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JFH Staff Blog | April 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Great Transparency Party Parade Tour Blog 1

Hello Everyone! Jameson here. It has been a while since I've updated our blog, and we have been super busy. We have been doing tons of writing for a new album, and we are very excited about the music we have written!

We have also been on the Party Parade Tour for about a week now with our friends Temple Veil. The tour is taking us out west for about 3 weeks. We’re currently in San Diego, California. Today we are headed to Los Angeles, California for a day off, which we are really excited about. So far the tour has been great! We have made lots of new friends on this tour, and everyone has really enjoyed our music!

Lately I have been thinking about the Christian mentality that once you are saved you are perfect—and that’s just not true. Even though we are saved, we fall short. We are only human, and we are expected to make mistakes. I think it makes some people feel like their relationship with God isn’t strong or adequate when in all actuality it is typical; you just don’t always see the problems or struggles people have. Even through all of your struggles and problems, God is there to love you and help you through them. And don’t think you have to clean yourself up to come to God. Every night Zack says from the stage, “You don’t have to clean yourself up to come to God. He just wants you to come running to him.” I believe in that saying very much.

Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the
present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all
creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I just want to encourage everyone to just go running to God with any problem, struggle, trial, or tribulation you may have. I will update this again very soon! Stay sweet!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Featured Fan - Jonathan Arend

Jonathan Arend with Thousand Foot Krutch

Favorite Band/Artist: Thousand Foot Krutch
Featured Fan: Jonathan Arend
Location: Woodbury, MN
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken: REDVolution Tour - Rochester, MN
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:  From the moment I heard TFK's song "Phenomenon," I became hooked to their catchy lyrics and music. And I have always interpreted a lot of their music as being about refusing to stay down when life is trying to keep you down. I've gone through a lot of tough stuff in life and their music has always spoken to me to keep me going. I was introduced to their music at just the right time in life, and I know God planned for that to happen. I really don't know where I'd be in life without TFK and their message.
Favorite Album by This Artist: Welcome to the Masquerade or The End Is Where We Begin
Favorite Song by This Artist: "Bring Me to Life"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: One time, but I have tickets to see them again!
Favorite Live Show Experience: REDVolution Tour
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Signed "Welcome to the Masquerade" poster
Website: N/A

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

LIVE from the 43rd GMA Dove Awards Press Room!


Tonight,'s Ryan Barbee is blogging LIVE from the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards!! Tune in and post comments this evening! Blogging will start soon!


10:06 - Well folks... we lost the feed... and the show is now over. It was a much faster paced show this year which i think everyone appreciates but I can't say I'm really blown away by the results. It seems that a ton of excellent talent gets overlooked but "that's life." Some of the greats will never receive their just reward but until then - we fight on! 

Until next year.  

10:03 - The feed is still down folks... sorry for the lack of updates.

10:00 - Montell Jordan just said, "I didn't transition from Secular to Christian... I left the music industry and went into ministry." Cool. 

9:58 - Mandisa just gave great wisdom about how to stay faithful and livea life of integrity... "Choose good friends." Not just an idea folks.

9:56 - The feed is down still... no bueno GMA... no bueno.... still love you but no bueno.

9:54 - Mandisa says that she bets we'll be seeing Colton Dixon here at the Doves next year. She's also hoping to do a collaboration with Lecrae and Tedashi and Mary Mary. Make it happen folks. That would be amazing.

9:51 - Mandisa is back stage now, she killed it up on stage. (The room is filled with "go girl.") 

9:48 - The feed has gone down... hopefully it'll be back up soon... 

9:45 - Michael Tait, Group 1 Crew, and Todd Smith are in the press room. Tait commands the stage. (in a good way... he truly is a living legend!)

9:40 - Reuben Studdard is on the stage and he sounds amazing. It's not fair that people can sing that well. All of the AI alumni, have blown away the crowd.  

9:36 - Now the American Idol performers... my guesses were right. (I'm not normally right in everyday things.)

9:31 - Montell Jordan and the wrestler that could break my bones by just looking at me are announcing the winner of Rap/Hip Hop song of the year.
The award goes to Lecrae! Woot woot! Congrats man! 

9:25 - Natalie Grant is on stage now... and she is obviously bringing down the house. It's how she rolls.  And that's why she can win the Female Vocalist of the Year award!

9:24 - Whoever is performing on stage is getting some intense looks from the crowd. People look scared.  Just found out that it's Todd Smith. 

9:22 - Wes Morgan is back in the press room sharing how honored he was to participate in the tribute to Russ Taff. Really humbling. 

9:18 - The Newsboys are performing now. It is always an amazing show with them. Michael Tait could sing the ABC's and it would deserve a Dove. Just sayin'.

9:11 - Male vocalist of the year Jason Crabb. I was hoping for Chris August. Dagnabit. At least Jason has a cool jacket. Patches on the elbows... very cool.

9:07 - Mary Mary has taken the stage and the bass is shaking the walls. That's what I'm talking about. (Or if you're a Lord of the Rings fan... Tolkein about... I know... It's lame.)

9:01 - Russ Taff is back here now. And it looks like he brought a posse.

9:00 - Laura Story just announced that she found out that she is having a girl. The due date is September 12th. 

8:57 - Story has received 4 Doves already... craziness. 

8:55 - Laura Story has just come back into the press room and man the journalists flock to the stage like moths to a flame.   

8:52 - David Mann takes an opportunity to thank the Dove's Music Director and the All Nations Choir (which he said was "All Black.") Chonda and David are some of the edgiest people to host the Doves! So hilarious! Chonda has no filter! Hahaha! She just said about Southern Gospel Music "That's where the old ladies play piano and then... they die." MY GOODNESS! Amazing!

8:51 - Chonda has changed wardrobe, "We rednecks clean up... especially when someone else is buying the clothes." 

8:48 - Southern Gospel Album of the Year goes to... Karen Peck... Like i said before, Southern Gospel isn't my jam but i can appreciate it. It's their first Dove award in 20 years - that's crazy.

8:47 - They just called for some presenters and... welp... it looks like they're not coming. That's no good. 

8:47 - They're transitioningh some stage stuff... TV makes it go a lot faster than it actually is.

8:45 - Kari Jobe is wrapping up her performance. This ball is rolling tonight - which is great. Especially since last year, it went till 12.  

8:39 - They are now announcing Song of the Year... my fingers are crossed for "Blessings." And it goes to... Blessings! Woot woot! 

8:36 - It feed from backstage is going in and out... so I'm not sure what's up next. On another note, Jayme Grace is backstage and apologizing for skipping one of her college classes this morning. She said she forgot to give her professors a shout out.

8:35 - KIA Motors Marketer is joining them on stage... they sponsored the event so this is their time for a short infomercial i guess.

8:33 - Chonda is going to get herself and David Mann in trouble, but she said, "I don't care. I ain't got no record deal." Classic!! 

8:32 - Some American Idol alumni are going to be performing soon. Everyone in the press room is guess who it's gonna be. My guesses: Reuben Studdard, Mandisa, Phil Stacey, and Danny Gokey. 

8:30 - Tedashi is joining him now - so bad to the bone!

8:29 - I hope they include subtitles for the broadcast because it would look amazing. Lecrae's blowing it up on the stage.

8:28 - Lecrae is taking the stage! Always a pleasure.

8:26 - Michael Tait and Jaci Valesquez just announced that Jamie Grace just won New Artist of the Year.... I was hoping for The City Harmonic, but it's all good. Congrats Jamie!

8:21 - David Mann can't stop talking about his wife. (Woot woot!) He's celebrating 24 years of marriage and he says the key to marriage is, "keep loving each other... and she beats me." Haha. 

8:18 - Russ is now saying his speech. What a passionate guy. You would think you would have just walked into a pentacostal church. Everyone's stomping their feet. "I'm proud to sing about the one who makes all things new." <- Awesome quote!

8:17 - And now Russ Taff is singing with them... man - the guy's still got it. Okay... he's rockin' it. Now it's amazing. Such a great moment.

8:15 - Now all three and a choir are singing together. I think the opening trio was better but Donnie is killin' it! The camera is going back and forth from the stage to Russ Taff. He looks pleased with the performance.

8:14 - Wes Morgan is singing now... he looks like a football player.

8:12 - Donnie McClurkin is up next - power voice!

8:10 - They are now honoring Russ Taff and his legendary career in Christian music by performing a few of his songs. Jason Crabb is singing first... i hope there's a paramedic in the crowd. His face is redder than Bob the Tomato.

8:07- Contemporary Gospel album of the year award goes to... Kirk Franklin's "Hello Fear." (I think he knew that was coming.) Why? because he wears cool clothes.

8:05 - David Mann, just mentioned how his wife Tamela plays his daughter on Meet the Browns. Chonda asked if he was born in Kentucky. 
"Girl... you look like an apple. I just wanna bite you." (David talking to Tamela as she walked on stage.)

8:04 - Excellent performance by The Isaacs, make sure not to miss it! Wow. 

8:00 - The Isaacs are taking the stage now, more of a bluegrass performance. Wow - they sound excellent. Rock that mandolin!

7:59 - You'll notice a lot of "..." tonight. If you were here you would be doing them too. 

7:57 - Natalie just thanked her husband and said that she married up. Good to hear of good marriages! (on a side note... it smells like a buffet restaurant in here... now i'm hungry.)

7:56 - Female Vocalist of the year... I'm guessing Laura Story (and she would deserve it)... and it goes to... Natalie Grant. Dang - whaddayoudo? But still, congrats to Natalie!

7:55 - Chonda just said that 27 pairs of spanks were involved in the opening act. HAHAHAHAHA! Everybody is blushing. 

7:53 - Chonda just said that this is the only award show where it encompases every genre. (I'm not sure that's true... but whatevs.) 

7:52 - And now for Chonda and David Mann!! I'm preparing for a gut-busting night.

7:49 - A choir! Expect great things for the opener. And then there was Southern Gospel... not a big fan - but it still sounds good.

7:46 - Yolanda Adams and two other singers are opening up the show... dang... i mean dang... where's my tissue? Well done ladies.


7:41 - The chairman is getting teary eyed as he thanks his wife... good man.

7:39 - The GMA Chairman is welcoming everyone. He's really excited obviously... I can see his veins in his forehead. Preach Preacha!

7:38 - Here we go... IT BEGINS NIGH!!!!!

7:36 - They're doing the applause runs right now. It's kind of cheating but kind of cool at the same time. I won't judge... but only because I applauded too. 

7:33 - I'm drowning in a sea of people. But thankfully I've just heard that The City Harmonic might stop by and see us tonight. That would be wonderful!  

7:23 - Just got the run-down on how it's going tonight. My fingers are ready to type a tempest of words. Brace for impact.

7:20 - Okay... it's official... It's ridiculously packed in here. (pronounced "cheer") I'm ready to get this show on the road... 4 hours sitting in a chair watching Billy and Bobby Reporter take pictures in front of the GMA Dove Awards/KIA poster. (Granted... I did take a few pictures in front of it too... however my pictures are neither serious nor flattering.)

6:42 - The press room is getting packed. And yes... I am one of the few that has my computer plugged up. It's a beautiful thing to have a full battery.  

6:03 - People are starting to file back into the press room little by little. The tension is starting rise. 

5:08 - Everyone is breaking for lunch. In about an hour and a half the festivities will really kick off. Woohoo!

4:33 - Plumb is in the press room right now - someone asked what brand of clothing she was wearing... her response, "TJ MAXX." Classy. 

4:25 - Lecrae's shirt says "Pure Hip Hop Nutrition Facts" - that's awesome. He also just stated that Hip-Hop is really starting to make in an impact in Christendom.
"Awards are just things we get to lay at the feet of the Father."  

4:22 - Lecrae is in the press room right now. Always a humble dude and rockin' his Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the year award. He is in the studio now recording a new album and possibly some free tunes coming out soon.

4:15 - It's so loud in the press room... Best songwriter of the year is... Laura Story! I have a feeling we'll be hearing that name all night. Haha!

4:10 - Chonda is practicing on the stage... she is the epitome of comedy! Can't wait to hear her host tonight with David Mann (who is the man - coincidently.)

3:57 - Someone just scolded the press people... I feel like I'm in the 8th grade again. I just dared him to give me a detention... not really but I'm considering suggesting it.

3:49 - The press room is overloaded with people who want to take their picture in front of the Dove Award poster... I might take one later... I'll make sure to strike an amazing pose. 

3:47 - David Crowder's "Oh For Joy" won the award for Best Christmas album. Congrats Crowder!!! Twas a good Christmas album indeed.

 3:45 - Just got a great setup for the press room. It looks like two chairs against a wall being used for a desk... because it is two chairs against a wall being used for a desk. I call it a fashion statement "Vagabond Office."

3:35 - Laura Story just said, "I'm hoping to just be a good mom." The singer-songwriter is pregnant, on tour, a Grammy and Dove award winner, and has an extremely supportive husband. I think that's pretty much a busy family.

3:30 - Just spoke with Laura Story. She said that she should win the award for worst "Acceptance speech"... haha whatever! Her song "Blessings" is great. She deserves a ton of awards for that song! Plus her and her husband are super humble. Congrats to Laura on winning the pre-show award for best Pop Contemporary Album and Recorded song of the year.

3:21 - There is a car on the stage... I know Kia is sponsoring the event but dude - isn't that a little extreme?

3:15 - Alright folks... we are now live from the Dove Press Room... it's pure chaos.

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Years Later - Demon Hunter

In today's world, Solid State Records sees a lot of strong bands come through their part of town, but a lot of them seem to fade out after one or two albums (Once Nothing, The Famine, Twelve Gauge Valentine, etc.).  But one band has been going strong for a decade now, and has recently released a monster of a sixth album called True Defiance.  That band is Demon Hunter, and it's been ten years since we were introduced to them on Solid State.  They started as kind of an enigma with a mystery line-up, though it was rumored (and later confirmed) that Demon Hunter had formed from the remnants of former Solid State group Training For Utopia. 

When DH unleashed their self-titled debut, it was an instant attention-grabber.  The album's biggest single, "Infected," was a perfect introduction to a sound that would continue to be used album after album, but improved upon constantly: vocalist Ryan Clark screamed his way through the verses accompanied by solid metal guitar riffs and tight drumming.  But oh wait, what's this?  Singing in the chorus?  Melodies??  It may not have been a completely original idea, but it's one that Demon Hunter perfected and made into one of their signatures.  Though the metalheads in all of us fell in love with "Infected," as well as other heavy tracks like "Through the Black," "Turn Your Back and Run" and "As We Wept," these same metalheads couldn't help but fall in love with the seemingly out-of-place (but oh-so-wonderful) rock ballads "My Throat Is An Open Grave" and "The Gauntlet."  Even with the clean vocals admist a sea of screams and growls, they just seemed right.  Demon Hunter has grown with each new album, and gotten significantly better and tighter (even with several line-up changes), but let's not forget where they started: with a stellar debut album that people just couldn't get enough of.

- Scott Fryberger

Monday, April 9, 2012

We Recommend - Leeland, 'The Great Awakening'

Ever since I was in my mid-teens, I've experienced the unique phenomenon where a band -- or in this case, an album -- doesn't really strike a chord with me until I have experienced it live. Bands like Code of Ethics, Bride, Sixpence None the Richer, John Reuben, and more recently Seabird and Remedy Drive, were all artists that I didn't appreciate until after I had seen them live. Years ago, I almost immediately enjoyed Leeland's debut Sound of Melodies, and then especially took to their follow-up, Opposite Way, which contains what may be my favorite track from the band (the title track). Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Leeland perform a hearty number of songs from their newest record, The Great Awakening, and their live performance, coupled with front man Leeland Mooring's passionate and inspirational talks, stirred my heart to worship.

Since that show, I've been spinning The Great Awakening more than I did when I had first heard it last summer. I hadn't love the band's more radio-friendly third album, Love Is On The Move, which colored my first impressions of The Great Awakening unfairly. Their newest effort is a balanced blend of pop, worship, and just enough of an indie feel to keep it all feeling relatively fresh -- and it's an album that becomes more and more rewarding with each listen.

So if you've yet to give Leeland a chance, or they may have lost your attention an album or two ago, pick up The Great Awakening (or check it out via Spotify first?). It's one of the best worship projects of 2011.
- John DiBiase

The Great Awakening (2011)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "Leeland's latest is an indie-flavored pop worship album that gets better with each listen. It's one of the more rewarding listens in its genre." (Recommended by JFH's John DiBiase)
Perfect For: Worship, Encouragement, Revival
Song Highlights: "The Great Awakening," "All Over The Earth," "Chains Hit The Ground," "Pages," "Not Afraid Anymore," "Unending Songs"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album The Great Awakening? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Featured Fan - Jay Wright

Jay with Josh, Elias, and Aaron from The City Harmonic

Favorite Band/Artist: The City Harmonic
Featured Fan: Jay Wright
Location: Utica, New York
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken: God's Not Dead Tour -- Blakely, PA
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:  The City Harmonic's music is such a blessing to me. It's very heavenly, and "Fell Apart" in particular is a song that I can really relate to. Their songs about that day when we see God's face and all our tears are wiped away is something that really encourages me on the bad days, and gives me a boost on the good days as well. I will never tire of their music!
Favorite Album by This Artist: I Have a Dream (Feels Like Home)
Favorite Song by This Artist: "Fell Apart"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: Two, and many more to come! ;)
Favorite Live Show Experience: When The City Harmonic was playing "I Have a Dream" live, Elias looked right over in my direction, pointed right at me, and mouthed out "JAY!!!!!" It was so awesome that he recognized me from when I met them in June of 2011 :)
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Autographed poster that Aaron drew me looking through the window on :)

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Music To Fall Asleep To

Today, via JFH's Twitter account, I had the sudden urge to quiz those monitoring their Twitter feeds about what music they enjoy falling asleep to. When I was younger, I used to always lie in bed with my CD player (Yep.. this was pre-iPod days!), and fall asleep to whatever new music I was into at the time. Of course, I didn't always fall asleep to what I would listen to, but over the years, some tried-and-true records have been great go-to's as a send off to dreamland.

Since I don't really fall asleep to music as much as I used to, and since the wonderful world of mp3 players opens up a whole new wonderful world called "playlists," my go-to full-length albums are mostly old school. One of the oldest is also a deliciously melancholy release in Sixpence None The Richer's self-titled album. It's still a favorite. Another gem is Plumb's lullaby album, Blink. It's a great mellow pop record that you don't have to be a youngin' to enjoy. It's soothing and a nice means to drift away. Jars of Clay's self-titled used to be a favorite as well. And Eisley's Combinations -- which is also sort of more recent -- was a great one too. Jon Foreman's acoustic work also comes to mind.

How about you guys? What music do you love that's perfectly soothing enough to you to fall asleep to?


-- John