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JFH Music News

JFH Music News Archive

April, 2006



*Thursday, April 27th, 2006*


Day Of Fire
GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award winners Day of Fire (Essential Records) are hitting the road this spring with fellow rock acts Decyfer Down (S/R/E Recordings), Fighting Instinct (Gotee Records), and Red (Essential). The tour, entitled Reborn and booked by CAA and Jeff Roberts and Associates, launches April 26 and will visit 18 markets. Red and Fighting Instinct will open the show, followed by Decyfer Down, with Day of Fire closing. ( Josh Brown, lead singer of Day of Fire, looks forward to hitting the road and interacting with fans. “We do this to touch people’s lives where they are. We want to share what we have with those willing to listen and we are very excited about being out with Red, Fighting Instinct, and Decyfer Down in the process.” The tour supports Day of Fire’s June 6 release on Essential Records of Cut & Move, the band’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. Cut & Move 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. Red brings a unique blend of heavy guitars, intense string arrangements and passionate vocals, deriving from a variety of influences such as Muse, Chevelle, Blindside, and Linkin Park. With more than 20,000 friends on MySpace (www.myspace.com/dropofred), this five member band has made it a priority to write each and every fan back personally. The songs on its Essential Records debut release, End of Silence, deal with the struggles that we all face, while leading listeners to a place of redemption in the midst of the brokenness. Red hopes its music impacts people in a way that causes them not to feel alone in their struggles. End of Silence will be in stores on June 6. For additional information on Red, visit www.redmusiconline.com. (from Provident Music Group)

Aaron Shust
Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing and its recently-launched Praise & Worship imprint GreatWorshipSongs.com announced yesterday the signing of Aaron Shust, the Worship leader who hit number one on six different charts simultaneously including Billboard’s Hot Christian Singles & Tracks with “My Savior, My God,” to a long-term songwriter agreement. The unprecedented number one success of “My Savior, My God” and the recent top 10 hit “Matchless” has made the Worship leader one of Christian music’s most popular new artists. Both Aaron Shust hits, including a free, exclusive modern Worship band arrangement of “My Savior, My God,” are available for download at GreatWorshipsSongs.com. The free download of the special arrangement “My Savior, My God” is available in MP3 audio, lead sheet and guitar chart formats. Other Aaron Shust songs, as well as hundreds of other top Worship songs, are available for download at GreatWorshipSongs.com. Sales of Shust’s debut album Anything Worth Saying on Brash Music – the label is also a co-publisher of Shust through its White Spot Publishing arm -- have increased over 560% in the last eight weeks thanks in large part to “My Savior, My God. ” The song hit number one on Billboard’s Hot Christian Singles & Tracks chart and Hot Christian AC chart, R&R’s Christian AC Monitor Radio chart and Christian AC Indicator Radio chart and CRW’s AC Radio chart. “My Savior, My God” was also the most downloaded inspirational song at iTunes. "Our entire team here at Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing is excited to work with Aaron and his songs,” said Marty Wheeler (Vice President, Creative Affairs, Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing). “His ability to write Worship songs and his diversity in writing other styles makes him a great addition to our already stellar roster." "I became an Aaron Shust fan the first day I heard his music,” said Steve Rice (Executive Director, GreatWorshipSongs.com). “With poetic lyrics and an authentic rock edge this guy voices the intimate heart and expresses the outward passion of today's worshipper like no other. What a songwriter! We're truly thrilled to be working with Aaron and to offer modern church resources for his tunes at GreatWorshipSongs.com." (from The WMG)

Circleslide
Centricity Records announces the release Uncommon Days from four-piece rock band Circleslide. Their project is slated to hit shelves July 11th. With 2004’s four-song EP Connectology already under their belts, Circleslide’s first full-length and highly-anticipated CD showcases their vertically-slanted lyrics and unique musical mix of alternative, classic, melodic rock, pop and reverent moments of worship. All fit for a multi-faceted audience, Circleslide’s music allows the band to play a club one night, a church the next morning and a college or coffeehouse in between. According to frontman and guitarist Gabe Martinez, the band’s bassist and Gabe’s brother Tim Martinez, guitarist Aaron Gillies and drummer Mark Alvis, this is right where they want to be. “We’ll go anywhere people are,” says Gabe. “We have no problem telling pastors we invited someone to a church service from the bar the night before. One time we were at a conservative mega church and in through the door walked a dozen or so bikers who had been at our concert the night before. They were moved by the worship and resulted in one of them becoming a missionary.” With music always an influence in their lives, Gabe and Tim knew it was their life-calling. “Growing up, our dad raised us on singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan and Keith Green. As we grew older, we longed for other artists that went beyond the surface,” Tim recalls. “The Choir’s Chase the Kangaroo absolutely revolutionized our whole musical life to the point where we would drive hours and hours just to see them in concert.” It is The Choir’s 1990 release Circle Slide that explains where the band’s moniker hails from, and along with The Choir and other spiritually-based artist influences such as Adam Again, The 77’s and U2, each have helped mold Circleslide’s distinctive sound. The band began performing nationwide while entering numerous secular and Christian music competitions where, in 2003, the band won top prize in the “Contemporary Christian Band” category at the Gospel Music Association’s Music in the Rockies competition. This put the quartet on the radar of industry executives, including John Mays (Nichole Nordeman, Point of Grace, Matt Redman), the current A&R representative for Centricity Records. Their EP, Connectology, soon followed, as did plans for a full-length project. A few years later, they are more than ready to release Uncommon Days. The production behind Uncommon Days hails from Pete Kipley (MercyMe), re-enlisted Connectology producer Tommy Collier, while including Steve Hindalong (City on a Hill, Jeremy Camp, Cool Hand Luke) to sit in behind the boards. Fellow members of The Choir Marc Byrd (City on a Hill) co-produced and Derri Daugherty engineered. Steve Hindalong comments, “Derri and I feel honored that they took their name from our old album, but their music is absolutely modern and relevant. Uncommon Days is a stirring album of emotive songs, and I consider myself blessed to have been a part of the creative team.” (from The M Collective)

Dead Poetic
Dead Poetic is gearing up for their next release later this year which has recently been given a title -- Vices. The band announced on their site last week, "The new record is great, and we cannot wait to hit the road this summer to introduce the new tunes, and to get you excited for the release of our finest album to date - Vices. We have already posted a few festival dates on the shows page, and plan on covering the entire country in support of the album. We have director Christopher Sims onboard to direct the new video. We should start work on that in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to stay updated on the exciting happenings of the next few months." We also would like to congratulate vocalist Brandon Rike who recently married his longtime girlfriend Lindsey! We wish the Rikes the very best! (from DeadPoetic.com; JFH News)

The Crabb Family
The Crabb Family is set to be the featured artist for Tuesday, May 2nd on XM Satellite Radio's Channel 34 (enLighten) . The day will include excerpts from the brand new album, Blur The Lines, along with numerous other Crabb Family hits, commercial free. Crabb Family Day will begin at 10:00am ET and conclude at 9:00pm ET with the best of the Crabb Family being featured at the top of each hour. The Crabb siblings are the first Southern Gospel artist to have a featured day on the station. "The Crabb Family is very honored that XM Radio would believe in our music to the extent of adding a station that plays only Southern Gospel music 24 hours a day. There is added enthusiasm knowing that Blur The Lines and the Crabb Family will be featured during their broadcast this Tuesday. Many of the Crabb Family members are XM subscribers. How exciting that Southern Gospel music and the Crabb Family are now part of the XM Satellite Radio world," stated Kelly Bowling, the Crabb Family. “Dan Dixon and I are looking forward to doing many exciting things here on enLighten,” says Program Director Marlin Taylor, “now that we are truly America’s Southern Gospel music station, including setting aside a day from time to time to salute one of Southern Gospel’s leading groups. We feel it’s significant that we kick off this series with the Crabb’s, who are leading the way in exposing Southern Gospel to new audiences.” For more information on XM Satellite Radio, check out the release below or log onto www.xmradio.com. For more information about the Crabb Family, log onto www.thecrabbfamily.com. (from Big Ten Entertainment)

Jordan Entertainment Group, KOCH Records and Mighty Horn Records announce the release of Phil Driscoll’s Drops of Praise in stores on May 2nd. Driscoll’s new album shares the same mission as his previous releases—to share his music to different genres worldwide. The name Phil Driscoll is synonymous with great music. His trumpet, voice, heart and soul have moved audiences around the world for more than 20 years. Recorded in Cleveland, TN and produced by Jimmy Johnson and Phil Driscoll, Drops of Praise is the follow up to his successful Plugged In album (1999). Label president James Jordan states, “It is my honor to be of service to this man of God, this man of wisdom and understanding. We have great plans for this release and with the help from capitol ‘J’ we should reach the pinnacle.” Featured on this musical masterpiece is the smash single “Salute”—a provocative tribute to our nation’s troops written by Phil and arguably the album’s most definitive song. “It came to me as I reflected on the tremendous sacrifice that has been made by many sons and daughters,” says Driscoll. “As soldiers for our country, their sacrifice for the most part goes unnoticed and is all too often without recognition by the very ones who enjoy their freedom because of their sacrifice.” From Grammy awards to the applause of presidents, as well as, prisons to missions of mercy, the sound and message of the music coming from the heart of Phil Driscoll rings strong and true. From performances and recordings with rock and roll legends like Joe Cocker and Blood Sweat & Tears to classical music recordings with the London Philharmonic orchestra at CBS, the trumpet and voice of Phil Driscoll is the equivalent of greatness. An accomplished composer and writer, his music has been heard in countries all over the world, including Singapore, South Africa, Europe and Russia, to name just a few. For more information on Phil, visit www.mightyhorn.com or www.jordanentertainmentgroup.com. (from Big Machine Media)

*Wednesday, April 26th, 2006*


Hawk Nelson
Hawk Nelson will perform LIVE on the WGN Morning Show (Chicago) TODAY, April 26, 2006 @ 6 AM CST. The band just released their infectious sophomore project Smile, It’s The End Of The World earlier this month where they entered the Billboard 200 at #75. They are currently on the “The Art of Breaking” tour with Thousand Foot Krutch and Falling Up (for a city near you Myspace.com/hawknelsononline or hawknelson.com). The first radio single stemming from Smile, “Everything You Ever Wanted,” is currently climbing the R&R CHR and Rock Charts (#19 & #11). Four a brand new interview with the band that we conducted earlier this month at GMA Music Week in Nashville, TN, click here! (from The M Collective)

Matthew West
On June 20, Sparrow/Universal South will release Sellout, the original independent album by chart-topping artist Matthew West. The full-length disc chronicles the early development of one of today’s most versatile singer/songwriters whose works have been recorded by everyone from Jump5 to Rascal Flatts. Sellout features “This Ordinary Life,” “Sellout,” “Love Has No Walls,” “Mr. James,” “Open Wide My Heart,” “Be Strong,” “Stand,” “Heart Of Every Man,” “Forever And Beyond,” and “Just Like You.” West fans know these songs from his many concert performances and have responded to them just as well as to his more recent breakthrough radio hits “More,” “Next Thing You Know,” and “Only Grace.” West will support the re-issue of Sellout, as well as his current new release History, with ongoing concert appearances throughout 2006. A fall tour with BarlowGirl is also in the works. Learn more at MatthewWest.com. (from Sparrow Records)

Pillar
On May 3rd, Pillar will be playing a show in Knoxville, TN that will be recorded live. This recording is something that will be released in some form later on this year. Come out and be a part of this historic event. This is the first time for Pillar to record a live audio rock set for release. Your voices and passion will be apart of this recording. Here's venue information: Wed, May 3, 2006 at Blue Cat's in Knoxville, TN (125 East Jackson Avenue Knoxville, TN 37915. Phone: 865-544-4300. www.bluecatslive.com). The door open at 8:00 PM and showtime is 9:00 PM! Visit www.myspace.com/pillar for more info! (from Pillar; thanks to Blake K.)

Krystal Meyers
Bob Siemon Designs and Krystal Meyers have announced a joint partnership to promote "Anticonformity," a new movement to encourage today’s youth to express their faith. The collaboration between the jewelry manufacturer and the GMA-nominated pop/rock artist will provide teenagers with fashionable accessories that reflect a commitment to God. The new Anticonformity jewelry and fashion accessories will release on July 3, 2006. The collection features four designs, including two bracelets, a cell phone charm, and keyring, all inspired by Meyers’ signature edgy style and lyrics that have resounded with listeners from across the world. “We are thrilled to be working with Krystal,” said Natalie Clark, Marketing Director for Bob Siemon Designs. “She has an amazing ability to connect with an audience that is looking for a meaningful way to express itself. Bob Siemon Designs is committed to giving teens an outlet for expressing their strong beliefs and this partnership allows us to reach out further to them. I believe this is a great example of the arts coming together to create a powerful statement.” The Anticonformity movement is inspired by Meyers’ song by the same name that appeared on her self-titled debut album (2005) where she sings a message for others to become the person God wants them to be instead of what the world wants. The website www.anticonformity.net is dedicated as a network where teens connect to share beliefs, support, and prayer requests. The site also provides resources for users such as Bible verses, links, music, and products such as the Bob Siemon Designs jewelry. The Anticonformity jewelry and accessories collection is being released in time for Meyers’ second album, Dying for a Heart, due out on September 19, 2006. The designs will be available at Christian stores across the country as well as at www.anticonformity.net. (from Bob Siemon Designs)

Jaci Velasquez
Word Records is launching three “best of” projects May 9 featuring award-winning female vocalists Jaci Velasquez, Nicole C. Mullen and Rachael Lampa. Despite a decade’s worth of top-selling albums and chart-topping hits, there has yet to be a best-of collection from Jaci Velasquez until now. On My Knees: The Best of Jaci Velasquez is a 17-song career retrospective spotlighting songs from the Platinum-selling debut, Heavenly Place, which established her as one of the fastest selling solo debut recording artists in the Christian genre, to the most recent applauded project, Beauty Has Grace. With over three million career album sales, Velasquez’ successful music career is further emphasized by seven Dove Awards, a Billboard/Latin Billboard Award and multiple Grammy, Latin Grammy and American Music Award nominations. On My Knees: The Best of Jaci Velasquez includes 12 No.1 career singles: “On My Knees,” “If This World,” “Every Time I Fall,” “Imagine Me Without You,” “Speak For Me,” “We Can Make A Difference,” “Un Lugar Celestial (Heavenly Place),” “God So Loved,” “Adore,” Just A Prayer Away,” “Show You Love” and “Center of Your Love” plus other rarities and fan favorites. Redeemer: The Best of Nicole C. Mullen includes 17 songs from 2000’s self-titled debut through 2004’s Everyday People, in addition to the 2006 End of the Spear soundtrack. Beginning with her “Song of the Year” Dove Award in 1998 as the writer for “On My Knees,” Mullen released her Word debut and quickly became a fan-favorite with her 2001 No. 1 single and “Song of the Year” Dove Award winning “Redeemer.” She has collected eight Dove Awards thus far, including “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 2002 and 2005, and received a “Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year” Grammy nod in 2003 for Talk About It. Along with the Dove Award winning songs, Redeemer: The Best of Nicole C. Mullen features the radio favorite, “Call On Jesus,” and current, chart-climbing single, “Always Love You,” from the motion picture End of the Spear soundtrack. Also included are two bonus tracks, unique live versions of “Redeemer” and ”Call On Jesus,” previously unavailable until now. Blessed: The Best of Rachael Lampa is a 17-song collection featuring songs from each of Lampa’s hit albums: Live For You, Kaleidoscope, Blur and self-titled, fourth studio project. The Dove Award winning artist instantly hit the spotlight in 2000 when, at only 15 years of age, launched her debut, Live For You, by performing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” That same year she was nominated for "Best Young Recording Artist or Musical Group" at The Hollywood Reporter's Fifth Annual “Young Star Awards,” along with fellow nominees Mandy Moore, Charlotte Church and Billy Gilman. Lampa has further been featured before millions of fans through such outlets as CBS’ broadcast of the 2000 Miss Teen USA Pageant, at Pope John Paul II’s 2001 “World Youth Day” in Rome and at Billy Graham and Franklin Graham Crusades throughout the U.S. (from Word Records)

MercyMe
Multi-Platinum and Award-winning band MercyMe hits street week and the release of their new recording Coming Up To Breathe with the most–added single (22 adds) at mainstream AC radio, the no. five single at Christian AC radio (“So Long Self”) and a national promo tour with key retail, media and radio visits nationwide. “We are extremely thrilled about the response “So Long Self” is receiving,” remarks MercyMe’s lead singer Bart Millard. “The one thing that never fails, regardless of how many records we make, is the anxiety of hoping those records connect with people. Having the single start off so strongly really helps relieve a lot of that pressure.” The single is already in the top five on Christian AC at No. 5 after just three weeks and breaking the record in the format for 52 adds in its first week. In addition, “So Long Self” is at No. 22 on the Christian CHR charts. In the middle of a national promo tour, MercyMe has already hit markets including New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago, as well as Associated Press Broadcast, Fox News, Houston, Denver, Seattle and more with a Satellite Media Tour from New York this morning. The band hit a WalMart in Houston last night, with a live performance and autograph signing, and will follow it up with an in-store at a Lifeway today in their hometown of Dallas. In addition to promotional stops, the band has launched an acoustic church tour, bringing acoustic versions of songs from the new CD, as well as favorites, to crowds in Montgomery, AL, Knoxville, TN., Myrtle Beach, SC, Oklahoma City, and more. For all cities, go to www.mercyme.org. (from The M Collective)

*Friday, April 21st, 2006*


Building429
Dove Award-winning rock band Building 429 headlines its first tour this spring. Joining Building 429 will be musical guests Michael Tait and Hyper Static Union as well as adventure missionaries Travel the Road. Designed as a live event experience, the “Rise Tour” will go beyond a typical concert to create an environment in which audiences are engaged for action, mixing music with video and talks from Travel the Road missionaries Tim Scott and Will Decker. Leading up to these events, Building 429 provided local youth ministers with resource kits and discussion materials introducing the Rise concept. Building 429 issued its own personal call to action on sophomore album Rise, making the decision to stand before crowds and speak God’s truth. The band now brings that same challenge to youth on the “Rise Tour.” “These missionaries go to the remote regions of the earth cutting through the bush to present the gospel to people who have never heard it before,” says Building 429’s Scotty Beshears. “I know that I’ve been afraid to admit I’m a Christian because of what someone might think of me. Yet, that’s the most important thing to me. If there’s anything worth fighting for, it’s that. At this point in our career, it’s perfect for us. It’s time to stretch our wings and go for it – be fearless.” Having kicked off on April 18, the “Rise Tour” will reach church and college campuses throughout the South and Midwest, including stops in St. Louis, Mo., Evansville, Ind., Lancaster, Pa., and Woodbridge, Va. Also in the works are “Rise Tour” follow-up materials for youth ministers’ use at upcoming camps and retreats. (from Savvy Media)

Avalon
Popular singing group Avalon was recognized earlier this month by World Vision for its work in finding financial sponsors for more than 18,000 needy children worldwide. The vocal quartet is a longtime ministry partner with the humanitarian organization. At a special World Vision event held in Nashville, Tennessee, Avalon was joined on stage by musical legend Russ Taff to sing "We Will Stand," featured on the group's current release, Stand. "We're grateful to be at a place in life where God is allowing us to be part of something bigger, to see a bigger picture," said Avalon founding member Janna Long of the work with World Vision. Avalon's Jody McBrayer added, "For me, child sponsorship is truly an amazing thing. Not only does it change the life of a child forever, but it also teaches us to appreciate every bit of what God has blessed us with." With more than three million albums sold to date, Avalon is one of today's most established Christian music acts. The group is performing at Women of Faith events throughout 2006 in addition to its stand alone concert dates. (from Sparrow Records)

Underoath's new album, Define The Great Line hits stores 06/20/06 but you now have the first chance listen to the first song off the album, entitled "Salmarnir!" Go to purevolume.com/underoath to get just a taste of what to expect from the new album! (from Tooth & Nail Records)

The Crabb Family
Crabb Family sibling, Adam Crabb and his wife, Kristi welcomed a brand new baby boy Thursday afternoon. Charlee Jaxon made his first appearance at 1:40pm (cst) and weighed 7lbs. 10 oz. while measuring 21 inches long. Adam, Kristi and big sister, Hannah are doing exceptionally well. The Crabb Family recently celebrated two Gospel Music Awards on the heels of releasing their brand new project, Blur The Lines. Jason, Adam, Aaron, Kelly and Terah also announced the beginnings of a multi-city tour with Crossway, Newsong, the Mike Bowling Group, the Katinas, the McRaes, First Love and Julian Drive. The family will travel to Morocco during the month of May for a special concert. For more information on the Crabb Family and pictures of Charlee Jaxon, log onto www.thecrabbfamily.com. (from Big Ten)

Aaron Shust
The unprecedented success of one of Christian music’s most popular new artists, Aaron Shust, continued this week as his single “My Savior My God” hit the #1 spot on six radio and/or sales charts simultaneously. The project’s success has garnered national attention and was profiled in the Living section of Friday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which enjoys a readership of over 1.1 million people. “My Savior My God,” the follow-up to his first single and Top 10 hit, “Matchless,” has seen overwhelming response from radio listeners across the country, leading one top radio station consultant to reveal that “My Savior My God” is one of the highest testing songs in the consulting firm’s history. "Not since ‘I Can Only Imagine’ have we had this kind of response," said Sue Wilson of Cleveland’s 95.95 The Fish. Other radio programmers have had similar responses to the success of the song as listeners inundate radio stations with phone calls each time the song is played. he response to “My Savior My God” hasn’t been limited to radio. Sales of Shust’s debut album, Anything Worth Saying, which includes both “My Savior My God” and “Matchless” have increased over 560% in the last eight weeks. Media praise of the project has included such publications as CCM Magazine, which stated, “When you listen to Aaron’s debut album, Anything Worth Saying, you can begin to understand why he has such clout right out of the gate: great songs, great heart and great performance.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said of the project, “Anything Worth Saying is a tender and intricate guitar-pop record full of heartfelt meditations on love and longing. But the love is for Jesus and the longing is for spiritual fulfillment…” “I’m absolutely amazed at the response people have had to these songs,” said Shust. “It’s hard for me to adequately express the gratitude I feel towards all of the people who have believed in me and this song since the beginning. I’m looking forward to spending time on the road this spring and summer so that I can get to know the people who’ve been impacted by this music and thank them in person for their support.” “I’m glad that so many people across the country are becoming aware of what we’ve known for quite some time. Aaron is an amazingly talented musician and songwriter, and an even more special person,” said Mike McQuary, CEO of Brash Music. “We are proud to partner with Aaron and share in his vision for his music and help him spread his ministry.” (from The WMG)

Mae
Mae's The Everglow: Special Edition is in stores now at your favorite local record store. Not only does the "Special Edition" include three bonus tracks and new and re-conceptualized artwork, but it also comes with a bonus DVD with 2 hours of behind-the-scenes and live footage, including an exclusive "Making of The Everglow" featurette, music videos, photo gallery, and more! Go to AOL Music's "First View" and watch the video world premiere of Mae's "Someone Else's Arms." Also, for one week only, AOL Music is exclusively giving you the chance to stream Mae’s The Everglow: Special Edition in its entirety! Read on and dive into the all the goods. To view the official Ecard, click here. (from Tooth & Nail Records)

Jason Morant
Jason Morant had planned on recording his Vertical Music sophomore release, Open (May 30), in his hometown of New Orleans, where he had spent the last two years writing songs for the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2004 debut record, Abandon. All that changed when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast last summer, destroying much of New Orleans, including the studio where he was to record the new CD. Morant and co-producer Paul Mills ended up in Nashville to record Open, but the color, texture and vibrancy that define Morant's New Orleans is fully alive on the new record, making it another inspiring story of triumph in the face of Katrina. "I had really looked forward to doing this record at home, but in the end, I believe all that I had envisioned has even gone beyond my expectations. Paul and I have actually treasured the fact that our recording plans were foiled more than once because it forced us to constantly surrender the project to the Lord and not rely on our own strength," Morant said. Open may just be the project that defines Morant as more than a modern worship artist. While never straying from the heart of a worshipper, Morant has created a record that is equal parts rock, pop, and folk, showcasing his distinct, haunting vocals, authentic lyrics and musical agility on piano and guitar. And, with Morant at the helm arranging the strings and bass instruments for the first time, Open is a rich, diverse listening experience that defies musical labeling. "Every once and awhile along comes a special record, that the first time you hear it, you know that it will be a definitive project for that artist and against which others in the future will be measured. That was my reaction when I heard Open. Jason is an exceptionally gifted artist and this album is an extraordinary piece of art. I am honored that Vertical Music and Integrity have the privilege of sharing this with the world," said Don Moen, president of Integrity Label Group and executive producer of Open. (from Spinhouse PR)

*Tuesday, April 18th, 2006*


Audio A
Audio Adrenaline member Bob Herdman, who departed from the road in 1999 but remains active by lending his business and creative ideas to the group, will be joining forces with his bandmates as part of a joint effort through The Hands & Feet Project, an orphanage founded by Bob and and the band in 2004. Equipped with a laptop, digital camera, web cam and plenty of insider stories from his time touring with the band, Herdman will be documenting his efforts to bring hope to the orphans of Haiti as he embarks on his very own "iMission." "Join with me as we become amateur missionaries together," says Herdman, who will be setting up his headquarters in the first home completed for The Hands & Feet Project while resident missionaries Drex & Jo Stuart (parents to lead singer Mark Stuart) are out of the country. The iMission will begin on April 28th and continue through May 11th with daily updates to the online journal hosted at HandsAndFeetProject.org. Tune in while Herdman oversees the projects operations and relays the day-to-day activities in a multimedia presentation that is sure to be unlike any mission trip you've experienced before. The Hands & Feet Project is an orphanage in Haiti Audio Adrenaline is building from the ground up. The goal of the Hands & Feet Project is to provide a caring and loving environment for orphaned children in Haiti. The need is great and Audio Adrenaline is committed to saving the lives of orphaned children, giving them life more abundantly with a home, food, education and most importantly, the love and acceptance of a Christian family. More information is available at: HandsAndFeetProject.org or MySpace.com/HandsandFeetProject (from AudioA)

Natalie Grant
Curb recording artist and 2006 GMA Music Award-winning Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant is slated to appear on the FOX News Channel today, Tuesday, April 18. She is scheduled to be a guest on the network’s “DaySide” program, speaking with co-hosts Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick about her music and recent Dove Award win. “DaySide” airs weekdays at 1 pm ET. For further information, visit www.nataliegrant.com. (from Turning Point)

Dove Awards
Beginning later this month, those who watch the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards will have the opportunity to download two of the performed songs through iTunes. Starting April 25, iTunes will host an entire room to showcase this year's performers and Dove Award recipients. The two songs that will be available for download include the special acoustic performance done in honor of Steven Curtis Chapman receiving his 50th Dove Award, which featured Casting Crowns' Mark Hall, Third Day's Mac Powell, Jeremy Camp and David Crowder Band's David Crowder. The other single available for download is Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year recipient Chris Tomlin performing "How Great is Our God/ How Great Thou Art," which ended the show. During these performances a message will be shown on screen directing viewers about the tracks' availability on iTunes. A portion of the proceeds from the two singles will go to benefit the GMA Foundation. The 37th Annual GMA Music Awards will be televised in national syndication starting this weekend and running through May 21. A list of scheduled air dates and times can be found at www.gmamusicawards.com and will be updated as information becomes available and as more markets and stations are cleared to air the show. (from GMA)

The Longing, a four-piece band signed as the first artist to Indelible Creative Group, is set to release its self-titled debut on May 9. Co-produced by Dove Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Tom Laune (Passion, Point of Grace, Michael W. Smith), the project is designed to offer listeners a vehicle through which they may come to a place of complete submission before God. The Longing’s musical style has a raw and modern sound with European influences, and to preserve the emotional integrity of the songs, most tracks were cut live in the studio. Lyrically, the project focuses heavily on themes of brokenness and redemption. “There’s a longing in every heart to push past daily life to that settled place where the most natural, instinctive thing is to sing love songs to God,” says frontman Jason Ingram. “The Bible is full of stories about people desperate for God’s presence, and it was in those moments that they sang. Nothing’s changed. This album, and the reason for The Longing, reflects a desire to live in that place where we can experience God in intimate, life-changing ways.” The Longing is scheduled to tour with Watermark this spring, and the band’s first single “Heal This Land” goes for adds to AC and CHR radio formats on April 14. (from Savvy Media)

*Thursday, April 13th, 2006*


Jeremy Camp
Congratulations to Jeremy Camp and his wife Adrienne on the birth of their second daughter, Arianne Mae! Arianne was born at 1:44 am on Wednesday, April 5th and weighed 5 lbs 13. 19 inches long. Jeremy had told Jesusfreakhideout.com in an interview two days earlier on Monday that Adrienne wasn't expecting till later in the month, but was in transit to meet him in Nashville in case she gave birth early (Isabella had been born early, too). Sure enough, Adrienne went into labor on Tuesday and the rest is history. Many congrats to the Camp family from all of us at JfH! For a photo of the happy Camp quartet, click here! (from JeremyCamp.com, JFH News; special thanks to Chris†ine)

Hawk Nelson
Continuing with powerhouse force, Hawk Nelson celebrates their first week of scans, which landed their sophomore project, Smile, It's The End Of The World at No. 75 on the Billboard Top 200 chart scanning 14,155 units. In support of the new album, Hawk Nelson will perform LIVE on G4’s “Attack of the Show” today, Thursday, April 13 at 6 PM CST/4 PM Pacific. Other airtimes include April 14 at 3AM ET/PT and 9AM ET/PT, and also April 17 at 4AM ET/PT. The band will perform the opening track from Smile, “The One Thing I Have Left.” G4 programming covers every aspect of the videogame culture. Shows feature breaking industry news, reviews, the hottest games and gear, celebrity interviews, insider opinions and underground trends in sports, animation and technology. The network is available in 53 million cable and satellite homes nationwide. Also, to read a brand new interview with the band that Jesusfreakhideout.com conducted with the band just last Monday, click here! (from The M Collective)

Bleach
Bleach is back once again! Guitarist Milam Byers announced last week on the band's MySpace page that the quintet will be reuiniting for a few special live shows this year. "Hello everyone, This is Milam... You may have noticed that we have some shows listed. Pretty crazy from a band that broke up almost 2 years ago. But, these are for real. We'll be flying to Germany for 3 shows over there, thanks to our good friend Thomas. We will also be playing a very special show in Nashville on May 27th. This will be a benefit for an orphanage in Uganda. Every cent that is made from this show will go straight to the kids. No middle man organizations or funny stuff. This is extremely important to us. Important enough for us to get together again! You will be hearing about this far more in the future. Make your plans now to come and be a part of this awesome night with us. Tell everyone you know... Even if you can't make the trip donate or buy a ticket anyway, help these kids! Thanks for listening and still checking on us! We'll try to be better at updating all of you. Take care, Milam." For more information, visit MySpace.com/bleach (from MySpace.com/bleach; thanks to Jes)

Passion
sixstepsrecords’ ninth Passion project, Passion: Everything Glorious, released April 4 to wide critical acclaim and became an immediate best seller. Recording the highest street week sales ever for a Passion recording, the album claimed the No. 1 position on the SoundScan Christian Retail sales chart. The album also landed at No. 69 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and became the second highest full album debut in the history of EMI CMG digital releases. Only sixstepsrecords’ David Crowder Band’s A Collision sold more units in its first week at digital retail. Following eight critically acclaimed Passion recordings that have sold over one-and-a half million units, Passion: Everything Glorious features brand new music recorded live from the main stage at the Passion 06 gathering held Jan. 2-5 in Nashville. The recording features 13 tracks and brand new songs from Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman and more, joined by the voices of the 18,000 in attendance and representing students from all 50 states, 20 countries. Appearing on the album are four exclusive songs that will only be heard on Passion: Everything Glorious. Exclusive songs include “Glorious” and “Party” from Chris Tomlin, “Everything Glorious” from David Crowder Band, and Matt Redman’s “You Never Let Go.” “I am thrilled with the sales success of Passion: Everything Glorious, and for our retail partners who resonate with Passion and its vision to reach college campuses for God,” says David Crace, EMI CMG Label Group, SVP Marketing and Artist Development. “This music is extremely relevant to college kids, but also resonates with anyone who enjoys modern worship music. We’re seeing the fan base grow incrementally with each sixsteps record.” (from Hoganson Media)

RSJ
The Contemporary Christian music world has been profoundly impacted by Australian influences over the last decade-none more consistently relevant than Grammy and multi-Dove Award winner Rebecca St. James-who places her latest Dove win from last week's 37th Annual GMA Awards (which she co-hosted with Kirk Franklin) on the mantle and boards a plane today for her native homeland-for what else: more performances. This one is at the AGMF Festival -the land "Down Under" Christian mega-concert expected to draw crowds in excess of 30,000 this week at the Toowoomba staging site. Rebecca will also raise her voice in song over Easter weekend at Hillsong Church in Sydney --a site made internationally famous by worship leader Darlene Zschech--and a church Rebecca attended while growing up. St. James, who moved with her family to the U.S. in the ‘90's while still in her early teens, has become a ‘global voice' -in both the realm of music and ‘faith and values' agenda. Recently back from Rwanda, her recent interviews have been infused with passion about the country and its' rise from the ashes of genocide to become a role model of peace for the world. Recently, too, Rebecca was named the National Spokesperson for the ‘National Day Of Prayer,' in America, to be observed on May 4th. She will return from Australia in time to promote prayer by lending her voice and support along with that of Chairwoman Shirley Dobson to national ceremonies to be held in Washington, D.C. Despite her international globe trotting, Rebecca's latest music has roots deeply set in her native homeland. Her latest single, "You Are Loved," (EMI/Forefront) now charting nationally in the U.S. had its' inspiration in her growing up years in Australia. (from Morning Star PR)

Congratulations to Pillar guitarist Noah Henson who recently married his girlfriend Lindsey. The couple had a small, beautiful wedding in Tulsa, OK on a deck right next to a lake. Keep the Hensons in your prayers as they begin their life as a married couple. You can catch Pillar on tour this month with P.O.D. for the Warriors Tour II! (from Pillar)

Teen female vocalist Jessie Daniels works toward the June 6 release of her highly anticipated self-titled debut album with Midas Records Nashville. Produced by Scott Davis and mixed by Jeff Rothschild (Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Clarkson), her first full-length project contains 12 power pop/rock songs, ten written by Daniels. “Growing up in New York and becoming a Christian there, it’s on my heart to show people God in as real and relevant of a way as possible,” Daniels says. “Because of how progressive things are in New York, you’re not going to get through to people unless you’re real, honest and can identify with them. That’s how I intend to be about my faith through the music. It’s my goal for these songs to be ‘me’ in every way possible. I’m coming alongside people who know me well and understand what I want to say.” The record gives a look at Daniels’ soul, addressing life issues, like coming of age and finding clarity amidst confusion. True to her faith in God, Daniels talks honestly about her spiritual journey in a real, relevant way. Her message is wrapped up in a fun package of singable melodies and catchy hooks. The debut has already gained attention for the young rocker. Daniels’ first radio single “The Noise” reached the No. 2 spot this week on Radio & Records Christian Hit Radio chart. Radio Disney featured Daniels as its Incubator artist in March, even as she completed promotional tours along the West Coast and in major markets such as Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Houston. She is also looking forward to playing the Cross Over Christian music festival in June. Nineteen-year-old Jessie Daniels hails from Long Island, N.Y. An actress since the age of eight, Daniels has appeared in multiple independent films as well as commercials for MTV and Lifetime. In 2003, she began writing and recording her first music project, a 6-song EP that released via her Web site. The EP garnered Daniels national attention, and she was asked to perform at Radio Disney concert events nationwide. Additional dates followed with artists including Seventh Day Slumber, Kutless, Paul Wright and Across the Sky, among others. Daniels has been featured by more that 60 media outlets and is endorsed by Transitions Optical and Daisy Rock Girl Guitars. She is distributed to Christian retail by Infinity Music Distribution and to the general market through Navarre Corporation. For more information, check out her official Web site at www.jessiedaniels.com. (from Savvy Media)

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce the winners for its 2005 annual competition. ISC received almost 15,000 entries from 82 countries in its fourth year, and has been called "the songwriting competition to take note of" by the New York Times. ISC prizes include more than $150,000 (USD) in cash and merchandise shared by 50 winners in 16 categories. "Grace," written by Jonathan Kingham, is awarded First Place in the Gospel/Christian category. Kingham, who lives in Seattle, enlisted in the Navy directly after graduating high school, and found himself serving in the Persian Gulf shortly thereafter. Although he had been experimenting with a piano before then, he found the guitar to be a much more mobile instrument, and used it to hone his songwriting skills while enlisted. Shortly after returning home, a friend talked him into entering the Telluride Songwriting Contest, and he won First Place. Since then, he has shared the stage with artists such as Shawn Colvin, Michael McDonald, Doug Stone, and Julio Iglesias Jr., just to name a few. You might also recognize his voice from being featured in films, soap operas, and the WB's show, Felicity. His new album, That Changes Everything, received rave reviews from Performing Songwriter magazine, and the Anchorage Daily News said, "Kingham has talent way off the Richter scale." "Dyin' To Know You," written by Tennesseans Monty Lee Kimble, Mike Musik, and Peter Daniel Newman, earned Second Place in the Gospel/Christian category, and Third Place is awarded to Sounds Of Blackness member, Gary Hines, for his song "Unity." In addition to these winners, 12 other songs garnered placement in the top 1.4% of the competition. Gospel/Christian winners include: First Place Winner: "Grace" - Jonathan Kingham -- Seattle, WA, USA; Second Place Winner: "Dyin' To Know You" - Monty Lee Kimble, Mike Musik, Peter Daniel Newman -- Brentwood, TN, USA; Third Place Winner: "Untiy" - Gary Hines (Sounds Of Blackness) -- Minneapolis, MN, USA. For a complete list of winners, please go to: www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.htm (from ISC)

*Sunday, April 9th, 2006*


Sanctus Real
If you have been on the internet lately, listen to the radio, have talked to Christian music fans, or have been reading Sanctus Real's newsletter, you have heard the buzz about the new record The Face Of Love. Released this past Tuesday, The Face Of Love is already climbing the charts with hits like “I'm Not Alright” and “The Face Of Love.” Now, its available at iTunes with a EXCLUSIVE offer: Purchasing The Face Of Love on iTunes will include an acoustic version of “I'm Not Alright!" For more details, visit iTunes (from Sanctus Real)

Jeremy Camp
The 28th Annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards were presented on April 3 during a dinner held at the Richland Country Club in Nashville, Tenn. More than 200 music industry professionals, artists and songwriters were on hand for the event, which featured a movie theme. For the second straight year Jeremy Camp was named Songwriter of the Year for "Take You Back" and "This Man." Camp also received Song of the Year honors for "Take You Back." EMI CMG Publishing was named Publisher of the Year for publishing nine of the "Most Performed Songs of 2005." (Click here for the complete list.) ASCAP also presented its Crescendo Award to the late Keith Green. The Crescendo Award is presented to that individual "whose musical legacy lives on and continues to inspire Christian artists and songwriters," according to a press release. Green's wife, Melody and his daughter Rachel and her husband Bobby Taylor accepted the award on his behalf. Rounding out the awards, was the Impact Award, which was given to Switchfoot's Jon Foreman to "celebrate the success and influence of his songs in mainstream rock music." DeGarmo accepted the award on Foreman's behalf. In accordance with the theme for the evening, ASCAP artists presented songs from television and the movies. Featured were The Afters and Bethany Dillon, the release said. (from The GMA)

AOL Music has shone a spotlight on Mat Kearney for the forthcoming mainstream release of his April 18th release of Nothing To Lose. The five minute video offers clips of new songs from Kearney as well as exerpts of the artist talking about his songs. To view the video, click here. (from AOL Music)

toby
At the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards Wednesday evening in Nashville, TobyMac won his seventh and eighth Dove Awards as a solo artist with Rock Recorded Song Of The Year for his song ‘The Slam” from the best-selling and critically – acclaimed Welcome To Diverse City, as well as for his song contribution (“New World”) to Music Inspired By The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, winner for Special Event Album Of The Year. “The Slam” also got some special attention this week, when part of the chorus was played during the NCAA Championship basketball game between UCLA and The University of Florida. “The Slam” has been getting attention all over in fact. Currently being heard in the trailer for The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, the song has also been heard on the Microsoft game, “Crackdown,” in 2006 Winter Olympic, NFL on Fox, Mountain Dew Extreme Sports, and the ABC series Prison Break promos, as well as the Transporter 2 film trailer last year. (from The M Collective)

Natalie Grant
Curb recording artist Natalie Grant took home the Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year at Wednesday night’s 37th Annual GMA Music Awards in Nashville. Her fourth career nomination in the category and first Dove Award win, Grant is pictured backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House with her husband, producer Bernie Herms, following the announcement. In addition, Christa Wells, writer of Grant’s multi-format breakthrough hit “Held,” was named Songwriter of the Year. Grant performed the poignant ballad, accompanied by Herms on piano, during the night’s ceremony. Fueled by the release of her critically-acclaimed watershed recording Awaken in 2005, Grant was among the most nominated artists at this year’s GMA Music Awards and was also the top-selling female solo artist in Christian music last year. The 37th Annual GMA Music Awards will air in national syndication beginning April 15. (from Turning Point PR)

Relient K
Mmhmm, the current RIAA- gold certified album from Relient K garnered yet another accolade by being named “Rock Album of the Year” at last week’s GMA Music Award show. Relient K now has two Dove Awards to their credit including the 2004 “Modern Rock Album of the Year” win with their gold-selling Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right album. Released last November, Mmhmm has proven to be Relient K’s most successful release to date. The band has seen major television exposure including appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Relient K also appeared on the MTV show “Hits” during Summer on the Strip From Las Vegas, as well as doing an acoustic performance on MTV’s TRL and MTV Nokia Unwired Hard Rock Live performance. Their music video “Be My Escape” was also part of MTV’s rotation. The Canton Ohio- based rock band tours an average of 200 shows a year, including co-headlining a tour with MXPX and being a mainstage act on the Vans Warped Tour. Relient K has also toured with acts including Switchfoot, The O.C. Supertones, The Rocket Summer, Yellow Second and Mae. Relient K, who garnered a GRAMMY nomination with their third album Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right…But Three Do, heralds the title of the #1 ranked alternative rock band in the CBA marketplace. (from LB PR)

Third Day
In ceremonies held for the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards, Platinum-selling rock band Third Day was presented with their 24th Dove Award. The band was recognized this year as the Gospel Music Association’s favorite in the Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song category for their smash hit, “Cry Out To Jesus.” In addition to this momentous award, Third Day is celebrating the RIAA Gold certification of their Wherever You Are project, marking sales of 500,000 units (click here for exclusive photo). According to lead singer Mac Powell, “This has been an amazing week for us. Not only the Gold record being announced, but then to win our 24th Dove Award is so hard to comprehend. We are grateful and humbled by the support we continue to receive from our fans, as well as the industry.” Third Day also wowed the Dove audience with a stirring performance of “Cry Out To Jesus,” as part of a montage of efforts many Christian musicians are undertaking to make an impact on devastating circumstances around the world. Mac Powell also participated in an emotional tribute to Steven Curtis Chapman, who won his 50th Dove Award last night. Heading into tonight’s show, Third Day received a total of five nominations in various categories, and individual group members were recognized as writers of “Cry Out To Jesus,” which was also nominated for the prestigious Song of the Year award. This Atlanta, Ga. based rock band also received nods in the Rock/Contemporary Album category for Wherever You Are. Powell also scored recognition as a nominee in the Songwriter of the Year category. While receiving a Dove Award nomination for Song of the Year, “Cry Out To Jesus,” the lead single from Wherever You Are, continues to make an extraordinary impact on all formats of Christian radio. This powerful anthem is becoming a career-marking single, as it is the longest running No. 1 single from Third Day to ever hit AC radio. Third Day is in the middle of Spring ‘06 dates of their highly successful “Wherever You Are Tour,” with special guests, the David Crowder Band. With many sellouts along the way, Third Day is once again positioned to be one of the biggest draws in Christian music in the coming year. (from Provident Label Group)

The Afters
Following in line with their string of success, Simple/INO/Columbia Records’ artist The Afters were honored by the Gospel Music Association being selected as the New Artist of the Year at the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards. “It would be hard to overstate how thankful and humbled we are to be recognized by our peers in this way,” expressed The Afters on their win. “We are deeply honored to be a part of this community and the opportunity to reach across the genres to impact lives with our music.” On Monday night, The Afters were presented with an ASCAP Award for their song “You” being one of the most played songs for 2005. The band also performed during the ASCAP Awards their hit song “Beautiful Love.” Continuing with the momentum that has driven the band from the beginning, The Afters’ popular single “Beautiful Love” remains in the Top 30 downloaded songs on iTunes, climbing to No. 21 today. The highly acclaimed song is currently the theme song for the MTV reality series “8th & Ocean.” Since the premiere of the show last month, The Afters have sold more than 40,000 digital tracks of the hit song. This song will appear in the upcoming Lindsay Lohan film, Just My Luck, which opens nationwide May 12, 2006. For a photo of the band with their first Dove, click here! On Friday, The Afters’ hot single “Beautiful Love” broke into the Top 20 (landing at #18) on the Top 100 Downloads on iTunes, furthermore the song was #2 on the Alternative Rock Top Songs for Friday. The song has remained in the Top 30 for 4 weeks. (from The M Collective)

SCC
Sparrow Records’ artist Steven Curtis Chapman was awarded his 50th Dove Award at the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards, held last night at the Grand Ole Opryhouse in Nashville, Tennesseee. Chapman’s 50th Dove win was for his involvement in the multi-artist Special Event Album of the Year for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Chapman makes history by holding the record of being awarded more Dove Awards than any other artist. He has a record-setting nine Dove Awards for Songwriter Of The Year and won an unprecedented six Dove Awards at the Doves ceremony in 1993 and 1995 and 2000, as well as a record-breaking 10 nominations in 1989. A highlight of last evening was the special musical presentation for Chapman, celebrating his feat of 50 Dove Awards. With surprise performances by Jeremy Camp, David Crowder, Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall and Third Day’s Mac Powell, all influenced by Chapman in their own musical careers, they performed popular Chapman hits “For The Sake Of The Call,” “More To This Life,” “Magnificent Obsession,” “I Will Be Here” and “Dive.” The special presentation ended with a standing ovation, as everyone in attendance celebrated in Chapman’s amazing achievement thus far. For more highlights and information, please visit www.stevencurtischapman.com and www.gospelmusic.org. On April 24th, Chapman and his band will depart on a 20-city international tour, performing in such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea and China. Following his tour, he and his family will then spend one month together in China, as they will be working in area Beijing orphanages. Chapman is scheduled to be back just in time to head into the studio to start recording for his upcoming studio release. (from The M Collective)

Chris Tomlin
sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records’ Chris Tomlin was named Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year last night during the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards. Receiving five Dove trophies, Tomlin also closed the award show with his Song of the Year Dove Award winning, “How Great Is Our God,” from his current, RIAA Certified Gold-selling album, Arriving. The song is currently No. 1 for the third consecutive week on the R&R Christian AC Top 30 monitored radio chart, and is Tomlin’s third No. 1 radio hit from Arriving. Tomlin received his first Dove Award last year for Worship Album of the Year for Arriving. His awards this year follow: Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year (“How Great Is Our God”), Worship Song of the Year (“How Great Is Our God”), and Special Event Album of the Year (Music Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) For a photo of Tomlin with his five awards, click here! (from Hoganson Media)

Mark Schultz
With 17 previous Gospel Music Association Award nominations under his belt, Word Records’ critically acclaimed song-storyteller Mark Schultz took home his first Dove Award this year. Named “Long Form Music Video of the Year,” the Mark Schultz Live: A Night of Stories & Songs CD/DVD project was also honored with Platinum RIAA certification this week. Schultz further supported the offering during the Dove Award ceremonies by performing his hit single, “I Am,” which is featured on the project. Other winning Word Records artists include Amy Grant for “Inspirational Album” (Rock Of Ages…Hymns & Faith) and Randy Travis for “Country Album” (Glory Train). Fervent Records’ Absolute Modern Worship for Kids was additionally honored in the “Children’s Music Album” category. (from Word Label Group)

Casting Crowns
Platinum-selling and GRAMMY Award winning band Casting Crowns was named Group of the Year for the second consecutive year at this year's Gospel Music Awards. The band’s recent GRAMMY-winning project, Lifesong, was also recognized with the Dove Award for Pop/Contemporary Album. Frontman Mark Hall notes, “The GMA awards we received were God’s reminder to us that He uses ordinary people (like us) to be a part of extraordinary things like reaching the world with the Gospel. He adds, “Being a part of the tribute to Steven Curtis Chapman definitely had to be the highlight of my night. He is a hero to me and so many – a hero in Christian music and a Hero of the faith.” Casting Crowns went into tonight’s awards with five group nominations including Artist and Group of the Year, with lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall recognized for an additional four nods, including Songwriter of the Year. Hall penned two songs nominated in the Song of the Year category, “Voice of Truth” a co-write with Steven Curtis Chapman, and “Lifesong,” the first single from the Lifesong project which topped Christian radio charts in 2005 for 11 weeks at AC (R&R) and 12 weeks at INSPO (CRW). Hall also participated in a surprise tribute to Steven Curtis Chapman, who won his record-setting 50th Dove Award last evening. Third Day’s Mac Powell, David Crowder, Jeremy Camp and Hall sang acoustic versions of some of Chapman’s biggest hits, in what was one of the night’s biggest highlights. (from Provident Label Group)

MercyMe
At the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards held Wednesday evening in Nashville, MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard won his first Dove Award as a solo act, and his tenth overall, in the Inspirational Recorded Album of the Year category for the widely-praised project, Hymned (tying with Amy Grant’s Rock of Ages...Hymns & Faith). Millard has previously won nine Dove awards with MercyMe, including Group of the Year (2004), Song of the Year (2002, 2004), Artist of the Year (2004) Songwriter of the Year (2002) and more. Not on hand at the awards due to the birth of his new son, Charlie, Millard’s MercyMe bandmate Mike Scheuchzher accepted the award on his behalf. Following the show, however, Millard commented, “Wow! I am not sure what to say! This project is so very dear to my heart, and it is a huge honor to have it recognized in any way, shape or size. I just want to get back in the studio and start volume two! I heard it was a tie with Amy Grant. I called Amy and challenged her to an arm wrestling contest to determine an all out winner. She has not called me back yet. Between you and me, pound for pound, I think I can take her. So Amy if you read this... you know where to find me... 2006 Inspirational Showdown! Can we get this on Pay-Per-View?” (from The M Collective)

*Thursday, April 6th, 2006*


Chris Tomlin
Artist/songwriter Chris Tomlin became the 2006 Dove Award Artist of the Year last night, while earning four other Doves at the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards, announced John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA) and executive producer of the GMA Music Awards. The GMA Music Awards is gospel music's biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel music come together for a night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows gospel music's highest honor – the Dove Award. Hosted by Rebecca St. James and Kirk Franklin, the GMA Music Awards were presented live at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The awards show will air in national syndication April 15 to May 21, 2006. Tomlin was one of 37 different artists who won Dove Awards, including Steven Curtis Chapman, who received his 50th trophy (see related JfH news story below), an accomplishment unmatched by any other major award show winner. Tomlin’s co-writer and producer Ed Cash was one of the evening’s other big winners, earning four Doves including Producer of the Year. David Crowder Band and lead member David Crowder were three-time winners along with their producer Tedd T. "There were many spirit-filled and joyful moments during this year's GMA Music Awards, and it is always great to see new faces emerge alongside already established artists, linking the past to the present and offering a glimpse into the future of gospel music," said Styll. "Nowhere was that more apparent than in the poignant symbolism of Chris Tomlin's arriving into the spotlight as this year's most honored artist in gospel music on the same night that Steven Curtis Chapman reached the newer artists as he did when he invited Chris to tour with him last year. The storyline of these two artists has now been forever connected by their achievements tonight." In the "overall" categories, Dove Awards were presented:
Artist of the Year – Chris Tomlin
Male Vocalist of the Year – Chris Tomlin
Female Vocalist of the Year – Natalie Grant
Group of the Year – Casting Crowns
Songwriter of the Year – Christa Wells
Song of the Year – “How Great is Our God” (Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash)
New Artist of the Year – The Afters
Tomlin's five Dove Awards include Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year. “How Great is Our God,” a song he wrote from his RIAA Gold-certified CD Arriving, won in both the Song of the Year and Worship Song categories, awards that also went to his co-writers Jesse Reeves and Ed Cash. Tomlin's fifth Dove Award was for his collaboration on the Special Event Album of the Year Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. David Crowder Band also earned a Dove Award for the Chronicles of Narnia project, along with trophies for Rock/Contemporary Album for A Collision, and Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song for the CD’s lead single, “Here is Our King.” Band leader David Crowder's three Dove Awards came for his production and songwriting efforts. Natalie Grant's Female Vocalist of the Year Award is her first Dove honor and Songwriter of the Year Christa Wells earned that trophy thanks to the song "Held," which Natalie recorded on her latest project, Awaken. Casting Crowns' Dove for Group of the Year is the band's second consecutive in that category. Texas-based rock quartet The Afters received their New Artist of the Year Dove Award just one week after the band was invited to perform its hit song "Beautiful Love" on MTV's "TRL." Perhaps because of gospel music's inherent diversity in musical styles, unexpected artists often show up as Dove Award winners. This year is no different. Reigning "American Idol" Carrie Underwood won her first Dove for Country Recorded Song for "Jesus Take the Wheel." Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell made his first appearance on the list of Dove Award recipients with a nod for Inspirational Recorded Song for his recording of the Michael English classic "In Christ Alone," and the Grammy Awards' most honored female artist, Alison Krauss, captured a Dove with her band Union Station for Bluegrass Recorded Song for "Living Prayer." Gospel music's diversity was also on display with rousing and stylistically distinct music performances. Rising stars Israel & New Breed and Martha Munizzi opened the Dove Awards show, which also included performances by Kutless, Third Day, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Mark Schultz, Grant, Sawyer Brown, and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Franklin also performed and St. James did duet with all-girl rock band BarlowGirl ("Forgive Me"). One of the evening's highlights was a surprise performance honoring Chapman for his 50th Dove Award, which he accepted for Special Event Album of the Year on behalf of all the artists on the Chronicles of Narnia project. Awards were handed out in 42 categories. Dove Awards go to recordings released during the eligibility year of November 1, 2004 through October 31, 2005 and voted on by the members of the GMA. For a complete list of recipients, visit www.doveawards.com (from Spinhouse PR)

SCC
Steven Curtis Chapman was doubly surprised last night at the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards when the ceremony acknowledged his 50th Dove Award win and contribution to CCM music with a tribute performance. David Crowder joined Male Vocalist Of The Year nominees Mac Powell (Third Day), Mark Hall (Casting Crowns), and Jeremy Camp on stage perched on stools as they sung their favorite Chapman hits. The quartet took turns performing a song each (Hall, "For The Sake Of The Call;" Powell, "I Will Be Here;" Camp, "Magnificent Obsession;" and Crowder, "More To This Life"), and even shared moments of each song collectively. The surprised and teary-eyed Chapman then took the stage to hug the vocalists and wave to the crowd as the audience gave him a standing ovation. Steven has won his 50th award for his contributions to Special Event Album of the Year, the Chronicles of Narnia project. He was also given the honor of accepting the award on behalf of all the artists on the album. In a press conference later that evening, Steven Curtis told Jesusfreakhideout.com of his tentative plans to enter the studio this Fall to begin work on a Spring, 2007 release. In the meantime, Chapman will be visiting China again with his family for about a month. (from Jesusfreakhideout.com NEWS)

Switchfoot
Switchfoot, currently headlining a spring tour that has already registered ten sold-out shows, is also starring in its first video podcast now available at iTunes. "The Official Switchfoot Spring Tour '06 Podcast" is a diary of life on the road according to the San Diego rock band. More installments will soon follow. For a complete list of tour dates, plus up-to-the-minute information on Switchfoot's new album, Nothing Is Sound, featuring the hits "Stars" and "We Are One Tonight," visit Switchfoot.com. (from Sparrow Records)

*Wednesday, April 5th, 2006*


JoC
It's GMA Week in Nashville, Tennessee and Jesusfreakhideout.com is on the spot with some exciting news. JfH met with Jars of Clay yesterday to discuss their brand new record Good Monsters. The self-produced record will contain thirteen brand new songs with a tentative release date of September 18th from Essential Records. The guys told Jesusfreakhideout.com that the album will be their most aggressive record to date, and features a guest appearance by Leigh Nash. Expect to see the JfH interview with the guys about the album to hit the site very soon... (from Jesusfreakhideout.com NEWS)

Guardian
Rumors of a reunion by legendary Christian metal band Guardian have been circulating for the past few years and according to the band's former lead singer Jamie Rowe, it may finally come to fruition. Triple 5 will feature five brand new songs from the band, five live tracks recorded at the Sound Kitchen, and five hits from the popular metal band's career. The band is thrilled about the opportunity to work together again and are looking forward to an early August release of the project on Selectric Records. (from Jesusfreakhideout.com NEWS)

Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Camp has been actively working on his newest record Beyond Measure which is expecting to release on Halloween this Fall. The October 31st release will feature a little more experimentation from the favorite male vocalist. Camp has also been busy co-producing his wife Adrienne Liesching's (formerly of The Benjamin Gate) debut solo record Don't Wait, which is scheduled to release on September 28. Under the moniker Adie, listeners can expect an alt pop record in the same vein of Jeremy's sound with plenty of Adrienne's personal touches. Look for the two on tour together this Fall! (from Jesusfreakhideout.com NEWS)

*Sunday, April 2nd, 2006*


Last night, Third Day were presented with a plaque in celebration of their newest record Wherever You Are achieving Gold status due to 500,000 units shipped! The band also presented the same plaque to Chevrolet to offer their appreciation for the automobile company's support of the band's ministry and tours. The brief ceremony followed a performance of the band's Wherever You Are Tour with David Crowder*Band in Nashville, TN. This award marks the band's eigth record to be certified gold. Congratulations, guys! (Below is an exclusive photo of the band receiving the plaque, taken by Jesusfreakhideout.com. Click on the image to pop-up a full size version)
(from Jesusfreakhideout.com)


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Lauren Daigle Look Up Child (Vinyl) [Centricity]
Smalltown Poets Carol of the Bells - Single (independent)

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