, organically acoustic with emphasis on rhythm while maintaining cleverly-written lyrics. All songs were co-wrote between Andrew Osenga, Randall Goodgame, Derek Webb and Webb’s wife, musician Sandra McCracken. “The title Overdressed comes from lyrics in the song ‘Trouble,’” says Derek Webb. “It talks about how, if I’m honest, all my best attempts at being good are a real mess. Just like the Garden of Eden, I try to cover myself with so many different things. So, when I’m with Him, I feel so overdressed.” Formerly with Essential Records, Caedmon’s Call joined the INO roster of artists in 2007. “I have long been an admirer of Caedmon’s Call rich musical legacy,” says president of INO Records Jeff Moseley. “Now with the addition of Derek Webb for this record, it just feels like a natural fit. I am thrilled they are a part of the INO family and that we can share in the future of Caedmon’s Call.” Caedmon’s Call will head out on a promotional tour in late summer before headlining a Spring tour. These dates will be announced at a later time. (from The M Collective)

Red Modern rock band, Red, is continuing its intense touring schedule with multi-platinum bands, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin and Puddle of Mudd. The tour is underway and will visit a total of 31 cities before it wraps, Wednesday, June 27 in Bakersfield, Calif. Anthony Armstrong, guitarist in Red, is excited about the tour, “We are excited to be on the road with these great bands. It’s definitely going to be a rush to be on bigger stages and in front of bigger crowds with this tour.” Red’s current radio single at Christian Rock Radio, “Break Me Down”, comes in at No. 2 this week on the R&R Rock Chart, and No. 12 on the CRW Rock Chart. At No. 13, “Breathe Into Me” is climbing up the mainstream Active Rock Radio Chart. Red will be playing over fifteen festivals throughout the summer. Visit for the latest festival dates. Since Red dropped its debut album, End of Silence (6/6/06), the band has toured non-stop and shared stages with acts including: Three Days Grace, Flyleaf, Buckcherry, Sevendust, Otep, Saliva, Papa Roach, Head PE, Theory of a Dead Man. The five-member band is: Mike Barnes, lead vocals; Anthony Armstrong, guitar; Randy Armstrong, bass; Jasen Rauch, guitar; and Hayden Lamb, drums. End of Silence was produced by producer/songwriter Rob Graves and mixed by Ben Grosse (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fuel). (from Provident Label Group)

Partnering together for over 10 years to provide superior ticketing options, Cornerstone Festival and have joined forces to once again debut new ticketing technology, the iTickets Box Office, a full-service box office solution software product. "Cornerstone was one of the first festivals iTickets ever ticketed and I am very pleased that we have been able to grow our relationship with them throughout the years," says Brian Smith, director of operations for Starting out a decade ago by first listing the Festival on the iTickets site and then selling tickets for the event, Cornerstone was the first large festival to sign on to use Print-at-Home scannable tickets in 2006 and this year they are the first to jump on board with the iTickets Box Office. "In all three of these moves, iTickets has provided helpful, reliable and competent support," explains Cornerstone festival director, John Herrin. "The services they offer have always been a giant step forward in providing our customers with reliable online ticketing and we are pleased to be on board with them once again in leading the way with the new iTickets Box Office." The iTickets Box Office is a full-service online box office, allowing promoters to log into their personalized account to sell tickets, look up customers and orders, print invoices and run reports, all from one easy-to-use web based interface. Smith explains further, "I am very excited about our new online boxoffice. This new software will allow promoters the ability to manage their ticket sales using the latest technology and resources iTickets has to offer, without the high costs of developing their own system." (from Springboard Entertainment)

*Monday, May 21st, 2007*

Jackson Waters Arkansas rock band Jackson Waters were just the victims of robbery this weekend when their van was broken into while on tour. They wrote about the experience in an online blog... "Hello from Madison Wisconsin, we are all kind of bummed out today because we woke this morning in Chicago and found out that our van had been broken into. During the night someone broke in through the passenger side door and unlocked the van. We had all 9 of our guitars but some for reason they only took 5 of them. Jesse lost 2, Brian lost 1, David lost his acoustic, and also a loaner guitar from Gibson. It's odd because they had enough time to get under the van and steal our spare tire but left the other guitars and some other stuff we had in there. We also lost our new GPS unit, an Ipod, and the road manager's Nintendo Wii. Needless to say we are all kind of sick but they could have easily stolen the entire van and drove off with the trailer. We are just thankful that none of us were out there when it happened because David almost went down to sleep in the van during the night. Tonight is the last show of week 2 and next week should be interesting with Toby being the only one with any of his guitars left. The thieves did spare Jesse's 1984 Alvaraz Yairi acoustic that was given to him by his grandma just before she passed away so that was a blessing. I guess the moral of the story is to watch out when you are in Chicago and be checking in pawn shops for JW gear." Please keep the Jackson Water guys in your prayers. (from Jackson Waters;

toby One of the largest faith celebrations ever presented in Tennessee wrapped Sunday night, May 20, at Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville after two days of the Luis Palau Nashville CityFest. Festival organizers set the weekend attendance at over 90,000. World evangelist and author Luis Palau joined with over 300 churches, dozens of local and national businesses, and more than 3,000 volunteers to bring the “Great music & Good News” festival to middle Tennessee. Some of the top entertainers in country, pop, gospel and contemporary Christian music performed, including LeAnn Rimes, TobyMac, Jeremy Camp, Tye Tribbett, Craig Morgan, El Trio de Hoy, Israel and New Breed, Steven Curtis Chapman, and BarlowGirl. Palau’s festival format also featured the Livin It Action Sports Tour with skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross hosted by actor/filmmaker Stephen Baldwin, as well as a Family Fun and Sports Zone featuring players from the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The festival was designated by Mayor Bill Purcell as an official event of the “Celebrate Nashville” Bicentennial. An extensive community service component was implemented under the banner Operation Compassion that included health and fitness screenings and a food drive. Other projects included a “Helping Hands” weekend that brought churches together for dozens of acts of service, and outreach events that drew 700 attendees to a business and civic leader’s luncheon and 1500 women to a unique function staged on the Titans playing field. Palau, whose team has worked with the church and business communities of Central Tennessee for over two years, was thrilled with the city’s response to Nashville CityFest. “It’s clear why Nashville is ‘Music City USA’ with so many of our musical artists based right here,” he said. “The cooperation of city officials, the partnership with churches across denominations, the support of businesses and key leaders…what a tribute to this city that so many would come together on the streets of downtown Nashville to celebrate God’s love for all of us.” The $2.25 million festival budget was funded entirely by contributions from corporations, churches, businesses and individuals under the leadership of co-chairs Stuart McWhorter and Louis Upkins and Honorary Chair and NASCAR star Darrell Waltrip. No collections or offerings are ever taken at Palau festivals. Palau’s next U.S. festival is set for July 14-15 in Omaha. He will also be the featured speaker at major Christian music celebrations in Dallas and Atlanta, and on the worldwide broadcast of the Global Day of Prayer on May 27th. (from Kaleidoscope Media)

Skillet As Atlantic/Lava/Ardent/SRE rockers Skillet pack out clubs across the U.S., Universal Pictures and their upcoming film Evan Almighty is sponsoring the dates to promote the June 22nd nationwide release of the film starring actors Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman. Skillet is previewing the trailer, mentioning the film from stage and running an internet campaign through their website (, myspace ( and street team. With each tour date being sponsored by a local mainstream rock and/or hot AC station (and also featuring label mates Decyfer Down), Skillet is winning over Program Director’s (PDs) across the country and drawing large crowds, packing the clubs each night. Here are just a couple of comments coming from PDs: “The band was GREAT at the station. The acoustic performance was flawless and the fans that showed up were thrilled at how personable and accommodating the band was... they really were the nicest bunch of people we’ve had in our studio…EVER. The show was FANTASTIC! I don’t know when the last time was that they played this market but we definitely need to do this again... everyone was REALLY into it. Their phenomenal performance and positive message left a lasting impression on all who were there. I can definitely see this band building a huge following in this market. “ -Big Rog, Assistant Program Director / Music Director / Afternoons, KHTB-FM / 94.9 The Blaze, Salt Lake City, UT “Skillet did it again for us….they’ve out sold major national acts consistently time and time again. We’ve played three singles so far…two of which are now library songs and my guess is the third one will be too” - Aaron "Buck" Burnett, Music Director/Morning Dude, KTEG 104.7 FM The Edge, Albuquerque In follow up to their seven-week reign at No.1 on Christian Rock with their single “Rebirthing,” Skillet’s second Christian single, “The Last Night,” was recently added to the AIR-1 radio network, WAYfm Denver and KAFC/Anchorage. The single also nabbed the top spot at Rock and is No. 3 CHR on CRW this week, while moving up to No. 1 on R&R’s Christian CHR chart following a No. 1 at Rock hit there as well. WAYfm Nashville is one of the top CHR stations supporting Skillet and this single in a big way, with Network MD Stace Whitmire commenting, "Skillet's 'The Last Night' has connected with our audience from the get go. It's been one of the fastest rising songs, and continues to be a WAY-FM audience favorite.” As Comatose continues to be a top-seller, 32 weeks after it’s release, Skillet continues the club tour into June and will hit all major summer festivals and mainstream radio shows throughout the summer. (from The M Collective)

Todd Agnew Beloved by Christian Music fans and friends alike, Ardent Records in coordination with INO Records, announces the release of singer/songwriter Todd Agnew’s fourth studio project, Better Questions. The release is set for July 17 and the first single is a duet featuring Rebecca St. James titled “Our Great God” which will be going for radio adds May 25. Better Questions, co-produced by Agnew and John Hampton, is a 16-song selection (including prelude) that has a bit of everything with powerful ballads, worshipful church anthems, humorous lyrics, and solid rock moments. “I’m finding more and more people who aren’t fooled by the ‘everything’s fine’ version of Christianity,” says Agnew. “I’m trying to just get some of those questions out there, with questions people are afraid to ask in church, but also to get them asked sincerely and not with anger.” Such questions bring Agnew to this place in time and art, using his platform and talent to get to the core of who we are as humans, to get to that moment where we’re able to ask the Better Questions. Before the July album release, a new community feature will be added to, tentatively titled Friends of Todd Agnew. This will act as a direct link to Agnew’s blogs, photos, videos, and more. He will also launch the release with a promotional tour starting in mid-July and all events open to the public will be posted on Nation-wide youth camps and festivals will keep Todd Agnew traveling this summer, and in the fall Agnew will be headlining a tour with newcomers Rush Of Fools and including new Ardent signing, Joy Whitlock, who will release an album in early 2008. (from The M Collective)

Ruth Dustin Ruth, known simply along with his band as Ruth, will release their debut album Secondhand Dreaming on Tooth & Nail Records this coming June 26th, and has been signed an exclusive booking contract with The William Morris Agency. Dustin Ruth, one part singer, one part songwriter, showcases a post-90's radio/pop rock sound with this highly-anticipated album. Secondhand Dreaming also finds the famed producer/mixer team of Aaron Sprinkle and Jr McNeely (Jeremy Camp, Falling up, Anberllin, The Send, The Almost) at the helm. "I have learned through my experiences that without an alignment of your dreams God's plan for your life, you will run into walls. God puts the desires of your heart there for His glory hence the title Secondhand Dreaming. Music is a very powerful thing. It stimulates more than just emotions and thoughts--it can really move someone, it can really change who someone is. If nothing else, I know these songs helped steer my heart in the right direction." Secondhand Dreaming features songs like the first radio single "Cross The Line" which is currently going for adds at Rock and CHR formats. "You Are," a soaring track explores the issue of facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles in life. The title track "Second Hand Dreaming," which could be classified as the theme track for Dustin?s journey, professes the idea that God gives us the desires of our hearts for a reason, with conviction. "Work it out" gives a voice to the countless children of divorced parents in this generation. Recently off a tour with label mates Falling Up, Ruth will play over 200 shows in 2007. In June and July, Ruth joins the Emery tour for 25 dates across the nation. The band has already played dates this year with Fireflight, Seventh Day Slumber, Leeland, Run Kid Run, Lost Ocean, and The Send as well. (from LB PR)

Chasing Victory With 2,132 albums sold first week out and a #26 spot on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, Mono Vs Stereo band Chasing Victory is seeing amazing response to their sophomore album Fiends. The band was also recently added to Fuse TV’s online new music section “The Worm,” a 24-hour music video television station’s site that receives over 500,000 hits a month. On the tour front, Chasing Victory just recently played at the Cornerstone, FL festival and now continue their road trek with label mates The Showdown and Tooth & Nail band Showbread. Fiends is the follow-up to 2006’s, I Call This Abandonment. The dichotomy of hard-edged guitars and brute vocals is seamlessly balanced by the soaring melodies from the band which is Adam Harrell (vocals), Mike Lamb (guitar), Jeremy Lowery (drums), Chris Cargile (guitar), and Chris Crutchfield (bass). With musical comparisons to Underoath, Deftones and My Chemical Romance, Chasing Victory burns up the touring circuit i.e. last year’s 220 shows with acts like Stretch Arm Strong, Project 86, and The Devil Wears Prada. (from LB PR)

Until June New Flicker/Sony-BMG recording artist Until June met up with this year’s honoree Denise Richards at the annual “Mother’s Day Luncheon” for the Associates for Breast & Prostate Cancer Studies (The ABCs), to benefit the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Saint John’s Hospital and Health Center on May 9. Until June, who performed at the luncheon, just released their debut self-titled CD, which was produced by Brian Garcia (Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson) and landed in the Top 100 “New Artist” chart two weeks straight. The self-titled disc has been featured in the New York Post, All Music Guide, CCM, Launch Radio Networks, and many more. Until June was discovered “American Dream”-style when brothers Josh and Dan Ballard moved to Los Angeles from Phoenix five years ago. The band gave themselves “until June” 2006 to land a deal, or move back home. They made the cut-off. Lead singer/keyboardist Josh, as a struggling musician, was working at Starbucks serving lattes, when he met Brian Garcia who said he “looked like a musician.” The rest is history. Brian produced their CD and landed their record deal with Flicker/Sony. The band just completed a tour nationwide, with plans for more… For a photo of the band with Richards, click here. (from The M Collective)

*Thursday, May 17th, 2007*

Natalie Grant Arizonans for the Protection of Exploited Children and Adults (APECA) recently held a ground breaking celebration for “Natalie’s House,” an eight-bed residence for teen girls named in honor of Curb recording artist Natalie Grant. The Phoenix-area facility will house and rehabilitate girls escaping commercial sexual exploitation and abuse and is named for Grant in recognition of her ongoing efforts to help eradicate human trafficking around the world. "I am so grateful to APECA for making ‘Natalie's House’ possible," Grant said. "To know that a place like this exists, where these precious souls can find rehabilitation and begin their second chance at life, is probably one of the greatest honors I've ever received.” “APECA chose to name our future home for girls ‘Natalie’s House’ in recognition of Natalie Grant’s tireless efforts on behalf of young victims of sex trafficking,” said Janet Olson, executive director, APECA. “‘Natalie’s House’ will be a place where girls wounded from sexual exploitation and abuse can begin to experience healing and hope for a brighter future.” Girls residing at APECA’s “Natalie’s House” will receive food, clothing and education, as well as intense therapy and treatment, including a unique equine therapy program. “Natalie’s House” is slated to open next year and will help girls recover from the trauma of sexual exploitation and abuse while making the transition to a normal, healthy life. Grant took home the Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year at the recent 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards in Nashville, marking the second consecutive year she has received the prestigious honor. She also served as co-host of the ceremony, along with Brian Littrell and Donnie McClurkin. In addition, Grant is completing work on her seventh album and first studio recording in two years. The forthcoming project is being produced by Grant’s husband, Bernie Herms, and longtime collaborator Shaun Shankel, and is slated for release later this year. Grant and Herms welcomed twin daughters, Grace Ana and Isabella Noelle, in February. For more information on “Natalie’s House,” contact APECA at 623-247-6026 or visit (from Turning Point PR)

Hawk Nelson Pop/punk rockers Hawk Nelson continue to break new ground as they storm through the first two weeks of the nationwide Tooth & Nail Tour. The tour began in Seattle, WA home to the tour’s namesake label and then tracking down to California and making its way westward. This six-week tour is the third annual tour and feature headliners MxPx and supporting The Classic Crime, Sullivan, The Fold, Project 86, and Run Kid Run. For more information on this hot tour, click here. Sure to hit a homerun this summer with their fans, Hawk Nelson will be up to bat with the “2008 HAWK NELSON Baseball Tour.” featuring new act The Send. With this tour, Hawk Nelson will travel to 32 Minor League Baseball venues to entertain fans either pre or post game. In addition to the Minor League games, Hawk Nelson will also hit the Majors with four Major League Baseball Concerts: LA Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, and the Oakland A’s. In addition, the band will be partnering with local radio stations for exclusive tailgating parties featuring grill masters Hawk Nelson. Thrilled to bring this tour to cities near you, Mike Snider, President and Owner Third Coast Artist Agency, states. “Hawk Nelson will single handedly save music and the future of baseball in only one summer.” “Being a part of this tour is a dream come true,” shares bass player Daniel Biro. “I grew up listening to bands such as Green Day, Foo Fighters, and least we forget MxPx. These are the bands that helped shaped my teenage years and beyond. So to be in a band myself, and have the opportunity to open for one of these acts... it's priceless. Coming from this tour and going into the summer, I think we can sum up our entire feelings as a band in regards to the upcoming baseball tour with one word...anticipation. We are really looking forward to trying out this new approach to touring. When can you go to a rock show and a ball game all in the same night? We went out and bought some new ball gloves, and we've already got the guitars - all we need now is to get on the road and meet up with everybody. See you at the show.” (from The M Collective)

Underoath Underoath's brand new video, "You're Ever So Inviting" is up at MTV "Battle of the Videos!" Watch the video now and vote for the band here so they can stomp out the competition! The video with the most votes will air on MTV next Wednesday, throughout the day and online. Make sure to leave a comment - the most passionate and creative commenter has a chance to appear on MTV and to present the winning music video! (from Tooth & Nail Records)

Chris Rice Chris Rice is celebrating his upcoming JULY 17 release of his latest CD What A Heart Is Beating For by sponsoring (along with Eb+Flo Records) a video contest. Visit for all the details, how to enter, and what the winners receive! But to give you an idea of what's at stake here, the top 3 videos, chosen by and the Eb+Flo staff, will win an "All-Things-Chris-Rice" gift pack. Including: All 6 of Chris Rice's studio CDs (includes a pre-release of the new one!), Chris Rice's 1993 Indie CD, 5 Chris Rice T-shirts (5 different designs, all the same size of your choice--s,m,l,or xl), 2 boxes of Chris Rice greeting cards, birthday and encouragement, 3 Chris Rice songbooks, AND a personal thank you/congratulations note from Chris Rice himself. Sound good? So let your video-making friends know about it too! Amateurs, pros, film/video students are all invited to enter! Contest ends May 31st, so get to it! (from Chris Rice;

Family Force 5 Gospel Music Channel will present one of Christian music’s most exciting new bands with the world premiere of Front Row Live: Family Force 5 on Saturday, May 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The hour-long concert was shot earlier this year in Nashville before a packed house of young fans and youth groups who waited for hours to see their favorite crunk-rockers in the intimate Front Row Live setting. Front Row Live: Family Force 5 features music from the band’s debut album, Business Up Front, Party In The Back, including its two #1 rock radio hits, “Replace Me” and “Love Addict.” The concert play-list also includes “Ex Girlfriend,” “Drama Queen,” “Lose Urself,” “Kountry Gentleman,” “Cadillac Phunque,” “Put Your Hands Up,” “Numb,” “Earthquake” and “Supersonic.” Gospel Music Channel will present an encore presentation of Front Row Live: Family Force 5 on May 22 at (9 p.m. ET/PT). Family Force 5 will also be part of a Memorial Day Hot List weekend, with the band introducing their favorite videos in an hour-long music video program. The Family Force 5 Hot List will premiere Saturday, May 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Visit for complete listings. The Atlanta-based Family Force 5 gained immediate attention with its 2006 debut release, Business Up Front, Party In The Back, and the buzz has only grown. Currently, Family Force 5 are among the nominees on Yahoo! Music’s “Who’s Next” May contest promotion. They are featured against The Almost, Kaiser Chiefs, and Electric Soft Parade for the month-long run of online voting competition. The band who receives the most votes by May 31st will tape an exclusive performance and interview at the Yahoo! Music studios in Los Angeles. 2007 has been a whirlwind for Family Force 5 including last month’s performance on the 38th Annual Dove Award telecast, as well as a nod in the “Rock Album of the Year” category. They’ll continue to blanket the country on various tours including a run on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, of which they’ll play 27 dates on the Volcum Stage. They are also confirmed on all the major summer music festivals including Creation East, Cornerstone Festival, Creation West, Ichthus, and Spirit West Coast. (from Spinhouse PR)

*Wednesday, May 16th, 2007* - AFTERNOON UPDATE

Casting Crowns Multi-Platinum, GRAMMY-winning band Casting Crowns announces the release of its highly-anticipated third studio album, The Altar and The Door, on August 28. Casting Crowns’ new project follows its two Platinum-selling albums (Casting Crowns and Lifesong), two RIAA-certified live DVD projects (Live from Atlanta and Lifesong Live), plus numerous awards and sell-out tours, further positioning this act as Contemporary Christian music’s best-selling artist for the last two years. As the Gospel Music Association’s reigning Group of the Year (for the past three years), Casting Crowns is committed to the same ideals that have carried them to this tremendous level of success. They are determined to remain ministry-focused whether on the road, or in their Atlanta-area local churches where each of the band members serve on staff or as laypeople, including lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall who still holds his post as youth pastor at his home church. The Altar and The Door is based on this real-life ministry experience with real people, real life struggle, and the faith that overcomes. Not only does the project’s title appear as a track on the album, but the concept has emerged as an overall theme running throughout the record. “At the altar, everything makes sense,” says Hall. “When we’re in the church and spending time with God, we know what we’re supposed to do and how to live. Everything is black and white. But somewhere between the altar and the door, when we leave and go out into our lives, it all leaks out. Everything gets gray again. It’s like we have these two lives, and the Christian life is the journey between the altar and door—trying to get the things you’ve got in your head, into your hands, into your feet, and into your life. This album is all about that journey of realization, the struggles we encounter and the victory of seeing it as possible.” The first radio single from The Altar and The Door is scheduled to hit radio airwaves in June followed by widespread media coverage starting late summer leading up to the band’s headlining “The Altar and The Door” Fall Tour presented by Aquasis with special guest Leeland, and introducing John Waller. Over its three-year career, Casting Crowns has been honored with a GRAMMY Award, two American Music Award nods and now 12 Gospel Music Dove Awards. Casting Crowns has been the most played artist on all Christian radio formats combined, with six consecutive No.1 AC radio hits, and the group has sold more than 2.5 million albums to date. Lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall has been a student pastor for 16 years and currently serves on staff at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta. Casting Crowns claims the distinction of being the fastest CCM artist in its career to have its first two albums certified Platinum, and only the second in RIAA history ever to achieve it (the other being Jars of Clay). The band recently made a trip to North Korea, as the only U.S. band invited to play at the April Art Friendship Festival. For more information, please visit or (from Provident Label Group)

Everyday Sunday Unstoppable modern rock outfit Everyday Sunday achieves a new personal best this week, claiming the No. 1 song on both Radio & Records' Christian Hit Radio chart as well as the Rock radio chart with singles "Find Me Tonight" and "Wake Up! Wake Up!," respectively. The occasion marks Everyday Sunday's second career No. 1, its first on CHR, as "Find Me Tonight" has won over fans and radio stations across the country. The CHR hit springs up less than two months after the band's debut No. 1 hit, and title track of its forthcoming May 22 release Wake Up! Wake Up!, topped the Rock chart. Chris Hauser of Hauser Promotions comments, "I have loved Everyday Sunday from the moment I first heard 'Hanging On' and am delighted to work alongside the band. Ian Eskelin's production and contribution to the writing of this record together with Trey Pearson have made radio magic. I'm thrilled for Everyday Sunday, their new relationship with Inpop, and radio's hearty multi-format embrace of this incredibly talented band." "There has been a great team involved in the making and promotion of 'Find Me Tonight,'" says Inpop Records president Dale Bray. "Reaching No. 1 is a great reward for all those who have worked so hard and believed in the band and the song. I certainly want to thank Christian radio for its phenomenal support of Everyday Sunday and all Inpop artists." Comprising Trey Pearson (lead vocals), Jesse Counts (guitar), Aaron Eikenbery (guitar), Brandon Eikenberry (bass) and Kevin Cramblet (drums), Everyday Sunday hails from Columbus, Ohio. Attracting a national audience with its 2001 independent Christian Hit Radio single, "Just a Story," Everyday Sunday joined Flicker Records' roster in 2002. The band released two successful projects with Flicker, Stand Up and Anthems for the Imperfect, while raking in numerous accolades, including being named among CCM Magazine's "Favorite New Artists of 2003," as well as "Best New Artist of the Year" by TVU Music Television. Also in 2003, Everyday Sunday made an impact as one of the Top 10 "Major Impact Artists" for CHR, and its single "Hanging On," from Stand Up, was the No. 6 most played CHR song of the year. Produced by Ian Eskelin (Krystal Meyers, Stellar Kart, All Star United), Wake Up! Wake Up! delivers the same diversity and solid pop sound that has come to define Everyday Sunday's music. The band's highly anticipated Inpop Records debut releases May 22. (from Savvy Media)

Cheri Keaggy Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter Cheri Keaggy has announced the upcoming release of Because He First Loved Us, her seventh offering and first new studio album in six years, barring the recently released compilation, The Very Best Of Cheri Keaggy. Because He First Loved Us will release June 12, 2007 on Psalm 91 Records and will be distributed through TAG Artist Group. This newest offering is something to savor. "Over the last few years I've been marinating in all kinds of stuff, just trying to listen to God's voice and be obedient, trying to parent intentionally and grow in my relationships," says Keaggy. "The Christian life can be quite an adventure! These songs are pieces of all of that." From the album's unexpected appetizer, "Stay to The Middle," to the sweet resolve of the closing track, "The Reason I Stand Tall," Keaggy invites us to soak in the presence of a Holy God, who is both Teacher and Friend. "Speak" reminds us to listen, and "You'll Always Be My Son" is a welcome follow-up to the often requested "Little Boy On His Knees." Uncle-in-law Phil Keaggy makes a guest appearance on the album, contributing the guitar solo on "This Is The Love." A bonus track cover of Carole King's "You've Got A Friend" marks Keaggy's first duet with Marty Roe, lead vocalist of the ACM and CMA Award-winning country group Diamond Rio. Because He First Loved Us is a rich blend of heart-stirring lyrics served on a bed of classic, piano-based instrumentation. The CD features twelve original songs, all written by Keaggy, and like comfort food for the soul, there is something wonderfully familiar about them. Teaming with industry veteran Tom Hemby on Because He First Loved Us produced a tasteful musical journey that leads listeners straight to the heart of the message. "My husband had worked with him through the years at Promise Keepers, and Tom had played guitar on some of my previous albums," Keaggy says. "He's an incredible player, but he's also a songwriter. As a producer, he wants to serve the song and understands that sometimes less is more." Originally from Southern California, Cheri Keaggy began studying classical piano at age seven. After marrying her high school sweetheart, her home church offered her a job as a novice worship coordinator. There she found herself looking for songs that would best express the pastor's sermon. One week, when she couldn't find one to match a message on Psalm 91, her husband suggested she write something of her own. That afternoon "You, Oh Lord, Are My Refuge" was born. Eventually a recording of her very first songs made its way to Nashville. Six albums, nine Number One songs, three Dove Award nominations and a Dove Award win later, Keaggy is recognized as a mainstay in the adult contemporary and inspirational genres, and songs like "There is Joy in the Lord" and "In Remembrance of Me" are sung in churches worldwide. (from McCain & Co.)

Da T.R.U.T.H. Cross Movement Records is pleased to announce the release of 2007 Stellar Award winner Da' T.R.U.T.H.'s new DVD, Da' T.R.U.T.H. & Friends LIVE, which hit stores on May 15, 2007. Da' T.R.U.T.H. headlines an all-star cast, including Kirk Franklin, The Cross Movement, Tye Tribbett, FLAME, The Ambassador, J.R. and Trip Lee. Uniting thousands of passionate youth, an electrifying five-piece band and amazing vocalists, this DVD creates an unforgettable and explosive live hip-hop worship experience. Set at the Impact2006(tm) conference, Da' T.R.U.T.H. & Friends LIVE showcases the talented rapper joined by his friends in fan favorites from his debut album, Moment of Truth, and his chart-topping follow up, The Faith. Da' T.R.U.T.H also gives viewers a sneak peek of his forthcoming album, Open Book, which hits stores July 10, 2007, by unveiling his new single, "Who Am I?", featuring Tye Tribbett and a surprise cameo appearance by Kirk Franklin. Bonus features on the DVD include the "Who Am I?" music video; the bonus songs "Every Day" and "The Portrait (Da Vinci Code Snapshots)"; and a documentary on Da' T.R.U.T.H., which features an intimate chat between the rapper and BET TV host Gerard Henry as well as commentary from Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, The Cross Movement, Tye Tribbett, FLAME, Michelle Bonilla, among others. A graduate of The Institute of Jewish Studies and Philadelphia Biblical University, Da' T.R.U.T.H., born Emanuel Lee Lambert, Jr., has been involved in urban missions since he was 16. He has been featured in Vibe, The Source, XXL, Sister2Sister and JET magazines and profiled in Charisma, CCM and New Man magazines. His television appearances include "BET News" (aired during "106 & Park"), BET's "Lift Every Voice," TBN's "Praise The Lord," INSP's "Steelroots" and "Mixx Master's Lounge" and the Word Network's "Bobby Jones Gospel." Da' T.R.U.T.H. was also a featured artist in Holy Hip-Hop: The Movie, Christopher Martin's urban Christian film. The Da' T.R.U.T.H. & Friends LIVE DVD is available on Cross Movement Records and distributed in the CBA market by Provident-Integrity Distribution and by Sony BMG in the general market. For more information on Da' T.R.U.T.H. and his new DVD Da' T.R.U.T.H. & Friends LIVE, visit or (from McCain & Co.)

*Wednesday, May 16th, 2007*

Needtobreathe In 2006 Atlantic Records’ band NEEDTOBREATHE released one of the most critically acclaimed records from a new artist in our industry with their debut, Daylight. This August 28th, the band brings The Heat, their greatly anticipated sophomore project. Joining the NEEDTOBREATHE team this time around is Word Entertainment, who will market and distribute the project in the CBA market alongside Atlantic’s efforts in the mainstream. With hit singles and non-stop touring in 2006, NEEDTOBREATHE finally slowed down to record “The Heat” in early 2007. Co-produced entirely by the band, the new project also features the stellar production work of Rick Beato (Shinedown, Jump Little Children) and Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland. In regard to the new record and their new venture with Word, lead singer Bear Rinehart commented, "I think everybody wants to mature on their second record, and we certainly have. You can't help but learn when you're able to tour with great acts like Train, Edwin McCain, Collective Soul, Will Hoge, Sanctus Real, and Jars of Clay, but oddly enough I think the thing we gained most from the experience was the confidence to be ourselves. I remember approaching the release of our first record with a certain level of trepidation and a sense that we needed to prove something. This time around we just wish we could invite everyone over for a listening party and a barbecue. The Heat is far and away the best thing we have ever done and we're thrilled to have the folks at Word Records working with us to reach as many e Word plans to follow up NEEDTOBREATHE’S Christian radio successes (“Shine On”, “You Are Here”) with the debut single “Signature of Divine (Yahweh)” this June 15 at CHR and AC radio. “NEEDTOBREATHE embraces both an increasing mainstream and CBA industry appeal,” says Rod Riley, Sr. VP of Marketing, Word Label Group. “It’s exceptional for a band to be successful in each market without having to alter its performance and cater to specific audiences. Word is looking forward to working with Atlantic and NEEDTOBREATHE to further the appeal.” (from The M Collective)

toby Anxious to know if tobyMac will be touring this Fall in full support of his latest record, Portable Sounds? Wondering who he'll be touring with? Well, tobyMac and his incredible entourage "Diverse City" will be touring this fall (AKA September/October/November) with none other than the lovely and talented rocker chicks known as BarlowGirl and rock band extraordinaire Thousand Foot Krutch! Both bands are expecting new records this Summer/Fall, so expect great things with this tour! Dates for the tour are yet to be determined. More to come... (from TobyMac;

StorySide:B As anticipation builds for StorySide:B’s upcoming June 19th release We Are Not Alone, fans can savor the first radio single “Be Still” now posted on the band’s myspace page at Other tracks posted from the new album include “Tell Me What You Think Of God” and “Don’t Let It Go.” The band is already seeing early momentum at radio with “Be Still” garnering 11 AC reporters on board, with 5 early adds and 6 official first week adds. Tour plans for StorySide:B this spring and summer finds the band joining acts including Leeland, The Afters, Salvador, Red, Disciple and Skillet, with performances at summer music festivals and Luis Palau events. The ensemble has shared past stages with marquee artists such as Jars Of Clay, Kutless, TobyMac, Sarah Kelly, GRITS, Matthew West, and Shawn McDonald. We Are Not Alone showcases producer JR McNeely (Relient K, Hawk Nelson, Jeremy Camp) at the helm of the ten-song effort. Titles include everything from the lead radio single “Tell Me What You Think Of God,” to the encouraging “Sister,” and “Be Still,” as well as “Fall Down,” “All Along,” “Demons And Angels,” “Don’t Let It Go,” “That Is Love,” “I Give You Me,” and “For You.” Since banding together in 2003 and releasing their debut Everything And More in 2005, StorySide:B has garnered the support of industry and fans alike. These Florida-based rockers nabbed the best new artist debut spot on Billboard Magazine’s “Top Christian Albums” chart, as well as landing at #77 on Billboard’s “Heatseeker” chart. Their debut radio single “Miracle” made waves on the CHR charts, topping off at the #2 spot and claiming the “Most Added” and “Highest Gainer” titles during the climb. It also was named in the “Top Ten Most Played Songs Of 2006”. The follow up single, "Everything and More" also moved up the charts, peaking at #2 at CHR. In addition, their music video for the hit song “Miracle” received an award for “Outstanding Music Video” at the 27th Annual Telly Awards. Led by front man and guitarist Lucio “Lu” Rubino, StorySide:B includes band members Jordan Mohilowski (drums), Ron McClelland (bass/piano), and Preston Pohl (guitar/vocals). (from LB PR)

*Tuesday, May 15th, 2007*

Dakoda Motor Co We announced on Sunday that Dakoda Motor Co. is back and will be doing a few dates this Fall - with one being Joshua Fest. Yesterday, the festival released their official information about the event, so here it is... "Just in case you haven't heard, Joshua Fest is a 3 day music festival in beautiful Northern California. We're located at the Plumas County Fairgrounds in the small mountain community of Quincy, California. Be sure to mark off your calendar for Aug 31st, Sept 1st and Sept 2nd, (Labor Day Weekend) 2007; and since Labor Day weekend is the official "let's go live in the woods and eat dirt (camping) holiday" we thought we should oblige. Tickets are on sale ad discounted advance prices, but will be ending in just a few weeks. For more info, and to purchase online go to With Camping right in the festival gates your tent is literally a stones throw from our main-stage. This year's lineup (so far) includes MXPX, Thousand Foot Krutch, Superchick, Leeland, Project 86, Seventh Day Slumber, Falling Up, Red, Family Force 5, John Reuben, Everyday Sunday, Dizmas, the reunion of Dakoda Motor Co., Manafest, Run Kid Run, The Fold, and Redcloud; plus more to be announced. Joshua Fest isn't just a music festival (although we have over 60 bands). We also offer workshops like our youth leaders lounge/ministry room provided by Interlinc. Our marriage and couples workshop provided by Randy and Monica Zachary. Other offerings include the prayer tent, skate park, giant inflatable rides, and our kid's zone called "Camp Jericho", filled with puppets, kid's bands, and face painting. Joshua Fest offers something for everyone!" (from Joshua Fest;

Audio A Audio Adrenaline may be done (we're trying not to think about that), but you're likely to still hear about them. In this particular case, frontman Mark Stuart (*sigh* former frontman) is selling his Harley Davidson to anyone interested! The bike is a 2003 Harley Davidson Sportster XLH 883 Hugger, 100th Anniversary Edition and the Stuarts are asking $5800 or best offer. SERIOUS inquiries should email the sellers at! For more info and some pics of the bike, visit And remember, the band's final show (that took place at the end of April) should hit DVD this August 28th! More on that to come... (from Audio Adrenaline;

The Almost is currently up for voting to perform on AOL's "Sessions Under Cover." Help get the band in the AOL studio for an exclusive performance. Vote for them multiple times here and tell your friends! Visit to vote! (from Tooth & Nail)

*Sunday, May 13th, 2007*

Dakoda Motor Co It's always exciting when bands who have long been disbanded reunite. is excited to announce that the latest to come back from the CCM graveyard is California surf rock band Dakoda Motor Co! The band reunited last year for a special show and has since begun doing spot dates. The original band lineup is back - including former lead singer Davia Vallesillo who had left the band in 1995 after two albums (Into The Son in 1993, Welcome Race Fans in 1994) and was replaced by Melissa Brewer for their third and ultimately final record in 1996, Railroad... that is, until now. The band - comprised of Vallesillo (Vocals), Peter King (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Derik Toy (Bass), Elliot Chenault (Guitar), and Chuck Cummings (Drums) - is currently recording a fourth record and will be making several live show appearances this year, including Joshua Fest and Cornerstone California. For dates, the latest information, blogs, and even a brand new demo entitled "On My Way Home," visit the band on MySpace at: or! For those still looking for their long out of print first two releases, the band has made them downloadable with purchase from iTunes. (from

*Friday, May 11th, 2007*

Kutless Rock band Kutless will “audition” guitar players this summer as part of an innovative new promotional partnership with PRS Guitars, which makes guitars favored by some of the world’s most renowned touring professional musicians such as Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro, Dave Matthews and James Mead of Kutless. While Kutless won’t be offering a permanent spot in the band, they will give six aspiring guitarists the opportunity to play with them, live, at one of six summer music festivals, with the grand prize winner receiving an autographed custom PRS Guitar. The promotion -- PRS Guitars invites you to ROCK THE FESTIVAL with KUTLESS – will include a two-round online battle of the band’s style competition with PRS Guitars and Kutless choosing the semi-finalists from self-produced videos submitted via and the grand prize winner determined from an online fan vote. “This promotion is the ultimate ‘mash-up’ of all the elements that have helped to make Kutless one of the most successful touring bands in the Christian music business…. first-class musical instruments, huge summer festivals, robust online connectivity and fans who are as fanatical and knowledgeable about music as they are about Kutless. ” said Chance Hoag of Platform Management. “Kutless is looking forward to this promotion as much as anything they’ve done in a long time.” Lead Kutless guitarist, James Mead adds "I am honored to use PRS guitars onstage, and in the studio. They are the best guitars I've ever played and it’s awesome that one of our fans will get to own one of these amazing instruments. The promotion is going to be a blast and I can't wait to see the contest videos start rolling in." To participate in the PRS Guitars Invites You to ROCK THE FESTIVAL with KUTLESS promotion, entrants will post to a self-produced video playing guitar to the Kutless song, “Somewhere in the Sky.” Members of Kutless and representatives from PRS Guitars will review every video, selecting six finalists, one finalist to play at each of these festivals: Alive Festival in Canal Fulton, Oh. (6/21); Creation East in Mt. Union, Penn. (6/30); Sonshine in Willmar, Minn.(7/14); Creation Northwest in George, Wash. (7/27); Spirit West Coast in Monterey, Calif. (8/3) and Rock the Desert in Midland, Texas (8/11). Each of the six finalists will be filmed playing live on stage with Kutless for “Somewhere in the Sky” and the tapes of those performances will be posted at at the conclusion of all the festivals for 10-day public voting period. The grand prize winner will receive the PRS SC250 guitar, autographed by the band and valued at more than $3,000. Runners up will receive various prizes ranging from a PRS SE Custom to Kutless/PRS apparel. “In the course of this promotion, more than 150,000 music fans will be cheering for our six finalists live in concert and countless thousands more will watch and vote for the videos online. PRS Guitars is thrilled to be a part of a project of this magnitude. We know it will be exciting, rewarding and a lot of fun; we can’t wait to get it underway," says Jack Higginbotham, President of PRS Guitars. Kutless guitarists James Mead and Nick DePartee play an extensive collection of PRS guitars including the Custom 22, Custom 24, Singlecut Trem, Standard 24, Singlecut, Singlecut Satin and Hollowbody II. The Kutless players are part of an impressive roster of touring musicians who have helped make PRS Guitars a premier guitar maker alongside Gibson and Fender. Other well-known PRS Guitar players include Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down; Tim Mahoney of 311; Billy Martin of Good Charlotte, Brad Delson of Linkin Park, Jason Truby of P.O.D. and Noah Henson of Pillar. For all the details and contest rules and regulations, visit (from Spinhouse PR)

Fireflight In response to Fireflight's incredible performance at last Decembers Christmas Rock Night in Germany, they have been asked back to play four spring festivals next week in Europe. They will be playing the Springtime Festival in Switzerland, Maiday Fest and Himmelfahrt Festival in Germany and Kristfest in Croatia. They leave Sunday for a week, and will be playing alongside Kutless, Blindside, John Reuben, Bethany Dillon and the legendary Larry Norman as part of these European spring festivals. Fireflight is also playing 14 major Christian festivals this summer, including main stage at Cornerstone Bushnell, on Wednesday June 27th at 7:30pm. For more on Fireflight, visit (from Night Vision)

Natalie Grant Gospel Music Channel’s original reality special, “Natalie Grant’s Special Delivery,” premieres this Mother’s Day weekend! Catch the special Saturday, May 12 at 8 pm, and again on Sunday, May 13 at 9 pm (all times Eastern and Pacific). The nation's only 24-hour, all Gospel/Christian music television network, Gospel Music Channel cameras trailed GMA’s reigning Female Vocalist of the Year for months, capturing a glimpse into Natalie’s life as she prepared for motherhood. The cameras were rolling for a behind-the-scenes look at Natalie on tour and in the studio, and GMC was there on February 16 when Grace Ana and Isabella Noelle entered the world— changing Natalie’s life forever! (from Turning Point PR)

Gospel Music Channel today announced a nationwide search for music videos from undiscovered and unsigned talent across all genres of Gospel and Christian music. If the videos are submitted properly and meet the network’s criteria, they will be showcased one of several ways:
  • On TV: Gospel Music Channel’s new original series The Kitchen Sink will feature Hometown Gospel segments each week. This new weekly entertainment series will be seen Saturdays at 8:00 pm ET/PT, premiering in August. After their premieres in The Kitchen Sink, the videos will run as stand-alone Hometown Gospel segments throughout the network’s schedule.
  • On-Line: Accepted videos will be available for viewing and downloading at Gospel Music Channel’s web site (
  • On-Demand Nationally: Accepted videos will be made available as part of GMC’s National Video-On-Demand (VOD) package.
  • On-Demand Locally: While some videos will be seen nationally, still others will be made available in their hometowns via the local VOD content provided by their local cable provider.
    “This is not a contest; we want to showcase the country’s untapped Gospel and Christian talent on TV, on the web and on-demand. And if the videos go through our screening process properly and meet our criteria – we will,” commented GMC vice president of production, Rex Humbard. “Gospel and Christian music cuts across all musical genres: Soul, Country, Rock, Hip-Hop, Pop, Traditional and Praise & Worship. We want them all; if there’s Polka Gospel, we want to see it!” Directions and guideline for entrants are posted on the Gospel Music Channel website (from Spinhouse PR)

    *Thursday, May 10th, 2007* - AFTERNOON UPDATE

    Family Force 5 Crunk-rockers Family Force 5 are among the nominees on Yahoo! Music's "Who's Next" May contest promotion. The much-coveted voting program is fueled by the fan's favorite picks, with each of the four rock-based contestants being showcased to the public via video, audio, and text. Family Force 5 joins the competition that includes The Almost, Kaiser Chiefs, and Electric Soft Parade for the month-long run of online voting. The band who receives the most votes by May 31st will tape an exclusive performance and interview at the Yahoo! Music studios in Los Angeles. They will also be featured for a full month online upon winning. Past winners have included My Chemical Romance, Hawthorne Heights, Relient K, Eisley, and Hinder. 2007 has already been a whirlwind for Family Force 5 including last month's performance on the 38th Annual Dove Award telecast, as well as a nod in the "Rock Album of the Year" category. They'll continue to blanket the country on various tours including a run on this summer's Vans Warped Tour, of which they'll play 27 dates on the Volcum Stage. They are also confirmed on all the major summer music festivals including Creation East, Cornerstone Festival, Creation West, Ichthus, and Spirit West Coast. Family Force 5's media exposure has included performances on CBS TV's The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, two performances on DIRECTV's CD USA, and music video play on Christian radio has responded as well with two #1 rock radio hits "Replace Me" and "Love Addict." 2006 tour highlights include Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour and Van?s Warped Tour. Fans can anticipate a one-hour "Front Row Live" performance special on the Gospel Music Channel to air later this month on May 19th. The band's current release Business Up Front, Party In The Back: Diamond Edition (March 20th), includes three new songs and expanded packaging added to the original 2006 album. The Diamond Edition debuted on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart at #12. The album has now sold over 60,000 copies since release. Led by front man and guitarist Solomon Olds (aka Soul Glow Activator), Family Force 5 includes Solomon?s two brothers Jacob Olds (aka Crouton) on drums/vocal, and his twin Joshua Olds (aka Fatty) on bass/vocals. The force of five is rounded out by Nathan Currin (aka Nadaddy) on keyboard and Derek Mount (aka Chap Stique) on guitar. Click here NOW to cast your vote for Family Force 5! (from LB PR)

    *Thursday, May 10th, 2007*

    Mark Schultz On Monday, platinum selling, Dove Award winning recording artist, Mark Schultz, began an ACROSS AMERICA bike ride to raise support for orphans and widows. With his back tire sitting in the cool waves of the Pacific Ocean at Newport Beach, Schultz began his first day logging 84 miles thus far on the trip from California to New Hampshire. Although the day started rather sublime, the ride become progressively difficult at Schultz found himself riding through 40 mile-per-hour winds, up steep inclines and in 90-degree heat. “That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life,” says Schultz. “Coming up on those last eight miles I think I pulled over about every two miles and I just yelled at myself, ‘You can do this! You CAN do this!” Mark will be posting daily video blogs documenting his journey. Day one’s video blog outlines his day from sun-up to sundown and gives fans and supporters of the cause a first hand look at Mark on the road. He will also be stopping along the way to perform concerts featuring music from his acclaimed best-selling album, Broken & Beautiful (Word Records). More information about the Across America ride, including tour dates, video blog updates, and Mark’s progress can be found at Local media covering the start of the journey came out Monday morning to speak with Schultz before he embarked on his trek. An interview with Schultz by the Orange County Register about his motivation for the journey and how he prepared for this two-month trip can be found at Schultz’s inspiration to make this 3,500-mile ride came from a visit he and his wife, Kate, made to orphanages in Mexico. In the spring of 2006, they went on a mission trip with The James Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Family Christian Stores, to meet the needs of orphans and widows in distress. Schultz’s own adoption drew him to explore this ministry. Seeing firsthand the harsh realities for many orphans and realizing that he could have easily been one of the boys in the orphanage, he wanted to make a difference. Schultz’s fifth career project, Broken & Beautiful, which released last fall and debuted in the Top 5 on SoundScan’s Christian and Top 10 on the general market retail charts, marked the strongest street week of his career. After the 2005 release, Mark Schultz Live…A Night of Stories & Songs, sold Platinum and garnered Schultz his first GMA Dove award, Broken & Beautiful became one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. With his thought provoking lyrics and appealing music, Schultz’s latest effort is being heralded as his “career” album. The title track is the first multi-format hit single and No. 1 inspirational song from the album. Lauded at No. 1 on Billboard’s “Hot Christian Adult Contemporary Songwriters” list and with eight No. 1 hits, Schultz has been honored with a 2005 Dove Award, was the centerpiece of the U.S. Army campaign “Letters From War,” was named Christian Music Today’s Male Vocalist in 2003, and was featured on the national magazine program, “48 Hours.” (from Hoganson Media)

    Britt Nicole Up and coming recording artist Britt Nicole will release her highly-anticipated debut project, Say It, on May 22, 2007 through Sparrow Records/EMI CMG Distribution. The first single, “You,” from Say It recently debuted at #30 on R&R's AC Monitored chart and has already hit # 17 on R&R's CHR chart and #22 on CRW’s CHR chart. Through her upcoming release, on which all songs were written or co-written by Britt, the newly-signed Sparrow artist reveals her heart for this generation as it resonates on the album with her edgy sound and timeless message. “Say It is basically my answer to God’s call to be real and share who I am with others - imperfections and all,” says Britt. Say It features a fresh, high-energy blend of hip-hop, reggae, pop and rock mixed with Britt’s impeccable vocals and compelling lyrics. From the upbeat tunes, “Holiday” or “Good Day,“ which uncover Britt’s energetic side and breath of fresh air message, to the deep and challenging lyrics of “Set The World On Fire” and “When She Cries,” Say It boasts an impressive, solid musical and lyrical quality. "We are incredibly excited to have Britt Nicole as a part of the Sparrow Records family,” states Peter York, president, EMI CMG Label Group. “With her depth of ministry, heart for young people and through her own life experiences, Britt has a great deal to say. We're honored as her label family, to be the vehicle to help communicate her message through this amazing new project. I believe Say It will be a welcomed addition to many record collections and iPods as fans embrace her unique brand of pop music. We have high goals for Britt and her career, as we've already seen the impact her music is having in America and around the world." Co-produced by Double Dutch (Josiah Bell & Robert Marvin) and Tedd T, Say It features 11-tracks that are packed with Natasha Bedingfield and Gwen Stefani-like anthems brought to life by Britt’s satisfyingly soulful vocals. The first radio single, “You,” which is quickly climbing multiple radio charts with its catchy-unforgettable melody, encourages listeners to look no further than to God for all their needs. With precise craftsmanship and a mature depth, Britt, who regularly works with her own church youth group, tackles issues plaguing this generation, such as divorce and insecurity; giving her listeners a deep yet fresh perspective on life. “It’s about different issues…it’s about writing things that really mean something to me, many from personal experience, in order to bring hope and change to others in their own lives,” Britt said. In addition to her upcoming release, Britt was recently a featured artist on the 2007 WinterJam Tour, sharing the stage with a number of highly respected Christian artists such as Jeremy Camp, Hawk Nelson, Sanctus Real, Newsong, and Steven Curtis Chapman. The tour garnered a strong audience response and a great deal of attention from fans being drawn quickly to Britt and songs from the new project. A sneak-peak preview of Britt’s song “Indestructible” can also be heard on the WOW Next 2007 CD, available at Christian bookstores nationwide. (from L.A.B. Media)

    Chris Rice Joining the company of artists such as James Blunt, Keith Urban and Kelly Clarkson last year at mainstream Adult Contemporary radio with his first Top 10 single (“When Did You Fall In Love With Me”), Chris Rice continues to head in a fresh direction with his upcoming studio release, What A Heart Is Beating For, hitting stores July 17th on INO/eb+flo Records. After more than a decade in the music business that brought Dove Awards, sales success and a loyal fan base, the singer/songwriter took a chance with his last album, Amusing, left the security of his longtime label home, partnered with friend/producer Monroe Jones to become co-owner in the innovative imprint eb+flo and joined forces with INO Records. “I’m more excited about these songs on the project than ever,” says Rice. “I feel like they’ve taken me as a writer into new territory that allowed me to explore different aspects of my own writing and thinking. There aren’t constraints on it. There aren’t lines in the coloring book that I have to stay in. I get to put on the page whatever I want. It’s freedom I can’t describe. I still love God, but He’s given me a new coloring book.” Well known for such hits as “Deep Enough to Dream,” “Clumsy” and “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus),” Rice has built a solid career penning literate, colorful lyrics then bringing them to life with his warm, compelling voice. Rice’s last album found him delving deeper into matters of the heart. What emerged was a surprisingly romantic soul with the ability to write songs that made women sigh and men smile knowingly. If Amusing revealed his ability to tap more broadly into the range of human experience, then What a Heart is Beating For takes that even further. “Sneakin’ Into Heaven” is quintessential Chris Rice and is making its way to Christian radio as the first single. The song is musically engaging with an upbeat, impossible to resist melody, yet the lyric is deep and spiritually profound. “The whole song started with the concept of borrowing someone else’s halo,” explains Rice. “I just had this image stuck in my head of borrowing someone else’s halo and then just seeing kind of the universal truth behind that. None of us are good enough to be there. We all get there by borrowing someone else’s perfection.” The follow-up single to the No. 7 mainstream AC hit that remained on the chart for more than six months will be “Lemonade,” which is perhaps the ultimate optimist anthem. The lyric is bursting with visuals of a beautiful sky and the fruits of a positive attitude. We’ve all heard the adage about making lemonade out of lemons, but Rice turns the cliché into a buoyant song that celebrates the resiliency and joy of the human spirit. “What a Heart is Beating For” was produced by Monroe Jones. The title song is a prime example of their creative chemistry. The track soars and swells as the music underscores the poignancy in Rice’s lyric. “It says just take a deep breath and throw open the door, that’s what the heart is beating for,” Rice says. “You are alive and your heart is beating so you can take these risks. Whether it’s romantically and you are connected to somebody and give your whole self to them or whether it’s seeing someone in need. That’s what your heart is beating for, that’s why you are alive.” Rice continues, “It’s my faith that is compelling me to expand, grow and change. I’m doing this because of how vital and vibrant and important my faith is in affecting every area of my life and affecting how I live my life on the road. I’m living it out in a new way. The success of ‘When Did You Fall?’ has set me free to do even more of that kind of writing, that kind of music without any hesitations. I have no hesitation in my mind, my heart or my gut.” (from The M Collective)

    Lifehouse "First Time," the lead single off Lifehouse's upcoming album, Who We Are, is released on iTunes yesterday. The song is a fond look back at the excitement of the initial rush of romance. "It just felt urgent, like a first kiss, a first love," says Jason. "Like the first time you realize there's more to that relationship than you thought. I had to dig a little for that one, but I find myself at a place where I can write stuff that's a little deeper than your average love song in terms of emotion." Who We Are releases from Geffen Records on May 22. (from Lifehouse)

    delirious The UK-based, globally relevant band Delirious? recently completed its 26 U.S. city Worship Revolution Tour with EMI /Forefront’s Rebecca St. James and EMI-Sparrow Record’s Vicky Beeching (also from the UK). On the Worship Revolution Tour, Delirious? performed songs from its most recent, five-star rated DVD-CD, Now Is The Time: Live At Willow Creek. The recording has been compared in quality to productions by U2 and Coldplay and carries on the band’s tradition of globally relevant music. In fact, Delirious? is considered to be the galvanizing force that changed the face of worship internationally, with “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?,” “Majesty” and more modern anthems that are sung in worship services around the world. Well-known worldwide, Delirious? was honored last month by the Gospel Music Association with its second International Award presented at the 38th Annual Dove Awards ceremony held before a packed industry audience at the Grand Ole Opry House, April 25. The International Award honors a performer or organization from outside of the U.S. that has made an impact not just in his or her own country, but also on the world at large. Known for its compelling live performance, 2006 went on record as the boldest year yet for the fivesome as the band traveled to 25 countries, including Asia, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Australia. Having played live for 13-years with the same band members intact, Delirious? has closed for the Pope in front of a million people in Germany, played for 1.2 million in India, toured with Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams and more. In addition to its worldwide impact, sometimes the mission Delirious? shares also means tackling the difficult issues. In “Our God Reigns” featured on the new live recording, the band deals with the subject of social injustice, particularly A.I.D.S., abortion and the constant focus of Western culture on self-improvement and materialism. Traveling the globe to inspire music lovers world wide, Delirious? continues to carry on the tradition of spiritually challenging lyrics, while pointing people to see the wonders of what God has done for them. More information about Delirious? can be found at (from Hoganson Media)

    Chasing Victory With their newest album Fiends streeting Tuesday, Mono Vs Stereo band Chasing Victory has been added to Fuse TV’s online new music section “The Worm." This 24-hour music video television station’s site receives over 500,000 hits a month. In addition, the album release kicks off with Chasing Victory playing three release show events in their respective hometowns. Yesterday the five-piece band played to a sold-out crowd in Columbus, GA with nearly another 75 fans turned away at the door. Tonight finds Chasing Victory playing to Auburn, AL concert-goers, and then a final hometown release show in Albany, GA on the 10th. Fans attending the Columbus and Auburn dates get into the show for free with receipt of CD purchase from either Best Buy or Hastings stores. In Albany, a receipt for a pre-order of the new CD from Best Buy will get them in for free as well. The band will then go on to play the Cornerstone, FL festival and continue their road trek with label mates The Showdown and Tooth & Nail band Showbread. Fiends is the follow-up to 2006’s, I Call This Abandonment. The dichotomy of hard-edged guitars and brute vocals is seamlessly balanced by the soaring melodies from the band which is Adam Harrell (vocals), Mike Lamb (guitar), Jeremy Lowery (drums), Chris Cargile (guitar), and Chris Crutchfield (bass). With musical comparisons to Underoath, Deftones and My Chemical Romance, Chasing Victory burns up the touring circuit i.e. last year’s 220 shows with acts like Stretch Arm Strong, Project 86, and The Devil Wears Prada. For full tour date listings, check out the band’s official myspace artist website at (from LB PR)

    *Wednesday, May 9th, 2007*

    Kutless Longtime Kutless guitarist Ryan Shrout has decided to leave the band. recently made this official announcement... "After nearly 8 years of playing music together a new journey awaits for both Ryan Shrout and Kutless. Ryan has chosen to leave the band and will be pursuing other interests near his home in Vancouver, WA. We believe that there is a time and season for everything, and we thank Ryan for his dedication to this band and the hard work that he has put into this ministry. We applaud his dedication to his family and God’s calling in his life and we, as Kutless, wish him all the best as he continues to serve our Lord." Shrout released a personal letter to the fans which can be found at (from Kutless;; Special thanks to Jared P.)

    Israel and New Breed With more than 3,000 gospel music industry artists, songwriters and executives gathered in Nashville for GMA Music Week, Integrity Music honored another milestone for GRAMMY, Dove and Stellar Award winning Gospel group Israel & New Breed as their latest project, Alive in South Africa, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Israel & New Breed also received a Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song later in the week for "Turn It Around" from Alive in South Africa. On hand for the gold-record celebration for lead singer/producer/ writer Israel Houghton were Danny McGuffey, Chief Marketing Officer for Integrity Media; John Styll, President of the Gospel Music Association; Israel Houghton; Don Moen, President of Integrity Music and John Coleman, Vice President, Integrity Label Group. (from Spinhouse PR)

    Derek Webb Leading the Christian music industry with radical new ideas, INO singer/songwriter Derek Webb again turns heads with his fourth solo project, The Ringing Bell, released May 1. As the title suggests, The Ringing Bell is a collection that sounds clearly through the noise of the day, beckoning some, and warning others. It’s a call to meaningful conversations and it’s a great time. It injects songs into the cultural bloodstream that will move listeners to reflection and action while moving their feet. “I felt like there was more to say about the subject [peace], “ says Webb. I wanted to get further into the nuances of it. This is too important of a moment historically to not say more about the idea of peace. It’s right in my face at all times if I claim to be at all concerned with anything that Jesus ever said.” As Webb’s album became available to the public last week, the innovative songwriter is once again giving his fans a way to experience his music (and more) via electronic communication. After giving away over 80,000 free download of his Mockingbird album online last fall, Webb recently launched, The Ringing, a place where fans and friends can go to hear some of the songs from the project, or place an order receiving the album and a bonus book. The book is a 96-page limited edition graphic novel, featuring complete lyrics and original artwork inspired by the record. (from The M Collective)

    The Rocket Summer Yeah, we reported on this yesterday, but here's the official press release... Fans of Island Records’ The Rocket Summer will have their prayers answered this summer with the release Do You Feel, the third full-length CD and first major label album release for TRS. The album is set to arrive in stores on July 17th, preceded by “So Much Love,” the first Island single by TRS. In addition, on May 22 a four song EP will be for sale at iTunes. The EP will consist of the single, an exclusive acoustic track and two cuts from Do You Feel. In advance of the album release, The Rocket Summer will be on the road starting May 5th at the Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey’s Meadowlands. The date segues into a 20-city cross-country tour with mtvU’s Drive Thru favorites Hellogoodbye, opening down the road in Newark on May 8th, ending June 2nd-4th with a 3-night stand at the Anaheim House of Blues in Hellogoodbye’s native Orange County. After a run of solo dates, TRS joins the Vans Warped Tour extravaganza for the second half of the North American itinerary, from July 25th (Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD) through August 25th (Home Depot Center in Carson, CA). Do You Feel marks the well-deserved major label arrival of Bryce Avary, the frontman, songwriter and multi-instrumental mastermind of The Rocket Summer. The phenomenally gifted Texas-bred 24-year old rock visionary composed, arranged, produced, sang, and performed every instrumental part on Do You Feel as well as his two indie albums and self-released debut EP, and has gathered one of the most rapturous cult followings in modern rock. In 1999, after playing local shows for a couple years, teen-aged Bryce recorded his low-budget self-titled EP, The Rocket Summer. Calendar Days was recorded in 2002, and released in 2003 by The Militia Group. The grassroots following exploded as TRS toured relentlessly, climaxed by a warm reception in Japan. TRS tourmates during 2003-4 read included: Relient K, Something Corporate, Cartel and more. Hello, Good Friend, recorded in Brooklyn with producer Tim O’Hier, was released in 2005, as the fan base continued to grow. “The TRS family,” as Bryce refers to the fans, “are absolutely the most amazing people. I don’t know what I would do without them… It’s definitely been a load of very hard work, but getting to hang out with new people, make music, play shows with other bands that love music, it’s awesome.” (from LB PR)

    Willie Will’s first music video off his debut Beatmart Recordings album, Reflection, premieres online on from May 9 (TODAY) until its world broadcast premiere on Gospel Music Channel on May 26. Reflection (Provident-Integrity Distribution/SONY BMG) will be in stores June 5, 2007. In addition to the “Shine” music video, Beatmart is set to release a Willie Will devotional video series titled The Reflection Devotionals featuring fourteen episodes, one for each track on the upcoming album. The award-winning northwest rapper will be sharing his heart and the biblical inspirations behind each track in an effort to strengthen the effectiveness and reach of his ministry. ‘“Shine” is a mandate to God’s people to fulfill the mission that he’s given us; to be a light to the world,” says Willie Will. “I wrote this to somewhat eradicate the notion that each individual has to ‘save’ the world for God. If they’d just be a light to those that are around them, God would be pleased.” The Seattle, Washington local developed a following in the northwest with three solo releases, demonstrated by the five awards he took home from the 2006 Northwest Music Awards for Best Single, Best Album, Best Collaboration, Best Video, and 2006 Northwest Pioneer. Beatmart Recordings A&R and producer Todd Collins says Willie Will brings a unique blend of hood life reality mixed with the heart of a soldier to the diverse roster of the premier Christian hip-hop label. “I believe Reflection is set to gain the same widespread appeal and reception of Soul P. and Pettidee’s latest creations, The Premiere and Thug Love.” Click here to watch the “Shine” video from May 9 NOON ET: (from Recah PR)

    *Tuesday, May 8th, 2007*

    Sanctus Real 2006’s most played artist at CHR radio (R&R), Sanctus Real, continues its string of hits with its fifth No. 1 song, “Don’t Give Up,” and it’s second No. 1 from its critically acclaimed and fan favorite album, The Face of Love. The song landed on top of both the R&R and CRW CHR charts last week and follows the multi-format hits, “The Face of Love” and “I’m Not Alright.” “‘Don’t Give Up’ really connects with people of all ages and backgrounds that are struggling with relationships, jobs and just the pursuit of everyday life,” says Sanctus Real front man, Matt Hammitt. “The song was inspired by close friends of ours that made difficult decisions to end their marriages. I’m not here to judge those decisions, but as a band we want to be a voice for lasting love and commitment in a world where breaking vows is as common as taking them.” Sanctus Real will be playing all three of its hits from The Face of Love, as well as fan favorites spanning it’s three national studio releases, as the band continues it’s headline “The Face of Love” tour featuring NEEDTOBREATHE and This Beautiful Republic. The tour launched before a packed audience during Gospel Music Week in Nashville, April 23, and featured special guests Jon Foreman (Switchfoot frontman) and Future of Forestry (show review w/ photos here). The tour continues to travel to venues across the Southeast and Midwest. For all the latest tour updates, see In addition to its touring, Sanctus Real is becoming known for its charitable work. Due to Sanctus Real's continued involvement in African Leadership’s Mocha Club, the band was recently a part of sending seven tons of relief supplies to Darfur, Sudan. To see the Darfurians’ reaction after they received the supplies, click here. Sanctus Real members began working with African Leadership last summer after realizing the incredible need in Africa. One of the top Christian rock bands today, Sanctus Real’s The Face of Love was inspired by real-life heartache and rediscovered joy. Embraced by fans, the album jumped back on the Billboard Top 200 in December after releasing April 2006 and landed at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. The album’s first single, “I’m Not Alright,” became 2006’s No. 1 and No. 5 hit song respectively on the CRW and R&R yearend Christian Rock charts after spending six full weeks at No. 1 and becoming the band’s first MTVu video. (from Hoganson Media;

    DecembeRadio Slanted Records rock band DecembeRadio is scheduled to perform during the premiere of Evan Almighty, which hits theatres on June 22nd. Starring Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman, the film, billed as a sequel to the successful Bruce Almighty (2003), will enjoy a Hollywood preview along with a Rock the Boat concert event to be held on Monday, June 11th, at 7:00 pm, at Universal’s Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, Calif. DecembeRadio will be featured at the Rock the Boat event along with artists Switchfoot, Jeremy Camp and Relient K. On the heels of a busy GMA Music Week in Nashville, Tenn., DecembeRadio appeared last week on the nationally syndicated “Rick & Bubba Show,” where they talked about their hit single and DOVE-nominated Song of the Year “Drifter” as well as their current tour-the Generation Rising Tour, which also features Superchick, Krystal Meyers, Group 1 Crew and Nevertheless. The group’s new CHR and AC single, “Least of These,” has already hit the Top 20 chart (R&R) at CHR radio. The new single was officially “retired” last week on the New Music Challenge contest at as it beat out its competition for eight weeks in a row, a feat only accomplished by three other artists throughout the history of the New Music Challenge. The band’s new rock single, “Table,” has just hit the national airwaves as well. DecembeRadio gave a head-turning performance of the rousing rock tune, combined with their cover of the Kansas hit “Carry on My Wayward Son,” at this year’s Big Hits Luncheon, sponsored by Word Distribution, during GMA Music Week in Nashville. DecembeRadio’s momentum continues to grow as they moved up again this past week on iTunes, landing at #19 on the sales chart, following their win at the GMA Dove Awards for Rock Album of the Year. The Rock the Boat concert will be a benefit for Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat has built more than 225,000 houses around the world, providing more than one million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. Tickets for the Rock the Boat concert are now available at the amphitheater box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or by calling 714-740-2000, 213-480-3232 or 818-777-3931. Tickets for reserved seating are $15. Group tickets are $15.00 as well with a special offer of “5 free with purchase of 15 or more.” Group tickets can only be purchased at the amphitheater box office or by calling 818-622-3847. To preview the movie, visit: (from Spinhouse PR)

    Tait Michael Tait recently posted a blog online to update fans on what's happening with his long anticipated third release, Loveology. Michael writes, "Yes I've been working on a new record for a couple of years now titled Loveology that will be more of a pop record. I've consciously left the rock thing behind and changed styles a bit … the sound can be described as Stevie Wonder meets Maroon 5 meets Lenny Kravitz … sort of a groovy pop sound. It's my dream record – I've always felt that I've had a voice and a calling for the pop world. I've been working (producing and cowriting) with Ben Moody, best known from the band Evanescense but he has also produced acts like Kelly Clarkson, Lindsey Lohan, Tommy Lee and Avril Lavigne. We're also collaborating with David Hodges who toured with Evanescense playing keyboard. In fact this month I'll be recording with them out in L.A., a 4-song demo that will hopefully get the ball rolling for the release of the record. The idea behind Loveology (which literally means the study of love) is that to study love deeply is to study God because God is the greatest example of love one can encounter. The songs aren't so much about the feels or the thrills of "love" but the real love - not puppy love or lust - but to really be a lover of people, really caring about the down and outers I guess you could say. I mean, none of my close friends are known for what they do – I prefer good, honest people over those who are mainly concerned with playing the game and climbing the ladder of success. I don't ever want to lose that wonderment of life, so lately I've really been working at maintaining some normalcy, and taking a step back, really be more introspective. Because I think it's easy to become jaded if you don't have that juxtaposition. And of course, as a songwriter, I write from the time I am at in life. I mean … I guess there are just so many records out there about love and I really want mine to stand out with songs that talk about being real, in a loving, honest way. To me, that's the key to life, and it sometimes hurts and isn't comfortable but at the end of the day it's what makes the world go around. In addition to Loveology, the plan is also to release an 8-song EP to the CCM market, sometime around late fall. There's also a possible movie deal in the works … the thought of which is a little intimidating because I'm not an actor really I'm just a cutup due to being the baby of nine kids, but I don't know that I have actual acting skills. Although I got a taste for it with Hero. Speaking of … as many of you, I was really sad when Hero was canceled in the fall. It broke my heart - so many people wanted to see it and I had such high expectations also. Being in Hero was one of my proudest moments, I enjoyed the fact it was done in such a creative way but still gets the message across. Hopefully it will be back. As far as Tait shows, I'll be doing a few dates here and there but no big tours until the records come out … but then I'll probably be everywhere, ha!" More to come from Michael! Stay tuned... (from Michael Tait;

    The Rocket Summer “There’s a common theme on my records,” says Bryce Avary, the frontman, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist behind The Rocket Summer. “It’s about wanting to do greater things for the world, and not just trying to be a rock’n’roll star. I have my own issues, of course, but these songs are about overcoming that and wanting to do something greater with your life.” Talk with Avary for even five minutes and you’ll discover a young man who is the complete opposite of today’s rock star. He’s confident, but humble. Do You Feel, his third full-length record and first major label release, is similar to his previous work in that he wrote and performed the entire album himself. It’s sunny pop, punk rock guitars and a cavalcade of pianos. The band's last two independent albums shipped a combined total of more than 80,000 units. The Rocket Summer just completed a 37-date national tour with Early November, and will head out in May with Hello Goodbye, followed by the Warped Tour all summer long. Do You Feel releases on Universal on July 17. (from EMI CMG;

    *Friday, May 4th, 2007*

    MxPx MXPX have returned to Tooth & Nail records for their eighth studio album, Secret Weapon. Set for release July 17, the album is full of the highly-charged, infectious anthems that have made the punk/pop trio scene favorites and boasts a smattering of adventurous, classic pop-inspired winners that take MXPX into new territory. Look for MXPX to give fans a taste of the new songs as they headline the Tooth & Nail tour--now in its third year—which began yesterday (May 1) in Seattle and criss-crosses America before wrapping June 11 in Salt Lake City. The new album reunites MXPX--Mike Herrera (bass/vocals), Tom Wisniewski (guitars) and Yuri Ruley (drums)--with Aaron Sprinkle, who produced the band's first album (Pokinatcha) and went on to work with artists such as Pedro The Lion, Anberlin, Eisley, Emery and The Almost. The incendiary, attention-grabbing first single and album opener “Secret Weapon” features a guitar solo from Bad Religion’s Brian Baker and also finds MxPx wielding its infamous, optimistic tack. “We’ve always been a band that’s tried to focus on the positive side of life,” acknowledges Herrera. “But we try to do it in a way that’s real to people and not cheesy. We kind of embrace the dismal and the uplifting at the same time. And ‘Secret Weapon,’ the song and the album, sums up where MXPX is right now.” MXPX finds the perfect balance of dichotomy and consistency on Secret Weapon from “Shut It Down”--a blistering homage to The Clash replete with soaring choruses, thundering drums and a vocal cameo from Sugarcult’s Tim Pagnotta--to the riotous, 90-second circle-pit anthem of “Contention,” as well as the stellar harmonies that elevate the lush, Beach Boys-inspired “Sad Sad Song” with guest John Davis, formerly of Superdrag on piano and backing vocals. After a decade and a half in operation, MXPX has now sold over 2.4 million records worldwide. Founded in July 1992 by Herrera and Ruley, the Bremerton, Washington-bred band’s line-up has remained constant since Wisniewski joined in 1995. The band has amassed a series of alternative radio and video favorites like “Punk Rawk Show,” “Chick Magnet,” “Move To Bremerton,” “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” and “Running Out Of Time” over seven extremely popular studio albums, an array of EPs, plus a live disc and a DVD. Returning to Tooth & Nail--a label now running circles around the conglomerates when it comes to getting rock albums on the charts by the likes of Underoath, Anberlin and The Almost--made perfect sense for its glimmering but tenacious eighth album. “It’s no secret that years ago we had a pretty well-publicized falling out with them but it’s been a long time and things have healed,” TOM says. “We sort of picked up where we left off.” Fresh off the completion of an amicable deal with respected indie SideOneDummy, MXPX began seriously considering label founder Brandon Ebel’s offer to rejoin the label. From the explosive closer “Tightly Wound,” which boasts a guest contribution by Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, to the upbeat punch of “Here’s To The Life,” the men in MXPX--who were handed the Keys To The City of Bremerton last year--have delivered the strongest record of its career. (from MSO PR)

    JoC For the first time in Jars of Clay, history the guys are making available for download the multitracks for one of their songs. The song of subject is "Dead Man (Carry Me)" off the band's latest album, Good Monsters. "It is our hope that you will re-mix, re-create, re-edit, re-configure, and realize what you will with these parts in coming up with your own versions," the guys announced online this week. "Check out some mixes created by fellow fans here. All 26 tracks here are 16 bit 44.1kHz WAV files ready for re-mixing. There is no cost for you to download the tracks. (note: all multitracks are copyrighted material) So, download and have some fun making your own mixes. Let the fun begin here!" (from Jars Of Clay)

    Newsboys Following the success of newsboys: remixed in 2002, and on the heels of their latest hit record GO, comes a new remix album from newsboys, Go | Remixed, in stores May 8. “I have always loved remix CDs,” says singer Peter Furler. “They’re like one of those TV makeover shows: you give the words and melody a new jacket and shoes, the rhythm a nip n’ tuck, and send it out on the dance floor.” Including radio hits “Wherever We Go,” and “Something Beautiful,” the songs on Go | Remixed are the imaginative work of producers Tedd T. (MuteMath, newsboys, tobymac, Rebecca St. James, Stacie Orrico, ZOEgirl), Max Hsu (Superchick, tobymac, VeggieTales, ThumpMonks), Lee Bridges (India.Are) and Jeff Frankenstein of newsboys. The overwhelming response to this spring’s 2007 “GO” tour recently led newsboys to extend concert dates into the fall, bringing along tour mates Kutless and introducing new Inpop act newworldson. The spring leg sold more than 120,000 tickets. Additional information and concert dates are forthcoming for this fall’s leg. (from Savvy Media)

    Bethany Dillon Eighteen-year- old Christian singer/songwriter Bethany Dillon's latest album Waking Up is now featured in the Verizon Wireless OTA and V Cast Music Store "What's New" folders in company with other new sets from Joss Stone and Corinne Bailey Rae. Using the Verizon Wireless online shop, select users can easily download music straight to their cell phone. Learn more here. (from Sparrow Records)

    Big Idea Big Idea, Inc., home to the world’s most popular faith-based kids’ VeggieTales brand, accepted the Dove Award for the 2007 Gospel Music Association (GMA) Children’s Music Album of the Year for VeggieTales Worship Songs. Its 7th Dove Award to date and 6th Dove nod for Children’s Music Album of the Year, VeggieTales received the award during the 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards April 25 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. “This has been a great year for VeggieTales,” expressed Big Idea COO Terry Pefanis. “And we are extremely grateful to the Gospel Music Association not only for this award, but for their continued support of Big Idea and our mission.” VeggieTales characters Bob and Larry also joined Word Records’ Nicole C. Mullen to present the awards for the “2007 GMA/Christian Music Broadcasters Radio Stations of the Year” during the live Dove show. Winners were announced in major, large, medium and small market categories. All of the festivities can be seen when the show begins airing in national syndication in May. Additionally, Big Idea was honored earlier in the week as this year’s recipient of the Grady Nutt Humor Award, one of the Gospel Music Association’s prestigious Special Awards. The awards ceremony, which kicked off GMA Week 2007, took place Monday, April 23 as part of the Monday Morning Live! event at the Nashville Convention Center. Graciously accepting the award on behalf of Big Idea was COO Terry Pefanis and VeggieTales co-creator and voice of the infamous “Larry the Cucumber” Mike Nawrocki. “This is an exciting time for us at Big Idea,” said Nawrocki. “And we want to genuinely thank all of our supporters who have stood behind Big Idea and have encouraged us to carry on with our mission to enhance the spiritual and moral fabric of society through creative media.” The Grady Nutt Humor Award was established in memory of the late Grady Nutt, one of TV’s beloved “Hee Haw” stars of many years and friend to Christian Music whose life tragically ended in a plane crash in 1982. This year’s award was given to Big Idea, Inc. in recognition of the company’s outstanding cultural contributions and achievements. In addition to sales of over 50 million videos and seven million albums, episodes of VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins! and LarryBoy Adventures are among the top rated shows on the “qubo” kids programming block seen weekly on NBC, ION and Telemundo. Currently, Big Idea is in production of its second theatrical release, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything - A VeggieTales Movie, slated to hit the big screen in early 2008 from Universal Studios. Attendees at Gospel Music Week in Nashville were treated to a special sneak preview of The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything during the CCN/Renaissance Communications-sponsored “Boot Camp Luncheon.” Furthermore, VeggieTales characters Larry, Pa Grape and Mr. Lunt, affectionately known as the “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” and stars of the upcoming feature film, debuted brand new music from the movie during a live performance at GMA’s Super Tuesday Showcase. Joined by several “pirate” dancers, the group entertained the audience with a high energy performance of the classic “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” followed by the first ever debut of the song “Jolly Joe’s.” The performance concluded with an exciting sneak preview of the Pirate movie. (from Hoganson Media)

    EMI CMG EMI CMG Publishing has just been named the 2007 ASCAP Christian Music Publisher of the Year thanks in part to popular songs from top artists including Chris Tomlin, Sanctus Real, and David Crowder*Band. Tomlin, who recently received his second consecutive Gospel Music Association Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year Dove Awards, won the ASCAP Christian Songwriter of the Year honor and was recognized for having two Top 25 Airplay Awards ("How Great Is Our God," "Made to Worship"). Sanctus Real ("I'm Not Alright," "The Face of Love") and David Crowder*Band ("Wholly Yours") also received Top 25 Airplay Awards as did Nichole Nordeman ("What If") and Matthew West ("Only Grace," "Broken & Beautiful"). In addition, ASCAP honored pioneering Christian rock group DeGarmo & Key with its Vision Award, and the ceremony was highlighted by the band's reunion of original members (including EMI CMG Publishing executive Eddie DeGarmo) and live performance of the classic hits "Boycott Hell" and "Rock Solid." For a complete recap of the 29th Annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards, click here. (from Sparrow Records)

    *Tuesday, May 1st, 2007*

    Red Dove Award-winning, modern rock band, Red, will see its music used nationally by CBS this week in promotional spots for its hit, drama, Without A Trace. The song, “Let Go”, from the band’s GRAMMY-nominated album, End of Silence, will be heard during the mid-day and primetime promo spots through Wednesday, May 9, 2007. Without A Trace airs Sundays, 10 PM ET/PT, on CBS. Fresh off Red’s first-ever Dove Award win at last week’s 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards, Red guitarist, Anthony Armstrong, shares his reaction to CBS having an interest in Red’s music, “We have been so blessed as a band, and now to hear our music being used to promote a show like ‘Without A Trace’ on CBS is so exciting for us. Many thanks to CBS for this amazing opportunity.” Red’s upcoming, national tour with multi-platinum bands, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin and Puddle of Mudd, kicks off Sunday, May 13 in Boston, Mass. and will run through Wednesday, June 27, 2007, wrapping in Bakersfield, Calif. Red will be playing over 15 major Christian festivals throughout the summer of 2007. Check for the latest dates. (from Provident Label Group)

    Sanctus Real Sanctus Real launched their Spring leg of The Face Of Love tour last week in Nashville at the Exit/In with tourmates This Beautiful Republic and Needtobreathe. On the heels of the new tour, guitarist Pete Provost announced the band's Fall tour in a new online blog... "I am very honored to wrap up this journal entry with the great news that we will touring with Steven Curtis Chapman this fall!! We are all very excited about this oppourtunity, and what great things will happen in peoples lives and our own lives throughout this tour!" More details on this tour to come. For our review of the Exit/In GMA performance, click here. (from Sanctus Real;

    Amy Grant EMI CMG Label Group’s Sparrow label has announced that they have signed a world-wide, long term deal with Amy Grant, which will include Grant’s extensive 30 year catalog of recordings, which has sold more than 30 million units, as well as new catalog products. EMI will also have the option of working with Grant to issue new recordings in the future. Initially, 17 titles of Amy Grant’s catalog will be re-mastered and re-released in both physical and all digital formats on August 14th. EMI CMG Label Group and EMI Music Catalog Marketing will also partner with Grant to create a new Greatest Hits package with bonus material spanning her entire career scheduled for October release. As a part of the new agreement, EMI CMG will retain all digital and mobile rights of the catalog, launching a major campaign with all digital and mobile service providers on August 14th. This will mark the first time much of Grant’s vital catalog will be made available in digital formats, and plans also include the simultaneous launch of an aggressive mobile campaign with ring-tunes, ringbacks and more. “This is truly an honor and historic moment for our company and a great day for Amy Grant fans. For the first time, all of Amy’s best selling catalog will be available physically and digitally everywhere consumers want to buy her music. Amy’s life and music has impacted millions of people worldwide including countless members of our own team. We consider it a privilege to carry on Amy’s musical legacy,” said Bill Hearn, President and CEO, EMI Christian Music Group. Products will be available to Christian retail stores through EMI CMG Distribution and general market physical and digital retailers via EMI Music Marketing (EMM). “I have known and respected Bill Hearn and his father, Billy Ray, for over 25 years, but we have never officially worked together,” remarks Grant. “I am so glad that scenario has finally changed. I am excited about the plans EMI has for my music and I am grateful for the amazing job they have done with so many artist catalogs and careers. I am thrilled to be part of the EMI family and look forward to working together for many years.” In addition to her August re-releases, a new definitive Greatest Hits collection, including at least one song from every studio album Grant has recorded, will be released in October. A special edition version will also be available that includes a bonus DVD of Grant’s music videos and other exclusive content. This will be the first collection to include songs from both her early contemporary Christian work as well as her highly successful pop releases. This summer Grant will join husband Vince Gill on tour along with the Del McCoury Band. The 18-date circuit begins July 14 at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre and concludes Sept. 11 at Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho, New Mexico. (from The M Collective)

    Day Of Fire Successful rock band Day of Fire announced additional tour dates yesterday with multi-Platinum American Idol, Chris Daughtry. After selling nearly 150,000 units of their first two releases, this Grammy Award nominated and Dove Award winning band continues to perform their music on the road as a special guest on Dauhtry's tour as well as headlining their own tour throughout the summer. For more information and additional tour dates, visit (from Big Machine Media)

    downhere Following their hectic schedule during Gospel Music week and their on-stage appearance during the Gospel Music Awards, three members of the CCM group, downhere, and their production manager took to the streets of Nashville to run the city’s popular Country Music Marathon, Saturday, April 28th. downhere joined an estimated 30,000 runners from around the world and completed the full marathon of twenty-six miles in the hilly downtown and music row areas, with the finish line at LP Field, the Tennessee Titans stadium. This was Jason Germain’s (guitar/vocalist) first marathon. Jason only started running recently and managed to finish in less than five hours. Jeremy Thiessen (drums) ran the first part of the marathon with his wife and finished the full marathon on his own. This is his second marathon. The Country Music Marathon was Glenn Lavender’s (bass) third marathon. He beat his recent Toronto Marathon time by 40 minutes. For production manager Dave Lewis, this was his first marathon and he finished at 4:24:26. The band members trained for the race while on different tour dates, including their current Wide-Eyed and Mystified tour with Jason Gray, Circleslide, and Sevenglory. As a result of the schedules of the tours, they trained in Canada, England, Scotland, Denmark, Alaska, California, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Ohio, just to name a few. For their training, the group used several books by Jeff Galloway, the U.S. Olympic marathon runner, on his run/walk method. Lavender is already scheduled to run the Goofy Challenge at Disney World in Orlando, FL which consists of running the half marathon on Saturday, January 12, 2008 followed by the full marathon on Sunday, the 13th. He has challenged his fellow band members, family, and fans to join him on either run. (from Bozeman Media)

    toby AT&T/Cingular has launched a new Christian music folder for ringtones! Personalize your phone today with hits from TobyMac, Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, David Crowder*Band, Nichole Nordeman, Rush of Fools, Avalon, Bethany Dillon, and more. Accessing the Ringtones option is easy for AT&T/Cingular users. From your phone, simply click on Media Mall, select “Shop Ringtones” to launch the web browser, scroll down to the “Christian” folder, and find the song that’s best for you. The complete list of new Christian music Ringtones options from AT&T/Cingular is also available here. (from Sparrow Records;

    Third Day Honors were handed out last week at the 38th Annual GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Awards with multi-million-selling, GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning rock band Third Day being recognized as the first artist in Dove Award history to receive Christmas Album of the Year honors for their highly-successful Christmas Offerings project. Going into the night as one of the select group of nominees in the prestigious Artist of the Year category, this award marks the 25th career Dove Award for Third Day. The Atlanta-based rock band was also recognized for their smash hit “Cry Out to Jesus,” written by lead singer Mac Powell, with a nomination in the Song of the Year category. Powell was also recognized with a nomination for Songwriter of the Year. The band is fresh off their third GRAMMY win for the RIAA Gold certified Wherever You Are (11/1/05) in the Pop Contemporary Gospel Album category. From its seven previous nods, the band has been awarded GRAMMYs for both Wire (5/4/2004) and Come Together (10/17/01), each RIAA Certified Gold. 2007 finds Third Day releasing two milestone projects, Chronology, Volume One (1996-2000) which dropped March 27, followed by Chronology, Volume Two which hits retail August 7. (from Provident Label Group)

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