Beginning today, four songs from Beatitudes are available for immediate download with each preorder of the album from iTunes®, including for the first time today the tracks “The View from Here” featuring Hillsong UNITED and “Oh Mercy” featuring Matt Maher with additional vocals by Audrey Assad. Amy Grant’s song for the project, “Morning Light,” along with John Mark McMillan’s “Heaven Is Around Us,” are also available now for immediate download with preorder.
The album, which showcases 18 new tracks (plus 2 bonus tracks) from multiple GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning artists, leaders in their respective genres of Christian/Worship music, will release April 21 from Stugiology Music with management, marketing and distribution through The Fuel Music.
The full Beatitudes album is part of The Beatitudes Project (#TheBeatitudesProject), which is also a book, Words From The Hill (An Invitation to the Unexpected) from NavPress, and a documentary film, View From the Hill, currently in production. The project is the culmination of GRAMMY-nominated, Dove Award-winning musician, producer and author Stu Garrard’s 15-year excavation of these “blessings at the bottom of life.”
The song “Oh Mercy,” written by Garrard and Maher, was inspired by the words of Jesus in Matthew 5, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled,” and the life-changing encounters Garrard had across two decades of world travel as a musician.
“I think what we’ve done is tried to combine the American dream with Christianity,” writes Garrard in the “Hunger and Thirst—Blessing or Requirement?” chapter of his Words From the Hill book. “I’m not sure those two things mix well. We need to be set free from that. And maybe the way we get set free is to hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice, and let the ache disrupt us into action until we become part of the solution.”
“When you're hungering and thirsting for righteousness, you're actually hungering and thirsting for justice,” confirms Maher.
“I remember being in Toronto in 2002 at an event called World Youth Day. It was 300,000 young people from all around the world, and the pope at the time, John Paul II, was there,” continues Maher. “In his opening address, he talked about the Beatitudes. He talked about how the church needed to be a place where we fostered and encouraged the Beatitudes so much that we actually became a people known by those Beatitudes. I think that's a challenging commission.”
“We live in a world that doesn't see eye to eye at all, and I feel like the whole message of Jesus, the gospel, what it means for Christians…we kind of stop looking at everything from our point of view and start to see the world differently,” adds Hillsong UNITED’s Joel Houston, who sings lead vocals on “The View From Here” that serves as the epilogue to the Beatitudes album. “That’s really what the Beatitudes are about. This whole moment of Jesus really revealing a different way of thinking. A different way of seeing. A different way of looking at the world…and it is counterintuitive to everything that makes sense here and now…”
The entire The Beatitudes Project reveals a wide world of connected stories: real people from all faiths and walks of life who embody mercy, poverty, meekness, the hungry and thirsty, the peacemakers, the mourners, and the pure in heart—as seen, heard and experienced through a 21st century lens.
In addition to Grant, Hillsong UNITED, Maher, Assad, McMillan and Garrard, featured on the Beatitudes album are Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith, All Sons & Daughters, Amanda Cook, Propaganda, The Brilliance, Anthony Skinner, Terrian Bass and Becky Harding. Collectively, these artists have sold more than 62 million records, won 11 Grammy, 90 Dove Awards and amassed dozens of hit songs and millions of followers on social media.
“The Beatitudes Project is meant to be a reset button in a world plagued with violence and division,” says Garrard. “These upside-down Jesus announcements on a hillside by the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 5 where Jews, Greeks, Romans and people of all ethnicities were gathered are a reminder that there is another way.”
About Stugiology Music:
Stugiology Music is a record label formed by Stu Garrard, who is perhaps best-known as the guitarist / songwriter for the RIAA Certified Gold-selling, GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning British band Delirious?. He is also a founding member of One Sonic Society (although no longer with the band) and recorded and released his first solo project in 2013, Of Burdens, Birds, and Stars. When not touring with Michael W. Smith or adding his sonic paint to Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Meredith Andrews, All Sons & Daughters, Amy Grant and many others’ recordings, Garrard is writing, recording, speaking, leading worship and working with JHS on a custom line of guitar pedals. He lives in Nashville with his wife Karen. For all the latest Stu Garrard news and tour information, go to www.stugworld.com.
About The Fuel Music:
Established in 2008, The Fuel Music & Management Co., LLC, is a leading artist management and artist solutions company that independently distributes music internationally. Based in Tennessee, the Fuel team brings nearly 70 years of combined music industry experience in record label operations, major label distribution and marketing, and artist management for artists ranging from upstart bands to GRAMMY Award nominated, multi-platinum artists. More information on the company can be found at www.thefuelmusic.com.
The NavPress mission is to advance the calling of The Navigators by bringing biblically rooted, culturally relevant, and highly practical products to people who want to know and love Christ more deeply. Through The Message Bible and other insightful resources, NavPress seeks to bring positive spiritual movement to peoples’ lives. In January 2014, NavPress entered into an alliance with Tyndale House Publishers to strengthen and better position NavPress and its rich content for the future. NavPress provides books and other content that bring spiritual impact, life transformation, and help lead in the mission of making disciples. A NavPress resource published in alliance with Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., NAVPRESS and the NAVPRESS logo are registered trademarks of NavPress, The Navigators, Colorado Springs, CO.