Friday, December 11, 2009

Tobymac Set to Release "Tonight" February 9th

December 7, 2009: With three back-to-back RIAA Gold-certified records under his belt, five GRAMMY® Awards, and now his fourth solo GRAMMY® nomination as well, GMA’s 2008 Artist of the Year, TobyMac, will release his fourth studio project, “TONIGHT” on Feburary 9th.

“TONIGHT” is getting a great head start this fall with TobyMac’s hit single, “City On Our Knees,” the fastest charting and selling track in his career. The single has already sold over 133,000 copies and has hit No. 1 on the top 100 Hot Digital Tracks chart as well as on the Billboard Top Singles chart. In addition, it held the No. 1 spot on both the National Christian Audience chart for 9weeks as well as SoundScan’s Christian Digital Track chart for eleven weeks.

“City On Our Knees” was fervently embraced at radio with 96 stations adding it to their playlist in the first three weeks, and sped to No.1 on AC Monitored and at CHR, while currently No.3 at AC Indicator.

Produced by TobyMac along with Chris Stevens (Portable Sounds), Jamie Moore (Ayiesha Smith, Stephanie Woods) and Dave Wyatt (a.k.a. “D-dub) also his musical director, TobyMac has spent the last two and a half years creating “TONIGHT,” in a recording process that he doesn’t take lightly:

“The recording process means a lot to me, and I don’t approach what I do haphazardly” he says. “I have a lot of passion when it comes to my records. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but there’s this range of emotions that come with making a record. Music is something that can actually open people’s minds to who God is. Music will never change the world, but God can choose to use music, and that’s what I count on. I want my songs to be said in a way that anyone can relate to them. I want them to move people’s lives forward; move people toward God, and if I’m accomplishing that, whether or not anyone loves this record, as long as I feel like that is what I’m doing, then I feel like my job is done.”

As with previous TobyMac projects, “TONIGHT” also features special guest collaborations and a diversity of musical styles. The title track brings in John Cooper of Skillet, while “Wonderin’” features Matthew Thiessen of Relient K, and Nirva Ready belts her vocals on “Changed Forever.” A true highlight, and one of the most anticipated moments is with TruDog, TobyMac’s 10 year old son Truett’s, full song debut with the track “LoudNClear.”

In an effort to offer only the best variety to TobyMac’s audience, “TONIGHT” will be available as a physical CD and in digital form, both of which will feature bonus remixes and behind the scenes video.

TobyMac is currently on the road on his annual Winter Wonder Slam tour and will announce exciting 2010 tour plans soon.

www.tobymac.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ayiesha Woods to release Christmas album Nov 10th

GRAMMY- nominated singer Ayiesha Woods injects her soulful vocal prowess into a classic holiday offering with Christmas Like This on November 10th. The album will be available as a physical CD product exclusively through MusiChristian.com with the digital album being available at all other online retailers.

“Here at MusiChristian.com we believe strongly in partnerships and are thrilled to partner with Gotee and Ayeisha on her latest Christmas project,” says Daniel Smallbone, CEO of MusiChristian.com and BooksChristian.com.

The nine-song track listing includes Woods’ inventive take on the classics including “Merry Christmas Baby”, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”, “Jingle Bells”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, “O Holy Night”, “Joy to the World”, This Christmas”, and “ O Come All Ye Faithful”.

Producer Jamie Moore (CeCe Winans, tobyMac) comments, "Being from Muscle Shoals, AL and growing up with all of its music heritage, I've always wanted to do an old soul album,” He adds, “Ayiesha definitely took me to that place with her undeniable soulful and rootsy vocals. Hopefully this Christmas album will be racked alongside the other classics for years to come."

Read our interview with Ayiesha.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jennifer Knapp Returning to Music!

It looks like the wait might finally be over! According to the official Jennifer Knapp website and Myspace page Jennifer is planning to return to the music scene.

Read a personal letter from Jennifer here. So what has she been doing? Traveling, mostly. And getting her feet under herself, "discovering more about myself and my faith".

This is exciting news for many in the Christian music industry! Follow Jen on Twitter for up-to-date info.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bebe and CeCe Winans Releasing 1st Studio Record in 15 years

B&C Records in conjunction with Malaco Records is proud to announce the upcoming release of Still, the highly anticipated and eagerly awaited new studio album from the platinum-selling chart-topping award-winning gospel duo BeBe & CeCe Winans. Still will be available online and in stores on Tuesday, October 6.

Still is BeBe & CeCe’s first album in more than 15 years and is the reunion that has been on the lips of fans around the world since it was announced earlier this year. Since the their self-titled debut album in 1987, this chart-topping brother and sister duo topped the R&B and inspirational charts with their debut single, “I.O.U. Me,” and generated Grammy nominations, Dove and Stellar Gospel Awards. BeBe & CeCe were the first African-American artists to receive significant airplay on CCM radio stations and the second African American artists to receive the Dove Award in the Group of the Year category.

Premiering 11 new BeBe & CeCe classics, Still includes the album’s recently released lead single, “Close to You” which has received critical acclaim and success for its soul-stirring, smooth sound and pristine vocals. The video for the single was recently launched on Yahoo and can be viewed by logging onto http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos. Other tracks on Still include the heart wrenching “Grace,” “Things” (featuring brother Marvin Winans), “Let It Be” (featuring Mary Mary) and “I Found Love” (Cindy’s Song) which is destined to be the wedding song of the year.

With assistance from longtime producer and collaborator Keith Thomas, along with Warryn Campbell, Percy Bady, Peter Zizzo, Merv Warren and Mario Winans, BeBe & CeCe weave their love for God in a faith-fueled gospel sound that combines a tuneful blend of R&B, pop, soul, jazz and more.

Growing up in Detroit, MI, Benjamin “BeBe” Winans and Priscilla “CeCe” Winans were born into a home that birthed the first family of Gospel music. The Winans Family was led by a mother and father who taught their ten children the foundations of a Godly life and admonished them to use their voices for the glory of God. The success of their four brothers, The Winans, blazed a trail for BeBe & CeCe to create their own path of writing and performing music that would attract a legion of fans and change the face of Gospel music forever.

After the success of their debut album, BeBe & CeCe became the first Gospel pair to see their second album, Heaven, reach #1 on the Billboard sales charts in 1988 and also be certified Gold. The title track reached #12 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and also spawned two more hit singles with “Lost Without You” and “Celebrate New Life.”

In 1991, the dynamic duo released Different Lifestyles featuring the single “Addictive Love” and a cover of the Staples Singers classic, “I’ll Take You There.” Both singles topped the R&B charts. From there, BeBe & CeCe released two more albums and after an amazing run of smash hits and albums, BeBe & CeCe went on to pursue incredibly successful solo careers.

With a phenomenal career that has spanned more than 20 years, BeBe & CeCe have become one of the most commercially successful gospel artists in the business. As a duo their accolades include five Grammy Awards, eight Dove Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, one Soul Train Award and over a dozen Stellar Awards. They have also racked up 12 chart topping R&B singles, as well as numerous #1 singles on Christian AC and CHR radio, three gold albums and one platinum album.

In conjunction with the release of Still, the BeBe & CeCe Reunion Tour will criss-cross the country later this year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Covers EP releasing digitally by Ruth

Last fall heartfelt rockers Ruth released a successful sophomore album, "Anorak," which garnered the band such praise as "one of the best acts on Tooth & Nail Records' star-studded roster." Now the band so many have fallen in love with is back with "The Covers EP" featuring five covered tunes ranging from Buddy Holly to Coldplay (track listing below). "The Covers EP" will be available digitally on August 25, 2009. Yesterday the first single "Fix You" (Coldplay) was digitally released on iTunes. On August 11th, "Everyday" (Buddy Holly) will be released.

Band founder / singer Dustin Ruth shares, "We are super excited about the release of this EP. Each one of these songs is special to us for different reasons, and it was really fun to go into the studio and put our own 'Ruth' spin on them. We hope everyone enjoys them!"

Beginning this Saturday, August 1st, Ruth will be hitting the road again playing various venues and festivals including Spirit West Coast (Monterey), The Knitting Factory (LA), 12th & Porter (Nashville) to The Plaza Club (Vancouver, BC) (tour dates below). Some dates will be will also include Sleep For Sleepers. Check their MySpace for updates and more information.

Download the "Fix You" single:
Ruth

Track Listing for "The Covers EP"

1. Everyday (Buddy Holly)
2. Dream (Averly Brothers)
3. I'm The One Who Wants To Be With You (Mr. Big)
4. Give Me One Reason (Tracy Chapman)
5. Fix You (Coldplay)

Read our interview with Ruth
Read our review of Anorak

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Avalon record Reborn "Not your Mom's Avalon"

While Avalon is certainly proud of their past (21 chart-topping singles, 6 Dove Awards, 3 Grammy nominations and an American Music Award), it sure would be easy for the quartet to rest on their laurels and continue to offer their known slick brand of vocal pop. But they are now Reborn, their aptly titled brand new project, slated for release on September 15th (E1 Music).

It is important to note that the similarity between any previous Avalon albums and Reborn ends now, thanks to this cutting edge and unequivocally original record. "Reborn is a fitting title because it signifies the birth of something new and exciting, which is certainly true of the current season of Avalon," explains Janna Long, the group's founding member. Comprising the rest of the quartet is Greg Long (Janna's husband and group member since '03), Jeremi Richardson, as well as its newest member, Amy Richardson, making her Avalon debut on Reborn, and who also happens to be Jeremi's wife.

"I've literally listened to Avalon for as long as I can remember, so I can tell you both as a member and a fan that people's jaws are going to hit the ground when they hear Reborn," asserts Jeremi, who joined the group in 2007. "Everyone I've played it for so far says they'd never expect it, but at the same time, they can totally tell it's Avalon, which to us is the ultimate compliment."

One of the most instantly apparent changes comes in the credits, which for the very first time in the group's illustrious history unites the group with producer Ian Eskelin (All Star United, Krystal Meyers, Stellar Kart, Francesca Battistelli). It's a curious choice indeed considering his respected rankings in the modern rock spectrum, but one that helps cement Avalon's latest endeavor as arguably their most ambitious to date.

"This has been one of the most unique and fun recording projects I have ever been involved in," Ian Eskelin exclaims. "These guys are fearless and their vocals are killer. They are some of the hardest working, ready for anything, talented musicians I have worked with."

A tour is slated for the Fall to promote the new project. This is sure to be an exciting time on the road for Avalon as the group is more than ready to share their new songs with fans across the country.

For the creation of Reborn, Avalon partnered with the label E1 Music. Along with the new venture came a completely open creative canvas where the group was encouraged to stretch itself further than ever before. Previously known as Koch Records, E1 Music has hosted the diverse likes of The Beatles' Ringo Starr, Ashley Cleveland, Twila Paris, and Bishop E. Long.

"They took all the reigns off and basically said, 'you've been doing this for awhile, so just do what you do,'" recalls Greg of the E1 experience. "No one was ever looking over our shoulders talking to us about core demographics, which gave us the chance to just focus on the artistic side. We love our history and are grateful for everything God's given us, but that type of freedom also allowed us the opportunity to experiment and have a lot of fun in the process."

Reborn offers aggressive melodies tied with atypical harmonies and guitar-driven moments. The new sound is sure to give dedicated Avalon fans a new twist on the group's well-known formula, while expanding its appeal to a wider audience than ever before.

"Over the last three years, we released a hymns record, a covers record and a retrospective record, plus had some members change," Janna reflects. "Between that and the fact that life was just happening right alongside it all, there's a pivotal change and evolution. Sure, the vocal standpoint is consistent with the Avalon sound, but the rest is much more varied. This is definitely not your Mom's Avalon record!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thousand Foot Krutch song "Fire it Up" available at iTunes

With a little over a month until fans will get their hands on the fifth studio album "Welcome to the Masquerade" from rockers Thousand Foot Krutch, a new single from the forthcoming project is made available today on iTunes. The single "Fire It Up" is the second single fans have heard from the new CD as the first single, "Bring Me to Life," was a free download with the Taco Bell "Feed The Beat" program earlier this Spring.

"Fire It Up" is a high-energy, crunchy riff-filled, rock song that is being featured in a major movie trailer for "G.I. Joe", two upcoming video games (MX vs. ATV Reflex and upcoming EA Sports NHL 10 (game releases September 15th, soundtrack July 31st)), used on ESPN's airing of the NASCAR Nationwide series feature on Kyle Busch and on the Versus Network during the Edmonton IndyCar race this past weekend.

Terry Lingner, IndyCar on Versus Producer had this to say, "IndyCar Racing is all about power and sound and we are flat to the floor with Thousand Foot Krutch's material. Talk about a great mix. TFK in your face and the power appeal of land rockets!"


Click here to buy the song on iTunes today!

Hawk Nelson's Live Life Loud CD cover revealed!

"Live Life Loud is really about encouraging our fans to do just that. To live your life loud, to embrace all that life brings your way and experience every moment of it to the fullest extent. This is the message we want our fans to come away with after they hear the album." -- Hawk Nelson bassist Daniel Biro.

Recorded in Nashville, TN, Hawk Nelson enlisted producer Steve Wilson to craft what was to become a 12-song set that sweeps from the manic to the mellow and all points in between. Live Life Loud was recorded in two separate sessions, due to a hectic touring schedule, and marks the first time the band wrote songs together by just jamming as a band. The album also features collaborations with Chris Stevens, Matthew Gerrard, TobyMac, Trevor McNevan and Bart Millard. This fourth studio album release from the band hits fans' hands on September 22nd. The first two singles "Live Life Loud" and "Meaning of Life" are currently available on iTunes.

Also make sure you pick up your pair of TOMS Shoes to help the band get their goal for their Haiti shoe drop. For every pair of shoes purchased via Hawk Nelson's website equals a pair of shoes that TOMS donates to a child in Haiti towards the band's ongoing involvement with the Hands & Feet Orphanage. Check out the YouTube video.

1. Live Life Loud
2. Never Enough
3. Eggshells
4. Meaning Of Life
5. Alive
6. Ode To Lord Stanley
7. Long Ago
8. The Job
9. Shaken
10. Lest We Forget
11. Tis So Sweet
12. The Final Toast

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thousand Foot Krutch's Trevor McNevan has emergency appendectomy... cancels Creation NorthWest appearance

Tooth & Nail Records' Thousand Foot Krutch sadly announces that they will not be performing at Creation Northwest this Friday due to frontman Trevor McNevan's emergency surgery late yesterday evening. McNevan was taken to the emergency room for appendicitis, which resulted in an routine appendectomy around 8 p.m.. The band issued this statement about their unfortunate cancellation of their Creation appearance.

"We are saddened that we're not able to rock out with our fans at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheater. One of the highlights of festival season is Creation Northwest and the fans that come out to support us and all the amazing artists. However, right now Trevor needs to rest and recover. We would appreciate prayers for Trevor and Erin as he heals." Thousand Foot Krutch

Creation Festival issued this statement:
"Thousand Foot Krutch guarantees for an amazing show and they are a festival favorite, so we are saddened to hear they won't make it this year to Creation Northwest. We are praying for Trevor and his wife, Erin. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to having him and the guys out on tour this fall." Nick Kulb (Creation Festival)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fireproof Soundtrack Now Available

fireproof

The FIREPROOF songs that you've fallen in love with are available in one place: The FIREPROOF Original Motion Picture Soundtrack!

The soundtrack features the full score, which was composed by Mark Willard, Sherwood's musical minister. And it has these songs from popular artists that you hear in the film:

Leeland's "Brighter Days"
Third Day's "This Is Who I Am"
Casting Crowns' "Slow Fade"
John Waller's "While I'm Waiting"
Grey Holiday's "You Belong To Me"
Warren Barfield's "Love Is Not A Fight"

There's even a special bonus track: the FIREPROOF Remix of John Waller's "While I'm Waiting," which features sound clips from the film interspersed with John's beautiful song.

The FIREPROOF Soundtrack is available starting today, July 14, at your favorite Christian store and online retailer. Be sure to let your friends know by utilizing the Soundtrack banners, available online.

Buy it at Amazon.com
Buy it at CBD.com
Buy it at iTunes

Christmas album coming from downhere!

Downhere, one of Christian music’s premiere rock bands, is scheduled to release their first full-length holiday album, How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas, October 6, 2009. The new project was produced by Downhere and will be distributed by Word Distribution.

The idea to record their first Christmas CD grew over the years for Downhere as they performed several holiday concerts in their hometown of Franklin, TN, beginning in 2001. (Glenn Lavender is the only band member who still resides in Canada). Then the thought grew to fruition with the success of the single, “How Many Kings,” which went to #4 on the Christian AC charts in 2007, followed by the Bethlehem Skyline tour last year with their labelmates on Centricity Music.

How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas features the timeless classics of the Yuletide season that are recorded with the Downhere style. “Basically we made a giant list of Christmas songs and narrowed them down to our top choices, realizing that every one of them was at least a hundred years old,” says lead singer, Marc Martel. “We all really resonate with a love for good lyrics, the classic ones that are going to last, so we do a lot of really old Christmas carols. However, we also tried to make the old stuff sound new.”

How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas kicks-off with “How Many Kings” and flows into Christmas standards such as “God res Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Silent Night,” “What Child Is This,” and “We Wish You A Merry A Christmas,” to name a few. The songs are a mixture of fun and religious tunes but the majority of songs resonate with the true meaning of the season.

“We didn’t want to pack a whole Christmas record with ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ or anything that was considered all that fluffy,” explains drummer Jeremy Thiessen. “We were very selective in wanting to pick songs that actually said something than simply ‘it’s Christmas let’s party!’ We’re just trying to get people to pay attention and unplug from all of the running around.”

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mark Schultz releasing new studio album in August!

Platinum-selling, Dove Award winning recording artist, Mark Schultz, releases his long-awaited, fifth studio album, Come Alive, Aug. 25 on Word Records. One of Christian music’s most acclaimed singer/songwriters, Schultz’s first new studio album in nearly three years is also his most personal recording to date, inviting listeners to “come alive” through these songs birthed by stories of hope, loss, joy and redemption.

New for Schultz, working with more than one or two producers for an album, Come Alive features the distinct and masterful touches from multiple GRAMMY Award winner Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Third Day, CeCe Winans), Shaun Shankel (BeyoncĂ©, Hilary Duff), Bernie Herms (Natalie Grant, Avalon) and Paul Mills (Third Day, Bluetree). The album also features collaborations with such hit making songwriters as Bart Millard and Barry Graul of Mercy Me, Matthew West, Joy Williams and Herms. The combination of talent and Schultz’s own vision for this album results in his most thought-provoking, musically diverse project to date.

“I would hope that when people listen to this CD they can identify with the struggles within the songs, but at the same time know that God is the same God through the struggles as He is during the triumphant moments. Christ, who began a good work, will finish a good work. It may not be on your own timeline or not even the way you imagined it, but He promises He will. There’s a bigger picture out of our control, but God has made these promises and I want to hold onto that.”

“He Is,” the first radio single from Come Alive to release July 10, is an expression of this hope that was inspired by the stories of two families battling cancer.

“Payton Cram was a girl who came to one of my concerts in Michigan with her dad,” recalls Schultz. “I was really amazed at her maturity for her young age, even as she had cancer. When the cancer started to get bad, I flew up and spent a day with her and prayed with her and her family. She was a beautiful girl. She was never going to blame God for her cancer. She never asked ‘Why me?’ She just always knew there was a bigger purpose in it.”

During the same time Payton was fighting cancer, Mark learned from his wife, Kate, about a missionary family whose fourth child was born on a Friday and on Sunday they found out the mother had terminal cancer. “The father of the family said, ‘Well, we can’t praise God on Friday and curse him on Sunday…We have to trust that He knows what’s going on,’ and that’s when the idea of ‘He Is’ was born,” says Schultz. “He is, He was and always will be. It’s a pretty important message–no matter what kind of rough road you are riding through.”

Another poignant song on the album, “What It Means to Be Loved,” is “the only song I’ve ever played in concert that received a standing ovation before the end of the first chorus was over,” recalls Schultz. Kate was again a source of inspiration for the song: “My wife said to me, ‘Since you are adopted, I think we should adopt kids too. I think we should adopt kids with special needs…maybe someday we adopt kids with special needs that doctors know are only going to live for a year or two,’” recalls Schultz. “I replied, ‘Honey, why would we do that?’ She answers, ‘Because, before they go to heaven, I want them to know what a great Christmas is like and what a great birthday is like and let them know they were loved well before they get to heaven.’ That’s the kind of wife I’m married to.”

This conversation was sparked by the story his wife told him about a family who was expecting a child and were told that tests revealed health issues that meant the baby probably wouldn’t live long. Although the doctor’s suggested terminating the pregnancy, the mother decided she would love the child as long as she could. Schultz channeled those emotions into the “What It Means to Be Loved” lyrics: I want to give her the world / I want to hold her hand/ I want to be her mom just as long as I can and live every moment until that day comes/ I want to show her what it means to be loved. Schultz’ clear, compelling voice conveys the sense of sadness, yet shares the spirit of hope and abundant love that lie at the heart of the song.

“As Christians, we are called to be love,” says Schultz. “If that means loving a baby that will be here seven minutes or 70 years, it doesn’t make any difference.”

Pulling from real life experiences for the new record, many of the songs on Come Alive were also inspired when Schultz rode his bicycle from coast to coast to raise over $250,000 to benefit the James Fund, which provides assistance for widows and orphans. Along the way he learned much about himself, the human condition and God’s sovereignty. Those revelations reverberate throughout his new album.

“The album is a powerful work of art, full of emotion and featuring the most prolific and moving work Mark Schultz has ever written,” says Mark Bright, Word Entertainment President and CEO. “His ability to capture life’s most fragile moments in song, and lead people closer to God by revealing His glory in every situation, is what makes Mark Schultz such a gifted artist.”

Taking the songs from Come Alive on the road, Schultz will debut new music and fan favorites on a 40-plus-city tour beginning with the festival circuit this summer and leading into his “Come Alive” tour featuring platinum-selling group Point Of Grace that launches Sept. 10 in Decatur, IL. For the latest list of tour dates, visit www.markschultzmusic.com.

Lauded at No. 1 on Billboard’s “Hot Christian Adult Contemporary Songwriters” list and with nine No. 1 radio hits, Schultz was the centerpiece of the U.S. Army campaign “Letters From War,” named Christian Music Today’s Male Vocalist in 2003, and featured on the national TV programs, 48 Hours, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, CNN and more. His 2005 release, Mark Schultz Live…A Night of Stories & Songs, sold RIAA certified Platinum and garnered Schultz his first GMA Dove Award.

For additional information on Mark Schultz, visit www.markschultzmusic.com or www.wordlabelgroup.com.

Jeremy Camp Headlining tour with Natalie Grant and Bebo Norman

Making his passion known this past year with the release of "Speaking Louder Than Before," BEC Recordings artist Jeremy Camp is introducing his fall tour named after the recently released CD and with a purpose at hand. As his first headlining tour in almost two years, Camp will be joined by reigning Dove Female Artist of the Year Natalie Grant and label-mate Bebo Norman. The "Speaking Louder Than Before" The Tour is kicking off in Florida on September 10th (dates below). The tour will also be sponsored by Compassion International.

Tickets for the anticipated tour will go on sale Friday, July 10th in addition to a special iTickets / iTunes promotion. For those who purchase tickets via iTickets from July 10th until July 24th, they will receive a code for two free downloads at iTunes ("Beyond Measure" by Jeremy Camp and "Never Saw You Coming" by Bebo Norman). The codes will be given out for each ticket purchased (not per order).

Earlier this year, Camp and his management company began a ministry called "Speaking Louder Ministries," a direct correlation to his recent release, which produced his seventeenth No. 1 radio single ("There Will Be a Day"). The purpose behind "Speaking Louder Ministries" is tri-fold: bringing a raised awareness to the local outreaches in the cities that Jeremy Camp performs, helping equip the church body and local community to get involved in ministry together, and impacting the needs of the community/organization with physical goods. For more information and specific local market info go to the ministry homepage.

On the fall tour, Speaking Louder Ministries will partner with a local radio station to promote the local outreach. At each concert, there will be a booth present as a distribution point to draw a larger awareness for the ministry organization.

This 30+ city tour will make a huge impact in each market, and Camp is thrilled about this opportunity. "I'm really looking forward to the tour and to what's being planned with Speaking Louder Ministries," shares Camp. "We'll have unique opportunities in each and every town that we play on this tour to be a part of local ministry. I'm hoping to see the body of Christ engaged and fired up to help local ministries in need. This will be more than just a typical concert experience, we will be working and worshiping together for the Kingdom of God."

See below for the tour dates as well as additional information regarding each artist on the "Speaking Louder Than Before" The Tour. Tour publicity contact also listed below.

About Jeremy Camp: Since his debut BEC Recordings' project in 2002 (Stay), Jeremy Camp has made a definitive mark in the industry with his ability to compose hit songs and capture audiences of all ages selling more than three million records. Following his Gold-selling debut, Camp has released four additional studio projects, which have garnered a total of three RIAA Gold-Selling albums. With 17 career No. 1 radio hits under his belt, Jeremy Camp is clearly a powerhouse on the radio waves nationwide across all formats (CHR, AC, INSPO, and Rock). Jeremy has the most consecutive No. 1 singles at AC Monitored since 2003 when R&R began their Christian chart. His debut single from "Speaking Louder Than Before," "There Will Be A Day" hit the top on three formats on AC Indicator (16 weeks), CHR (10 weeks) and AC Monitored (6 weeks). Jeremy Camp has also been honored with multiple Dove-nominations and five awards, a 2007 American Music Award nomination, and three-time ASCAP Christian Music Awards "Songwriter of the Year" (2008, 2006, 2005) winner including "Song of the Year" (2006). In 2008, Jeremy Camp was voted for the fifth consecutive year in a row by readers on Christianity Today's music site as the "Best Male Artist."

About Natalie Grant: One of the genre's biggest names and GMA Dove Award Female Vocalist of the Year for four consecutive years, Curb recording artist Natalie Grant is among a select number of artists to have also achieved a formidable foothold at mainstream media and radio. A powerhouse vocalist, heart-gripping songwriter and charismatic performer, she's eager to push boundaries and thus has become Christian music's top selling Adult Contemporary female solo artist in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Recently, Grant received RIAA Gold certification of her 2005 breakthrough album, Awaken. In addition to her music, she is an outspoken advocate for victims of human trafficking. The Home Foundation, which Grant created in 2005, has raised over a quarter of a million dollars to fight the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. For further information, visit www.thehomefoundation.net or www.nataliegrant.com

About Bebo Norman: Norman's 1999's national debut, Ten Thousand Days, received much acclaim for a new artist. The follow-up, Big Blue Sky, was voted No. 1 Christian album of 2001 by the editors at Amazon.com. Myself When I Am Real (2002) earned seven Dove Award nods and charted the defining hit, "Great Light of the World." In 2007, Norman partnered with Seattle's BEC Recordings to release his first Christmas project that garnered him another Dove nomination. In 2008, he released his self-titled album, which was said of Billboard as "the beginning of a vibrant new chapter in an already distinguished career." For more information: www.myspace.com/bebonorman

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ayiesha Wood's song Happy in My Life in Ruins movie

GRAMMY- nominated singer Ayiesha Woods’ hit song “Happy” will be used in the movie My Life In Ruins, which begins showing in theaters nationwide today, June 5th.

My Life in Ruins is romantic comedy film set amongst the ruins of ancient Greece, starring Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis, Rachel Dratch, Harland Williams and British comedy actor and impressionist Alistair McGowan. The film is about a tour guide whose life takes a personal detour, while her group gets entangled in comic situations among the ruins, with a series of unexpected stops along the way.

Woods’ sophomore release Love Like This streeted last September 9th and has joined the highly merited ranks of her power-packed Gotee Records album Introducing Ayiesha Woods. The debut offering garnered Woods a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album”, as well as nabbing her an additional nod in the Dove Awards “New Artist of the Year” category. CCM Magazine also followed Woods’ career as one of three emerging musical talents for 2006 in their “Band Wagon” column, and MTVU.com’s URGE service (www.urge.com) picked Introducing Ayiesha Woods in their 2006 TOP 10 year-end list for Inspirational music. Woods, a favorite on the Women of Faith touring circuit, continues to perform throughout this year at festivals and on dates nationwide.

Read our interview with Ayiesha Woods.

New Relient K music coming soon

The guys are heading out on a string of spring/early summer tour dates so they can start playing some of their new songs live. As you may know, the band is in the final stages of recording their next (and sixth!) studio album, tentatively titled, Forget and Not Slow Down. This new one will be released on Mono Vs. Stereo - a label that they started which will run thru Gotee.

They've been giving fans a peek into the world of recording their new record via some studio updates that can be seen here: http://vimeo.com/relientk.

Tour dates are as follows:
May 26 Pomona, CA The Glass House
May 27 Bakersfield, CA The Dome
May 28 Orangevale, CA The Boardwalk
May 29 Eugene, OR Indigo Distric
May 30 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
May 31 Seattle, WA Neumo's
June 2 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
June 3 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
June 4 Salt Lake City, UT Murray Theatre
June 22 Ashville, NC Orange Peel
June 23 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
June 26 Rochester, NY Water Street
June 29 Green Bay, WI Riverside Ballroom
June 30 Duluth, MN Grandmas Sports Garden
July 2 Lawrence, KS Granada Theatre
July 3 Omaha, NE Slowdown

Monday, May 18, 2009

Behind the Scenes with Mat Kearney Part 1

Part 1 of a series in which Mat Kearney talks about the making of his new album City of Black & White.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stryper to preview "Murder By Pride" on iTunes

BIG3 Records has announced plans to “preview” Stryper's upcoming studio album Murder by Pride at iTunes.com. With this groundbreaking new promotion, Stryper fans will have an opportunity to purchase the album song-by-song, one week at a time, until the album's release on July 21, 2009.

Every Tuesday beginning May 5th, a new song from the upcoming album will be released at iTunes – for one week only – until the album's July 21st release date. Each week, the song will be replaced by another, giving fans a chance to purchase the complete album one song at a time until the album hits stores.

Stryper

Murder by Pride iTunes Release Schedule:
Tuesday, May 5 - "Eclipse of the Son"
Tuesday, May 12 - "Murder By Pride"
Tuesday, May 19 - "4 Leaf Clover"
Tuesday, May 26 - "The Plan"
Tuesday, June 2 - "Alive"
Tuesday, June 9 - "I Believe"
Tuesday, June 16 - "Love Is Why"
Tuesday, June 23 - "Mercy Over Blame"
Tuesday, June 30 - "Run In You"
Tuesday, July 7 - "Everything"
Tuesday, July 14 - "My Love (I'll Always Show)"
Tuesday, July 21 - FULL ALBUM IN STORES AND AT iTUNES

Murder by Pride also includes a cover of the BOSTON song "Peace of Mind" featuring BOSTON guitarist Tom Scholz. “Peace of Mind” is already available at iTunes.

Stryper will hit the road this fall with a 25th Anniversary Tour, hitting 50 cities in North America before going international in January and February 2010. Launching in September, the tour will be a two-set show. The first set will feature new Stryper material and include current bassist Tracy Ferrie, along with original members Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet and Oz Fox. The second set will feature all four original members, including original bassist Tim Gaines, wearing the original yellow and black stage outfits and performing the band's hits from the last 25 years.

In 1984, Stryper broke on to the scene with their debut EP Yellow and Black Attack, and have since gone on to sell 8 million albums and tour the world spreading an inspirational message through their branded sound of rock songs, heavy guitars and pristine harmony vocals. The group's unprecedented 1986 album To Hell with the Devil went platinum and was named one of the “100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music” by CCM Magazine.

In 2008, Michael Sweet joined legendary band BOSTON on vocals and guitar for their 54-city summer headlining tour of North America, performing the band's classic hits like "More than a Feeling," “Peace of Mind,” “Amanda” and “Don't Look Back.” BOSTON has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, including the band's 1976 self-titled debut, which has sold over 17 million copies to date and was the highest selling debut of all time. Sweet is currently in the studio recording the upcoming BOSTON album, due next year.

Jimmy Needham creates music video for "Firefly"

















CAPTION: Inpop Records singer/songwriter Jimmy Needham partners with director Chris Corrado ("Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "Charlie Wilson's War," NBC series "Life") to shoot the music video for his song "Firefly" at a Los Angeles coffee shop on April 15, 2009. "Firefly," from Needham's current release Not Without Love, was written for Needham's wife Kelly, who makes a guest appearance in the video.

Read our interview with Jimmy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stryper Announces 25th Anniversary Tour

Legendary Christian rock band Stryper has announced plans for a 25th Anniversary Tour, hitting 50 cities in North America this fall before going international in January and February 2010. Stryper's upcoming studio album Murder by Pride (Big3 Records) will be released in July.

The 25th Anniversary Tour, scheduled to launch in September, will be a two-set show. The first set will feature new Stryper material and include current bassist Tracy Ferrie, along with original members Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet and Oz Fox. The second set will feature all four original members, including original bassist Tim Gaines, wearing the original yellow and black stage outfits and performing the band's hits from the last 25 years.

"After recently learning about how precious life is and how often we take for granted the time that we have here on earth, I realized that this tour may very well be the most important tour in the history of Stryper," said Michael Sweet. "Tim, Robert, Tracy, Oz and myself are all stepping out together to show the importance of unity and forgiveness and the only way to show this is to live it. We've been faced with challenges over the past 25 years but two things have remained certain within our hearts and within our lives - the power of God's love and the beauty of God's grace."

The tour will be a family project, with Michael Sweet Jr's band Flight Patterns opening all dates. Their debut album will release on Fifty Three Five Records in July.

In 1984, Stryper broke on to the scene with their debut EP Yellow and Black Attack, and have since gone on to sell 8 million albums and tour the world spreading an inspirational message through their branded sound of rock songs, heavy guitars and pristine harmony vocals. The group's unprecedented 1986 album To Hell with the Devil went platinum and was named one of the “100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music” by CCM Magazine.

In 2008, Michael Sweet joined legendary band BOSTON on vocals and guitar for their 54-city summer headlining tour of North America, performing the band's classic hits like "More than a Feeling," “Peace of Mind,” “Amanda” and “Don't Look Back.” BOSTON has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, including the band's 1976 self-titled debut, which has sold over 17 million copies to date and was the highest selling debut of all time.

Murder by Pride will include a cover of the BOSTON song "Peace of Mind" that features BOSTON guitarist Tom Scholz on the recording. Ironically, Stryper had recorded "Peace of Mind" and planned to put it on their 2009 release long before Michael Sweet was even considered as a new member of BOSTON.

In 2008, BOSTON's Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl joined Stryper on stage to perform “Peace of Mind” for VH1 Classic's After Math: The Station Fire Five Years Later – a televised benefit concert also featuring performances by John Rich, Dierks Bentley, Gretchen Wilson, Aaron Lewis (Staind), Tesla, Twisted Sister, Winger and more.

"This record is a true miracle," said Michael Sweet. "We began rehearsing the new material in 2006 and now here we are looking at a 2009 release. It's been an extremely difficult process yet through this came one of the most powerful records that we've ever made. We decided to go back to what we were known for - vocal harmonies, guitar harmonies, solid grooves and melodic melodies and arrangements. We put our hearts and souls into making this record and we can only hope that it changes a few lives along the way. If so, it was all worth it!"

Everyday Sunday counts down to new album!

Everyday Sunday returns with its second Inpop Records release, Best Night of Our Lives, June 16, 2009. Produced by Mark Lee Townsend (Relient K, Jennifer Knapp, Supertones) and mixed by JR McNeely (Paramore, Jeremy Camp, tobyMac), Best Night of Our Lives finds the band exploring a more aggressive rock approach.

The follow-up to Everyday Sunday’s Inpop debut, Wake Up! Wake Up!, Best Night of Our Lives makes a power play in rock ’n’ roll with its booming title track “Best Night of Our Lives” about life-long friendship, and the full-force “Breathing for Me,” an anthem of surrender. The fullness of sound and lyric on “Where I Ended” reveals a passionate plea for escape and identity in God, while “Here With Me” strips down the sound to a pure acoustic melody.

“There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this is a rock record,” says Everyday Sunday frontman Trey Pearson. “It’s more forceful in a lot of ways; it’s definitely more mature. It’s just the best album that any of us have ever been a part of.”

“Everyday Sunday has become a Christian music mainstay over the years due to relentless touring and incredible radio support,” says Shara Katerberg-Hsu, director of marketing at Inpop Records. “We look forward to the band’s continued success with this great new album that once again raises the bar for Christian rock music.”

The project’s first two radio singles, “Best Night of Our Lives” and “Where I Ended” began vying for adds at Christian Rock and CHR, respectively, on Friday, March 27. The band has been playing music from its new record on the Acquire The Fire “Here Comes Trouble” tour, currently running through May.

Comprising Trey Pearson (lead vocals), Tyler Craft (bass), Kevin Cramblet (drums) and Nick Spencer (guitar), 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. The band’s Inpop Records debut, Wake Up! Wake Up!, released May 22, 2007, yielding the No. 1 CHR hit “Find Me Tonight” as well as Rock chart-topper “Wake Up! Wake Up!”. The album’s title track was additionally named 2007 Rock Song of Year by Radio & Records. For more information on Everyday Sunday, visit: www.myspace.com/everydaysunday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Dove Award Winners!

And the winners are:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Steven Curtis Chapman

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Tenth Avenue North

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Steven Curtis Chapman

SONG OF THE YEAR song title; writer; publisher (award to the writer and publisher)
“Give Me Your Eyes”; Brandon Heath, Jason Ingram; Sitka 6 Music/Essential Music Publishing (ASCAP), Peertunes Ltd. (SESAC), Grange Hill Music (SESAC), Windsor Way (SESAC)

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Brandon Heath

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Natalie Grant

GROUP OF THE YEAR
Casting Crowns

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Bernie Herms

RAP/HIP HOP RECORDED SONG (song; album; artist; writer; label)
“Do Yo Thang”; The Yearbook; KJ-52; Jonah Sorrentino; BEC Recordings/Uprok

ROCK RECORDED SONG
“Lost”; End Of Silence; Red; Jasen Rauch, Rob Graves, Chad Cates; Essential Records

ROCK/CONTEMPORARY RECORDED SONG
“Washed By The Water”; The Heat; NEEDTOBREATHE; Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart; Atlantic Records

POP/CONTEMPORARY RECORDED SONG
“Give Me Your Eyes”; What If We; Brandon Heath; Brandon Heath, Jason Ingram; Reunion Records

INSPIRATIONAL RECORDED SONG
“A New Hallelujah”; A New Hallelujah; Michael W. Smith; Michael W. Smith, Debbie Smith, Paul Baloche; Reunion Records

SOUTHERN GOSPEL RECORDED SONG
“Reason Enough”; Dream On; Ernie Haase & Signature Sound; Ernie Haase, Joel Lindsey, Wayne Haun; Gaither Music Group

BLUEGRASS RECORDED SONG
“They’re Holding Up The Ladder”; We Are Family; Jeff & Sheri Easter, Lewis Family, Easter Brothers; Russell Easter, James Easter, Edd Easter; Daywind Records

COUNTRY RECORDED SONG
“I Wish”; How You Live Deluxe Edition; Point of Grace; Cindy Morgan, Phil Madeira; Word Records

URBAN RECORDED SONG
“Get Up”; The Sound; Mary Mary; Warryn Campbell, Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, Eric Dawkins; Columbia Records, Integrity Music

TRADITIONAL GOSPEL RECORDED SONG
“Free At Last”; Down In New Orleans; The Blind Boys of Alabama; Traditional; Time Life Music

CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL RECORDED SONG
“How Great Is Our God”; How Great Is Our God; LaRue Howard; Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash; EMI Gospel

WORSHIP SONG
“Mighty To Save”; Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan; Hillsong Publishing

RAP/HIP HOP ALBUM (album; artist; producer; label)
Ordinary Dreamers; Group 1 Crew; Andy Anderson, Christopher Stevens, Sam Mizell; Fervent Records

ROCK ALBUM
Satisfied; DecembeRadio; Scotty Wilbanks; Slanted Records

ROCK/CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
Never Going Back To OK; The Afters; Dan Muckala; INO Records

POP/CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
Revelation; Third Day; Howard Benson; Essential Records

INSPIRATIONAL ALBUM
Great God Who Saves; Laura Story; Ed Cash; INO Records

SOUTHERN GOSPEL ALBUM
Lovin’ Life; Ernie Gaither Vocal Band; Bill Gaither, Guy Penrod, Marshall Hall, Wes Hampton; Gaither Music Group

BLUEGRASS ALBUM
We Are Family; Ricky Jeff & Sheri Easter, Lewis Family, Easter Brothers; Jeff Easter, Sheri Easter; Daywind Records

COUNTRY ALBUM
Around the Bend; Randy Travis; Kyle Lehning; Warner Bros. Records

URBAN ALBUM
The Fight of My Life; Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin; Zomba Gospel

TRADITIONAL GOSPEL ALBUM
Down In New Orleans; The Blind Boys of Alabama; Chris Goldsmith; Time Life Music, Integrity Music

CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL ALBUM
Change the World; Martha Munizzi; Aaron Lindsey, Israel Houghton; Martha Munizzi Music

INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; Various; Harry Gregson-Williams; Walt Disney Records

CHILDREN’S MUSIC ALBUM
Absolute Modern Worship for Kids 4; Various; Chance Scoggins; Fervent Records

SPANISH LANGUAGE ALBUM
Rescatame; Seventh Day Slumber; Alejandro Allen, Susana Allen; BEC Recordings

SPECIAL EVENT ALBUM
Passion: God of This City; Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall, David Crowder*Band, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Fee, Matt Redman; Nathan Nockels; Sparrow Records, sixsteps Records

CHRISTMAS ALBUM
Peace on Earth; Casting Crowns; Mark Hall, Mark A. Miller; Beach Street

PRAISE & WORSHIP ALBUM
A New Hallelujah; Michael W. Smith; Michael W. Smith; Reunion Records

MUSICAL (title; creator; publisher (award given to creator)
God Bless the USA; Sue C. Smith, Joel Lindsey, Russell Mauldin; Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing

YOUTH/CHILDREN’S MUSICAL
An Island Christmas; Wayne Haun, Shelby Haun, Joel Lindsey; Lillenas Publishing Company

CHORAL COLLECTION
I’ll Say Yes; Carol Cymbala; Brooklyn Tabernacle Music

RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING (product; art director; graphic artist; illustrator/photographer; label)
Revelation (Third Day); Tim Parker, Becka Blackburn; Tim Parker; David McClister, RW Sims; Essential Records

SHORT FORM MUSIC VIDEO (title; artist; director; producer; production company; label)
"Slow Fade"; Casting Crowns; John Erwin, Andy Erwin; Erwin Brothers Motion Pictures; Beach Street

LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO ( title; artist; director; producer; production company; label)
Alive and Transported; TobyMac; Eric Welch; Tameron Hedge, Dan Pitts; Broken Poet Productions; ForeFront Records

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Needtobreathe to release "The Outsiders" this summer

Atlantic/Word rock group NEEDTOBREATHE’s highly anticipated third studio album, The Outsiders, is set to release this coming summer. The band co-produced the entire album, along with producers John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer), the legendary Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wilco) and once again Rick Beato, who co-produced several tracks on the band’s sophomore release, The Heat.

The band is also excited to announce the addition of David Leonard (Jackson Waters) to their live touring band on keys and backing vocals. For more information, please visit www.needtobreathe.net or www.myspace.com/needtobreathe.

Kevin Max & Wife Announce Birth of 3rd Child















Kevin Max's wife Amanda has given birth to their third child, Knightly Christobal Max, who came into the world at 9:23 p.m. on March 24, 2009, at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Knightly, who joins big sister London and big brother Wilder, measured 20 inches long and weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz.

"We decided to name our third child, Knightly Christobal, after both of our affection for medieval art and history," said Kevin Max. "But all in all, he is looking to be the most modern of all our children, being of raven black hair and sharp blue eyes. I believe being a father is my greatest artistic accomplishment, and Amanda and I look forward to watching him grow and connect to his older brother and sister."

With dcTalk, Max accrued album sales exceeding 8 million, as well as numerous Grammy and Dove Awards. In recent years, Max has explored his art and his faith with several critically acclaimed solo projects, and live performances worldwide. His recently released EP, Crashing Gates, is available now at iTunes.

Integrity Music Launches First Ever Christian Artist iPhone Application

Integrity Music launches the first ever Christian artist iPhone Application in support of multiple GRAMMY, Stellar and Dove Award winner, Soul Train Award winner and double RIAA certified Gold-selling artist Israel Houghton and his critically acclaimed album, The Power Of One, releasing March 24 on Integrity Music/Columbia Records. Launching this week and available for FREE at the iPhone App Store, Israel’s app is on a short list of recording artists that have their own apps, including Akon, David Cook, P!nk, Fall Out Boy and only a few others.

Millions of iPhone or iPod Touch users can now take advantage of the advanced capabilities of their user interface to discover new music from Israel Houghton, and much more. Included in the application are direct iTunes store links to buy Israel’s The Power Of One, as well as purchase Israel’s entire discography. iPhone users will also be able to listen to 30-second previews of every song spanning Israel’s catalog of six acclaimed albums, read real time updates on Israel’s touring and other news from his website, see and share video streams from YouTube, such as song stories, live performances, etc., and flip through pictures of Israel. Additionally, users will have access Israel’s blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The app further allows users to access Israel’s new social justice site, http://didyoumakeyourmark.com, where people are encouraged to be “the power of one” and share their videos about what they have done to create positive change in their communities.

“As a media company, we strive to serve our customers through new media technologies,” says Mike Coleman, Integrity Media CEO/Founder. “The iPhone application store is a new frontier that allows us to deliver a unique mobile experience. I believe we are seeing the beginning of a new media channel that will continue to grow.”

“We are thrilled to be the first Christian Music label with an artist iPhone application,” adds John Coleman, Integrity Music VP. “We will continue to serve our audience with these rich media experiences. This is a focus area of development for our artists that I believe will bring a new level of exposure while using a compelling technology.”

“As a digital marketer, I’m always looking for ways to deliver our content in new and innovative ways,” says Chris Estes, Integrity Music director of digital sales and marketing. “I believe if you can hear it, you should be able to buy it. That is why I’m thrilled to use a new technology that facilitates that experience. The iPhone platform gives us a way to directly connect with fans with a device that is always with them. This application has harnessed all of the multimedia content into one place so the consumer experience is meaningful. When you tie in the easy touch points for consumers to purchase, this really becomes the best of both worlds...a great marketing tool with a solid sales channel built in.”

Israel Houghton is currently on a national major market, 37-city tour with Chris Tomlin that began Jan. 22 and has already logged 10 sellouts, including at Houston’s Berry Center, San Antonio’s Municipal Auditorium and Los Angeles’s Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk. With other venues across the country at, or near capacity, the latest tour information can be found at http://www.myspace.com/israelhoughtonmusic.

Israel’s The Power Of One marks his first solo studio offering after a string of highly successful New Breed live concert projects and features guest vocals from such genre-leading artists as tobyMac, Martin Smith of Delirious?, Mary Mary and Chevelle Franklyn. From its genre-blending roots reggae and heavy rock to sanctified funk and power pop, the album features songs of hope, redemption and revelation.

Active as worship leader in his local church, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, Houston, Israel has written or co-written 11 CCLI Top 500 favorites, served as worship leader at Hillsong conferences, Franklin Graham crusades and is a featured CompassionArt songwriter and artist. Israel also ministers through concerts in the U.S. and around the world, including accompanying Alicia Keys at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards for a performance of George Michael's “Freedom '90,” and as a performer at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards, taking part in a segment saluting Gospel music.

In 1995, Israel and Meleasa Houghton founded New Breed Ministries, an organization they continue to run and that is comprised of noted musicians and singers who serve within their respective churches and together serve the Church at large. Since then, Israel has amassed a legion of followers that bridges generational lines with popularity across African American, Latin and Caucasian listener lines. While blasting down barriers, he has been fittingly graced with 2 Gold-selling albums, 6 Dove Awards, 2 Stellar Awards, a Soul Train Award and 2 GRAMMY Awards, one for “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album” for A Deeper Level and one for “Best Traditional Gospel Album” for Alive In South Africa. He also penned his first book with New Breed, A Deeper Level (Whitaker House), and wrote a chapter in the recently released The Art of Compassion charity book.

Israel Houghton is signed to Integrity Music, distributed to Christian retail by Provident-Integrity Distribution and to the general market by Columbia Records/Sony Distribution. For more information, go to www.israelhoughton.net.

Michael Sweet's wife dies

Kyle Rae Sweet has passed on and is now at peace with her Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for the Sweet family. We ask that if you wish to express your sympathies within an e-mail that you send them to the following e-mail address: thesweetfamily@michaelsweet.com.

Kyle was diagnosed with cancer in February 2007. She passed away at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 5, 2009.

Kyle's life was dedicated to caring for her husband and home-schooling their two children. Her heart's desire was for their children to attend college. To best honor Kyle's work as a home-school mom there has been a fund set up called The Sweet Children's College Fund.

Donations to this fund can be made payable and mailed to:
Sweet Children's College Fund
Sovereign Bank
50 Cohasset Avenue
Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

A private funeral service will be held in the coming days.

Michael Sweet is a well-known musician and vocalist, best known as the co-founder and frontman of the band Stryper. Sweet is also a guitarist and vocalist for BOSTON.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jeremy Camp launches "Speaking Louder" Ministries

Staying true to his heart and passion with the recent release, "Speaking Louder Than Before," BEC Recordings Artist Jeremy Camp launches new ministry aptly titled "Speaking Louder Ministries." The debut of this ministry is a direct correlation to the November 2008 release, which has already sold more than 120,000 units. In addition, digital downloads exceeding 100,000 singles of the emotional radio hit song "There Will Be a Day," which resonated strongly with listeners. This week the song remained at No. 1 for the 13th week at AC Indicator. It also stayed at No. 1 for 9 weeks at CHR.

The purpose behind "Speaking Louder Ministries" is two-fold: Bringing a raised awareness to the local outreaches in the cities that Jeremy Camp performs. Secondly, helping equip the church body and local community to get involved in ministry together impacting the needs of their community.

Last weekend marked the first outreach in the local markets for Speaking Louder Ministries. Jeremy performed concerts in Sioux Falls, SD, Minneapolis, MN, and Fargo, ND. At each local level, the partners with Speaking Louder promoted the concert and a local organization to meet the needs of the community. Through the site, volunteers were recruited and greeted concertgoers collecting the goods that were requested for the organization.

In Sioux Falls, SD, the Speaking Louder Ministries raised awareness for the McCrossan Boys Ranch. This boys' ranch houses more than 60 young men ranging from ages 10-17 years old, who have been displaced by family or lost a parent. After visiting the ranch, Camp and the volunteers gathered winter clothes for the boys at the concert that evening.

The following night in Minneapolis, MN, the ministry joined with the Minneapolis Children's Hospital. Camp visited with the children and families as well as performed songs at the hospital. The community was asked to bring Valentines of some form (stuffed animal, card, candy, etc). The overwhelming response generated in more than 30,000 Valentine's items being donated. Such a huge amount collected that the local radio station KTIS was able to take items to needy schools and daycares. Finally in Fargo, ND, Churches-United Homeless Shelter received more than 1,000 pounds of food donated through the concert.

This ministry will be an ongoing outreach to the communities Jeremy Camp visits throughout the year and specifically as he tours in the fall. Beginning March 17th in Billings, MT, Jeremy will be touring on The Rock & Roll Worship Roadshow featuring MercyMe, Hawk Nelson and Tenth Avenue North and Addison Road. Tour dates found on Jeremy's site.

Speaking Louder Than Before: The pinnacle of 2008 for this male vocalist was releasing his fifth studio album co-produced by himself and Brown Bannister. The album debuted on Billboard 200 at No. 38 along with the No. 1 new release on the Billboard Christian chart after street week. Digital purchases shot "Speaking Louder Than Before" to No. 11 on the overall iTunes chart and No. 1 on the Christian albums chart. Billboard also labeled this album as his "best work to date," which clearly fans agree as it has moved his career sales to over three million units.

About Jeremy Camp: Since his debut BEC Recordings' project in 2002 (Stay), Jeremy Camp has made a definitive mark in the industry with his ability to compose hit songs and capture audiences of all ages selling more than three million records. Following his Gold-selling debut, Camp has released four additional studio projects (Carried Me: The Worship Project, Restored, Beyond Measure and Speaking Louder Than Before), which have garnered a total of three RIAA Gold-Selling albums. With 17 career No. 1 radio hits under his belt, Jeremy Camp is clearly a powerhouse on the radio waves nationwide across all formats (CHR, AC, INSPO, and Rock). Jeremy is now the artist with the most consecutive No. 1 singles at AC Monitored since 2003 when R&R began their Christian chart. He also received the No. 2 Song of the Year in 2008 with "Let it Fade," which remained in that No. 1 position for more than 10 weeks. His most recent single "There Will Be A Day" hit the top on three formats on AC Indicator, CHR and AC Monitored. Jeremy Camp has also been honored with multiple Dove-nominations and five awards, a 2007 American Music Award nomination, and three-time ASCAP Christian Music Awards "Songwriter of the Year" (2008, 2006, 2005) winner including "Song of the Year" (2006). In 2008, Jeremy Camp was voted for the fifth consecutive year in a row by readers on Christianity Today's music site as the "Best Male Artist."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

For the first time---cast your vote for the Dove Awards!

Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, Fireflight, Marvin Sapp, Third Day, TobyMac and Chris Tomlin have been nominated by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) membership for Artist of the Year at the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards on April 23, 2009 in Nashville.

Those artists were among the Dove Award nominees announced at a press conference today at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Information Center. The GMA Dove Awards, gospel music’s biggest night of the year, featuring artists from every style of gospel/Christian music coming together for a night of music and celebration, will be broadcast nationwide live on the Gospel Music Channel from 8 – 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on Thursday, April 23, 2009.

"Christian and gospel music expresses itself in many different ways and we applaud all nominated artists for their unique contributions to the music landscape,” said John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA). “The powerful messages of redemption, hope and joy found in the music of our Dove nominees come during a season in history when our country and the world need inspiration and encouragement.”

For the first time, fans will become stakeholders in the Dove Awards with an opportunity to vote for the winner of Artist of the Year along with New Artist of the Year, which includes nominees Addison Road, Francesca Battistelli, Fee, Jonathan Nelson, Remedy Drive, Chris Sligh and Tenth Avenue North. Fan voting, which will be conducted through the Gospel Music Channel website (www.gospelmusicchannel.com) and at www.doveawards.com, will open on February 26, the same day online voting opens for GMA members. The cumulative fan vote, which will continue through the live Dove Awards broadcast, will account for one-third of the total vote in those two categories.

The 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards will be handed out at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry House. Tickets to the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 615-242-0303.

While the awards are the purpose of the show, music performances will definitely share center stage at the Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music’s hottest and most diverse artists. In addition to the exclusive live broadcast, Gospel Music Channel will present back-to-back encore broadcasts that night and additional re-airings following. Gospel Music Channel’s rapid growth has made it the fastest growing network in television for the past two years and GMC is now available in more than 43 million homes in all major markets on the major cable systems as well as on DIRECTV on Channel 338.

The top artist nominee for Dove Awards is current three-time Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Tomlin, whose seven total nominations include Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone).” His latest CD Hello Love was nominated for Praise & Worship Album, while “Jesus Messiah” from that project earned a nomination for Worship Song of the Year. Tomlin was also included in the Special Event Album category for his participation on the Passion: God of This City compilation album and in the Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song category for gospel artist LaRue Howard’s recording of Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God,” which was the 2006 Song of the Year recipient.

Two female artists have the next biggest impact, with Natalie Grant and newcomer Francesca Battistelli each receiving five nominations. Grant, the current three-time Female Vocalist of the Year recipient, receives another nomination in the category, along with a nod for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Relentless, while the No. 1 radio hit from that record, “I Will Not Be Moved” was nominated for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. The Grant-penned “Breathe on Me” rounds out her five nominations in the Worship Song of the Year category.

Battistelli, the New York-born singer songwriter and now Dove Award Female Vocalist and New Artist of the Year nominee, burst on the Christian music scene with her summer 2008 hit “I’m Letting Go.” That song has now received Dove Award nominations for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year, and her debut CD My Paper Heart was nominated for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year.

Four-time Group of the Year Dove Award winners Casting Crowns will go for five with another Group of the Year nomination in 2009. The worship band’s total of five nominations includes Artist of the Year and Christmas Album of the Year for Peace on Earth. Casting Crowns also earned nods for Short Form Video for “Slow Fade” and for Long Form Video for “The Altar and the Door Live.”

Among the other Artist of the Year nominees, Steven Curtis Chapman has previously won this award seven times, the last one in 2000. Chapman, who has been touring with Michael W. Smith on the United Tour, has had renewed spotlight this past year centered on the Song of the Year nominee “Cinderella” which became an anthem for fatherhood not only on Christian radio, but worldwide. “Cinderella” is also nominated for Pop/Contemporary Recorded song and Chapman’s co-write of Bart Millard’s “You Reign” is another Song of the Year nominee.

Fireflight is recognized as Artist of the Year in the first year they have received any Dove Award nominations. The female-fronted (Dawn Richardson) rock band received national exposure as a favorite of TV networks like NBC, ABC and ESPN which have licensed their songs. Fireflight was also named one of the winners of Taco Bell's first "Best of the Beat" fan-voted contest and was named Gospel Music Channel's first "Listen Up Artist" last year. Now, they have four Dove Award nominations including Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year for Unbreakable, Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song for “Unbreakable” and Rock Recorded Song of the Year for “The Hunger.”

Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year nominee Marvin Sapp made history last year when his single "Never Would've Made It," from the gold-selling CD Thirsty, became the longest-running No. 1 single ever across all radio formats, spending a staggering 47 weeks at the top of the gospel radio charts. Earlier this year, Sapp was honored with eight Stellar Awards.

TobyMac, the current Artist of the Year recipient, finds himself nominated again this year. The headliner of the popular Winter Wonder Slam concert series, TobyMac recently won his first solo GRAMMY Award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album with Alive and Transported. The concert DVD of that CD is also nominated for a Dove Award for Long Form Video of the Year.

Rounding out the Artist of the Year nominees, Third Day earns its nomination after a successful year with the release of Revelation, which is nominated for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year. That CD debuted at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart in July, landing the band on the cover of Billboard magazine. Third Day also toured with Switchfoot, Jars of Clay and Robert Randolph & The Family Band on the "Music Builds Tour" for Habitat for Humanity and performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Other artists receiving four nominations include Brandon Heath, Mary Mary, Laura Story and Michael W. Smith.

Producers and songwriters also enjoyed big nomination success this year with Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli, Remedy Drive) and Wayne Haun (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, HisSong) each receiving eight nods while Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Laura Story) came in with six and Jason Ingram (Brandon Heath, Meredith Andrews) and Warryn Campbell (Mary Mary, Kierra Sheard) each received five nominations.

Announcing the nominations today were Dan and Jackie Evans, the son and mother team from season five of NBC’s reality show “The Biggest Loser.” Additionally, Dan’s debut CD, Goin’ All Out, bowed at #7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart when it was released last fall. They were joined by Lisa Kimmey, former member of Out of Eden and currently a host/reporter for Gospel Music Channel.

Dove Awards will be handed out in 43 categories. The Songwriter of the Year nominees were not announced today, but will be revealed prior to the GMA Dove Awards. Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released during the eligibility year November 1, 2007 through October 31, 2008 and voted on by the members of the GMA. The complete nominations list is at www.doveawards.com.

The American Bible Society (www.americanbible.org) is official charity of the GMA.

About GMA:
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music of all styles including pop, rock, praise & worship, black gospel, R&B, hip hop, southern gospel, country, and more. The GMA community consists of more than 3,000 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Music Week and the GMA Academy. For more information, please visit www.gospelmusic.org.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Michael Tait to join Newsboys!












After 22 years and more than 2000 shows, newsboys frontman Peter Furler will no longer front the band in concert. Michael Tait will be touring with the band as lead singer with Peter making special appearances throughout the year.

Peter will continue with the band and his trademark songwriting and production will remain as he focuses his professional career toward future newsboys recordings.

Michael has been on the road with the band over the past weeks working alongside Peter in what has been a positive and enjoyable experience for both parties. It has been a graceful process that both Peter and Michael have worked through as they prepare to make the change in the coming weeks.

Peter states “newsboys to me has always been a mission, and I entrust Mike, Jeff, Jody and Duncan to continue all that is in store for us as a band. I’m looking forward to focusing on the band’s studio career and spending time in my own bed after many years in a tour bus and hundreds of thousands of miles on the road.”

Wes Campbell, newsboys manager explains, “While the decision to replace Peter on the road was a painstaking one, when the idea of dc Talk vocalist Michael Tait was presented it was a no-brainer to all of us. No one can replace Peter, but we know Michael will bring a new attitude, energy and vocal style that will thrill our audience. To be able to continue a world class show and still have Peter behind the scenes guiding the career and making of newsboys music is a huge opportunity for all of us. It’s amazing that after many years of touring with dc Talk in the 1990s that in 2009 our paths would cross once again. It’s an exciting time for all of us.”

“For years, dc Talk and newsboys have been family and thus shared the same loyal and adoring fans, says Michel Tait. “When I received the initial call from newsboys to consider joining the band as lead singer, I was speechless! I immediately sought wise counsel and flooded the heavens with endless prayers for insight and vision, and I soon received a clear and definite peace. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to perform my first show as newsboys’ frontman to an audience of 12,000 people. I was completely wrapped in love and support by newsboys’ fans, who are clearly the best fans on the planet. Now I know this is exactly where I belong in this new and wonderful moment in my life’s history. This is a definite highlight of my career and for my 20+ years of walking with Jesus, and I am humbled, proud and privileged to call myself a newsboy.”

In the coming days Peter will be releasing a personal statement on the band’s website in more detail.

The band has recently finished recording its new studio album, In The Hands Of God, which features Peter as lead vocalist on the entire album. Street date for this record is May 5th.

With five gold albums, sales exceeding six million units, more than 20 No.1 radio hits, and a mantle of Dove Awards as well as Grammy nominations, newsboys has achieved phenomenal success in its two decades together. Known for its amazing live performances and groundbreaking tours, the band continues to sellout festivals and concerts worldwide, satisfying diehard fans and winning new ones in the process.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Phillip Larue solo debut coming April 7

Anxiously ready to release his solo debut, Phillip LaRue and BEC Recordings announces the April 7, 2009 street date for the freewheeling spirited album "Let the Road Pave Itself." This release is a masterpiece in the making as Phillip LaRue finished recording the organic collection of original songs this past fall in Nashville, TN. He will also head out on the road later this month to begin connecting with listeners. These dates will give fans a taste of this artist's authentic expression and passion (dates / markets listed below).

"I put in my CD the other day to take a quick listen since it has been a while since we finished it and I have to say that I am proud of what Paul Moak (producer) and I did," shares Phillip LaRue of his debut. "These songs are all close to my heart. There is not one that I don't feel deep within when I sing them. So I am excited to hear what folks think about it when it releases. I think the title "Let the Road Pave Itself" is perfect for where I am right now as a musician and personally. I just feel so blessed that I was able to make this and partner with companies that believed in what I have to offer. 09' will be fun to watch."

As an artist that is not new to the industry or the Nashville music scene, Phillip LaRue has filled the role of producer (Krystal Meyers, Tenth Avenue North) and songwriter (Brandon Heath, Tenth Avenue North) since his duo LaRue (with his sister Natalie) called it quits in 2003.

"I'm stepping back into this world, and I could care less about some of the details," he shares. "As far as being popular, I've kind of tasted and seen that. I still want great things to happen, but more importantly I just want to be me in the process. I still believe in the power of music and want people to find hope through this record. If I can throw a rock and make another ripple, then what a blessing."

Being himself and playing for a cause, Phillip will perform on February 17th for the Home Foundation Benefit in his residence city of Nashville, TN. This concert will be held at the historic Belcourt Theater in Hillsboro Village featuring HOME founder Natalie Grant, Brandon Heath and Tenth Avenue North. All proceeds will benefit the HOMES project to support shelters for domestic victims of sexual trafficking. Ticket information / times below.

About "Let the Road Pave Itself" and Phillip LaRue:
An organic set of songs for the digital age, it was tracked live in the studio to an old fashioned two-inch tape reel, warmly capturing the sound of Phillip and his friends playing real time rock that's only ever concerned with life's deepest matters of love and faith. Recorded in this manner, Phillip kept many of the first takes without fixing to keep the album as natural as possible. One such example is the debut radio single and opening track, "Chasing the Daylight," a stirring mid-tempo rocker that has seen dark times but still declares I want to chase the daylight like it's the last day of my life.

For more information on Phillip LaRue and this upcoming debut, check out his MySpace and EPK at: www.myspace.com/philliplarue. In addition to the EPK, you can check out the upcoming radio single and opening track " Chasing the Daylight" on his MySpace page.

Details for February 17th Nashville Show:
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Doors @ 6:30pm
 Show @ 7 pm


Advance Tickets: $20 general;

$10 student on sale online or at the box office after 4 pm


Day of Tickets: $25 general; $12.50 student



The Home Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking specifically sexual slavery. The HOMES project, an initiation of the foundation, will help raise awareness and funding to support the efforts of shelters across the U.S. dedicated to the restoration of those victims identified in the United States. For more information on the work of The Home Foundation you can visit www.thehomefoundation.net.

Upcoming Concerts: (with Bebo Norman)
2-25-09 Presque Isle, Maine
2-26-09 Frederction, New Brunswick Canada
2-27-09 Portland, Maine
2-28-09 Lewiston, Maine
3-01-09 Manchester, New Hampshire