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JfH OLD Music News

September, 2006
*Saturday, September 30th, 2006*

Pillar
Christian music’s premier rock band Pillar announces its eighth national headline tour, the “days of THE RECKONING” tour, featuring Day of Fire, The Showdown and Decyfer Down. The tour promotes Pillar’s fourth highly-anticipated studio project, The Reckoning, releasing Oct. 3 Opening in Minneapolis on Oct. 26, the tour will visit more than 30 cities through mid-December. Among those major markets are Chicago, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and Seattle. A complete tour itinerary follows this release. “What better a way to debut music from the new record than live for our fans on a national tour,” says Rob Beckley, Pillar frontman. “And to be joined by such great acts as Day of Fire, The Showdown and Decyfer Down only adds to our excitement. It’s going to be the LOUDEST tour out this fall!” According to Day of Fire lead singer Josh Brown, “We are really excited to be on the ‘days of THE RECKONING” tour with Pillar, The Showdown and Decyfer Down. These shows are going to be so much fun and full of rock and roll! This tour is going to allow us the opportunity to hang with a lot of people and show them some love. Thanks to Pillar for having us out, and we can’t wait to get started!” For up to the minute “days of THE RECKONING” tour updates, please visit www.pillarmusic.com. (from Savvy Media)
downhere
Centricity recording artist Downhere is one of the top nominees at GMA Canada’s 28th Annual Covenant Awards, it was recently announced. The Canadian melodic alt-rockers have received six Covenant Award nominations, including the prestigious Artist of the Year and Group of the Year honors. Downhere’s critically-acclaimed 2006 release, Wide-Eyed And Mystified, has also received nominations in both the Album of the Year and Rock Album of the Year categories. In addition, Downhere’s current CHR single, “The More,” written by the band’s Marc Martel and Jason Germain, was nominated for Rock Song of the Year, while the group’s latest Christian AC single, “A Better Way,” also written by Martel and Germain, has been nominated for a Covenant Award for Recorded Song of the Year. The 28th Annual Covenant Awards will be held October 27 at Centre Street Church in Calgary, Alberta, in conjunction with the Canada Christian Mu longest-standing Christian music awards. Downhere’s Centricity Records debut, Wide-Eyed And Mystified, released May 23 to widespread critical acclaim. Produced by Mark Heimermann (Michael W. Smisic Conference. The annual Covenant Awards are recognized as Canada’s th, dcTalk), Greg Collins (U2, Gwen Stefani) and Downhere, the album features 13 tracks, all written by the band. Downhere is currently featured on BarlowGirl’s 30-city “The Don’t Conform” Tour, along with Matthew West. Hitting the U.S. music scene in 2001 with the release of their self-titled debut, Downhere was nominated for a Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, and the group received a Juno Award (Canada) for Best Gospel Album, as well as GMA Canada Covenant Awards for Rock Album of the Year and Rock Song of the Year for “Larger Than Life.” The band’s follow-up, So Much For Substitutes, released in 2003, earning Downhere a Dove Award for Modern Rock Recorded Song of the Year for “Breaking Me Down.” For further information on Downhere, visit www.downhere.com, www.myspace.com/downhere, or www.centricityrecords.com. (from Turning Point PR)
4HIM
Tulsa's newest Contemporary Christian station, The New Spirit 102.3 (KKCM-FM) is proud to announce the addition of a brand new six-hour weekly Sunday morning Praise & Worship. Spirit 102.3 Sunday Morning Worship will air from 6:00am to Noon every Sunday, beginning this Sunday (10/01/06). The show will feature the most popular modern Worship music, from artists including Chris Tomlin, Bebo Norman, Paul Baloche, and Phillips, Craig & Dean. Spirit 102.3 is pleased to announce that former 4Him lead singer Andy Chrisman will be the weekly host of Spirit 102.3 Sunday Morning Worship. Vocalist on over a dozen #1 Contemporary Christian singles while with 4Him, Chrisman's solo career is in full swing with his solo debut, One. Chrisman now lives in Tulsa with his wife and two children, and serves as a worship pastor at Church On The Move. Spirit 102.3, Tulsa's newest Contemporary Christian Radio station, signed on Thanksgiving week last year playing an upbeat mix of contemporary Christian music, including artists Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, MercyMe, and Casting Crowns. From it's debut, Spirit 102.3 quickly gained the attention of Christian music listeners throughout Green Country for the station's strong and clear signal, professional on-air sound, and long music sweeps of uplifting music. Chris Kelly, Spirit 102.3's program director and host of Chris, Rebecca & Good Friends in the Morning states, "The planning of this show dates back to the day Spirit 102.3 went on the air, with a vision of using someone of Andy's caliber as part of the show. We are excited to have Andy as part of the Spirit 102.3 family. Modern Worship music is a big part of the Spirit 102.3 music mix and our intent is to set a tone for the morning as we enter into worship to the Lord all over Northeastern Oklahoma." Spirit 102.3 Sunday Morning Worship host, Andy Chrisman says he's excited about this new chapter of his life. Chrisman states, "My goal is pretty simple, I just want to introduce people to worship music. I want people to tune in and be encouraged. We'll be sharing the Word throughout the show. It's going to be a lot of fun." Tune in October 1, 2006 from 6am to Noon for the premiere of Sunday Morning Worship with host, Andy Chrisman - on The New Spirit 102.3. (from KKCM - Spirit 102.3)
*Thursday, September 28th, 2006*

MercyMe
MercyMe frontman Bart Millard was recently hospitalized for a suddent illness. "We just wanted to give you a personal update on Bart. He was hospitalized Sunday night on his way home from the Bossier City show and has been diagnosed with Diverticulitis," the band announced in a newsletter blast yesterday. "He is being treated with antibiotics, and has been released from the hospital and although their 9/28 show in Southhaven, MS is going to be rescheduled, we will resume our tour in Nashville on 9/30. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate it greatly!" Please keep the guys in prayer as they continue their Fall tour with Audio Adrenaline and Phil Wickham. (from MercyMe; JFH)
Amy Grant
Get ready to set your TiVo’s and/or VCR’s. Amy Grant, along with her husband Country Superstar Vince Gill, will be on the news magazine show Extra tonight (9.28) and Sunday night (10.1) in a two-part interview discussing her new Time Again... Amy Grant Live CD and DVD, her recent Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and more. To find out when Extra is on in your area, visit http://extratv.warnerbros.com/v2/about/whenitson.html and click on your state. On Tuesday, October 10, ABC’s The View will welcome Grant to the show where she will perform the long-time favorite “Stay For Awhile,” For more information visit www.amygrant.com. (from The M Collective)
Jonny Lang
GRAMMY-nominated, Platinum-selling artist Jonny Lang released his fifth album, Turn Around, Sept. 19. The album immediately shot to No. 1 on the SoundScan® compiled Current Contemporary Christian and Christian Rock/Alternative sales charts in its first week at retail. The recording also lands at No. 46 on the Billboard Top 200. In addition to A&M Record’s general market channels of distribution for Turn Around, Provident-Integrity Distribution is providing distribution to Christian retail for the first time. Lang topped the Billboard New Artist chart with his first album at age 15, toured with the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Sting, performed with B. B. King and Buddy Guy, and now stands as a mature creative force, made more sensitive yet also toughened by life’s adventures. Acclaimed recording artist Sara Groves explores Lang’s compelling story in depth at www.christianitytoday.com/music, where Lang confesses that in the past he hated Christianity. (from Hoganson Media)
*Wednesday, September 27th, 2006*

Decyfer Down
While touring across the country, SRE Recordings’ Decyfer Down will make a stop to perform at South Carolina’s “Fallout 2006” with the likes of Crossfade (who they’ve played shows with in the past), Stretch Armstrong, Nonpoint, The Movement, and many more. Sponsored by mainstream active rock station WARQ in Columbia, South Carolina “Fallout 2006” will take place October 7 at the Capital City Stadium with doors opening at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $18.00 in advance. After having their mega-successful debut single, “Life Again,” reach No.1 on the R&R Christian Chart, Decyfer Down is back with their second rock single, “Break Free” which in just 3 weeks, has reached No. 19 on R&R’s Christian Rock Chart. The guys will hit the road with Seventh Day Slumber and Fireflight in Nov-Dec for a fall/winter tour. More details soon! Finally, the band went to New York City last Tuesday, Sept. 19 for a video taping for “Fight Like This” off of their latest project, End Of Grey. For more information on Decyfer Down log on to www.decyferdown.com or www.srerecordings.com. (from The M Collective)
Sarah Kelly
Sarah Kelly needs your help! The rock solo artist with a heart for worship also has displayed a heart for the small and fuzzy! The singer just purchased a new bunny rabbit and needs help naming it! She has put a call out for anyone to offer their name suggestions with the artists offering three new t-shirt designs and a hoodie as a reward. Hurry up and post your comments with your name suggestions on her MySpace today as the contest ends tonight! (from MySpace.com/SarahKelly; JFH)
Casting Crowns
Platinum-selling band Casting Crowns is poised to release its latest project Lifesong Live on Oct. 3. This two-disc DVD/CD set offers fans access to the live music and in-depth, behind-the-scenes footage from the band’s “Lifesong Tour” which tallied more than 357,000 fans in attendance and 43,000 salvation responses, ranking as one of the top 100 tours in the country according to Pollstar Magazine. Providing viewers with a virtual front-row seat, Lifesong Live’s six-song DVD captures the energy and emotion Casting Crowns creates in its sell-out live concerts, all in 5.1 surround sound and stereo. The DVD menu also allows the viewer to select the option to hear Mark Hall share his personal stories behind the songs before each performance. Lifesong Live is also the only place to find the band’s latest music video “Does Anybody Hear Her” along with a behind-the-scenes “making of the music video” segment. Plus, the DVD contains 30 minutes of bonus content including a typical day in the hectic life of lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall as he juggles fatherhood, ministry, and touring; a look at each of the members’ lives in their home churches; the humorous antics of the band’s most colorful character and drummer, Andy Williams; and the gospel message from tour pastor, Tony Nolan. The six-song live CD includes the two multi-format No. 1 radio singles “Lifesong” and “Praise You in this Storm,” plus the group’s new radio song “Does Anybody Hear Her.” Also featured are live cuts of “Love Them Like Jesus,” “Stained Glass Masquerade,” “Father, Spirit, Jesus” and the bonus cut “Set Me Free.” (from Provident Music Group)
Matt Kearney
Mat Kearney is featured on the cover of this week's Pollstar Magazine! Pollstar is the leading touring industry magazine. Check out the feature here! Also, Jars Of Clay has been featured in the latest Performing Songwriter magazine (with Paul Simon on the cover). You can check it out a portion of it here. Be sure to check out Mat's latest record Nothing Left To Lose as well as Jars' Good Monsters. (from MySpace.com/MatKearney; Performing Songwriter)
*Tuesday, September 26th, 2006*

Shaun Groves
Shaun Groves is recording a new live record -- and he wants YOU to be there! The artist recently sent us this message, "I'm recording a live CD at New City Café October 13th in Knoxville, TN. Tickets are available online and at the door for $10... BUT you can get tickets for $5 today in three easy steps:
1)E-mail us at thehummingbirdagency@charter.net. Put "NEW CITY TICKETS" in the subject line please. Include your name and tell us how many tickets you want and for which show (6:30 or 9:30 PM). Tickets can be purchased for one show only. No limit on quantity.
2)We'll e-mail you right back with instructions on making a secure payment.
3)Make a secure payment.
See you there, Shaun" For more info, visit Shaungroves.com, Shlog.com, or Myspace.com/shaungroves (from Myspace.com; Shaun Groves)
Family Force 5
Family Force 5 is auctioning off an autographed Voltron lunchbox to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and support blood cancer research. Visit this link to donate just $5 dollars to enter the raffle! On September 29th, a name will be drawn and the winner will be posted on Family Force 5's myspace page! The lucky winner will receive their lunchbox by UPS. You are allowed to enter into the raffle as many times as you want for $5 per entry. For a photo of the lunchbox, visit www.myspace.com/familyforce5! (from MySpace.com/familyforce5)
Switchfoot
Today's the day! Switchfoot's new iTunes exclusive single, "Dirty Second Hands" is now available for download for $.99 cents. "Dirty Second Hands" is the first song to be released from the band's upcoming new album Oh! Gravity. which streets on December 26. The song bears an edgier sound than fans have come to expect from Switchfoot, yet offers the signature quirkiness of their earlier work. Click here to directly visit the single's page on iTunes now. (from Switchfoot; JFH)
toby
Multi-Grammy and Dove winner tobyMac whose critically acclaimed album Welcome To Diverse City has just received RIAA gold certification, will once again live up to the definition of “diversity” as the Winter Wonder Slam Tour announces details on the highly anticipated 2006 line-up of artists and markets. Premier Productions, the nation’s leading Christian concert promoter, is again this year joining forces with Total Axxess Radio for presentation of the November 24th to December 16th run of Winter Wonder Slam. The tour is scheduled to include 16 markets. As in past years, Winter Wonder Slam will benefit the work of the U.S. Marine Corps in its’ annual Toys For Tots campaign. The mission of the Toys For Tots Foundation is to provide a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas and concert-goers will again this year be encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift to the event. Last year’s Winter Slam produced multiple sell-outs over its’ eight market run, setting a new tour record for the amount of gifts collected for Toys For Tots. Noted Shane Quick of Premier: “tobyMac continues the tradition again this year of bringing with him to the stage a tremendous line-up of artists who, like him, share the dedication to a ‘concert with a cause’ through the benefits received by Toys For Tots. We at Premier are looking forward to this year’s tour setting a new gold standard in both concert attendance and the amount of good accomplished for a wonderful cause that benefits children.” Talent set to perform this year on the billing with tobyMac includes a litany of hot new artists in contemporary Christian music. The tour will feature Canadian band Hawk Nelson whose signature brand of pop/punk has lit up the Christian charts with their latest single "Everything You Ever Wanted," continuing their wave of success nationally. INO/Epic artists The Afters, whose single "Beautiful Love" experienced major success on radio and MTV, will be making their initial debut on the Wonder Slam stage, as will Gotee/Maverick artist Family Force 5, bringing their personal style of ‘crunk rock’ to the stage. Rounding out the tour package is breaking Gotee artist Ayiesha Woods whose June release of her debut single "Happy" has climbed the national charts this summer. In making the initial announcement of this year’s tour, tobyMac noted his pleasure at the artists assembled for the Winter Wonder Slam mission. He notes: “During the holidays, everyone needs a break from studying for exams and Christmas shopping. I wanted to put together a diverse tour that rocks in many musical directions but always points to One. The Winter Wonder Slam Tour does have a Christmas theme but not to worry-- every band will be playing their hits and doing it the way they do!” It’s a tour close to the heart of the artist for whom 2006 has been another banner year with the acquisition of two more Dove Awards and the success of his latest project Renovating Diverse City leading a fresh list of career credits. Winter Wonder Slam 2006 will be a welcome return of the concert series that’s become a traditional holiday family reunion for tobyMac and national audiences. It’s a reunion that’s anticipated to again this year bring the real meaning of Christmas to concert goers and needy children alike. (from Morning Star PR)
Fireflight
Franklin, TN-based label Flicker Records claimed three Top 5 positions on the Radio & Records Christian Rock radio chart the week of Sept. 18. Those artists coveting the No. 2, No.4 and No. 5 spots were Fireflight, eleventyseven and Pillar, respectively. Both Fireflight’s “You Decide,” and Pillar’s “Everything” climbed up the chart one spot from the previous week. eleventyseven’s “My Space” peaked at No. 3 on R&R’s Christian Rock chart. Mark Giles, vice president of national promotions for Provident Label Group comments, “We’re thrilled to have the Flicker roster of artists as part of Provident Label Group. I believe the fun has only begun for this amazing Rock imprint!” Fireflight's debut The Healing Of Harms and eleventyseven's And The Land Of Fake Believe are now available in stores. Pillar's long anticipated The Reckoning is approaching soon on October 3rd! (from Savvy Media)
Joy Electric
Joy Electric, brainchild of Ronnie Martin, has been working long and hard on their next release. Martin posted an insightful blog on MySpace.com this past weekend, explaining the hardships and experiences of working on the new project. Martin opens with, "It's hard to know where to begin when trying to explain the problems I've had with recording the new album. Coming to the end of 2006, it's getting close to a year now of toiling in the studio with nothing more than erratic results to show for all of my efforts. I think once the recording is finally finished (if that day ever arrives), I'll be able to look back at it more clearly..." For all of Martin's thoughts on the process, click here. (from MySpace.com/JoyElectric; JFH)
GMA
The GMA Foundation (GMAF) will induct John T. Benson III, The Hinsons, Doug Oldham and Richard Smallwood into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame on Nov. 14, announced John W. Styll, president of the GMAF. The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame induction dinner and ceremony will be held at the Richland Country Club in Nashville, TN, on Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. "Each new inductee into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame represents a vital part of the history and legacy of gospel music," Styll said. "We honor them as a way to ensure their contributions are never forgotten and to remind us always of the rich heritage and beautiful diversity that is unique to gospel music." The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame was established in 1971 and has inducted more than 140 members since its inception, including Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Amy Grant, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Andraé Crouch, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Oak Ridge Boys, Petra, Bill and Gloria Gaither, the Rambos, Thomas A. Dorsey, the Fairfield Four, Billy Graham and the Jordanaires. Last year Walter Hawkins, Lou Hildreth, Ronn Huff, Mylon Le Fevre, The Lewis Family, Don Light and Evie Tornquist were inducted. The GMA Foundation (GMAF) is a non-profit educational association working in connection with the Gospel Music Association (GMA) The GMAF recognizes and preserves the history and legacy of all forms of gospel music and provides educational resources that encourage participation and appreciation by the general public. (from GMA)
*Friday, September 22nd, 2006*

Amy Grant
After selling over 25 million albums worldwide, winning numerous GRAMMY® Awards and countless other career milestones, Amy Grant has added a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to her list of career accolades. With friends, family, industry VIPs and fans in attendance, Grant’s husband/country music star Vince Gill and founder of A&M Records Jerry Moss spoke at the September 19th ceremony, along with Johnny Grant, Honorary Mayor of Hollywood and Walk of Fame Chairman. Grant’s Star is located on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Virgin Records store, next to John Travolta and movie legend Buster Crabbe’s Stars, and also just down the sidewalk from Billy Graham’s star. Upon her acceptance of the honor, Grant commented, ”I see all my family, co-workers and friends and I have to say, nothing happens alone. Life is like a massive vessel, you don’t sail alone……It’s been an exciting ride! Thank you.” The fall has been quite busy for Grant as she releases her first live recording in 25 years with Time Again... Amy Grant Live on September 26th, and is currently conducting a Symphony tour, performing with local symphonies in markets including Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City and more. During her Nashville tour stop on September 10th, Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan Valentine surprised Amy with an announcement that the stage of the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center was being named the Amy Grant Performance Platform, in recognition of her generosity to the symphony. She helped the symphony overcome bankruptcy in the 1980s and continues to be a longtime supporter. Grant was host to the second evening in three opening weekend galas for the Nashville Symphony’s new home, Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Among her guests were her husband, Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes and Michael W. Smith. Along with an upcoming October 10th appearance on The View to promote Time Again... Amy Grant Live, Grant will also film a national Christmas special to air on NBC this December with star figure skaters including Kristy Yamaguchi. Additionally, Amy Grant's hit song, “Baby, Baby” is currently included in a line of more than 200 song cards from Hallmark that, when opened, play music from original recording artists. Unlike any other cards in the market today, Hallmark sound cards feature CD-quality recordings of original music and sound clips. Each clip plays 15-45 seconds when the card is opened, and stops when the card is closed. “Baby, Baby” was chosen for use in a love card, the front cover says "You & Me..." inside the card reads "we're good together" and plays a clip from the song. (from The M Collective)
Underoath
More new videos have hit Yahoo! The long-awaited new video from Underoath for "In Regards To Myself" recently made it's world premiere on Yahoo's website. Fans can view it now by clicking here. Also, while the new album from Starflyer 59, My Island is in stores everywhere, you can check out the world premiere of the new video for "I Win!" at Yahoo... (from Tooth & Nail)
Michael Sweet
Stryper frontman Michael Sweet appeared on Nashville's top-rated TV program Tennessee Mornings today to promote his new solo CD Him, which was released in August. The show aired live on Nashville's FOX affiliate WZTV. Sweet performed the project's first radio single, "Take My Life," on the live broadcast, and then moved to the couch to talk about the new CD, the upcoming music video which is shooting this week in Nashville, and his band Stryper, with whom he is heading back into the studio next month. As a member of Stryper for more than 20 years, Sweet has enjoyed success in both Christian and mainstream markets. Stryper has sold more than 8 million records worldwide, with several projects striking RIAA-certified gold. 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. Sweet’s previous solo efforts include a 1994 self-titled release; 1995’s Real; and Truth, which released in 2001. His first solo record was voted "Favorite Album" in the CCM Readers Awards, while Real was nominated for a Dove Award in the "Best Rock Album of the Year" category. Him was released August 1, 2006, by Infinity Music Distribution (a division of Central South Distribution, Inc.). (from Nashville Publicity)
Wayne Watson
In a year that has found Wayne Watson returning to major visibility with an ambitious schedule of career commitments in contemporary Christian music, Christmas will hold yet another special gift for audiences. The Home For Christmas Tour, to be presented with ministry partner Compassion International, will feature Wayne Watson along with fellow artists Kim Hill and Phil Keaggy on a schedule of more than a dozen dates between November 24th and December 16th. “Christmas is a very special time to me. To have the opportunity to be reaching audiences on a stage with both Kim Hill and Phil Keaggy, as well as getting to deliver the timely message of Compassion sponsorship, is all I need in the way of a gift this year,” noted Watson. The tour will encompass church and auditorium settings with exact details on dates and venues currently being finalized, noted Andrew Patton of Patton House Entertainment , producer of the concert series with Compassion. “Compassion is committed to this tour as a major element of our 2006 Christmas outreach with live concert sponsorships,” noted the organization’s Artist Relations spokesman, Spence Smith, who was instrumental in this year bringing Watson into the Compassion family of artists. “This tour is a perfect partnership of artists and timing in getting the message out there.” Exact scheduling of cities and venues to be reached by the Home For Christmas Tour are expected to be announced within the next two weeks. (from Morning Star PR)
Upholding its standing as the Christian hip hop label with the most active release schedule, Beatmart Recordings is proud to announce its latest signing, Willie Will. Will joins the ranks of the seven diversely talented artists already signed to the premier hip hop label, which will be celebrating its 3 Year Anniversary in November this year. He will be making his Beatmart debut on Soul P.’s December 26 release, The Premiere, and his first solo album on the label will be available in Spring 2007. As a longtime resident of the notorious Seattle, Washington suburb of Everett, Willie Will has developed a significant following in the northeast with three solo releases. The first—The Rhythm and Wisdom System—released in 2000, received airplay on Seattle’s number one Top 40 radio station KUBE 93 FM. The second, Premeditated Words, led to Will being nominated for best rap artist at the 2003 NorthWest Music Awards sponsored by Seattle’s number one gospel music station, C 89 FM. His third solo album, America’s Most Needed, was released this year. The 24-year-old MC aspires to restore hope by encouraging and empowering his listeners to change their perspectives and attitudes towards life. He uses his most powerful tool—his testimony—to the sound of authentic street beats. “Will's hustle, drive, and passion to reach others for Christ, is exactly what we're looking for in an artist,” says Beatmart label owner Todd Collins. Nashville based Beatmart Recordings was founded by brothers Todd and Troy Collins. Beatmart has introduced breakout artists Japhia Life, Rob Hodge, and Pettidee. Also signed to its roster are Bobby Bishop, Pee Wee Callins and DJ Morphiziz. For more information on Willie Will go to: http://myspace.com/williewill (from Recah)
*Thursday, September 21st, 2006*

Robbie Seay Band
In response to the success of Robbie Seay Band’s current hit single, “Hallelujah, God Is Near,” Sparrow Records announces the September 26 release of the four-song Hallelujah, God Is Near digital EP, to be available via all digital providers. The EP features the original version of “Hallelujah, God Is Near,” along with two acoustic versions of the song recorded in Houston by producer Bob Boyd (Caedmon’s Call). Additionally, the EP debuts the digital release of “Jesus Savior Pilot Me,” a song from Robbie Seay Band’s acclaimed independent release, Better Days (2004). With purchase of the digital EP, consumers can download a free PDF file containing a picture, bio, chord chart, and lyrics for “Hallelujah, God Is Near.” "’Hallelujah, God Is Near’ is quickly gaining adds at key radio stations, so we thought this would be perfect timing for a new digital EP,” said Bryan Ward, Director of Artist Development, EMI Christian Music Group. “Most of the music purchased at digital providers are singles, so with the addition of not one, but two acoustic versions, fans can hear the song three distinctive and unique ways. We believe that fans of Robbie Seay Band will be excited to discover this new music.” “Hallelujah, God Is Near” is currently #12 on CRW’s Signature AC chart, according to the publication’s September 18 issue. In addition, Robbie Seay Band recently completed a string of concerts in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma. Comprised of Robbie Seay, Dan Hamilton, Ryan Owens, and Chase Jenkins, Robbie Seay Band leads worship at Houston’s Ecclesia, a church that focuses on reaching out to the downtown arts community. Ecclesia includes an art gallery, a performance venue, a bookstore/coffee bar and Hyde Park Studio, where the band has done much of their recording. (from Turning Point PR)
Shawn McDonald
Shawn McDonald’s NapsterLive Session, recorded exclusively for the popular download subscription service, has been a prominent feature at the site in recent days, sharing main page space with the “Grey’s Anatomy” soundtrack and new music from Justin Timberlake. Recorded at the Napster Studios in Los Angeles, McDonald’s set includes an interview and live performances of eight songs from the acclaimed singer/songwriter’s Ripen and Simply Nothing albums plus the previously unavailable concert favorite, “Hush.” Learn more about Shawn McDonald and his current Ripen Tour at www.myspace.com/shawnmcdonald. (from Sparrow Records)
Blindside
Blindside has posted an update on their latest happenings... "As some of you might know we decided to release "When I Remember" as a single in Sweden/Scandinavia and we thought it'd be a good idea to shoot a video as well. So check it out here at our myspace. We just started our tour in Sweden and after that we're heading to South Africa. This is the last touring we'll do on The Great Depression so if you have a chance do come and see us before we go away for a while. Last week we started writing material for our next album. We've found a rehearsal space here in Stockholm and will bury ourselves to dig out something new. We are very inspired and are excited to see what comes out. As soon as we're done writing we'll head into a studio somewhere and bring you a new record some time next year. As far as future touring goes we have some big plans for next year that we can't reveal just yet. If everything works out we'll be doing tours all over the world and of course that includes a bunch of shows in the U.S." Sounds cool with us. We'll keep you posted. (from MySpace.com/Blindside; thanks to invert48)
Krystal Meyers
Krystal Meyers released her anticipated sophomore record Dying For A Heart this week and the solo teen still has a little extra to be excited about coming later in the week. The video premiere for her new song "The Beauty Of Grace" is coming this Friday to Music.yahoo.com/premieres, (September 21). Check it out tomorrow and support Meyers and the Christian music scene among the mainstream heavyhitters at Yahoo! (from Essential Records)
Big Idea
Strike up the band! Sound the horns! Count your peas and carrots? Big Idea, Inc. presents the all-new VeggieTales adventure, Gideon: Tuba Warrior, an extraordinary story based on a legendary biblical hero. The episode stars Larry the Cucumber as Gideon, a loyal leader with heart whose faith is tested when he’s asked to do the impossible. Featuring a lesson in trusting God, a “Silly Song” with hula-dancing turtles, a surprise visit from the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything and loads of family-friendly bonus features, the $14.99 DVD marches into stores November 4 and 7, 2006 in Christian and general market stores respectively. "Gideon is an incredible story about one of the greatest biblical heroes of all time, and Big Idea is thrilled to present this legendary tale in a fun and entertaining format that kids will connect with,” said Greg Fritz, Marketing VP at Big Idea, Inc. "When the cast includes a cucumber, six peas, six carrots and 30,000 excessively hairy pickles, you know it’s a story the whole family will enjoy!” (from Hoganson Media)
Casting Crowns
Platinum selling and GRAMMY Award winning artist Casting Crowns is once again tapped as a “Favorite Artist” nominee for the “American Music Awards” in the Contemporary Inspirational category, as announced today at a press conference in Beverly Hills. Winners will be announced Live during a three-hour prime-time special on the ABC Television Network on Tuesday, November 21 at 8:00 PM ET/PT from inside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. This is the band’s second consecutive nomination for an AMA. The “2006 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS” presentations ceremony is produced by dick clark productions, inc. Twenty awards will be given out representing the best of Pop/Rock, Country, Soul/Rhythm & Blues, Rap/Hip Hop, Latin, Alternative, Adult Contemporary and Contemporary Inspirational music. Winners of the “American Music Awards” are selected by the public. A national sampling of approximately 20,000 taking into account geographic location, age, sex and ethnic origin, will be sent ballots by the National Family Opinion, Inc. firm under the supervision of Broadcast Research and Consulting, Inc. Names of the nominees on the ballot were compiled from data supplied by the music industry trade publication, Radio & Records and Nielsen Soundscan which tracks retail music sales. Results of the voting, tabulated by the Ernst & Young LLP accounting firm are kept secret until envelopes are opened during the presentation ceremonies. (from Provident Label Group)
Compared to monumental Broadway classics of great reputation such as “Les Miserables,” The Ten Commandments - The Musical stars Hollywood leading man Val Kilmer as Moses. Kilmer leads a highly acclaimed cast of over 50 in the spectacular pop musical, which tells the 3,300-year-old story of Moses’ exodus from Egypt and his journey toward fulfillment, life and rebirth. The Ten Commandments - The Musical, was produced by the famed BCBGMaxAzria Entertainment team of fashion icon Max Azria and communications mogul Charles Cohen and directed by Emmy Award winning, Robert Iscove. The highly-anticipated home video DVD will be released through Echo Bridge Entertainment on November 21, 2006. The special DVD will include a widescreen feature, a custom foil printed package and a Bonus Feature: Behind the Scenes with Val Kilmer special addition. The Ten Commandments - The Musical is Val Kilmer’s encore performance in the role of Moses. He previously provided the voice of the world renowned biblical figure in the highly-acclaimed Dreamworks’ 1998 animated feature, The Prince of Egypt. Since training at Juilliard in his early career, which included a great deal of theatrical work, Kilmer has since appeared in forty feature and television films and has become one of Hollywood’s most sought after and respected actors. Intrigued by the possibility of following in Charlton Heston’s footsteps and once again singing on stage, Kilmer readily accepted the offer to play Moses in the original U.S. stage production of The Ten Commandments - The Musical, which opened in 2004 at Hollywood’s famed Kodak THEATRE. “I asked myself whether any project I could develop would have as much impact as playing Moses, and there was no way,” stated Kilmer. “I’ve really tried to capture the essence of the man.” “I think that the creators have been very responsible to the subject and at the same time have written a show that’s intimate and accessible,” Kilmer said. “It’s hard to explain, but there is a sense of mission around this show.” The Ten Commandments - The Musical dramatically and convincingly illustrates the events of one of the most celebrated Bible stories of hope, faithfulness, persistence and triumph. The production presents the remarkable account of Moses’ life in an elaborate on-stage production, retelling the The Ten Commandments in a compelling presentation, which will undoubtedly change the lives of all who see it. “We are certainly pleased to be associated with such a strong and prestigious undertaking as this,” stated Tim Clott, President of Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. “We believe that families everywhere are hungry for such enjoyable and enriching programming as this.” The Ten Commandments - The Musical was originally featured on stages throughout Europe, including a venue in Paris, which motivated the international fashion magnate, Max Azria to bring the production to the United States. “Producing The Ten Commandments has allowed me to immerse myself deeper into the arts and to give wings to a project that is a great passion for me,” says Max Azria, BCBGMaxAzria Entertainment. “I didn’t choose to be a producer – I feel I was chosen. This is a mission of love.” The musical features a dramatically moving original score with music by world-renowned composer, songwriter, musician and producer Patrick Leonard, who is recognized worldwide for his long-time work and collaborations with music’s top artists. Lyrics for the musical were penned by two-time Emmy winner and Grammy nominee, Maribeth Derry. As one of the most moving accounts in civilization, “The Ten Commandments – The Musical” evokes a compelling presentation of the emotions and passions of a people willing to sacrifice their children, betray their kinsmen and ultimately rise up against the greatest imperial power the world has ever known. (from L.A.B. Media)
*Tuesday, September 19th, 2006*

!Hero
Think of it as ‘Broadway meets video game’ and drop contemporary Christian music’s hippest black rocker—platinum selling Michael Tait of dcTalk fame—into the center of the mix for the starring role in the critically acclaimed, multi-award winning production of !Hero—returning in live concert for a 2006 run. The tour will include a six day December run at The Majestic Theater in Dallas. The premise of !Hero is a simple one: "What If He Were Born in Bethlehem... Pennsylvania?" The stark reality of what that might look like: An African American Jesus with dreadlocks being crudely crucified on a street sign in New York ( Jesus is portrayed by Tait); a Judas that kills himself with a .45 caliber bullet to the head; and a drug addicted, tarot card reading "girl of the streets" updating the role of Mary Magdalene. A 21 member cast floods the stage amid the fervent blast of rock music and video screens constantly flashing a litany of high tech images and pulsating graphics. Noted Tait in a recent interview: "This production struck a chord with me from the very first time I read the script. I knew I had to be involved. People for years have tried to put a 'face' on what they believe in and this expereience will definitely stretch your thoughts about the Jesus you knew growing up. It has stretched me to new levels artistically and spiritually and I'm passionate to be back on the road with a message as timely as that of !Hero." Initially introduced to audiences at a time when The DaVinci Code was setting records atop the New York Times best seller list, and The Passion Of The Christ was establishing all time first release box office records worldwide, the question was instantly posed of !Hero: 'Have we finally gone too far in reaching the MTV generation with the gospel?' The controversy centered around !Hero only seemingly served to attract major crowds and wide praise from critics. !Hero started initially as one man's creative dream. A decade ago, former Christian rock artist turned major Nashville music executive, Eddie DeGarmo, contacted Nashville songwriter and friend Bob Farrell to co-create a musical that would reach the MTV generation with a hip, culturally relevant, visually in-your-face presentation of the gospel--told in a language of music, video, and message that even the 21 century, post modern 9/11 world could comprehend. That dream become a reality in the form of !Hero – which soon became an award winning, critically acclaimed rock opera musical that with a multi-layered success story. Since initial launch to audiences in live concert in 2003, !Hero has to date produced a string of sell-out concerts, a multi-Dove Award winning CD and DVD, a best selling book series –and now with the return of the production on tour, the promise of reaching a whole new universe of fans. Aggressive web and internet campaigns (www.heroshows.com) have heralded the massive set-up for the re-introduction of the arrival of !Hero’s modern day Messiah. In addition to Michael Tait in the starring role, the current touring cast is heavily comprised of bright young contemporary Christian artist/musicians and includes: Anadara Arnold as Maggie; Ryan Edgar as Agent Hunter; Michael Quinlan as Jude; Donnie Lewis as Mama; Marshall Mcluhan as Petrov; Jason Eskidge as Kai; Playdough as Jairus; Shannon Bain as Devlin; and Bob Farrell as Governor Pilate. Bob Farrell bears dual roles: That onstage of portraying wheelchair bound Governor Pilate—and offstage of being the production's director. The 2006 tour is being fielded by Hero Shows, LLC, an alliance formed by Farrell and Dallas based partner, Rich Speakman. "The goal from the onset of !Hero’s creation was to get people talking and thinking—to make them angry if necessary—in making the gospel relevant to today and bringing it into the framework of the 21st century we live in,” notes Farrell. !Hero has ultimately been successful on a major media scale in "rolling the stone away" -- and getting 21st century audiences again talking about that old familiar--and still controversial-- event of some 2,000 years ago. And "talk" is ultimately what the message of good theater is all about. For the Jesusfreakhideout.com concert review from a date on the 2003 tour, click here! (from Morning Star PR)
Family Force 5
Maverick/Gotee band Family Force 5, along with Mono VS Stereo act House Of Heroes and American/Warner Bros.’ Luna Halo, will hit the road next week and tour their current debut release Business Up Front, Party In The Back. With nearly 25 dates confirmed already and additional shows to be added, the tour meets the increasing popular demand for Family Force 5’s crunk rock sound. The band was most recently part of the Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour and Van’s Warped Tour. They also made the rounds at major Christian music festivals this summer including Ichthus, Alive, and Cornerstone, and overseas at the Frizon and Flevo festivals, two of the largest European music gatherings. "Polish up your dancing shoes for the Skulls and Diamonds tour!” says front man Solomon Olds. “Breakdance, not hearts!” Family Force 5 has seen an onslaught of media exposure this year including performances on CBS TV’s The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and 2 performances on DIRECTV’s CD USA, as well as music video exposure on MTVU.com. Family Force 5 nabbed a #1 spot on both R&R’s Christian Rock chart, as well as the Christian Radio Weekly Rock chart with their radio single “Replace Me.” Led by front man and guitarist Solomon Olds (aka Soul Glow Activator), Family Force 5 includes Solomon’s two brothers Jacob Olds (aka Crouton) on drums/vocal, and his twin Joshua Olds (aka Fatty) on bass/vocals. The force of five is rounded out by Nathan Currin (aka Nadaddy) on keyboard and Derek Mount (aka Chap Stique) on guitar. Family Force 5, who has dubbed their brand of music as “crunk rock”, likes to focus on feel-good, party music. House of Heroes, at home on the MVS sister label to Gotee, is currently touring in support of their latest offering Say No More. The rock trio—Jared Rigsby (bass/vocals), Colin Rigsby (drums/vocals) and Tim Skipper (vocals/guitar)-- have just finished a successful national tour with Relient K, and The Rocket Summer, as well as dates with MxPx, Mae and Over It. (from LB PR)
SCC
Sparrow Records announces the December 26th release of a special collection from Steven Curtis Chapman aptly titled Now & Then. This classic compilation will feature the Greatest Hits CD and All Things New CD in an unique 2-CD package. Now & Then revisits Chapman’s groundbreaking career and showcases how he continues to have a significant impact on Christian music. This two-CD collection contains 26 total tracks, 12 of which have been No. 1 radio singles and will be retailed at $19.99. Now & Then will be available in time for Chapman’s appearance on a soon to be announced tour he’s joining in early 2007. His set on the tour will feature his greatest hits including selections from his most recent studio release, All Things New. Also audiences might just get the chance to hear a sneak peek of a new song from his upcoming studio project to be released in 2007. Recently Chapman’s song “All About Love” has been featured in commercial promotions for one of Fox Network’s new highly anticipated reality show Celebrity Duets. Produced by American Idol’s judge Simon Cowell, Celebrity Duets is currently airing on Fox. In his musical career, Chapman has won five GRAMMY© Awards, most recently at the 2005 awards for his release All Things New. Steven Curtis Chapman has sold over ten million records including two RIAA certified platinum albums and seven RIAA certified gold albums. Along with his Dove and GRAMMY© awards, Chapman has won an American Music Award, has recorded 44 No. 1 radio hits as well as receiving numerous other honors. Since his recording career began in 1987, Chapman has recorded fifteen projects with Sparrow Records. He has performed at the White House and has appeared on: CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CMT, Fox News, Hallmark, E!, as well as CBS Sunday Morning, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, among many others. The Chapman family has established Shaohannah’s Hope, a foundation providing information and assistance to families who desire to adopt. (from The M Collective)
*Saturday, September 16th, 2006*

Switchfoot
Music fans who love Switchfoot can count down the days leading up to the December 26 release of the San Diego band’s much-anticipated new studio album, Oh! Gravity. The fun begins at Switchfoot.com, where the rock quintet is currently revealing the Oh! Gravity. cover artwork in puzzle fashion, piece by intriguing piece. Next up is a countdown clock heading for September 26 when iTunes will begin digital sales of the first publicly released song from the album, “Dirty Second Hands.” On October 16, Switchfoot will launch a new Web site and MySpace page. A warm-up tour of the United States begins October 17, and fans can begin pre-ordering Oh! Gravity. on October 26. Produced by Tim Palmer (U2, Tears For Fears) and Switchfoot with executive production from GRAMMY winning Producer of the Year Steve Lillywhite, Oh! Gravity. sports a harder rock edge than the band’s previous efforts and includes other buzzworthy tracks like “Awakening,” “American Dream,” and the title track. For concert listings and continuing new album updates, check out Switchfoot.com. (from Sparrow Records)
POD
Over the past few weeks, P.O.D. have teamed up with Rhino Records to release a greatest hits record simply titled, Greatest Hits - The Atlantic Years. Rhino Records are the premier music label for box sets, greatest hits, etc. representing artists such as Black Sabbath, The Cure, The Ramones, and even the legendary Frank Sinatra. Rhino are calling this their '#1 Priority for the rest of the year' and have said they are very pleased to honor P.O.D.'s Atlantic catalog. Early reports are that this will be a 17-track record. In addition to their hits, P.O.D. wanted to make this even more special, so they are including two brand new songs. One of the new tracks will be a never before released song from the Glen Ballard Testify sessions. The other new track is being recorded this week with producer Travis Wyrick. Chris Lord-Alge is scheduled to mix the song next week in Los Angeles. Rhino have set a November 21st release date (aka Thanksgiving week). P.O.D. have been taking meetings with various record labels. There are also discussions within P.O.D.'s management team about developing their own independent model. "We have been blessed to have many great years on a major label, but the idea of remaining free agents is attractive," said the band in a recent newsletter. "Regardless, we're having the most fun we've ever had as a band and are planning to write and record throughout the Fall. We have our eyes on a Spring 2007 release." (from P.O.D.)
Michael W. Smith
Michael W. Smith is readying for a busy fall/winter season with two major tours, and the release of his 19th studio album, Stand (Nov. 7). It’s during this whirlwind of preparation that he celebrates the RIAA Gold certification of his instrumental album, Freedom (2000), marking his 16th Gold record. In addition, “Come to the Cross,” the first single from the highly anticipated Stand, shows strength at radio with an impressive “highest debut” ranking at AC Indicator this week. Smith will support Stand with a fall tour hitting nearly two dozen cities, as well as his annual Christmastime Symphony Tour, scheduled for 17 cities in November and December. Over his 23-year career, Michael W. Smith has amassed an impressive catalog of achievements. His 18 albums have garnered multiple honors including an American Music Award, 3 GRAMMY Awards and 40 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. In addition, he holds 16 Gold and 5 Platinum albums, 31 #1 radio hits, and has been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People. In addition, Smith has scored film projects and written 11 books. His tours consistently rank among the most well attended in the country and he has performed to capacity crowds throughout the world. Constantly giving back to the community, one of his current projects is Rocketown—a nightclub for teens in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn. —serves as safe place for young people to enjoy music and for artists to be discovered. He is married to Debbie Smith and they are the proud parents of five children. Stand, Michael’s 19th album, releases November 7. (from Provident Music Group)
Amy Grant
Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan Valentine surprised Amy Grant during "An Evening with Amy Grant" last Sunday, September 10 with an announcement that the stage of the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center was being named the Amy Grant Performance Platform, in recognition of her generosity to the symphony. She helped the symphony overcome bankruptcy in the 1980s and continues to be a longtime supporter. “Without Amy’s generosity, I dare say the Nashville Symphony may not be in existence today. She has been very kind to the orchestra, and the very least we could do is name the performance platform—a place where magic will happen at the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center—in honor of her,” said Valentine. Grant was host to the second evening in three opening weekend galas for the Nashville Symphony’s new home, Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Among her guests were her husband, Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes and Michael W. Smith. (from The M Collective)
Newsboys
The newsboys have officially released the GO EP exclusively online, available now in the iTunes music store for just $2.97. This is fans' very first chance to own the new single "Wherever We Go" along with the album's title track, "Go," and a special version of their smash hit, "I Am Free." Also, don't forget that the band's new full-length album, GO, releases October 31! (from Inpop Records)
JoC
Multi-platinum and three-time GRAMMY winning band Jars of Clay kicks off its 26 city fall tour in Tocoa Falls, Georgia at Tocoa Falls College on Oct. 5 with friends Matt Wertz and, former Sixpence None the Richer lead singer, Leigh Nash. Jars of Clay released its highly-anticipated seventh studio project, Good Monsters, on Sept. 5 amid rave reviews from media and fans alike. On sharing the road and stage with Matt and Leigh, who also call Nashville home, Dan Haseltine, Jars’ lead singer, says, “We’re really looking forward to this tour with Leigh and Matt. Leigh is a long-time friend and Matt is simply an amazing talent we’re really looking forward to touring with.” Good Monsters, completely self-produced by the band offers eleven original songs, and a remake of the Julie Miller-penned anthem “All My Tears,” Good Monsters even boasts a couple of stirring guest appearances: Nashville-based, singer/songwriter extraordinaire Kate York guests on “Even Angels Cry,” and formerly of Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash, sings on “Mirrors and Smoke.” Additionally, the African Children’s Choir is featured on the moving, “Light Gives Heat,” a song inspired by its work in Africa through its non-profit, organization, the Blood:Water Mission. The band recently released a brand new music video for their song "Work" on Yahoo Music. You can check it out at Yahoo now. Click here for the JFH review of Good Monsters. (from Provident Music Group; JFH)
Hawk Nelson’s popularity continues to soar as the band’s music video for “The One Thing I Have Left” was voted top video on mtvU’s Freshman program. Check out the top video at: http://www.mtvu.com/music/freshmen/ Also, the band has garnered a spot in mainstream print. On stands now is the Fall 2006 issue of Teen Magazine, which features Hawk Nelson as a band to check out. (from The M Collective)
SCC
Want to spend some time with GRAMMY and Dove award winner Steven Curtis Chapman this holiday season? Besides listening to his acclaimed All I Really Want For Christmas disc, you can see him reading the Christmas story live in person at Walt Disney World on December 9, 10, and 11, 2006. Chapman is among the many artists, athletes, and actors taking part in the theme park’s Candlelight Processional Dinner Package held at the American Gardens Theater in Epcot’s World Showcase. There’s no charge to view the processional which includes the guest narration and Christmas carols sung by a choir and 50-piece orchestra, but purchase of the Dinner Package guarantees seating at the event. Others reading the Christmas story on different dates include Cuba Gooding, Jr., Gary Sinise, David Robinson, Marlee Matlin, and Kirk Cameron. (from Sparrow Records)
*Thursday, September 14th, 2006*

Day Of Fire
GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award winning Day of Fire has officially entered the world of professional wrestling as their song “Run” from their current album (Cut & Move, June 6, 2006) has been selected as the official WWE Pay-Per-View Theme Song for this weekend’s Unforgiven, which airs live on Pay-Per-View Sunday, September 17 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT. “Day of Fire is very excited about working with the WWE,” according to lead singer Josh Brown. “We hope to be a part of many future WWE events. For me personally, this is really cool because I grew up watching Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler wrestle in Memphis, Tenn. Now he is the voice of ‘Monday Night Raw®’ on the USA Network and it is truly an honor to have him introduce our song ‘Run’ as the official theme song of WWE’s Unforgiven 2006.” Cut & Move, Day of Fire’s follow-up to their self-titled debut which won a Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year at the 36th Annual Gospel Music Awards, was produced by Pete Thornton with lyrics penned by Brown and music by the five-member band, collectively. Day of Fire has also received a GRAMMY nomination, played for more than 500,000 fans in the U.S. and Europe, and has been featured on both CNN and The 700 Club since the release of their first project. For additional information on Day of Fire, visit www.dayoffire.com. (from )
Audio A
Rumors have been flying about the whereabouts of Audio Adrenaline's final show later this year. While their current tour itinerary ends in Canada, bassist Will McGinniss has revealed in an interview with Christianity Today that they hope to have the last hoorah in Hawaii. "If we pull off what we're hoping to, we're going to do a 3-day, 2-night trip to Hawaii with our fans that can afford that," McGinniss told CT's Christa Banister. "We would go surfing at Waikiki with them, then we would do a luau at night, then the next night, we'd do a rock show with a few of our friends. It would be not so structured, more laid-back. We'd take some requests from the crowd, have a few fans come up on stage and sing with us. We'd have a great time goofing off for the last time. Then we'd spend a week with our families and each other together and reminisce." Although it doesn't sound very feasible for even the most diehard of fans across the globe, diehards like us hope we'll somehow be able to make the trip. For the full, informative interview, visit ChristianityToday.com. Also, be sure to catch the band on their Fall Farewell Tour as they open for MercyMe. (from ChristianityToday.com; JFH)
Tree63
Inpop recording artist Tree63 claims its first Christian Adult Contemporary No. 1 radio single with “All Over the World.” The occasion also marks Inpop Records’ first Christian Adult Contemporary radio hit. The song spent fourteen weeks at radio before reaching No. 1, according to Radio & Records’ Christian Adult Contemporary Indicator chart. “All Over the World” is from Tree63’s most recent album, Worship Volume One: I Stand For You, released in November 2005, which also features the Christian AC Top 5 hit, “I Stand For You.” Band frontman John Ellis says, “A No. 1 single is always a special event. It’s just a great validation of what we do by the industry, the people who listen to Christian music, everyone. The news is particularly significant for Tree63 in that although we’ve seen great past success at AC, this is the first time we’ve actually reached No. 1. So, we’re very happy. Thanks to everyone involved.” "From the inception of Inpop Records in 1999, radio has been very supportive of our artists,” comments Dale Bray, Inpop Records president. “This No. 1 song from Tree63 is a great reward to both the present and past staff that have worked so hard in making radio a priority at Inpop.” (from Savvy Media)
Phil Keaggy
Legendary guitarist, Grammy nominee and Dove Award winner Phil Keaggy is returning to his roots and bringing back together the power rock group Glass Harp for a reunion concert on Saturday, September 23, at the Denver Guitar Festival, sponsored by Gibson Guitars, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) and Road Home. The festival, which will also feature appearances by guitarist Jason Truby of two-time Dove Award-winning rock band P.O.D., two-time Grammy Award-winning singer/guitarist Ashley Cleveland, noted guitarist Dave Beegle and newcomer Ian Keaggy, will take place at Denver's Ogden Theatre (935 E. Colfax Ave.). Doors open at 5 p.m., and the festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Tickets are $28.50 in advance through itickets.com, and concert-goers can call 303-830-2525 for more information about the event. Phil Keaggy co-founded Glass Harp in the late 1960s along with drummer John Sferra while in the 11th grade of high school. They were joined by bassist Daniel Pecchio and soon garnered the attention of record label executives, signing a contract with Decca Records in 1970. During their rise to fame, Glass Harp released a total of three albums and toured the country with such renowned artists as Iron Butterfly, Yes, Traffic and Chicago. Although the trio disbanded in the mid-1970s, with all three members spinning off into successful solo careers, they have reunited over the years to record five more albums together. Their reunion performance at the 2006 Denver Guitar Festival will follow on the heels of the release of Glass Harp's first DVD project, Circa 72, which streets on September 17, 2006. Phil Keaggy's solo career has spanned more than 30 years and has included close to 50 solo albums, including his upcoming November 7, 2006 release, Roundabout. On the project, he merges the influences of rock, blues and jazz with the technologies of electronic "looping" which allows him to combine the sounds of multiple guitar parts, using only one acoustic guitar, to create a cool indie-vibe which has become his signature guitar sound. The album will be available on and distributed through TAG Artist Group. On his previous instrumental effort, JAMMED!, Keaggy tapped into the talents of longtime friend and fellow Glass Harp member John Sferra. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his much-anticipated vocal project, set to release later this fall. The album will be Keaggy's first vocal project with all original compositions since his album, Inseparable, which released in 2000. (from McCain PR)
Tammy Trent
Recording artist, author and speaker Tammy Trent and Word recording artist Mark Schultz recently performed at a benefit concert for the James Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Family Christian Stores. According to the national retail chain, “The James Fund is a non-profit organization founded by Family Christian Stores to meet the needs of orphans and widows in the communities we serve. The scriptural mandate of caring for orphans and widows, such as the one found in James 1:27, is a wonderful invitation to experience God in a profound way by being a part of His sovereign plan for His precious children.” Trent’s latest single, “At The Foot Of The Cross,” will release to Christian radio formats next month, while a music video for the song premiered earlier this month on the Gospel Music Channel. The single is featured on Trent’s first full-length release in six years, I See Beautiful, which bowed August 1. She is currently appearing around the country as part of Women of Faith’s REVOLVE Tour for teen girls. (from Turning Point PR)
Two years ago a famed producer from the hit-making production team PAJAM released his debut album with the hopes of being able to touch lives with his music and voice. J Moss known as “The Voice” not only reached many with his talent, but also achieved ultimate success with his outstanding debut titled The J Moss Project. “The Voice” returns to an enthusiastic audience with his sophomore solo album which is sure to become one of his more profound works, released by PAJAM/Gospo Centric Records. The upcoming album titled appropriately - V2…The Voice Returns - will be releasing nationwide on November 28th. Once again produced by PAJAM, J’s new studio release is a musical tour-de-force showcasing the signature sound of this powerhouse production team, Moss’ silky smooth, expressive vocals and songs that not only reflect J's continuing love for songs of praise, but also deal with some of life’s difficult issues. J Moss opens up and takes a hard-hitting look at issues rarely discussed openly in circles of faith. The single titled “Operator” is already impacting Gospel radio and an urban single will be released in September. Vicki Mack Lataillade, President of Gospo Centric Records, excitedly states, “I admire J Moss’ talent and have from the beginning. To have the opportunity to release another album of his and work with him is truly a blessing. His voice is definitely God given and we are honored to work with such a talent. He’s known as “The Voice” for a reason!” This release will not only stand on its own phenomenal sound, but is the follow-up to a debut album that is nearing a quarter million copies sold. J Moss has received high honors including two Grammy Award nominations, three 2006 Stellar Awards – Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year, 2 GMA Award nominations and a Soul Train Music Award nomination. His song “We Must Praise” climbed the Gospel radio chart and held the #1 spot for a record number 13 weeks. J Moss will continue to lead the way in sales with touring and radio airplay, a new music video clip for “Operator” is also being released. V2…The Voice Returns is sure to satisfy Moss' loyal fans and open the door to a whole new audience. (from Big Machine Media)
After much thought and prayer, Fusebox's Billy Buchanan has decided not to go back out on the !Hero tour. Buchanan decided he didn't want to be away from his family for a month and a half, in addition to trying to finish the new Fusebox album. However, Billy will be reprising his role of Kai on only two of the dates on the !Hero tour: Nov 9th in Austin, TX and November 10th in The Woodlands, TX. (from Fusebox)
Kathy Troccoli
2007 marks award-winning singer, songwriter, speaker and bestselling author Kathy Troccoli’s 25th anniversary as a recording artist. Since launching her music career as Reunion Records’ flagship artist in 1982, Kathy has garnered record sales reaching two million units, 17 #1s at Christian radio, 19 GMA Music Award nominations, two GMA Music Awards, and three GRAMMY nominations. Her 1991 hit, “Everything Changes” claimed the #2 spot on mainstream Adult Contemporary radio while earning a “Billboard Top 40 Adult Contemporary Song of the Year” award, and she received a nod as the magazine’s “Top 20 Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year.” She has also had several Top 5 mainstream radio hits and one Top 10 single with the Beach Boys. Amid non-stop touring as an author, speaker and vocalist, Kathy is set to deliver her 18th studio record The Story Of Love on November 14. Kathy is a highly sought-after conference speaker and singer. Having struggled with depression, bulimia and the death of her parents, she brings a powerful message of hope and God’s redemption. Over the years she has logged countless performances and speaking engagements at Women of Faith, Extraordinary Women, Time Out For Women and Heritage Keepers conferences, reaching audiences in the millions. In a reader’s poll conducted by Today's Christian Woman Magazine, she was named one of the top four women who has made the greatest impact in reader’s lives over the past five years. Published in the March/April 2003 issue, Troccoli was ranked among Joyce Meyer, Stormie Omartian and Beth Moore. February 2007 will mark her ninth year as host of the popular “KT and Friends” cruises and will also be the year she begins co-hosting “Spaghetti for the Soul” conferences for women, with speaker and author Ellie Lofaro. She has nine books to her credit including Falling In Love With Jesus which, to date, has sold more than 250,000 copies. (from Recah PR)
*Wednesday, September 13th, 2006*

JoC
Multi-GRAMMY winning and platinum-selling rock band Jars of Clay, well known for its humanitarian efforts world-wide, is using the release of its new album as a platform to provide clean water for Africans in need. The band hopes to raise at least $300,000 for clean water projects in Africa with the help of sales from its (9/5) Good Monsters CD. According to the United Nations, over 300 million people in Africa lack access to safe drinking water and 477 million people live without adequate sanitation facilities. As part of the effort, The Global Water Challenge with support from The Coca-Cola Company, will provide a matching donation of up to $100,000 to the band’s Blood:Water Mission. The partnership will donate $1.00 for each of the first 100,000 copies of Good Monsters sold. Funds raised will go toward the provision of clean water in Africa. The Global Water Challenge (GWC) is an initiative to save lives and reduce suffering in the developing world by providing safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education to people who lack these basic services. Launched by The Coca-Cola Company in partnership with a diverse coalition of corporations, foundations, and aid organizations, the GWC is a unique partnership to build healthy communities and provide sustainable solutions to ensure the availability of potable water. The goal of the GWC is to bring safe water and sanitation to millions by identifying and multiplying the solutions that work. (See www.globalwaterchallenge.org) Blood:Water Mission exists to promote clean blood and clean water efforts in Africa, tangibly reducing the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic while addressing the underlying issues of poverty, injustice and oppression. Blood:Water Mission is building clean water wells, supporting medical facilities, and focusing on community and worldview transformation, both in America and in Africa. “The Global Water Challenge is a demonstration of Coca-Cola’s leadership in corporate responsibility by not only envisioning a world where all people can have access to clean water, but taking real action to bring that world to being, is something to applaud and cheer loudly about,” says Dan Haseltine, the band’s lead vocalist. He continues, “This partnership brings two of my greatest passions together, my love for creating music, and my work to help our fans find ways to commit tangible acts of humanitarian service and love toward the poor and oppressed in Africa. It is fulfilling to know that the situation of so many Africans, who suffer under the weight of poverty and disease, will improve because people did something as simple as buy a new Good Monsters CD.” (from Provident Music Group)
Third Day
Third Day is launching the Fan Community Pre-sale for Christmas Offerings, the latest installment to Third Day's popular Offerings series. Pre-ordering the album now will give fans a chance to listen to a stream of the entire record with their pre-order exclusively through Third Day's fan community web store and also, exclusively with all pre-orders at ThirdDay.com, fans will receive a special Christmas card from the band that can be used as a gift or kept yourself. Christmas Offerings is also being offered in other unique Christmas specials, including a limited edition Christmas Offerings Ornament free with the purchase of the "Christmas Package," which includes Christmas Offerings, their previous album Wherever You Are and a t-shirt all for a special price. Christmas Offerings releases October 10th, so be sure to pre-order your CD today! If you want to hear clips of the album, you can visit http://www.thirdday.com/christmas now! (from ThirdDay.com)
Michael W. Smith
The buzz surrounding his new record just keeps heating up! Not content to sit still, in his creative processes or in his relationships, GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter/producer Michael W. Smith challenges listeners to find their own calls to respond, within the content of his latest album Stand, which releases November 7. Through his church work away from the public spotlight, amid the new interaction that having children growing into young adulthood brings, and in the viewing of a world crying out for answers, Smith takes a stand and asks listeners to join him. Stand issues a call. “It is a call to stand outside of the walls of the church, rubbing shoulders with the lost,” Michael says of the new project. “It is a call to stand because you’ve captured a glimpse of something so powerful you cannot stay seated. It is a call to stand for the One who gave it all.” Stand releases to retail through Smith’s longtime label home Reunion Records and also marks a number of creative firsts for the veteran artist... 1. It’s the first project on which Smith hasn’t served in a lone-production capacity, turning to seasoned producer Matt Bronleewe to craft the overall direction of the tracks. 2. It’s the first studio project where Smith has recorded songs he hasn’t written or co-written, turning to collaborators such as Bronleewe, longtime friend Amy Grant, fast-rising songwriter Leeland Mooring and even his own son Tyler Smith for contributions. 3. It’s the fastest-paced production effort Smith has been involved with, 40 days from start to finish, necessitated by the early 2006 Smith experienced as he promoted The Second Chance, his acting debut in a feature film. 4. Michael has never issued a call like this before. He’s challenged us to Live the Life and has inspired us through albums including, This is Your Time and Healing Rain. For years, he has led us in worship – but he has never said, “I’m taking a stand. Will you join me?” Smith will support Stand with a fall tour hitting nearly two dozen cities, as well as his annual Christmastime Symphony Tour, scheduled for 17 cities in November and December. Click here for our PReview of Stand, complete with song clips! (from Provident Music Group)
4HIM
One of contemporary Christian music’s most enduring and awarded groups, 4HIM, will celebrate the final concert of their current Finale Tour on September 23rd in Mobile, Alabama, in an event to be presented by Premier Productions. “It’s a tremendous privilege for us to represent 4HIM on this historic concert,” noted Shane Quick of Premier. “They’ve consistently represented the best in contemporary music over the past 15 years and their final performance together as a group promises to be the culmination of a remarkable career of music ministry that has touched countless lives.” Since their formation in 1989, 4HIM has been one of the industry’s most awarded vocal groups. They’ve received eight Dove Awards, including three Group Of The Year wins for the gifted quartet who began their career in music as part of the well-known touring ensemble group Truth. Known for the perfection of their harmonic convergence, as well as the choice of powerful songs with a meaningful message, 4HIM broke through at Christian radio with their first #1 single Where There Is Faith. It propelled their signature sound into 24 #1 radio hits. They have recorded a dozen best selling albums, including their gold certified The Basics Of Life which also became the title of a best selling devotional group authored by the group. Noted 4HIM’s Mark Harris: “This is going to be such a special night for us as a group. I know it will be a very emotional night since it will be the very last time we will be performing together as a group – who knows what will happen!” The Finale Tour’s final stop will be hosted at Mobile’s Cottage Hills Baptist Church. Tickets are now on sale at the church as well as at Crossroads Bookstore in Mobile, and Lifeway Christian and Crossroads bookstore locations in Pensacola, Florida. Advance tickets are $18.00, with artist seating tickets scaled at $25.00. Group tickets are also available at $16.00. Phones sale tickets may be purchased at 1-800-965-9324. Tickets may also be purchased online by resourcing: http://www.itickets.com (from Morning Star PR)
NewSong
Dove Award-winning, Grammy-nominated hitmaker, NewSong (www.newsongonline.com) hopes to recreate Christmas magic with its new holiday CD, The Christmas Hope, which releases on September 26 on Integrity Music. The band proved its magic when in 2001 it scored a #1 mainstream Billboard hit with “The Christmas Shoes” and followed up later that year with the release of their first Christmas album of the same name. “The Christmas Shoes” inspired a series of three New York Times-bestselling books by Donna VanLiere and two CBS Movies of the Week, including 2005's smash “The Christmas Blessing.” The holiday ratings success proved to be the most watched movie on television in 2005 and included NewSong on stage in the movie singing the title track. The Christmas Hope is the third book in the series and this time, the book inspired the new NewSong CD and its title track. “We have been incredibly blessed in so many ways by all the success of ‘The Christmas Shoes.’ It is only fitting that we embraced the song and what followed as the foundation for this new Christmas record,” said founding member Eddie Carswell. “At the same time, The Christmas Hope is also totally unique and we hope that that great experience of making this record translates into a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying Christmas record for everyone who listens.” Produced by Bernie Herms for SoulFuel Productions (Natalie Grant, Nate Sallie, Avalon) and additional tracks produced by NewSong members Drew Cline, Matt Butler, Rico Thomas and former member Michael O’Brien, The Christmas Hope features 13 tracks, including six original Christmas songs and a remake of “The Christmas Shoes.” Both the classic holiday songs and treasured sacred carols on The Christmas Hope showcase NewSong’s trademark powerhouse vocals along with lush string and jazz arrangements and several guest artists and musicians. “The only word I can think of to sum up this record is ‘special,’” said NewSong’s newest member Drew Cline. “When you record an album, you always hope for that one special co-write or guest vocalist or amazing musician; we got that on every song on The Christmas Hope. “Bethlehem Calls,” written by Carswell and Cline features The Nashville String Machine and is no exception. The Nashville String Machine also appears on The Christmas Hope’s opening anthem, “The Song of Christmas” and the timeless “What A Wonderful World.” Other noteworthy contributions on the Christmas CD include Matthew West, who co-wrote the album’s title track with Carswell; a duet with Rachael Lampa on “The Christmas Blessing;” (which also features The Prague Orchestra) and Anointed who provides guest vocals for the sacred spiritual “Jesus What a Wonderful Child.” Some of Nashville’s most acclaimed and in-demand session musicians like guitarist Kenny Greenberg and horn player Rod McGaha are featured on The Christmas Hope, and the drum corps from Middle Tennessee State University provides an authentic touch to “Little Drummer Boy.” Finally, the Christmas spirit would not be complete without children and they are prominent on The Christmas Hope, including the brand new version of “The Christmas Shoes.” The Christmas Hope will be distributed by Provident-Integrity Distribution to Christian retail and to general market through Sony Music. (from Spinhouse PR)
*Thursday, September 7th, 2006*

Switchfoot
Sparrow Records/Columbia Records will release Oh! Gravity., the eagerly-awaited sixth studio album (and third for Columbia) from the multi-platinum-selling San Diego-based rock band Switchfoot, on Tuesday, December 26. In anticipation of the release of Oh! Gravity., Switchfoot will hit the road for an extensive U.S. fall tour beginning October 17 in Bakersfield and ending November 22 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. In an effort to get closer to their fans, Switchfoot will be playing smaller, more intimate venues. Fans will also be allowed a first peek at new album material when the track “Dirty Second Hands” is released digitally on September 19, 2006. Oh! Gravity. is the first new studio collection from Switchfoot since the group's Nothing Is Sound entered the Billboard Top 200 best-selling albums chart at #3 in September 2005. (The group's major label debut, the double-platinum smash The Beautiful Letdown, peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 in June 2004, more than a year after its release.) Oh! Gravity. is produced by Tim Palmer (U2, Tears For Fears, Tin Machine, James) and Switchfoot. The album is executive produced by Grammy-winning Producer of the Year Steve Lillywhite, who also helmed the track, "Awakening," with additional production by Tim Palmer and Switchfoot. Switchfoot has developed a harder rock edge for the sound and songs on Oh! Gravity., which was recorded at Big Fish Recording in Encinitas, California. All songs on the album were written by frontman Jon Foreman and Switchfoot. This includes the first single "Oh! Gravity.," as well as "American Dream," "Awakening," "Dirty Second Hands," "In This Life," "Amateur Lovers," "Circles," "Faust," "Yesterdays," "4:12," "Burn Out Bright" and "Let Your Love." For tour dates, visit www.switchfoot.com (from Hoganson Media)
delirious
Carrying on its tradition of globally relevant music, Delirious? returns Oct. 17 with the CD-DVD release, Delirious? Now Is the Time: Live at Willow Creek, on Sparrow Records. Known for its compelling live performance, Delirious? recorded the project in front of 5,000 fans this summer at the Chicago-area’s Willow Creek Community Church, the second largest church in America. In addition to the music and video on the CD and DVD, the DVD bonus material includes a 30-minute documentary on the story of Delirious?, an 8-minute “behind the scenes” feature and the director’s audio cut. Since the release of the band’s video A View From The Terraces, which was recorded back in 1997 on the final night of the band’s first full-production UK tour, Delirious? has evolved significantly. Back then the band was unsure of their future. Today, Delirious? has traveled the world to inspire music lovers globally--17 countries so far this year (23 countries last year), not to mention having played for the Pope in front of a million people in Germany and for 1.2 million in India with J oyce Meyers, as well as tens of thousands on tours with Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams. Based in the UK, Delirious? has been playing live for 13-years with the same band members intact, creating an atmosphere that draws crowds and points them to see the wonders of what God has done for them. According to Delirious? front man Martin Smith, the timing of the release is significant. “Over the last two albums we’ve been singing a lot about going out, about letting our faith act as the fuel for service and mission. We love hearing about people who are finding themselves similarly inspired, and we hope that this new live DVD and CD will help spread the message even further, encouraging an army of history makers to live life out loud.” Delirious? is considered by many as the galvanizing force that changed the expression of worship through music in churches and altered how hymnbooks are viewed. Millions in churches around the world consistently sing the band’s songs each week. With nine songs in the CCLI top 500, four of those songs, “I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever,” “Do You Feel the Mountains Tremble?,” “Majesty” and “What A Friend,” are featured on Delirious? Now Is the Time: Live at Willow Creek. Another song whose chorus is catching on in churches internationally and is featured on the new CD-DVD is “Our God Reigns.” Originally featured on the 2005 release, The Mission Bell, and later recorded by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman on Passion: Everything Glorious, the lyrics of the song, written by Smith and Redman, are brought to the forefront on the new recording. In the song, Delirious? deals with the subject of social injustice, particularly A.I.D.S., abortion and the constant focus of Western culture on self-improvement and materialism. For all the latest Delirious? updates, including their tour schedule, go to www.delirious.co.uk. For the project's track list, click here! (from Hoganson Media)
Gotta Have Gospel!, the first volume in the mega compilation series from Integrity Gospel and Gospo Centric/Zomba Gospel, has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), announced Danny McGuffey, vice president and chief marketing officer for Integrity Media. Gotta Have Gospel! features 28 songs with eight platinum and gold-selling artists and also includes the Dove Award-winning song “Dance, Dance, Dance” by Mary Mary, which was exclusive to the hits collection. “The attraction of Gotta Have Gospel! has been that it truly showcases Gospel music at its best. By bringing together classic, current and future hit songs by the hottest gospel talent and the most promising emerging artists proved to be a gold-winning formula and we are pleased to celebrate this success with Gospo Centric and Zomba Gospel,” said McGuffey. "The response to Gotta Have Gospel! is a reflection of the growing popularity of the gospel genre in general, and that is worth celebrating. I hope that this project and others like it that have followed and will follow, continue to help us showcase the enormous diversity of talent that the gospel genre has to offer,” added Vicki Mack Lataillade, Gospo Centric Records founder and CEO. The gold-certified project includes an “In The House” CD that features 14 traditional songs and an “On The Street” CD that features 14 urban songs including music from Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Israel and New Breed, Shirley Caesar, Joe Pace & The Colorado Mass Choir, Kurt Carr, Dorinda Clark Cole, Lisa McClendon, T.D. Jakes, Alvin Slaughter, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Stephen Hurd. The artists featured on Gotta Have Gospel! that were new artists when the CD project released includes Raymond & Co. (Integrity Gospel), Ty Tribbett (Columbia Records) and American Idol finalist R.J. Helton (Gospo Centric). The third disc, a DVD, contains five videos from Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Joe Pace & The Colorado Mass Choir, Dorinda Clark Cole and Byron Cage. In addition, the disc contains interviews with Lisa McClendon, Alvin Slaughter, Israel and new Gospo Centric artist Kelcey. Gotta Have Gospel! was also distributed worldwide including the UK/Europe, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, etc. Sony Music Direct launched the product with an aggressive television direct response campaign that became the company’s top performing TVDR spot for that year. General market and gospel marketing and distribution for Gotta Have Gospel! was handled by Epic Records through Sony-BMG Distribution. Christian marketing was handled by Integrity Music with initial distribution through Word Entertainment and currently through Provident Integrity Distribution. (from Spinhouse PR)
GMA
The inaugural board meeting of the Gospel Music Association of Australia and New Zealand (GMA ANZ) was held in Sydney on Friday 25 August. The five GMA ANZ founding Board members, Mark Zschech, Anton Bekker, Mark de Jong, Mark Freeman and Isaac Moody invited Paul Bootes, Craig Moulton, Jim Watson, Steve MacPherson, David Turrell, Jeff Crabtree, Kathy Johnson and David Schenk to join the inaugural Board of GMA ANZ to pursue its mission of “Growing Christian Music” in Australia and New Zealand. GMA ANZ will be affiliated to the Nashville-based Gospel Music Association (GMA). Mark Zschech, Chairman of GMA ANZ, says that the relationship with the US organisation will be important. “Our entire Board has great respect for what the Gospel Music Association has achieved in the USA market and how it has facilitated taking music from the Christian music sector to the broadest possible market. We hope to draw on that experience and expertise to give full effect to our mission, which is ‘Growing Christian Music’. We see facilitating Australian and New Zealand artist development as one of the cornerstones of our mission, and look forward to serving all organisations in our sector who share in that mission”. At the meeting in Sydney, the GMA ANZ Board confirmed new membership of over 70 organisations and individuals, discussed future strategy and set the date for the first GMA ANZ Conference, which will be held on the Gold Coast from 6-9 May 2007. The next GMA ANZ Board meeting will be held in Auckland, New Zealand on Tuesday 30 January 2007. GMA ANZ was formed on Easter Monday in Toowoomba to act as the peak body for the Christian music sector in Australia and New Zealand and its membership is drawn from the artists and managers, record labels, wholesalers and distributors, media, publishers, promoters, and educators in the Christian music sector. (from Woodlands Media)
*Wednesday, September 6th, 2006*

Jeremy Camp
With three RIAA Certified Gold records, five Dove Awards and nine consecutive No. 1 radio singles, Jeremy Camp is poised to hit this fall season in a big way as he releases his greatly anticipated studio recording, Beyond Measure (10.31.06) and launches a national headline tour on October 19th. Filled with hope, praise, and a deep comfort and understanding of God’s mysteries, Beyond Measure looks to be the Midwestern singer/songwriter’s defining chapter, heralding an even greater peace inside Camp’s expressive soul. Like his Dove Award winning and 1.7 million selling catalog, the album is sure to inspire sing-a-longs that could make even Dashboard Confessional blush. Produced by seasoned producers like Ron Aniello (Lifehouse, Barenaked Ladies, Jars of Clay, Sixpence None the Richer), Aaron Sprinkle (Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Hawk Nelson), Beyond Measure features some of Camp’s most innovative production, powerful and personal songwriting and also his most unique vocal styling to date. Never one to shy away from wearing his heart on his sleeve Camp was relating his powerful testimony to a journalist when the new album’s title track began to form within. He remembered something his late wife, Melissa (whose passing formed a crucial nexus of the raw honesty that informs his work) had said to him: “If one person were to accept Jesus through my death, it would all be worth it.” “I said that in this interview and right when I said that, this whole fog of everything that had been going on in my life finally cleared,” Camp recalls. “I was getting distracted and busy. Sometimes even when you are busy doing the right things you don’t realize what is going on to the full extent of your life.” Blessed with his new wife, Adie, and their daughters Isabella and Arianne, Jeremy reflected on everything that God has done. “I remember just being on my face, just weeping, saying ‘Lord forgive me for getting caught up and busy.’” He wrote the song. And then, quickly, he realized its theme would shape the entire new album. “This album shows even more what God has done in my life than Restored. It’s a little more personal to me, more like Stay, but musically and vocally it is leaps and bounds above both. This album is so diverse, but in such a good way.” From radio pop to rousing hard rock to soft-spoken ballads - experimenting with falsetto a la Keane while still dipping into the baritone that won comparisons to Matchbox 20 toward the start of his career - Camp’s diversity makes sense. After all, he grew up in Indiana, where the radio dial boasted Top 40, Classic Rock and Country in equal measure. “In the Midwest there is a wide range of people and variety and that ties into my writing,” Camp reasons. “This record is just me,” he says, repeating for emphasis: “It’s ME. Period.” Hitting over 20 markets nationwide, including Fort Worth, Portland, Phoenix, Cincinatti and more, the Beyond Measure tour will also feature the super popular power house rockers Hawk Nelson and BEC Recording’s latest signing, Adie. (from The M Collective)
Falling Up
With only one week remaining until Falling Up mixes it up with the release of Exit Lights, their single “Contact” has hit No.1 on the R&R Christian Rock chart. “Contact” is the second single to reach the top of the chart from the sophomore release (Dawn Escapes BEC/Tooth&Nail Recordings) making it the fifth consecutive No. 1 single for the band. A remixed version of the song is included in the upcoming remix release. Stretching the imagination to create their newest venture, a remix album from Falling Up morphs their sound from intense, urgent rock to electronic, vibe-focused renditions selected from their two studio releases (Crashings, Dawn Escapes). Entering into a transitional phase between their sophomore project and their third studio release (to release in 2007), Falling Up enlisted the production skills of Tedd T (Mute Math), Jamie Moore, Toby Mac, Randy Torres (Project 86), Joseph A. Kisselburgh (Falling Up), Trevor McNevan (TFK), Solomon Olds (Family Force 5) and Falling Up’s vocalist Jessy Ribordy. Celebrating the upcoming release, Falling Up will be headlining two release show in their hometown and Tacoma, WA. The details for both shows are below. Also available now is an exclusive vodcast from Jesse Ribordy where he talks about his inspiration for writing. Check the first of many to come vodcasts by clicking here! Hailing from Albany, Oregon, Falling Up transformed into a full-time musical project after graduating high school in 2002. The act quickly made its first impression in the national music scene with its Aaron Sprinkle-produced debut, 2004’s Crashings, which went on to sell nearly 100,000 copies. Following the release, the band embarked on a steady stream of tour dates (with over six tours and 400 shows in a two-year span) establishing a strong, loyal fan base. In October 2005, Falling Up came back with an astounding new studio release steering clear of the sophomore slump with Dawn Escapes, which has already surpassed all expectations. (from The M Collective)
JoC
Jars Of Clay's new album Good Monsters is now out in stores and available for purchase online. The band debuted their latest music video yesterday on YouTube.com, announcing via their MySpace bulletin. Click here to view their unique and quirky new video "Good Monsters" now! Also, you can hear the full Good Monsters CD for free this week - just visit AOL Music before Sept 10th. Go to: http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds?defaultTab=2. Finally, don't forget to read our interview with the band from GMA. Check it out here! (from MySpace.com/JarsOfClay; JFH)
*Sunday, September 3rd, 2006*

Plumb
In May, Plumb announced a new project on the horizon... a new baby! Also, just recently, the artist and mother-to-be for the second time had announced a new album in the works. The follow up to Chaotic Resolve is set to be an all-lullaby project. Tiffany wrote in a recent blog on MySpace, "I started today back in the studio writing for a lullaby record I'm releasing. I plan on... recording it in August and September... The lullaby album doesn't have a release date... but I'm stoked about it. It'll be me, but more along the lines, since it's a lullaby record, of my song 'Phobic' or 'Jekyll and Hyde' ...very mellow. So even if you aren't a Mom or Dad with kids, I'm hoping the record turns out mature and creative and artistic and a great novel record to own for adults that their babies and kids can enjoy. I'm not familiar with anything like that out there... so I'm hoping for its success. If its out by Xmas, it might be a great gift for anyone you know with children... hint hint." Plumb is finished touring for 2006, with her last date being cancelled yesterday due to torrential rains in New Jersey. For the latest from the pop/rock artist and a few amusing stories about her experiences with her first baby Solomon, visit her spot on MySpace.com or her official site, Plumbinfo.com. (from Plumbinfo.com; JFH)
The latest installment in BEC's X series is on it's way in one month. X 2007 hits streets October 3rd along with a separate DVD. Expect cuts from artists like Falling Up, Newsboys, Hawk Nelson, Seventh Day Slumber, Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, MXPX, and many more. Keep an eye on BECRecordings.com for an upcoming new ecard for the project. Until then, check out "X The Album" on MySpace! (from BEC Recordings)
Manafest
Manafest is returning with a new album called Glory, set for release on September 26. Manafest's sophomore album captures both hip-hop and rock personas speaking on issues of life with a source of resolve. When asked about the new album, Manafest stated “The hip-hop songs are more the introspective side of my view and how I look at life, and the rock songs are more of outward looking in approach.” Fans can pre-order Glory now and receive a Manafest Skateboard keychain! (from BEC Recordings)
*Friday, September 1st, 2006*

SONICFlOOd
INO Records announces SONICFLOOd’s October 31st release of Glimpse: Live Recordings From Around The World, a project that was recorded from concerts in Thailand to Ireland this past year. In addition to the internationally recorded album, SONICFLOOd, the forefathers of modern worship, will be embarking on a nationwide tour with the International Missions Board, which began last week in Charleston, South Carolina and will continue hitting more than 60 venues and 23 states. “Its time for God's people to know that they are a part of something so huge and so wonderful and that right now we have brothers and sisters on the other side of the planet that love us and are praying for us,” explains frontman Rick Heil. “When we went overseas this summer we had a chance to record the sounds of every crowd we worshiped with, and then blended them together to create a symphony of praise...it's beautiful! On top of sonically recording the concerts, we brought along an HD camera to capture the sights of putting this kind of extensive project together." Glimpse: Live Recordings From Around The World captures the spirit and passion that this pioneering modern worship band has for global missions. The live recording includes fan favorites such as: “Your Love Goes On Forever,” “Cry Holy,” “Open the Eyes of My Heart” and “I Want to Know You.” Glimpse also features two new studio recordings from SONICFLOOd (“Infinite Love” and “Save Me”) as well as a bonus DVD including the making of Glimpse and two music videos for “Everlasting” and “This Generation.” Since their last studio project released in 2005 (This Generation), SONICFLOOd has been traveling worldwide to reach all generations to issue a call to rise up and share your faith. They have performed in Australia, Brazil, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Bahamas, Thailand and Turkey. They will continue with the intense touring schedule as they begin their missions’ tour across the United States. The IMB missions’ tour will be a multi-media experience for the concertgoers, which will include video footage from the mission field in addition to their performance. Also keynote missionaries will be speaking to encourage others to learn more about missions. “Through the IMB partnership with Sonicflood, God has provided an exciting new way for us to mobilize students for international missions,” shares Mike Lopez, director of IMB Student Mobilization Department. “As students hear, see, and experience the missions message delivered through these concerts, we pray that thousands will commit their lives to declaring His glory to every nation.” "For what we see now is but a glimpse but soon we will see face to face. Worship takes us to greater and greater revelation and my prayer is that God would increase our expectation so that we might see His wonders as we worship Him with all our hearts! We pray that the Lord will use these recordings to heal His bride, the church” Heil states of their mission. (from The M Collective)
Stellar Kart
After only ten weeks on R&R Magazine’s CHR charts, Word Records’ pop-punk rock band Stellar Kart claims the No. 1 position this week with their single “Me and Jesus” with over 1100 spins on 28 of 29 stations. The band’s rock single, “Activate,” also from Stellar Kart’s recently released We Can’t Stand Sitting Down album, further appeared on the Rock charts this week becoming the format’s highest debut. “This has been a team effort between Word and one of the hardest working bands with which we've ever worked,” says James Riley, Word Label Group’s Director of National Promotion. “’Me And Jesus’ was a song that stood out when we first started hearing demos and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And the support radio has shown has been incredible and we’re seeing the impact it has on people. It's an example we will continually use to show how a band's hard work and a commitment to development pays off.” Stellar Kart recorded “Me and Jesus” to encourage and remind listeners that they always have a friend in Jesus. The song has struck a chord with both station personnel and fans alike: “After seeing 5000 people at our Brown Bag Concert jumping up and down, and immediately singing along to a song most had never heard, we knew this was a song that was connecting and would fit in great here at WAY FM. Great hook. Great message. GREAT SONG!” -Stacey “Stace” Whitmore, WAY FM/CHRSN. “Everything is plugged into this mid-tempo reminder that the isolation can stop with 'Me and Jesus.' Stellar Kart steers this tune right into the target!” -Noonie Fugler/K-LIFE. “'Me and Jesus’ is a song that reminds us that we are never alone regardless of the problems in life we might face. It’s made itself comfortable in Heavy rotation here and I don’t think it’s going anywhere.” -Seth Routzahn/WNAZ. (from Word Records)
1280 Music recording artist Verbs introduces his creative and uplifting music laced with raw lyricism to the culturally-starved fans of Hip-Hop with his EP The GroundWork 3P, the precursor to his awaited album The GroundWork Theory. The EP will be available digitally on the 1280 Music Web site September 12, 2006. Formerly known as KnowdaVerbs, Verbs serves up a vision for the future of Hip-Hop music with The GroundWork Theory. Instead of dishing out an album covering topics such as violence, drugs and misogyny, Verbs utilizes his God-given talent to speak out about life and its purpose. After making a trip to South Africa as an ambassador for high school assembly programs and performing around the world as part of various missions, his aim is to show that the message of the gospel transcends language and cultural barriers. The first single on the EP, “News Flash,” epitomizes this ideal in the refrain: “It’s another news flash / no hype, it’s guaranteed what it be like / it’s what it is and it’s been like.” Other lyrics include “Employed by Jehova / Yes, God is my witness.” In this break-out single, Verbs brings the ideal of “living right” to the masses through catchy lyrics and beats. A former host of TVU/Sky Angel Network’s Planet Hip-Hop, Verbs has been featured on BET’s “Teen Summit” and “Rap City.” He also created “The Train Station: Hip-Hop Learn Shops” which are designed to teach the foundational basics of Hip-Hop culture to youths ages 12-20. The four elements (DJ, MC, Graf and B-Boyin’) are explained and taught by Verbs and his team. The program delves deeper, encouraging the youths to look beyond the superficial and utilize their talents for the bigger picture and purpose. Launching in conjunction with the digital release of the EP is the “Win A Trip To Africa With Verbs” contest. Everyone who buys the EP will be automatically entered to win a day in the studio with Verbs. One lucky winner and their guest will have the trip videotaped, which will broadcast on the 1280 Music Web site along with a blog by the winner. For more information on Verbs visit www.1280music.com or www.myspace.com/mrVerbs. (from Big Machine Media)
Feast your eyes on four live performance videos from acclaimed Seattle singer/songwriter Shawn McDonald, now available for just $1.99 each at iTunes. Selections include “All I Need,” “Home,” Open Me,” and “Beautiful.” Shawn’s complete audio library is also available for purchase there at the site. (from Sparrow Records)

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