Monday, February 25, 2008

Larry Norman dies at 60

4/08/47 - 2/24/08

A Christian music icon passes into eternity...

From the Larry Norman website:

Hello everybody.

Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sunday morning [February 24th]. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in bed with him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past week laughing, singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had us taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry and art.

Several of his friends got to come and visit with him in the last couple of weeks and were a great source of help and friendship to Larry. Ray Sievers, Derek Robertson, Mike Makinster, Tim and Christine Gilman, Matt and Becky Simmons, Kerry Hopkins, Allen Fleming and a few more. Thank you guys. Larry appreciated your visits very much. And he greatly appreciated the thoughts, wishes, support and prayers that came from all of you Solid Rock friends on a daily basis. Thank you for being part of his small circle of friends over the years. Yesterday afternoon he knew he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the following message to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these words into Larry's computer:

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die.

Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.
Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.


Friday, February 22, 2008

We Will Stand Tour - Avalon, Michael English, Cadia, Daniel Doss Band

Award-winning Sparrow Records vocal act Avalon is preparing for the “We Will Stand” tour, its first headlining tour in three years. Joining Avalon are labelmate Daniel Doss Band, Curb Records industry veteran Michael English and emerging Fervent Records female duo CADIA. The tour kicks off on March 27 in Pittsburgh and will visit more than 30 cities through May.

“Avalon is very excited about the upcoming tour,” says Avalon founding member Janna Long. “We are anxious to hit the road again with these other talented artists and embrace new and old listeners alike.”

In support of the tour, participating artists together recorded new song “We Will Stand,” which they will perform to close each show. The song will also be serviced for play at Christian radio. Additionally, EMI Christian Music Group will highlight the tour as part of its “Music for the Entire Family” promotion at CBA retail outlets. A promotional display will feature all four artists’ new albums, releasing Feb. 26, a tour CD sampler and English’s new book, The Prodigal Comes Home. For more information and an up-to-date list of dates, visit the tour’s web site at

Formed in 1996, Avalon set a new standard for modern spiritual music. In review of its 2006 project, Faith: A Hymns Collection, All Music Guide lauded the group’s “vocal efficiency and personalized stylings that place Avalon among the elite singing groups in contemporary Christian circles.” To date, the quartet has sold more than three million albums, charted 20 No. 1 singles, and won an American Music Award plus numerous Dove Awards such as the 1999 Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year for “Testify to Love.” That song, a listener favorite, has also been specially re-recorded for the group’s Feb. 26 release, Another Time, Another Place. For more information, visit

Michael English returns with his first studio album (Curb Records) in nearly eight years. Michael’s most personal collection of songs to date, The Prodigal Comes Home is complimented by an autographical book sharing the same title. Michael’s journey has been slow and painful but it is one that has brought him back to the overwhelming place of hope and redemption. A journey that shows how God's grace shines even in our darkest hours and a story for every one of us who knows what it means to feel lost and in need of a Father who will welcome us home.

Daniel Doss has a deep sense of calling on his life – a passion to lead people to an encounter with a great God. On his band’s Sparrow Records debut, Greater Than Us All, there are songs that usher you deep into worship (“Love Like Rain” and “Sing Your Name”) songs of hope (“Hold On” and “God In Me”), reminders of grace (“I Need You”), and God’s greatness (“Great God” and “Abba Father”). An important element of Daniel’s calling is to be an encourager to the church and church pastors. As a worship leader of an emerging church in Clarksville, TN, Daniel witnesses the journey of fellow believers each week and in response writes songs that not only minister to them but to all who hear his music.

Nashville-based CADIA comprises longtime friends Courtney Myers and Tori Smith, both 19 years old. The two became fast friends while participating in a junior high school play and continue to perform together. The duo will release its Fervent Records, self-titled debut on Feb. 26. Produced by Otto Price (BarlowGirl, Out Of Eden, SONICFLOOd) and Rob Hawkins (pureNRG, Jackson Waters), the record addresses themes of honesty, empowerment, self-esteem, compassion, and confidence in God, issues that both Courtney and Tori have confronted on their own journey to adulthood. In addition to providing fun, meaningful pop music, the record also aims to encourage other teens facing similar life experiences. The record’s track “Inside Out” was featured last fall as the theme song/video for Women of Faith’s “Revolve Tour,” geared toward teen girls. For more information on CADIA, visit
























Kansas City



Mount Vernon



Des Moines



























Vero Beach






Little Rock



State University





























*all dates subject to change*

Friday, February 15, 2008

39th Annual Dove Award Nominees Announced!

39th Annual GMA Dove Awards
Gospel Music's Biggest Night!
April 23, 2008, 7 p.m.
Grand Ole Opry House - Nashville, Tenn.

Click here to read them all (.pdf document). Or visit the website online and read the nominees here.

Some of the nominees are:

Female Vocalist of the Year:
  • Amy Grant
  • Christy Nockels
  • Darlene Zschech
  • Krystal Meyers
  • Mandisa
  • Natalie Grant
  • Sandi Patty
Male Vocalist of the Year:
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Gerald Wolfe
  • Jon Foreman
  • Mark Hall
  • Mark Schultz
  • Marvin Sapp
  • TobyMac
New Artist of the Year:
  • 33 Miles
  • Austins Bridge
  • Brandon Heath
  • DeWayne Woods
  • Group 1 Crew
  • Mandisa
  • Rush of Fools
Group of the Year:
  • Casting Crowns
  • David Crowder*Band
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • Hillsong United
  • Point Of Grace
  • Selah
  • The Clark Sisters
Song of the Year:
  • "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"; Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Traditional; sixsteps music (ASCAP), Songs (ASCAP)
  • "Bring The Rain"; Bart Millard, James Bryson, Nathan Cochran, Barry Graul, Michael John Scheuchzer, Robin Shaffer; Simpleville Music (ASCAP), Wet As A Fish Music (ASCAP)
  • "East To West"; Mark Hall, Bernie Herms; My Refuge Music, Club Zoo Music (BMI), SWECS Music (BMI), Sparrow Song (BMI), Word Music LLC (ASCAP), Banahana Tunes (ASCAP)
  • "Give You Glory"; Jeremy Camp; Thirsty Moon River Publishing (ASCAP)
  • "How You Live (Turn Up The Music)"; Cindy Morgan; Lola Max Music (ASCAP), Word Music LLC (ASCAP)
  • "I’m Not Who I Was"; Brandon Heath; Capilano Music (ASCAP), New Spring Publishing Inc. (ASCAP)
  • "In Better Hands"; Catt Gravitt, Jim Daddario, Thom Hardwell; Two Girls and a Pen (SESAC), Jim Daddario Music (BMI), Thom Hardwell Music (BMI)
  • "Made To Love"; Toby McKeehan, Cary Barlowe, Jamie Moore, Aaron Rice; River Oaks Music (BMI), Emack Music (ASCAP), Achtober Songs (BMI)
  • "Tears Of The Saints"; Leeland Mooring, Jack Mooring; River Oaks Music Company (BMI), Meaux Mercy Publishing (BMI), Meaux Jeaux Music (SESAC)
  • "Undo"; William Davis, Kevin Huguley, Wes Willis; Midas Magic (ASCAP)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Switchfoot "Up In Arms" tour to Benefit To Write Love On Her Arms

Multi-Platinum selling rock band Switchfoot launches its spring “Up In Arms Tour” in San Antonio March 27 and hits college towns throughout the South and Midwest states. The tour will benefit To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) and features a special performance by double Platinum-selling English band, Athlete. Tickets for the tour are on sale today and can be purchased through (See below for the full itinerary).

“We’ve known Jamie [Tworkowski] for over five years now, and when he first told us about his vision to start TWLOHA two years ago, we were thrilled to jump on board in whatever way we could, wearing his t-shirts, linking to his myspace, just getting the word out,” says Switchfoot member Tim Foreman. “The dialogue surrounding depression is such an important one. It is huge for people to know that these are issues that are normal and ok to talk about. TWLOHA is breathing hope into lives once trapped by fear and doubts. ‘Love is the Movement.’ We’re honored that a song we wrote seven years ago has become the slogan for TWLOHA. And it’s true: love provides the motion that pushes us past the scars wear.”

“Switchfoot was the first band to lend the stage to us, back when TWLOHA was simply an attempt to tell a story and help one friend,” says Jamie Tworkowski, To Write Love on Her Arms founder who will be briefly speaking before Switchfoot’s set each night on tour. “That was two years ago and we have come a long way since that surprising start. We are truly honored and excited to hit the road with this band that means so much to us.”

To Write Love on Her Arms began in Orlando, FL in February 2006 and is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.



San Antonio, TX

Laurie Auditorium


New Orleans, LA

House of Blues


North Myrtle Beach, SC

House of Blues


Waukesha, WI

Shattuck Auditorium, Carroll College


Indianapolis, IN

University of Indianapolis


Peoria, IL

Peoria Civic Center Arena


Poplar Bluff, MO

Black River Coliseum


Troy, AL

Trojan Arena


Hattiesburg, MS

Reed Green Coliseum


Huntsville, AL

Spraggins Hall


Estero, FL

Germain Arena


West Palm Beach, FL

Sound Advice Amphitheater


Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville Pavilion


Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City Music Pier


Stamford, CT

Palace Theater


Piscataway, NY

Rutgers Athletic Center


Rochester, NY

Roberts Wesleyan College

Read our review of Switchfoot's Appetite for Construction tour (with pictures!) here.

Read our review of Oh! Gravity. here.

Casting Crowns with Carrie Underwood at Grammys

[Photo Caption: Casting Crowns with Carrie Underwood: Members of Casting Crowns pause for a photo with GRAMMY-winner Carrie Underwood at the SONY BMG post GRAMMY party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunday evening. Pictured (L-R): Hector Cervantes, Carrie Underwood, Chris Huffman and Mark Hall.]

Christian music’s top-selling, top-touring and multi-platinum artist Casting Crowns hit the red carpet with three nominations for the 50th GRAMMY Awards ceremony held Sunday, Feb. 10, at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The group received high-profile media attention during red-carpet arrivals interviewing with national outlets including The Tonight Show, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard and ABC, FOX, Extra and the Associated Press.

Casting Crowns led the Gospel categories with three nominations recognized in the Best Gospel Performance and Best Gospel Song categories for its No.1 song “East to West” and a nod for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for the group’s blockbuster third album The Altar and The Door. The GRAMMY nominations follow Casting Crowns’ recent win at the 2007 American Music Awards in November and the 2006 GRAMMY win for previous album Lifesong.

With the release of the band's new album The Altar and The Door, Casting Crowns ended 2007 as the No.1 top-selling Christian music artist according to the Billboard music charts. The GRAMMY-nominated album has sold more than 580,000 copies and was certified RIAA Gold in the first 10 weeks following its historical debut at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart in Sept., second only to High School Musical 2, setting a new record for a Christian artist without crossover promotion in the mainstream market. The album held at No.1 for 11 weeks on SoundScan’s Top Christian Albums chart and 13 weeks at No.1 on iTunes. The first radio single “East to West” spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on Christian AC radio. Plus, more than 200,000 fans attended the fall leg of Casting Crowns’ The Altar and The Door Fall Tour claiming the top-grossing Christian music event of the year grossing 4.4 million in ticket sales. The spring leg kicked off Jan. 31 and will hit 48 cities.

Read our interview with Casting Crowns here.
Read our review of The Altar and the Door here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sixpence None the Richer reuniting!

According to Leigh Nash's MySpace blog, Sixpence None the Richer is reuniting for an EP and tour!

Says Leigh:

...While he [Matt Slocum] was away we had both been thinking about the band and what we had all those years and what we took for granted. We were missing each other and the gift that I believe God gave us- I knew before that the two of us were more powerful than one of us alone, but it was becoming more obvious as time ticked by. We realized we were on the same page and decided to make Sixpence None the Richer records for the next 2,000 to 3,000 years!!!! Seriously- as long as we can: ) We are in the middle of making an EP right now that will be available soon! We also have a tour planned beginning in April. Yay!!! These things started happening almost immediately after we decided to start up the engines again. Amazing! I am so thankful and excited for the future. There is a Sixpence myspace page in the works and many details to come about the tour, EP etc very soon...

Read our interview with Leigh here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Drummer Stew Smith leaving Delirious

Stew recently shared this open letter to Delirious fans about his departure:

A little over twelve years ago Delirious? set sail on what was to be the most adventurous and exciting journey of my life. Five guys from the small town of Littlehampton – a seaside town only ever made famous by ‘The Body Shop’ - dreamt of one day filling stadiums with the ‘sound of Heaven.’

As I sit and replay the past years I have had so many highlights - so many times when a dream has become a reality - that it seems unreal to be thinking of a different future. But I am, and as of the May 1st 2008, I will embark on a new and exciting journey. I will no longer be the drummer who has seen so many things and loved every minute of life within Delirious?. For me and my family, I am excited about starting a new career and a new future; Smeezer the Designologist will come into the world. I’m going to be taking all of the many experiences I’ve had and the skills I’ve picked up to launch a new creative agency.

I can hear you wanting to know the reasons why. Why would I want to move on? I have found the touring an increasing pressure on both me and my family. We function better as a complete unit than when we are separated for so many months of the year, and I wish to be at home, to be around and be far more local. I wish to develop myself further within the design business world allowing all of the gifting that I have been blessed with to explode out of me.

As you know I have had the chance over the last 12 years to continue developing my previous career within design as Creative Director with Delirious? and Furious? Records. I’m also really looking forward to getting stuck into Church life back home - Arun Community Church has been our home for the past 20years and I cannot wait to see what emerges within a vibrant and dynamic Church. I also feel that I need to push myself; I could so easily continue playing drums within Delirious? and I could see myself in ten years time behind the kit continuing to pull the Stew Smee faces, but feel that I need to make myself vulnerable, allowing God to get a hold of me and sharpen me once again.

I am so excited for Delirious?. A fantastic future lies ahead of them and I will continue to be very much involved, both as a friend and creatively.

Please join me at my last UK show on the 29th of March at the Indigo Club in London and celebrate a journey that I would not have missed for the world. [Stew will be touring with Delirious? in the US through May.]

Thank you to my family, Sarah, Abi and Jemimah for your incredible support and devotion. To my four amazing friends Martin [Smith], Stu G, Jon [Thatcher] and Tim [Jupp] for what can only be described as the ride of a lifetime. And all of you around the world that have not only sung the songs but are decided to a life of being true ‘History Makers.’ I am deeply proud to have been a part of this moment in history.

Stew Smith
Drummer Delirious?

Read our interview with Delirious here.

Friday, February 1, 2008