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JFH Music News Archive

October, 2003

*Thursday, October 30th, 2003*

Fono It saddens us to report the following devastating news from Fono as they have suffered a major loss due to the recent firestorm that may have cancelled the band's pending sophomore release... "Some of you may have seen the fires that have swept through southern California and San Diego on the news. During those fires our studio was burned to the ground. We visited the studio yesterday after fires subsided in that area and we have lost everything, the whole studio was ash. We have lost all our band equipment, all our recording equipment and most unfortunately all the masters for the new Fono record. We are all devastated, but glad that our families and friends are all safe and well. In light of this we will be disappearing for a while to regroup. Our hearts go out to all the people who have lost their homes and loved ones to this tragic fire. We appreciate all your support. -Fono" Please keep the guys in your special prayers...

delirious Here's the latest from Delirious? on their brand new release World Service... "With more grunt, drive and shove than the England scrum, the very latest studio album from Delirious is looking good. In fact, it's sounding wonderful, and I'm not just writing that because there's money involved. The truth, whole truth and nothing but is that World Service captures the heart and sound of a band in the middle of something inspirational. Plug into World Service and you'll connect to 12 tracks that will do your heart good. Plug in and you'll see that when life is tough but God is good the soul finds a stronger melody to sing. So, how to get your hands on the album? Well, you can wait for the December 15th release date or you can save some pennies and more than a little anxiety by pre-ordering right now. Not only do you guarantee your copy gets to you first, you also get it for a staggeringly good price. For just £10 you can order the regular-packaged version, but chuck us another couple of quid and we'll ship you the limited edition special packaging version (that'll be £12 if your math is dodgy)." World Service releases to the UK fans on December 15 and the U.S. on February 10th, 2004.

Audio A Audio Adrenaline is releasing their first live DVD next month entitled Alive. The project will be attached to copies of their 2003 record Worldwide starting November 18th. The guys' official site, recently interviewed the band about the DVD. One question asked "Of all the festivals you played during the summer why did you choose the ALIVE festival to film the DVD?" Drummer Ben Cissell replied, “ALIVE is one of the festivals that we truly feel at home. We play it every summer and we always feel extremely welcome. We’ve been friends with Bill and Kathy, who run ALIVE, for years. The set-up is great…how the audience is able to come right up to the stage. Plus, Will is from Ohio and it’s always nice to be able to play near our hometowns.” When asked about if the band is planning a Spring tour, the site replied "Audio Adrenaline will not be on a tour. There will be concerts on the weekends, but during the week the band will be IN THE STUDIO…" Well that's music to our ears!

Smalltown Poets We reported last week that Smalltown Poets have finally resurfaced. Well, BEC Recordings have released this official statement..... Change and progression takes time. In the case of Smalltown Poets, the exact time has lapsed six years from their self-titled debut release in 1997 to their upcoming BEC Recordings debut coming early this 2004. In those six years the Georgia natives, whose original members met in high school, have completed three albums, scanning over 250,000 copies, received nominations for two Grammy Awards, seven Dove Awards, and created ten Top 10 singles. In the time since, Smalltown Poets has taken on new members with Alex Peterson taking on bass and Troy Stains at guitar joining already existing members Michael Johnston and Matt Goldman. But the newest change is in their label home. In the summer of 2003, Smalltown inked a deal with BEC Recordings joining new labelmates like Jeremy Camp, Seven Places, and Telecast. “I don’t see anyone else that thinks outside the box and allows for artistic freedom like Brandon Ebel has with BEC Recordings and Tooth & Nail,” explains Michael Johnston of the band’s decision. “As we get to share our musical vision more in the coming days, we anticipate BEC Recordings to be the perfect place to be the interface between our songs and music lovers. We sense an excitement at our new label home, about the band and getting the word out about our new music. Our goal is to connect with more people and feed the souls of music lovers with good songs. We love the fact that BEC has the ability to broaden the potential of our music in many ways throughout the marketplace. We look forward to our songs going places they have never been before.”

Rachael Lampa Rachael Lampa is gearing up for her third studio album to street Spring 2004. Lampa, who is once again trying her hand at songwriting for the project, joins producer Tommy Sims for a more sophisticated, coming-of-age musical statement. According to Word A&R guy Chris Rodriguez, "Tommy takes his great understanding of song craft and blends the R&B Urban that Rachael feels with pop, rock, blues, and gospel. This album has a more live and earthy feel overall from the first two records."

Can't wait till Tuesday to hear the newest album from P.O.D., Payable On Death? Well, you don't have to! MTV has leaked the album online and you can hear the ENTIRE thing today! Surf over to now!

Tuesday was the official release date for the self-titled debut CD from the San Diego based Motivo. However, they are sad to announce that the scheduled promotional activities for the week have been postponed due to the deadly fires raging throughout Southern California. Jorge and Lily Valdez, both vocalists for the group, have finally been able to return to their home since their shows in Mexico this weekend, due to evacuations and fire lines. “It was really amazing to come across the border and see all of the destruction from the fires. We have been blessed to have friends that we can stay with, but many in our community have not been as lucky,” states Jorge. Instead of the scheduled press interviews and promotional concerts around the area, Motivo has been donating their time at one of the evacuations centers in their community. Jorge continues. “This is a time to pull together. The scope of this tragedy is huge – I think everyone in the area knows at least one person who has lost everything in these fires. We can promote records all day long, but if we don’t help our neighbor, than it’s worth nothing. Right now we get to spread hope and love through our actions as well as our songs.”

RSJ Alabama may have been central in the news in recent weeks as controversy raged over the public display of the Ten Commandments in the State Capitol of Montgomery, but sell-outs posted on Rebecca St. James' current "Let My Words Be Few Tour" are, she believes, sending a message. Even in a state divided by religious opinions, the support of her current tour offers proof that Christian based concerts continue to bring God's word to growing crowds of both new and established believers. Her concerts this past week in both Huntsville and Montgomery, Alabama were sell-outs. "Rebecca's tickets quickly sold-out in Montgomery (Wednesday, 22nd) and actually 300 or so people showed up at the doors that night hoping we could accommodate additional seating," noted Charlie Redmond, who booked the event. "The concert was heavily supported by local churches and the Christian base came out in full force." Musically supporting Rebecca's billing on her current tour are fellow artists Down Here, Casting Crowns, and Charmaine .

Sparrow Records will release In The Name Of Love: Artists United for Africa, a benefit album that features the Christian artist community recording hits made popular by the world-renowned rock group U2. This album is the answer to a call for action made by Bono, frontman and lead singer of U2, to awaken the church to the crisis in Africa. The artists include Sixpence None The Richer, Jars of Clay, Nichole Nordeman, Delirious, Audio Adrenaline, tobyMac, Tait, Chris Tomlin, Pillar, Grits, Sanctus Real and more. A complete artist and song listing is available here. In December of 2002, Bono met with several Christian artists and industry leaders in Nashville to share his heart and ask for their help in bringing awareness to the emergency in Africa. His call to the Christian music community was to help "awaken the church" to the crisis in Africa. In The Name of Love is an answer to that call and stands as a heartfelt tribute and a practical means to channel prayer and resources to fight against AIDS in Africa. "The goal of this album is to inform the Christian community about the crisis in Africa," states Peter York, Sparrow Records President. "Bono has been a powerful voice in raising awareness with this issue and it’s important for the Christian community to come alongside and help support this cause." In addition, the cover and packaging for In The Name Of Love was designed under the creative direction of Steve Averill of Four 5 One Design, who has created the artwork for virtually all of U2 albums.

Multi-award winning artist Nicole C. Mullen is hitting the road to promote Live From Cincinnati, Bringin' It Home CD and DVD, which release today. In select cities, Mullen will also conduct Dance Workshops. The promo tour kicked off Sunday in Cincinnati, OH, where the live DVD was filmed, and made a stop in Greenville SC yesterday. From there, the tour will head to Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC and Gray, TN. Each city will feature a mini-concert event at a local shopping mall or church, where Mullen will perform selections from Live From Cincinnati. As an added bonus, the events in Cincinnati, Greenville, Dallas and Atlanta will feature a Dance Workshop, where Mullen and several of her dancers will teach the choreography to songs featured on the live DVD. Fans who purchase a Live From Cincinnati, Bringin' It Home DVD or CD from their local Christian Bookstore will receive a ticket, which will get them into this special event.

While he has been capturing the hearts of listeners for 18 months, Gospel Music's newest sensation, Smokie Norful, has once again captured the #1 position on Billboard's Top Selling Gospel Chart as his latest release, Limited Edition, debuts at #1. At the same time, Norful's best-selling debut, I Need You Now, lands in the #4 position on the same chart. An impressive feat for a relative newcomer, Norful now finds himself in the company of Gospel stars Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams as the only Gospel artists to have two projects in the Top 5 on Billboard's Top Selling Gospel Chart simultaneously. More significantly, this marks the first time ever that a Gospel artist has occupied two of the Billboard Gospel Top 5 positions with non-holiday releases.

Amy Grant recently made a guest appearance with Peter Cetera on WWTW11's critically acclaimed music series, "Soundstage," on PBS. Check out for upcoming Christmas tour dates with husband Vince Gill...

5,000 screaming teenaged girls were in attendance at this past weekend's Girls Of Grace event in Louisville, KY. This recent event is just one of many sold-out conferences being held nationwide by platinum-selling group Point Of Grace since last year. Oklahoma City and Atlanta will be the host of the upcoming November Girls of Grace conferences, both of which are already sold-out! Look for Point of Grace to be special guests on the Michael W. Smith Christmas Tour, which starts mid-November and travels to 14 cities nationwide.

*Friday, October 24th, 2003*

Smalltown Poets The Smalltown Poets are back! Yup, it's absolutely true. The boys have resurfaced on the web with a new website at and even have a few tour dates coming up before the end of the year. Apparently the guys have undergone a few member changes and have found a new home label at Tooth & Nail spin-off BEC Recordings. An August update date made this announcement, "The band is in the final stages of recording new music at Glow In The Dark Studio in Atlanta, GA. There is no word yet on a realease date but we can tell you that the new project will be released on BEC Recordings. There will be more information regarding the new album, tour dates, and general band stuff posted soon so check back often." Surf on over now to and sign up for the band's official newsletter to keep tabs on the guys...

Sixpence NTR Sixpence None the Richer's frontwoman Leigh Nash has given an update on the band on their official website Here's what Leigh has to say on her recent pregnancy with her and her husband Mark's (formerly of PFR) first child and a forthcoming new release... "It's hard to say exactly why I have'nt done another entry in all this time. I'm retarded? No, that would be a good reason, but it's not true. But I do apologize for not keeping posts up there to update those who are interested in my goings on. For a while we were out promoting the record pretty hard, that turned into a few tours and we did some summer shows and now here we are...just about ready to start a new record. I love Divine Discontent so much and feel so proud of it and glad we endured to get past those rough years to see that it was heard. Thanks so much to those long time supporters that waited and waited and waited with us. Well I have some pretty big news. I am entering my seventh month of pregnancy this week. If you've seen any of our recent shows you probably already know about the baby whom I've dubbed (for now) "Mr. Baby". I'm so very much in love with him already, I've already warned him that I may have to bite him :) It's driving me nuts that he's so close and I can't see him. Well, we actually got to see him once during the ultrasound. Mark (my husband), and I are so thrilled that he's coming. I can wake him or put him to sleep with certain songs I sing to him. Mark picked up a cd that Jason Faulkner did of instrumantal versions of Beatles songs. It's for children and Mr. Baby seems to atleast be intersted, because his movements become pretty ferocious when we play it for him. I hope we're not scaring him. He is due around January 10th, but it sure would be nice to get him a little early. I guess we have to wait and see on that one. My dogs (Tom and Gus) are throwing a fit over something and I should go investigate... I thank you for being interseted enough in the band to read this. Hope it's not too boring. I'll write more soon...Promise!"

The songs "Go" by Andy Hunter and "Play it Loud" by MxPx, will both be featured in the anticipated new game, SSX3, for PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox, along with songs by many other bands, including Jane's Addiction, Chemical Brothers, Fat Boy Slim, and Black-Eyed Peas. The game is now available as it hit stores this week on Monday, Oct. 20. For more information, you can visit the official site for the game at

New Gotee Records artist Sarah Kelly joined Nashville’s Christian radio station WAY-FM and tour mates Paul Colman Trio on Saturday (Oct. 18) for an outdoor concert to benefit Nashville’s Hope Clinic for Women, an organization that helps women dealing with unplanned pregnancies. The event was part of the clinic’s 2003 Run for Life, which took place at Nashville’s Bicentennial Mall, near the state’s historic capitol building. Kelly performed songs from her upcoming Gotee Records debut album, Take Me Away, which is slated to release Feb. 24. Kelly is currently on the road with the Paul Colman Trio traveling to 20 cities nationwide on “The One Tour.” Paul Colman, frontman for pc3 commented on performing for the benefit, "We were happy to support the 'Run for Life;' God made life sacred and desires us to honor His creation. As the father of a 2-year-old daughter, I'm continually amazed at the mystery and miracle of life itself."

Mizzie, formerly one-fourth of the pop/dance act Raze, is now on her own performing on dates for this Fall's Festival Con Dios tour. Mizzie is working on recording her first solo project for InPop records this Fall for a March 9th, 2004 release. She recently made this announcement on her official website, "After the (Festival Con Dios) tour is over it is straight into the studio for me. I have to finish the album so we can get it out to all you wonderful people. Nathan from Plus One and I are working on a new song. A very pretty love song. Most of the songs I have are upbeat and fun so I wanted to slow it down with a sweet, beautiful song about the amazing thing we call 'being in love'."

Michael W. Smith Michael W. Smith kicked off his 19-date “Celebration Tour,” with special guest MercyMe, Thurs. Oct. 16 in Milwaukee, Wis. to a capacity crowd at the US Cellular Arena. “Michael has been a mainstay in Christian music for 20 years and ‘The Celebration Tour’ clearly shows why,” comments Cliff Reiser of Rush Concerts, who promoted the event. “What a way to celebrate 20 years. He inspired, moved and shared with the audience in a way only he can do. The combination of Michael W. Smith and MercyMe offered an evening of music and ministry that the audience was totally into. Rush Concerts is proud to have played a small role in this success.” John Huie of Creative Artists Agency concurs. “In a depressed business environment it is wonderful to see Michael W. Smith selling out venues. Michael with MercyMe is the package of the year and I wish we could do another run!” In addition to seeing stellar tour numbers, Smith’s 17th audio recording, The Second Decade 1993-2003, released earlier this month to claim the No. 1 position on Nielsen SoundScan’s Christian and Christian/Mainstream Combined music sales charts. Michael was also the only artist to hold strong with three albums in the Top 50 on the same charts.

Tait Tait's hot new album Lose This Life drops on November 4th, but the album won't be the only other new songs the guys have to offer. The band also recently recorded a U2 cover, the song "One", for the In The Name of Love tribute album releasing in January. In The Name of Love will also feature songs from Audio Adrenaline, P.O.D., Sixpence None the Richer, tobyMac, Nichole Nordeman, Pillar, and more! The Tait band also have done a cover for the VeggieTales silly song "Cheeseburger". Now there's an interesting cover tune...

The Insyderz, Floodgate Reocords' resident purveyors of punk/ska/rock are gearing up for their album release by doing shows and spreading the word about their new music. The Insyderz will be out with Number One Gun and Dogwood, and their album release show will be at the Royal Oak Theatre on November 16 – with the Relient K tour! Soundtrack to a Revolution releases November 11. For the new JfH PReview of Sountrack, click here! And make sure you check out the new Insyderz e-card that is up on

The Cool Hand Luke guys are writing and demoing up songs every chance they get for their second Floodgate Records project. The band is slated to hit the studio on December 8, co-produced by Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd (of City On A Hill production fame).

Denison Marrs is home in Florida, playing local shows, and preparing to record their second Floodgate album as well. This week, they are demoing new music. Their new album will be coming out in the spring!

Switchfoot Switchfoot continues to make a massive impact with their latest release The Beautiful Letdown, having already shipped over 330,000 units to date. Being hailed as “...a masterpiece” by critics, it’s no wonder that Switchfoot continues to gain national attention. The band was recently honored with two awards from their hometown, which include “Best Pop Album,” and “Artist of the Year” at the San Diego Music Awards. You can also check out their brand new video for "Meant To Live" online at here! (lo) (high)

Word Label Group President, Barry Landis announced Wednesday the signing of a label deal with Tedd T, the GRAMMY® and Dove award winning producer of Stacie Orrico, Rebecca St. James, Jump5 and Avalon. Tedd will develop an as-yet-to-be-named imprint for Word and head up all aspects of the label, including signing and developing talent and assisting in the marketing of all releases. "We're tremendously excited to launch this relationship," said Landis. "Tedd is one of the most creative and in-demand musical forces anywhere, and we are delighted to be working with him. He is that rare combination of talent and commitment that makes for great music and great good." Tedd's resume as a producer, arranger, programmer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter also includes genre-defying work with ZOEgirl, Prince, Jewel, SheDaisy and The Newsboys, among many others.

Rita Springer just put the finishing touches on Rise Up, her latest project. Recorded during 5 worship sessions at “A Fragrant Oil” conference in New Mexico earlier this year, Rise Up is a double-disc set of spontaneous, unhindered worship. This is the album Rita’s wanted to release for a long time, so she even got to produce it! Rise Up is available on the Floodgate website, and select retailers November 4.

Shaun Groves, Ginny Owens and Christine Dente are out on the road for the Night in Rocketown tour. George Rowe, who was originally on the tour, will be joining them on the final two dates in St. Paul, MN and Mequon, WI. George Rowe will be appearing on the Celebration tour with Michael W. Smith and MercyMe.

SoulJahz was recently nominated for a Stellar Award in the category of "Rap/Hip Hop Gospel CD Of The Year" for The Fault Is History. The 19th Annual Stellar Award show will be held in Houston, TX this coming January 10th. The group is currently in the studio working on their sophomore album, set to street in 2004.

The Violet Burning has just returned from a wonderful tour that included shows in New York City, Columbus, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Nashville, Sioux Falls, Charlotte, and everywhere in between. To read the band's road journal check out Never willing to just sit around and enjoy the Southern California sun, the band is ready to take off on a tour on the West Coast in October, as well as their return to Netherlands, Germany, and England during this upcoming Christmas season.

Mel Gibson's passion-stirring Biblical epic The Passion of Christ will open in the United States on Feb. 25 - Ash Wednesday on the Christian calendar. The Oscar-winning "Braveheart" director and Newmarket Films announced a deal Thursday to distribute Gibson's embattled film about the last hours of Jesus Christ's life. The film has drawn complaints from some Jewish leaders, who say it suggests Jews were responsible for Christ's death. Conservative Catholics who have seen the film have called it a powerful rendering Christ's crucifixion. Gibson spent a reported $30 million to produce the movie, which he has defended as faithful to the Gospels. In response to worries by Jewish groups, he has said the film is intended "to inspire, not offend." The Passion of Christ stars Jim Caviezel as Christ and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene. The dialogue is in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic with English subtitles.

*Friday, October 17th, 2003*

JoC Multi-platinum, multi-Grammy and Dove Award-winning band, Jars of Clay is readying for the Nov. 4 release of its sixth studio album, Who We Are Instead. The self-produced, 13-song project is its first disc of all new material since the acclaimed The Eleventh Hour, which released March, 2002. Who We Are Instead marks a return to the acoustic, soulful sound that launched Jars of Clay’s musical journey nearly 10 years ago. “We were excited to just sit in a room and re-embrace the simple acoustic process that got us started,” noted Dan Haseltine, Jars’ lead singer. “What has emerged, we hope, is an album that is organic and soulful and an honest expression of the things we believe.” Recorded at Jars’ Sputnik Studio, the project enlisted the talents of a few close and very gifted friends. Ashley Cleveland added her trademark vocals to the album’s anchor song, “Amazing Grace,” as well as to the blues-injected, “Jealous Kind.” Drummers Ben Mize (Counting Crows, Ryan Adams) and Ken Coomer (Wilco) played on various tracks while Jacquire King (No Doubt, Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth) mixed. Who We Are Instead delivers 12 new songs written entirely by members Haseltine; Matt Odmark, acoustic guitar; Stephen Mason, pedal steel/acoustic guitar; and keyboardist Charlie Lowell, plus offers a remake of the 1970s hit song by super-group America, “Lonely People.” Producer Ron Aniello, who recently worked on Guster’s latest record, Keep It Together, contributed on four songs, “Sunny Days,” “Faith Enough,” “Show You Love,” and “Sing.”

Relient K Gotee Records' recording artist Relient K is gearing up for the release of its very first Christmas CD, Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand, slated to hit store shelves Nov. 4. The Christmas CD will be packaged along with the band's current top-selling album, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right, But Three Do. The special Christmas combination package will feature the fifth and final limited-edition cover of Two Lefts Don't Make a Right, making it a valuable collector's item. Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand features seven Christmas favorites performed with the inimitable Relient K twist, including "Deck the Halls," "Handel's Messiah," "Twelve Days of Christmas," "Away in a Manger" and more. The project also includes three original holiday offerings: "I Celebrate the Day, "Santa Clause is Thumbing to Town" and "I Hate Christmas Parties." "This August we ate a couple thousand sno-cones to get us in the Christmassy state of mind necessary to record a bunch of holiday favorites (and originals) for our Deck The Halls, Bruise Your Hand album," says Relient K's Matt Thiessen. "We're all more than jolly about the way that this recording turned out, and we really HO-HO-HOpe everyone who hears it enjoys it as well." Relient K's Two Lefts Don't Make a Right, But Three Do sold more than 30,000 copies its first week out of the box, and has gone on to sell more than 200,000 units so far in just six months. The album was originally released with four innovative limited-edition covers, and the new Christmas edition will complete the set. With three albums released to date, Relient K has reached combined sales of more than half a million albums worldwide. The band's smash hit "Chap Stick, Chapped Lips, and Things Like Chemistry" landed in the upper half of the college radio charts for more than two months before crossing over to commercial alternative radio, and the song's video has aired on music television networks like MTV2, Much Music and FUSE. Relient K is currently headlining the Everybody Wants to Rule the World Tour with Anberlin and Don't Look Down. The 35-city tour runs through the end of November. For more information, go to

BarlowGirl You've heard the Superchick song, but do you know these girls? Three sisters who rock will be the newest artist on growing boutique label Fervent Records, announced Susan Riley, CEO. BarlowGirl – musicians and sisters Rebecca, Alyssa and Lauren Barlow – have signed an exclusive label and songwriting deal with Fervent. Their Fervent debut album will release February 24, 2004 through Provident Music Distribution. “Fervent Records has purposely looked for a girl band to sign. Our label staff is made up predominantly of females and each of us were tremendously affected by Christian music when we were young girls. As a label, we wanted to find female artists that could provide that same inspiration to young women today. We were so blessed to find that in BarlowGirl. They are incredible young ladies who will be great models for girls, but will also find fans among guys as well as all ages,” said Riley. “BarlowGirl has a passion to write songs about the journey that God has taken us on in our lives, and to share with kids of our generation the power of trusting God in everything rather than just accepting and going along with what the world has to offer. We are excited that Fervent Records believes in us and our music and has chosen to be a part of our band’s future,” said Alyssa Barlow. BarlowGirl ( was formed four years ago by Rebecca (23 – guitar, background vocals), Alyssa (21 - bass, keyboard, vocals) and Lauren (18 – drums, vocals) who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Elgin, IL. After playing for several years as a back-up band for their father Vince Barlow, who was a children’s music minister for Promiseland, the children's ministry of Willow Creek Community Church, the girls began experimenting with songwriting and playing together as a band. One year ago, desiring for deeper training in their craft, BarlowGirl went to the Gospel Music Association’s “Seminar in the Rockies,” an annual event in Estes Park, Colorado that brings together Christian music industry artists and executives together with aspiring artists and songwriters for a week of training and talent competitions. It was there that they first caught the attention of Christian music label executives, leading ultimately to their signing with Fervent.

Do you remember how you became a fan of your favorite artists? Do you remember the moment when the power of music somehow changed you, and the music took on a new meaning from that point forward? The 8 Great Hits Series takes a closer look at 12 of Christian music's most-beloved artists and the music that touched so many lives along the way. Pick-up a copy today and re-discover your favorite artists and songs all over again. The series includes Audio Adrenaline, dc Talk, Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Sonicflood, Steve Green, BeBe & CeCe, Gaither Vocal Band, Phillips Craig & Dean, Twila Paris, & Michael Card.

Joy Williams Dove nominated recording artist Joy Williams will again be part of the highly attended Point of Grace “Girls of Grace” conferences. Williams, who has been a part of the conference since its launch in fall 2002, is slated for upcoming Minneapolis (Oct. 17 & 18), Louisville, Ky. (Oct. 24 & 25) and Oklahoma City (Nov. 7 & 8) dates. “I’m thrilled to have been asked to participate in ‘Girls of Grace’ again,” noted Williams. “I’m really looking forward to spending time with Terry, Shelley, Denise, and Heather of Point of Grace, as well as with the girls coming to the event. I’ve been on the last two and love that the weekends are set up to encourage relationship. I’ve been able to share in the lives of the some of the girls at these events and that’s especially meaningful.” Point of Grace started the conferences in fall 2002 to encourage teenaged girls to be Godly in every aspect of their lives. Williams has been involved with “Girls of Grace” as a musical guest since its launch.

Bebo Norman Eight-time 2003 Dove Award nominee Bebo Norman catches the spotlight again, this time for his song "Tip of My Heart," recently re-recorded by popular country singer and television actor Billy Ray Cyrus. Featured on Cyrus' upcoming release, The Other Side, "Tip of My Heart" is the album's debut Christian radio single, going for adds Oct. 17. "This is a song that was written by Bebo Norman, one of my favorite artists, just a great singer/songwriter, and a guy that I have the utmost respect for," commented Cyrus during a recent interview with Salem Communications affiliate WFFH in Nashville, Tenn. "I've wanted to cut this song for my past two albums that I've done." "This song is about the wanting I think we all have to go deeper in our lives ... spiritually, emotionally, and relationally," Norman comments. "It's also about the fear of the unknown that seems to always stop us short ... the fear that our faith is not enough; the fear that we are not enough. But more than those things, this song is about grace ... the grace that thankfully is enough; the grace that can only come from God. I am so pleased that Billy Ray has embraced 'Tip of My Heart' the way he has, and I hope its message is able to affect many more lives."

The Washington Times recently did an impressive write-up on the success of MercyMe's hit single "I Can Only Imagine". Check out the entire article "Heaven Minds" online now at:

On October 21st, look for the 4th instalment in the This Is Solid State series, this time it’s a double disc set! The first disc has music from the likes of Norma Jean, Stretch Arm Strong, The Agony Scene and more. The second disc is a DVD with EVERY Solid State video ever filmed along with live footage from ZAO, Living Sacrifice, Underoath, Eso-Charis, Norma Jean and Stretch Arm Strong. That’s 12+ songs and nearly 20 videos all for under $10!

For those lucky enough to catch it, the video for The Agony Scene's “We Bury Our Dead at Dawn” officially aired on MTV’s “Extreme Rock” show this week! Head over to and vote for the Agony Scene video along with all your favorite Solid State artists. All the video outlets including Fuse, Much Music, Uranium and more have been serviced the video, hit them up and ask them to play the new video!

Illect Recordings is a new up and coming independent hip-hop label based out of Seattle, WA. It was started by three good friends and longtime hip-hop fans that shared a common vision for a record label that would genuinely advocate the interests of both artists and fans. This new label is all about pursuing quality artistry with integrity, with an unwavering dedication to excellence. Illect is here to offer a reliable outlet for emerging new artists, by providing a trustworthy support platform, and effective promotional and marketing strategies. For more info on Illect Recordings (pronounced "ill-ekt"), please visit

*Wednesday, October 15th, 2003*

Skillet Panheads unite! Skillet is urging fans to hold "Panhead Parties" in celebration of the band's forthcoming November 18th release, Collide. Cooper made the following announcement in this week's Skillet newsletter, "Get some friends together who like to rock. The cost is $25. What you get is: 1 CD, 2 skillet T-shirts, autographed photo, stickers, instructions for party and how to have fun... and more! More details later, but if you are interested and think you can get more than 3 people together, send an e-mail to: with the subject "panhead parties". The deadline for all e-mails concerning the parties is November 3rd."

John Reuben John Reuben's gearing up for his December 2nd street date of his third Gotee release Professional Rapper. With a lot of the new material featuring live instrumentation as well as programming, Reuben has plans to take a live band out on tour with him for the first time in December. The self-produced Professional Rapper is agruably Reuben's tighest work to date and offers two songs featuring The Benjamin Gate's frontwoman Adrienne Liesching with a another song offering a discreet guest appearance from label owner and industry veteran tobyMac.

Sparrow Records and Universal South will release the debut project from singer/songwriter Matthew West entitled Happy on December 26th. Already an established and award wining songwriter, Matthew West wins audiences of all ages with his contagious stage presence, rich, gutsy vocals and undeniably relevant songs. Produced by Kenny Greenberg and Jason Hauser, Happy features a blend of guitar-based modern pop and rock sounds. Devoted to reaching listeners with a positive and real message about life, love and faith, the collection of songs that make Happy radiate that passion. "I'm so excited to have Matthew West as our first artist in the Contemporary Christian format,” said Tony Brown, Senior Partner, Universal South. "Matthew is a world class singer/songwriter and both Universal South and EMI/CMG are both lucky to have him in our families.”

Crowne Music Group is pleased to announce a partnership with Matt McGee and Visionering, Inc. Under this joint venture, Matt’s national debut project Worship Through the Valley will release through Crowne Music and Word Distribution January 27th, 2004. “We are very excited about this partnership,” states Michael Turner, General Manager of Crowne Music. “We have been so impressed with Matt’s commitment to his ministry. I hope that we are able to help facilitate getting his music out to a much greater audience.” “The team at Crowne really understands our motivation and focus in ministry. Their enthusiasm for the project has been a huge blessing. We see great things ahead in the future for Crowne and Visionering,” explains Seth Jackson, President of Visionering, Inc. Worship Through the Valley contains praise and worship tracts that reflect Matt’s own experiences through the difficult valleys of life. As the album’s title suggests, the project’s underlying theme is worship in the most difficult times of life, and knowing that God is leading you through. “In some of the deepest valleys of life,” Matt shares, “God has taught me lessons about faith, hurting, fulfillment, betrayal, and keeping joy in Him through it all.”

Squint Entertainment recording artist Souljahz has been invited to join "I Have A Dream...the Tour" with Kirk Franklin and tobyMac. "We are honored and even flabbergasted to be on a tour of this magnitude with two musical geniuses such as Kirk Franklin and tobyMac," says Je'kob Washington, on behalf of the group. "We are looking forward to learning from two of the industry's finest!" Gospo Centric artist Kirk Franklin and Forefront artist tobyMac are teaming up with the E.R.A.C.E. Foundation (Eliminating Racism and Creating Equality) to break down the walls of discrimination and racism. "I Have a Dream...the Tour" will hit 15+ markets beginning October 16th, including Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Detroit and Minneapolis.

Michael W. Smith recently asked new Rocketown artist George Rowe to join his fall tour with Mercy Me as a background vocalist and piano player. Rowe's first single, "Everlasting," went for adds just two weeks ago and is already getting airplay on 1/4 of the nation's Christian AC stations and 1/3 of the Inspirational stations. Rowe's debut CD, Think About That, releases Dec. 2.

Alathea's Mandee Radford completed her third marathon Sunday when she ran the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in 5 hours, 11 minutes. Radford was running this marathon to raise money to aid Compassion International in the building of a pedestrian bridge in a small community in Ecuador. The bridge is desperately needed to provide safe passage over a busy highway that has claimed numerous childrens' lives. For more information on the bridge build, visit

Casting Crowns, flagship artist on Reunion Records’ imprint, Beach Street Records, garnered the highest first-week sales of any debut artist according this week’s Nielsen SoundScan Christian market sales chart. “Mardel has had our best first-week sales of any new artist this year with Casting Crowns,” remarked Mike Snowdon, music buyer for Mardel Christian Stores. “Our staff and customers have found their lyrical content and focused message to be extremely refreshing and something we all have been telling others about. We believe this band is on the brink of something big!” “We are thrilled at the first-week scans for Casting Crowns,” commented Don Noes, sr. vp of Provident Music Distribution. “Since our first introduction to the band’s music and ministry, the Provident team has eagerly awaited the consumer response to their refreshing message. And, the fact that this has become the year’s highest scanning first-week of any debut artist, we’re equally excited to see what the future holds.”

The much talked about new Mel Gibson-directed film about the last eight hours of Jesus's life entitled The Passion has found a new name. The official title of the movie has changed to The Passion of Christ. And Although the film is still struggling for a distributor, the goal is to release the film in US theaters on February 25, 2004. The movie stars Jim Caviezel as Jesus and is rumored to be the most emotional and graphic representation of Christ's death ever filmed. For more info, visit

*Wednesday, October 8th, 2003*

Dove Awards The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced yesterday that the 35th Annual Dove Awards will be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2004, said John W. Styll, president of the GMA. The Dove Awards will be held at The Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville for the second straight year. The GMA will offer tickets for sale to the public, including new, more affordable ticket prices for fans. Tickets will go on sale in December to Gospel Music Association members and to the public in January. More details will be available at The show’s hosts, performances, broadcast outlet and sponsors will be announced at a later date. The Dove Awards is the culmination of the annual GMA Week convention, which will be held at various locations in downtown Nashville from April 24 -28, 2004.

Third Day Essential Records’ Third Day and Creative Trust Workshop’s Warren Barfield, were invited to participate with best-selling author Max Lucado for a live, nationally broadcast satellite event that took on Sunday, October 5, hosted by Church Communication Network (CCN). Originating live from Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where Lucado serves as senior minister, Lucado spoke to thousands of viewers on the topic of his new book, Next Door Savior: Near Enough to Touch, Strong Enough to Trust (W Publishing Group,). Third Day and Barfield performed songs from the Creative Trust Workshop Next Door Savior CD during this special event. Lucado’s daughter, Jenna, made a guest solo appearance. A surprise guest, San Antonio Spurs David Robinson, provided his testimony during the two hour broadcast. Next Door Savior, the theme of Lucado’s two-hour broadcast, was written to address the questions and longings of longtime believers as well as those of curious onlookers. Says Lucado: “To the seeker, Next Door Savior offers reasons to believe. To the believer, Next Door Savior offers fiber for faith. But more than an apologetic treatise on Jesus, this book is designed to platform the "God-manness" of Christ, acquainting the reader with Jesus’ one-of-a-kind claims.” Next Door Savior debuts at the #5 spot on the CBA’s top 50 books bestseller list in October 2003.

SCC Last Tuesday, Sept. 30, Steven Curtis Chapman performed at the Annual Congressional Angels In Adoption Awards Banquet, put on by CCAI, The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. The gala was held at the International Trade Center/Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. In 2001, Steven and Mary Beth Chapman received the National Angel in Adoption Award along with the late Dave Thomas (Wendy’s). This year, the award was given to Muhammad and Lonnie Ali as well as Bruce Willis for their advocacies towards adoption and foster care. Also on hand for the evening were over 50 members of Congress and 165 Angel recipients, recognized for their adoption advocacy in their hometowns all across the nation. Families and children all came together to share this one very special evening together!! Chapman entertained the crowd with his song written for his first adopted daughter, “When Love Takes You In.” He also shared a new song written especially for the evening. Here’s a fun tidbit – earlier in the day on Tuesday, Chapman was in a taxi. Guess who left his guitar and case (AND lyrics to his new song!) in the trunk of the taxi? Yep. As soon as he realized it, and with no luck getting the guitar back (yet!), he spent the entire afternoon rewriting the song. Alas, he won the crowd over debuting the new tune and did an amazing job! And while at the gala, Chapman was photographed rubbing elbows with none other than Bruce Willis and Muhammad Ali!

Michael W. Smith After only five weeks at radio, Michael W. Smith’s current radio single, “Signs” made a record-setting jump on the Christian Radio Weekly Adult Contemporary Chart last week. Co-written with son Ryan, the single is receiving airplay on 43 CRW reporting stations that collectively impact five-million listeners across the nation. Jim Veldhuis, managing editor, Christian Radio Weekly commented, “The fact that the latest Smitty single set a record for chart-positions-gained isn't a surprise when you realize that K-LOVE/Dallas; Salem’s Today’s Christian Music Network; KSBJ/Houston; and KFSH/Los Angeles were among the reporters that added the song out of the box.”

Tait ForeFront Records’ band, TAIT, prepares to powerfully connect, both musically and lyrically, with its rapidly expanding fan base through the release of its highly anticipated sophomore album, Lose This Life, Nov. 4. Co-produced by lead singer, Michael Tait, and industry veteran, Mark Heimermann (dc talk, Garth Brooks, tobyMac, Rebecca St. James), Lose This Life marks the first record with which Michael has been this significantly involved. A follow up to its applauded, hit-filled 2001 debut, Empty, TAIT’s upcoming album features more power, sincerity and maturity as the artistry and camaraderie grows for members Michael, bassist Lonnie Chapin, drummer Chad Chapin and guitarist Justin York. “The chemistry of this band has become something like a freight train over the last year,” says Lonnie Chapin. “We feel like we’re breaking through to the next level musically and we’re gaining hardcore fans who really get what we’re doing as a band. This new record will be an explosion of who we are.” Michael continues, “There’s a believable passion that courses through Lose This Life. Even the slow songs have this tremendous energy. This project exudes life and is really a statement from the heart. We’re intense about saying things that matter. The older I get the more I realize how short my time on earth is. As a band, we don’t feel like we have time to sit back and tickle people’s ears.” Along with 10 original cuts and a cover of Eddy Grant’s 1982 hit, “Electric Avenue,” the project will feature a bonus track, “The Christmas Song,” reminiscent of Nat King Cole’s musical style. Produced by Brown Bannister (Steven Curtis Chapman, Avalon, Warren Barfield), the holiday single was recorded live to 2-track format with players from the London Symphony Orchastra and the London Philharmonic. Lose This Life will be enhanced with special features, including a tool to unlock behind-the-scene “webisodes” available at the redesigned, launching Oct. 13. We've been blessed with a listen guys, and it's fantastic!

MercyMe With its unprecedented success in the mainstream market this year, it is no surprise that "I Can Only Imagine" was chosen to lay the foundation for the upcoming M2.O Communications/Sony Wonder release, I Can Only Imagine: Lullabies For A Peaceful Rest, slated for release on November 11th. Many know this hit song in its original form, and for the first time ever, it can be heard in a newly recorded acoustic version on the release, also performed by MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. Produced and arranged by Grammy nominee Brian Green, this 45 minute tranquil collection includes fifteen familiar and new lullabies geared to soothe the child and to worship the Creator. Other tracks especially recorded for this project are the timeless classics "Jesus Loves Me," "Lullaby and Goodnight (Brahms Lullaby)," and "Hush Little Baby," as well as the instrumental tracks "Rock A Bye Baby" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Featured vocals include Millard and fellow MercyMe member Nathan Cochran, along with voices of other accomplished singers. Cochran contributes to this album with the timeless melody "Keeper Of My Heart." Whereas Millard lends his vocals on the title track, he also sings with his wife, Shannon on "Baby Sleep Tonight," which they penned especially for this project. During the song, the two parents express their promise to their son, Samuel, to always be by his side. The words ring parallel to the promises Christ gives His children, "When you close your eyes, know that I¹ll be there for you, I¹ll never let you go for you¹re my heart and soul."

Also due to the mainstream success of their song, "I Can Only Imagine", MercyMe recently taped an interview with CNN Entertainment reporter Brooke Anderson this week in Atlanta. The interview is set to air 6 to 12 times this weekend, so keep an eye out for it! If we hear more specific times, we'll let you know!

Casting Crowns, flagship artist on Beach Street Records, an imprint of Reunion Records, celebrated the release of its self-titled debut this week. In support of the launch, the band traveled to Dallas, Oklahoma City and Orlando, Fla. visiting media, retail and radio stations. Casting Crowns wraps the busy week on Sun. in its hometown of Atlanta with multiple performances for local fans. “It is hard to believe we actually have a CD out in stores,” noted Mark Hall, lead singer. “This whole process has been surreal - just amazing. We are so grateful for this ministry opportunity and the impact we can make for the Kingdom.” In support of the album, the band hit the road on a promotional tour with visits to the Jon and Sherry Rivers Show and KLTY/Dallas after which they traveled to Oklahoma City for a performance at the Mardel Bookstore Manager’s luncheon. Finally, WPOZ/Orlando welcomed the group for an on-air interview and performance.

When you’re hot, you’re hot, and conservative comedian Brad Stine is sizzling! With recent features from Associated Press, Knight-Ridder, and Gannett, Stine’s story has been seen in about 250 newspapers with a readership of over 8.3 million people. And with Stine’s enthusiastic response garnering standing ovations from every Promise Keepers event, he has already been confirmed to appear on the 2004 18-city tour that will begin next June. Stine’s extremely popular new DVD, Put A Helmet On! has led to bookings on The Big Show with John Boy & Billy, which is a syndicated classic rock morning show heard on 100 radio stations in twenty-two states on Thursday, October 30th. The show is broadcast locally in Nashville on WNRQ, “The Rock,” at 105.9 FM. Stine is also scheduled for an appearance on WLAC, a Nashville mainstream talk radio station.

Multiple Gold-selling comedienne Chonda Pierce and Platinum-selling, GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning Word recording artist Sandi Patty join forces for one of the biggest-selling tours of the season. Their 30-plus-city The Girls Are Back in Town tour is causing tens of thousands to flock to the box office, selling out arenas across the country. As Chonda tours in support of her latest best-selling video, Have I Got A Story For You!, and Sandi Patty continues to support her critically acclaimed CD, Take Hold of Christ, the duo’s The Girls Are Back in Town tour launched Sept. 18 with more than 4,000 people attending a sold-out performance at the Civic Center in Asheville, NC.

Alathea’s Mandee Radford will run the Chicago Marathon with the hope of raising more than $13,000 for a small community in a country more than 2,500 miles from her cabin in East Tennessee. To tell more about the story, Radford shares an excerpt from a journal she kept during Alathea’s May 2003 Compassion International trip to Ecuador: “We had the gift to visit homes of many of the sponsored children in Ecuador, and one day while walking home with a little boy from the Otavalo project, we came to a busy, paved highway. It took about five minutes for us to get safe passage across the road. Once we finally made it, the interpreter told us that the little boy we were with had recently lost his brothers at this crossing—they were hit by cars. Our hearts dropped, and we walked in silence through the community to his home. When we arrived, we weren’t struck by the one-room, dirt-floor house with chickens inside or the plywood mattress that slept six people at night. We were struck by the sorrow that hung over us. We politely conversed with the little boy’s mom through the interpreter, and then she broke down and began to sob. She was weeping for her sons. We no longer needed an interpreter to translate her Quichen language. Sorrow is a language we all speak. We stood around her, hugged her, wept with her, and prayed for her. We left feeling helpless, helpless because we realized that if one home had lost two children trying to cross the road, chances were that more mothers were in the same pain. That night I prayed, not for a solution but hope.” Radford was struck with the idea of building a pedestrian bridge over the busy highway, but was discouraged by how many obstacles were in the way. Then, in a providential meeting later in the week, Alathea met Compassion’s Ecuador Country Director Fernando Puga. His prior career? As a civil engineer who specialized in the building of bridges. If Alathea could raise the finances, he committed to oversee the construction of the bridge. As Radford explains, the first effort to raise money for the project involves securing sponsors for her upcoming participation in the Chicago Marathon Oct. 12. Radford ran the Chicago Marathon once before in 2002 and completed the Nashville Marathon earlier this year. Radford’s goal is to raise $500 per mile for each mile she runs for a grand total of more than $13,000 for the bridge build when she successfully finishes the race. “Jesus has called us to seek out the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, the hurting,” Radford says. “I don’t have much to give, but I do have my passion and my time. This project seemed like an impossibility from the start, and I know not one person is going to make this happen, but all of us putting our drops together to fill the bucket. It is a privilege to serve. It is a gift to use our small influences to become contributors to something bigger than ourselves, to a need that is bigger than our abilities to fix that need. That’s where Jesus steps in.” Greg Fradey, Compassion’s development director, said, “It's a joy to our hearts to see Alathea's enthusiasm, energy and passion being poured into this project. They have been long time partners in ministry with Compassion and have given their lives to reaching out to others... like Jesus would.”

Kids In The Way is coming December 26th, 2003. The band is on tour now with Festival con Dios and opening for Pillar this fall on The Underground Uprising tour. First single "Hallelujah" coming to CHR and Rock radio October 17th. Nathan, Dave, Eric, Austin and Nate plan to crash your December with intellectual lyrics birthed by passionate vocals, anxious guitars, severe drums, and lashing bass tones. Rumor has it your New Year will never be the same...

*Thursday, October 2nd, 2003*

POD Atlantic Records, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., and Atlantic recording group P.O.D. announced yesterday a groundbreaking collaboration to create the entertainment industry's first-ever combined music CD/PlayStation®2 videogame release. The first one million copies of P.O.D.'s eagerly awaited new album, Payable On Death, will include an exclusive bonus PlayStation®2 DVD containing a custom videogame track from the critically acclaimed PlayStation 2 music game title, Amplitude, featuring a newly recorded, non-album P.O.D. track, "Space." Playable only on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, this disc will also feature a 50-minute behind-the-scenes \ documentary, "Inside P.O.D. Culture," and a special feature on Daniel Martin Diaz, the artist who created the paintings and sketches for the Payable On Death package. Due in stores nationwide on November 4, this unparalleled two-disc package will carry a suggested list price of only $19.98, providing tremendous added value for P.O.D. and PlayStation 2 fans. The album will be stickered with the PlayStation 2 logo, quickly calling the retail consumer's attention to the unique multimedia elements of Payable On Death. "This is a breakthrough in the way we market music," stated Atlantic Co-President Ron Shapiro. "As the lines between media are increasingly blurred, and the competition for the consumer's attention is ever more fierce, the new P.O.D. release is a remarkable response to the challenges before us. With an extremely low price point, the added value is exceptional and the sales potential enormous. This is only the first in what we hope will be a series of truly innovative, consumer-driven projects designed first and foremost with the fans' interests and desires in mind." "P.O.D. is the ideal group to spearhead this groundbreaking, cross-media approach to new releases," added Atlantic Co-President Craig Kallman. "There is a striking correlation between their core audience and the most avid game players, and this fantastic package gives P.O.D. fans something truly unique and compelling that they can get nowhere else. By combining music, videogame, and DVD elements, we are able to cover all the bases and offer a complete, intimate, multimedia immersion in the world of P.O.D." "We pride ourselves on delivering first-rate content for both a unique and memorable interactive experience," said Sharon Shapiro, Director, Promotions, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Through our promotion with Atlantic Records, PlayStation 2 and P.O.D. fans will experience for the first time, a one-of-a-kind medium that fully delivers innovative entertainment for the consumer to listen and re-create what they hear." P.O.D. lead vocalist Sonny commented: "This idea came out of us wanting to do everything possible to give back to our fans. With all the talk about downloading and CD prices, all we've ever cared about is giving our fans the best. We've been working for most of the year to release a fully playable video game with our record. We were very fortunate that Atlantic and Sony were willing to take this risk with us, especially keeping all of this below $20. Payable On Death is our best record ever and with the PlayStation 2 game, the art cards and all the other things we're doing, our fans will get something big... something never done before in music."

Skillet Skillet mastermind John Cooper offered this update on the band earlier this week in regards to their new album Collide releasing next month... "About a year ago, we were discussing when we were going to record, and with whom. We knew that after all the extra time off, a new album needed to be in sight, along with the need to tour our booties off! We prayed and prayed and felt like God was leading us to record with producer, Paul Ebersold. Paul co-produced our first album in 1996. Since then, however, he's produced bands such as, Three Doors Down, Sister Hazel and Spacehog! Point being, we don't make enough money to have him work with us. God, of course, works in awesome ways! Through a lot of prayer, stress, and scheduling, Paul said that he wanted to do the album for less than half his normal cost because he liked the songs. I should explain the reason that I was so stressed. I've known that it's been time to redefine Skillet's sound for quite a while, and that I needed a producer that I trusted could tell me which of my songs were good and which weren't. I also knew that I couldn't be that producer. By the time we really started recording in April, I had about twenty songs written, with a goal of recording only ten that we all thought were good. Ten good ones. No bad ones. (That's always the idea.) After that first week of recording, something fell into place and the outcome was surprising! We knew that we were steering away from our industrial sound, and that this album needed to be smack-your-mama heavy. I also knew that on this album I couldn't be ashamed of my raspy voice and that I needed to scream louder! While we were finishing that week, something clicked in my song-writing and I felt I'd found a missing key. It's hard to explain, but I told our producer, Paul, that I was going into the other room for a little while. About ten minutes later, I told Paul I’d written something that I thought was pretty cool. I played him the chorus for a song called "Savior". Paul said, "That's the best thing you've written yet!" I found his response to be a little bit annoying because I usually spend about five hours writing a chorus. But, it worked and I proceeded to write another five songs, all of which are on the new album. These songs were better and had more direction and passion than my original twenty songs. The album is called Collide. Our last album, AlienYouth, had the word “collide” in it twice. It appeared in the song, "Earth Invasion", but I want to focus on the song, “Will You Be There”, where it says: "as my brokenness and your strength collide..." The idea behind the album title is that when faith and fear collide, God will be your anchor. We are living in a world that is so full of hate and fear that we are suffocating. Our brokenness must collide with God's strength in order for us to be made strong." For clips of "Savior" and two other brand new tracks, click here.

Jaci Velasquez While it was kept hush-hush up until the big day and after, the news on Jaci Velasquez's recent marriage is finally out! Jaci had asked for privacy about her August 16th date. We found out about it that day at Purple Door 2003 but were asked to keep it on the DL. So, without further ado, here's CCM Magazine's write-up from their new October issue... "The 23-year-old Latin singer/actress tied the knot with musician Darren Potuck on Aug. 16 just outside of Nashville. And only a month after the wedding, she hit the road for her current spot as headliner for "Unspoken-- The Tour" with Salvador. Congratulations Jaci and Darren!

Creation Festival wants to know which artists you would like to see at Creation 2004. Your input really counts and definitely will have an impact. By completing the survey, your name will be automatically entered in a drawing to win a pair of Creation 2004 tickets! Well how do you sign up? Just enter your information in all of the required fields in the form in the link below, then hit submit. Winners will be selected and notified by Jan. 1st. Click here to go to Creation Festival Survey Page:

The City on a Hill community teams up with global outreach organization Convoy of Hope to provide monetary aid for compassion ministries in cities nationwide. Consumers who purchase City on a Hill - The Gathering, released Sept. 23, will have the option of donating $10 or more to Convoy of Hope. In return, buyers will receive a free copy of the 2002 Essential Records release Our God of Wonders: Volume One. Proceeds have been earmarked to support missions in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Ft. Worth, Texas. Jeff Nene, director of media and communication for Convoy of Hope, comments, "We are so excited to be partnering with Essential Records and City on a Hill. Both communities have a passion for seeing people worship God, not only with their voices but also with their lives. By providing funds to Convoy of Hope, listeners will be initiating 'compassion evangelism' in urban areas across our country. What better way to worship God than to introduce people to Him."

Orrico Stacie Orrico will be on the Emmy-winning Wayne Brady Show TODAY, Thursday October 3rd! Check local listings for a time in your area. Also, a new Stacie DVD will be ready by November 18th and will include 2 videos ad behind the scenes footage! Finally, Stacie Mania continues as she has surpassed 1.1 million in worldwide sales! "More To Life" is currently in the Top 20 on the Mainstream charts, and continues to climb up the CHR and AC Christian charts, with an add at New York's Star 99.1 and on the Salem Radio!

RSJ With their duet single perched at #1 for airplay in Australia and currently climbing the U.S. AC charts, Rebecca St. James and Chris Tomlin merged their creative talents in Nashville this month for filming of the "Expressions" video, targeted to debut in November. "It's always an amazing process to see a song come to life on video," noted Rachel Beavers, Rebecca's Artist Brand Manager at Forefront Records. "In the case of 'Expressions,' the artistic content and visual energy Rebecca and Chris bring to the song is something that I think will have a profound impact with viewers." The video was directed by Eric Welch, who has previously directed several successful RSJ projects on video-including "Wait For Me," and "Reborn." September virtually closes out the last "free time" Rebecca will enjoy this year. October 10th will see the launch of her "Let My Words Be Few" Tour, which will find her being joined in concert by fellow artists Downhere, Casting Crowns, and Charmaine. For a complete concert schedule resource:

Here's the latest from Paul from Earthsuit... "I have a fragment of unfortunate news... Due to a hold up in the process of aquiring licenses, we will have to push the release date back another month. So now we are looking at November 8th. The CD is done... we are just waiting to go to print, and we will as soon as possible."

Switchfoot's "Meant To Live" video will air over end credits of this weekend's show on Extra. Show airs in LA at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and repeats on Sunday night at midnight on Channel 4 (NBC). Please check local listings for other states. Also, check out this week's copy of Rolling Stone for an interview with the band. To see the online version, click here.

Pillar Flicker/Geffen Record’s award-winning, best-selling rock group Pillar is set to release Broken Down: The EP on November 18. The project contains newly recorded versions of five Pillar favorites including “Further From Myself” featuring guest vocals from Tyler Burkum and “Bring Me Down,” a brand new song available exclusively on Broken Down: The EP. In addition, the record will include bonus multimedia content including the video for “Further From Myself,” band interviews and an extensive photo gallery. Broken Down: The EP will be distributed through Chordant Distribution Group and has a suggested retail price of $7.99. Pillar has also announced that the band will headline this fall’s “The Underground Uprising” Tour, which will hit over 25 major markets across the country beginning on October 30. The group will be joined by Disciple, Spoken and Flicker Records’ newest signing, Kids In The Way.

Although it was reported recently that Out of Eden would release their new record love peace and happiness on November 18th, the release date has been pushed back as far as February, 2004. No reason is known yet. We'll keep you posted!

Currently, Side Walk Slam's video for their song, "Carmi Times" is #3 on You can go there and vote for them and maybe it'll still be in the Ten Most Wanted next week!

The Five-time Grammy Award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir brings forth a provoking project with their November 11th release, Live: This Is Your House. In addition to the nearly 300-voice choir, Brooklyn Tabernacle Church Pastor Jim Cymbala and members of the church testify to compelling truths of redemption, protection and grace throughout the project. For three decades the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has featured uplifting choruses and shared testimonies with listeners worldwide. Their new project Live: This Is Your House, to be released on M2.0 Communications, comes as possibly the most personal album to date for the 8,000 member church. The royalties from Live: This Is Your House will go directly to the church’s outreach center assisting underprivileged children. “Out of any record the church has ever been a part of, this is by far the one we’re most excited about,” shares Pastor Cymbala. “It meets so many different needs of listeners and has such a contagious energy about it that truly replicates what you’d experience at a Sunday service at our church.”

When something hits home, it leads people to action. Vocalist Janine Stange lost her Aunt to breast cancer one year ago this month, so it's bittersweet that with this October (October being breast cancer awareness month), we celebrate the release of Janine Stange's fundraising CD/EP Rhythm of My Heart. Janine wrote the song "Rhythm of my Heart" in honor of her Aunt and performed it for the first time at the 1 in 9 (LIBCAC) annual Mother's Day walk. When people were moved to tears and encouraged, Janine realized the importance of making the song available as a fundraising CD to benefit the breast cancer. The CD also includes three bonus tracks, one exclusive to the CD/EP and two of which will appear on her soon to be released debut CD "Lifetime Guarantee." For more information on Janine, visit

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Procyse The Goodness - Single [Polished Arrow]
Ayo Shamir Ten Cuidado Pt. 2 - Single (independent)
Mark Tedder Miracles - If people will pray - Single [7Core]
Martin Smith Joy (What The World Calls Foolish) - Single [Capitol CMG]
We Are Messengers I Found Rest (ft. Ben Fuller) - Single [Curb]

Next Friday, March 8, 2024
The Erwins Life Story [StowTown]
Hillsong FR Invitation (Live) [Capitol CMG]
Hillsong Korean At Easter [Capitol CMG]
Too Bad Eugene Battle Scars (independent)

For all release dates, click here!

Listen to the new single from Conley!

Listen to the latest JFH Podcast episode w/ American Arson!

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