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JFH Music News

JfH OLD Music News

July, 2006


*Saturday, July 29th, 2006*

Switchfoot
Switchfoot had to make the tough call recently to cancel their European Tour... "Hello Friends, In the ten years that Switchfoot has been playing live music, we have never cancelled a show," the band announced in a newsletter yesterday. "So it is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you of the following: due to a family medical situation we will be unable to travel to Europe for August. We feel as disappointed as many of you might feel, please accept our apologies. We will absolutely be back as soon as we possibly can. Thank you for your understanding, Jon, Tim, Chad, Jerome, and Drew" Please keep the guys in prayer during this tough time. (from Switchfoot)
Audio A
A new e-card gives you the full scoop on Audio Adrenaline’s farewell album, Adios: The Greatest Hits, in stores everywhere August 1 from ForeFront Records. Take a look, and then pass it along to a friend. At the same time, the two-time GRAMMY winning band is offering exclusive interview content at its MySpace page. Click here to see Audio A founders Mark Stuart and Will McGinniss talking about how the band got started fifteen years ago. More exclusive content will be posted in the coming weeks. (from EMI CMG)
Fusebox
Fusebox frontman Billy Buchanan announced last evening that he will not be rejoining the successful !Hero Tour when it resumes this Fall. "After much thought and prayer, I've decided not to go back out on the Hero tour," said Buchanan in a MySpace bulletin. "I didn't want to be away from my family for a month and a half, plus I have got to finish the new Fusebox album. Thought you guys would want to know." Billy was known for filling the role of Chief Rabbi Kai on the wildly popular Fall 2003 Tour. No official cast for this leg of the Rock Opera Tour has been announced yet, but we will keep you posted... (from MySpace.com/BillyBuchanan / JFH)
*Thursday, July 27th, 2006*

Skillet
We reported on Skillet's new album Comatose yesterday, but since our report, an official press release has been sent out. Check it out... Hot on the heels of 2003’s best-seller Collide, which launched Skillet meteorically into the mainstream with the hit single “Savior,” touring with Three Days Grace, Salvia, Shinedown, and 12 Stones, plus a prestigious nomination at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, Atlantic/Lava and Ardent/SRE will unleash Comatose on October 3rd, 2006. “We’ve been proud of where we’ve been in the past, but I feel like this is our strongest record,” notes vocalist/bassist John Cooper, citing the band’s recent completion of the Comatose sessions at Chicago Recording Company (Smashing Pumpkins, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly) with producer Brian Howes (from famed Canadian TVT band Closure and Hinder’s hit CD) and mix maestro’s Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, Hoobastank, Bon Jovi, P.O.D.) and David Bottrill (Tool, Staind). “There are so many different influences where it won’t just be about rock audiences or metal audiences. I think there’s something here for everybody and it’s our most mass appeal record.” With Comatose, it seems Skillet’s struck gold yet again, building off the refined musicianship found on Collide and taking it to even more jaw dropping extremes. The lead single “Rebirthing,” the first single for both Mainstream and Active Rock (8.21) and Christian CHR and Rock radio (8.14) formats, is a complex but accessible amalgamation of piercing strings, jarring guitars, humongous power chords and neck snapping reactions calling all to come alive in Christ. In sharp contrast, but equally compelling are “The Last Night,” “Say Goodbye” and “Yours to Hold,” all oozing with ethereal orchestration and insanely infectious sing-a-long potential. While such selections are sure to storm the radio, Comatose has several examples of Skillet flexing its experimental muscles, adding several piano based and progressive periods. A careful dissection of “Whispers” unveils nods to the current prog crop via the channels of Yes, while “Better Than Drugs” (focusing on an eternal destiny rather than earthly gain) is a delightfully schizophrenic barnburner sure to tip the decibel scales in one of the disc’s most aggressive displays. “The Last Night” takes a more delicate twist, pitting John’s vocals with his wife Korey Cooper as her keyboards glide with chilling cadence. “It’s a new era for both Atlantic and Skillet,” exclaims Andy Karp, head of A&R for Atlantic Records. “It’s the first record where we’ve really been one on one with the band and it’s the latest step in our unique journey together. I’ve been at the label seventeen years and we’re known for having so many great rock n’ roll bands: Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Yes, Bad Company. There really aren’t a lot of labels that have that kind of pedigree for rock acts and Skillet is yet another in the long line of great bands.” Aside from Skillet’s musical strides, Cooper’s songwriting has expanded to cover a vast range of topical territories, some of which follow spiritually and socially conscious thought processes, while others vulnerably mirror his personal life and struggles. “The Last Night,” talks about someone considering suicide after living life in despair and not having support from their parents. Rather than calling it quits, a supportive friend reminds of God’s unconditional love and they’re eventually talked down from that ledge. Even closer to home for Cooper is “The Older I Get,” which picks up after his mom passed away, tracing the rocky relationship he had with his dad and the eventual forgiveness they reached. Naming the record Comatose further cements those expressions, hoping to rev up listeners to break beyond the mundane, get on track with their relationships (here on earth and with the Creator), while charging forward with hope. “John has written the best songs he’s ever written and there’s been such an evolution on all levels for the band,” Karp continues. “Sonically we set out to create a combination of electronic elements, orchestration and a melodic approach and Skillet’s managed to hit all of those three exactly on target, raising up its game to yet another level of excellence.” But more than composing a disc with killer compositions, Cooper hopes this disc’s deeper meaning of awakening will strike a chord on all levels with listeners. To the church specifically, it’s a reminder that life’s focus needs to be reaching out to others while stepping aside from denominational squabbles, self-absorption and even negative technological influences. “Comatose as a concept is meant to challenge people to invest in the relationships around them,” Cooper sums up. “In traveling around so much, especially in the last couple of years, we’re aware of people needing and hurting more than ever before. We want these songs to start the wheels in motion for believers and non-believers alike to change that cycle for the better.” The M Collective)
Michael W. Smith
We also have been given an update on Michael W. Smith's latest venture, Stand... from the man himself! Smitty sent the following letter to Provident Label this week... "Dear Friends, I’ve just come off of one of the most unusual experiences of my life. This new album, number 19 by the way, was the fastest I’ve ever made a record in my career. Forty days from beginning to end. It was a whirlwind. It was a blast. As a result of being so pressed for time, all of the songs were being written at once. Lyrics were flying across the internet and over fax machines, demos were being cut late at night, writers were coming and going…it was barely controlled chaos. But, in the midst of it all, songs began to emerge that truly reflect some ideas that have captured my imagination lately. As I listen through the songs now I hear an urgency to the lyrics because there wasn’t time in the process to sit and discuss what I wanted to say. The process was more like a download of all of these thoughts and feelings that were coming out of my experience leading worship at my church. Themes like embracing the lost, stepping out of our comfort zone and taking a stand. Being involved so much in my church has given me insight into what the church is really about. We need to think of what happens on Sunday as only 10% of what it means to be the church. The rest of the week should be 90% of what it means to be the church, the real body of Christ. So, the album is called Stand. It is a call to stand for what you believe in. It is a call to stand outside of the walls of the church, rubbing shoulders with the lost. It is a call to stand because you’ve captured a glimpse of something so powerful you cannot stay seated. It is a call to stand “for the One who gave it all.” This album is more than a collection of songs; it is an experience. I would encourage you to listen to it all the way through in one sitting. Hopefully, you will be moved and inspired to step out and take a stand. With love, Michael W. Smith" Stay tuned to this page for more details SOON! (from Provident Music Group, Michael W. Smith)
SCC
Sparrow Records’ artist and five-time GRAMMY© Award winner Steven Curtis Chapman recently returned to the United States after a groundbreaking international tour where he performed for more than 60,000 including six sold-out dates in Australia, New Zealand, China, Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, which included crowd numbers exceeding capacity at the Singapore Rock Auditorium. Along with the seven-country tour, Chapman performed five concerts for U.S. troops based in South Korea. This historical performance was the first Christian concert for the troops based there. “In many aspects this tour and visit reminded me of how enormous God is and yet how as believers we truly are a family, a body of Christ working together on the other side of the world even when we do not speak the same language,” expresses Chapman about his recent travels. Playing for his international fan base, which continues to grow with new fans, thanks to the Top 10 radio single from his new release in Thailand (The Blessing No. 1) and in Hong Kong, Chapman’s popularity continues to spread worldwide. The tour was showcased at the Beijing Hard Rock Café as well as a sell-out debut performance at Shanghai Pudong Oriental Arts Center Hall, where his performance was one of the three largest concerts of the spring in Shanghai (one being the Rolling Stones’ who recently performed at Shanghai stadium) and the first public performance by a Gospel recording artist event in the city open to China passport holders “This was a dream of mine that was born when we adopted Shaoey,” Chapman shares about his performance in China. “Six years ago I knew that someday I wanted to go to China to share my music with this country, and it was a blessing to see God provide this opportunity despite the obstacles that were at hand.” In addition to the tour, Steven Curtis Chapman and his sons were invited to perform at the Hong Kong Stadium for the Global Day of Prayer where 35,000 Christians gathered on June 4 to engage in prayer with more than 200 countries across the world. “This trip had such a sense of eternity to me. Doors that have never been opened were knocked down for artists to pass through for years to come. I really had an amazing sense that God was just beginning something, a whole ‘All Things New’.” Following the 20-city life-changing tour, Chapman was joined by his wife Mary Beth and their six children in Beijing, where they visited and worked in area orphanages around China. Currently, the Chapmans through their foundation, Shaohannah’s Hope are planning “China Vision Trips” for 2007 to bring key individuals and leaders to see the need first hand. This fall, Chapman will head into the studio to start recording for his 2007 release. The M Collective)
Sanctus Real
By popular vote, Sanctus Real’s #1 radio hit, “I’m Not Alright,” has won mtvU’s latest “Freshman” video contest, gaining a regular rotation airplay slot on MTV’s national college campus-directed network. Learn more at www.mtvu.com/music/freshmen. In other band news, Sanctus Real’s second single and title track from its acclaimed The Face Of Love album scored the “Highest New & Active” and “Highest Debut” honors this week on the Radio & Records adult contemporary and contemporary hit radio charts respectively. Next, the Ohio-based group completes its run of major summer music festivals with performances at Creation Northwest (7/28 in George, Washington), Inside Out Soul Fest (8/2; Gilford, Ohio), Spirit West Coast (8/5; Monterey, California), Kingdom Bound (8/9; Darien Center, New York), Rock the Canyon (8/12; Twin Falls, Idaho), and Freedom Fest (8/19; Snohomish, Washington). For JFH's review of the band's 7/22 performance in Clarksburg, WV, click here! (from Sparrow Records; JFH)
Third Day
Third Day (Essential Records), Casting Crowns (Reunion Records), Brian Littrell (Reunion Records), and Red (Essential Records) have all claimed No. 1 spots on 4 of the 5 charts at Christian radio for the week of July 24, 2006. Third Day reaches No. 1 with “Mountain of God” from the album Wherever You Are (November 1, 2005), on the Radio and Records Adult Contemporary (AC)-Indicator Radio chart after only 11 weeks on the chart. “Mountain of God” is also No. 1 at CRW’s AC Radio Chart. Casting Crowns returns to the No. 1 spot on Radio and Records AC-Monitored Radio chart with “Praise You In This Storm” from the album Lifesong (August 30, 2005), after having spent eight previous weeks at the top. “Praise You In This Storm” spent six prior weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Christian AC Chart. Coming 12 weeks since its chart debut, Brian Littrell’s “Welcome Home”, from his solo debut Welcome Home (May 2, 2006) claims the top spot of Radio and Records Inspirational (INSPO) Radio chart. Modern rock band Red is No. 1 on the Christian Rock Radio charts at both Radio & Records and CRW with its initial radio single “Breathe Into Me” from its Essential Records debut album End of Silence (June 6, 2006). “Breathe Into Me” reached the top spot after only 14 weeks on the chart. Mark Giles, vp of national promotions for the label group, comments, “We are very grateful to radio for their support and partnership. Our radio team (comprised of Jason Miller, Karrie Cook, Jaclyn Shields, Whitney Harrison & AJ Strout) is blessed to work with an amazing roster of artists that make up Provident Label Group, and I am blessed to work with such a talented & dedicated radio team.” (from Provident Music Group)
*Wednesday, July 26th, 2006*

Red
Modern rock band Red has topped the Christian Rock Radio charts at both Radio & Records and CRW with its initial radio single “Breathe Into Me” from its Essential Records debut album End of Silence. “Breathe Into Me” reached the top spot after only 14 weeks on the chart. “Excited isn't even the word for how we feel about our first No. 1 at radio,” muses Red guitarist Jasen Rauch. “We spend countless days on the road hoping to connect with people, and to have it come back on us in this way is completely overwhelming. From the entire band, we say thank you to all of the listeners and stations across the country.” During the month of August, Red will be hitting the road on the “Accelerate” tour with Decyfer Down and Nevertheless. The tour kicks off Sunday, Aug. 6, in Sacramento, Calif., and will include 14 stops between California, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. Beginning Sept. 2, Red joins Disciple on the “Still Rising” tour for a 12 date run featuring shows in the same region of the U.S. as the “Accelerate” tour. From October 25 through November 19, Red will join Kutless on the “Hearts of the Innocent” tour, making stops all the way from Alabama to Minnesota and east to New Hampshire. After more than 80 concerts to date in 2006, Red is staying busy, already booked well into the month of December. On December 1, 2006, Red will be in Gevelsburg, Germany to perform as part of the Haus Ennepetal-Christmas Rock Night. (Additional dates are currently being booked for Germany and will be announced at a later date). According to Red guitarist Anthony Armstrong, “We are excited to hit the road full steam ahead and share our music, energy and passion with fans - and to be touring with some of the best bands in Christian music.” Touring heavily across the U.S., Red is quickly gaining fans along the way. The band is serious about the relationships they make at shows and strive to stick around every night until the last person has left the venue. The five-member band (Mike Barnes, lead vocals; Anthony Armstrong, guitar; Randy Armstrong, bass; Jasen Rauch, guitar; and Hayden Lamb, drums) released its debut project on Essential Records, End of Silence, on June 6, 2006. End of Silence was produced by Dove-nominated producer/songwriter Rob Graves and mixed by Ben Grosse (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fuel, Sixpence None the Richer). The songs on End of Silence deconstruct struggles that listeners face, while painting a picture of redemption in the midst of brokenness. Musically influenced by artists such as Linkin Park, Chevelle, and Muse, Red brings a unique blend of roiling guitars, epic string arrangements, strong melodies and passionate vocals. The fervor displayed on the band’s debut project End of Silence is brought to life when Red takes the stage, creating an experience the audience won’t soon forget. With currently more than 26,000 fans on MySpace, Red makes it a priority to write each and every fan back personally and let them know how much their support is appreciated. (from Provident Music Group)
RSJ
Grammy Award winner Rebecca St. James this week celebrates both her birthday (TODAY!) and an important anniversary. Her current single, "God Help Me," now at radio-and proving to be a song people are connecting with in today's uncertain world climate-was written by her on her birthday two years ago. Little could she have dreamed writing the song in contemplation of another birthday, how timely a message it would hold just two short birthdays away. The Australian singer got an early gift this year in the form of a compliment on her music from President George W. Bush, when asked to perform for a private gathering at the White House. "President Bush was very gracious, very warm and he said to me ‘I really enjoy your music' which was so affirming-very much of an honor for me," noted St. James. From the West Wing to the average music listener, "God Help Me" is proving to be very much a song with a message for the times. "This is a song that passionately resonates with me, both musically and lyrically," notes St. James. "It's gut level honest. In writing it, I had a sense of ‘life just goes by so quickly'-it simply moves on and it often feels like we are running out of time-running out of life and love." It's a message that's obviously resonating with listeners. Within the cyber-world of MySpace alone "God Help Me" has been a major ‘add' to hundreds of personal players over the past several weeks of pre-release buzz and St. James' own site has had an outpouring of people responding to what the song means to them by taking time to post comments. personally thanking her for having written it. "It's all about surrender and realizing how much we all need God," says Rebecca. "I know daily I have many ‘God help me' moments in my life and I think it's a good thing when we realize we cannot do this thing called ‘life' on our own. We are all desperately in need of God. I think one look at today's headlines confirms that need in a dramatic way." Long a passionate and articulate advocate of America's need for God who has spoken on high-profile mainstream interviews and television platorms such as Hannity & Colmes. St. James herself no stranger to multi-million sales, #1 records and the music industry's highest awards, personally wrote an open letter to radio distributed last week via her record label, EMI/Forefront. It expressed her interest in this particular song being heard at this moment in time and world unrest. "I hope the song speaks to your heart and touches your listeners with hope," she wrote in closing. (Click on the image to pop-up a full size version)
In other RSJ news, Rebecca can be seen onscreen next month co-starring in Unidentified, a film about two reporters investigating a UFO sighting in their small Texas town. Rebecca plays Colleen, the concerned wife of a reporter who seems to be losing his passion for God. See the movie trailer and theater release date schedule at unidentifiedthemovie.com. (from Morning Star PR/EMI CMG)
Pillar
Hard music band Pillar lets loose its fourth studio album, The Reckoning, Oct. 3. The project evolves Pillar’s sound, while recalling elements of its musical and cultural upbringing. Produced by Travis Wyrick and Pillar and mixed by David Bendeth (Hawthorne Heights, As I Lay Dying, Breaking Benjamin), The Reckoning carries on the Midwest’s legacy of rich rock with sounds and themes inspired by Pillar’s home turf. “The majority of this country is small-town America and suburban living out in the middle of nowhere,” comments frontman Rob Beckley. “Those type of hardworking people, that’s who we are, that’s where we come from. And there it’s all about AC/DC and Lynryd Skynyrd. Rock and roll in the Midwest is rock and roll.” Pillar innovates its rock and roll style on The Reckoning, experimenting with musical genres, vocal technique and song narratives. Tracks like “Sometimes” skips with infectious punk urgency while the melancholy ballad “Angel in Disguise” is lyrically laid out like a country tune. Beckley also uses his voice as an instrument for the first time in the haunting introduction to “Last Goodbye.” “We’re concerned with what our fans think of us,” Beckley grants. “And we don’t want to let them down, but at the same time we know that in order to grow you can’t stay stagnant.” Pillar’s first single from the record, “Everything,” goes for adds at Rock radio in August. The band will headline the “Days of Reckoning Tour” this fall featuring Kids in the Way, Dead Poetic and Showdown. For more information, visit www.pillarmusic.com. (from Savvy Media)
Skillet
Pillar isn't the only rock record seizing stores on October 3rd. Skillet's John Cooper informed Jesusfreakhideout.com last weekend that the band's seventh album, Comatose will be hitting shelves on the same day. The band played a show that evening in Clarksburg, West Virginia, introducing two new songs for the audience, including "Rebirthing" and "The Last Night." Comatose is looking to be a worthy follow-up to the band's successful previous installment, Collide... (from Jesusfreakhideout.com/Skillet)
Third Day
We reported on the upcoming Third Day Christmas project last Friday, but the following is the label's official announcement of the project... Atlanta-based rock band Third Day, is leaning into the holiday season early this year as it readies for the release of Christmas Offerings, the band’s first Christmas record and the anticipated next installment of its platinum Offerings worship series. The 13-song album delivers nine Christmas classics and four original songs written by the band. The recording process itself was also unique. While several tracks were recorded in a traditional manner, many tracks were recorded live in the studio and backed by a live audience during an intimate theater recording session at Nickel and Dime studios in the band’s hometown. “The Offerings records are a special part of who we are as a band – we started the series for our fans - and we’ve wanted to do one reflecting the hope of Christmas for a while now. Because Offerings is about worship, this particular song collection reflects one of the most special times of the year. The experience of worshiping and singing classic Christmas songs together really brought to mind the heart of what Christmas is all about – even in the heat of summer.” Tai Anderson adds, “We’ve already had an amazing year in 2006. So many fans have shared stories with us of how Wherever You Are and the Wherever You Are tour have offered them much needed encouragement. “I’m so glad that we can cap off this year by releasing this collection of great music to celebrate the Christmas season.” Christmas Offerings is produced by Third Day (along with help from producer/engineer Don McCollister) and will likely become this year’s most impactful Christmas album and a favorite for years to come. (from Provident Music Group)
Big Idea
If you like to groove to the music, if you have a mirror ball in the bonus room, if 8-tracks bring back great memories, then crank up the tunes, lace up the roller skates and get ready to boogie down to your favorite 70’s hits! The all-new VeggieTales Bob & Larry Sing the 70’s CD is coming to a record store near you! Featuring 12 smash hits performed by Bob, Larry and their veggie friends, Bob & Larry Sing the 70’s is jammed packed with fun songs from the history-making decade! Classic Rock, Funky Tunes and memorable Jesus Music – it’s all there! Track selections from the 70's era include "Funky Town," "The Loco Motion," "Lean On Me," "Car Wash," "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "I Just Want To Celebrate," "Crocodile Rock," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," "I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing," "Proud Mary," "We Are Family," and "Jesus Is Just Alright." And, to the delight of LarryBoy fans worldwide, VeggieTales releases the new LarryBoy The Soundtrack CD in conjunction with the release of the all-new LarryBoy and the Bad Apple DVD. The soundtrack features 16 songs from the multi-million unit selling VeggieTales LarryBoy DVD series and features the all-new hit song “Rock On, LarryBoy” performed by Shux. Both CDs are available August 1st! (from Hoganson Media)
Decyfer Down
SRE Recording’s rockers Decyfer Down are again at the top of the Christian Rock Chart with their current single “Life Again.” It is clear this band is here to stay hitting the No. 1 slot for the second time in a matter of weeks. While Decyfer Down accelerates their success on the charts and rocks crowds across the country at major festivals, they are ready to kick off their West Coast fall run with the “Accelerate Tour” along with NEVERTHELESS, Red, and ZeroTheory. See below for the schedule of the tour, which begins August 6. To check out more about Decyfer Down, log onto www.decyferdown.com or www.myspace.com/decyferdown. (from The M Collective)
Wayne Watson
Wayne Watson -- the multi-awarded, Dove winning artist whose voice and songs helped defined Christian music throughout the 80's and ‘90's is re-launching a full time commitment to his music with the announcement of his signing with Patton House Entertainment. Andrew Patton, President of Patton House, today made the announcement of the signing. Patton noted the company's tremendous enthusiasm for their representation of the singer/songwriter whose career he termed "one of the most influential building blocks in the foundation of contemporary Christian music as we know it today." "Wayne Watson is a giant whose level of quality in the music he creates is as relevant today as it was when he first reached the pinnacle of industry awareness. We are extremely honored with the opportunity of helping to create the next exciting chapters in this remarkable journey," added Patton in commenting on the new alliance. Wayne Watson's litany of career credits include a half dozen major Dove Awards wins -including those for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1989, Song of The Year in that same year ("Friend Of A Wounded Heart"), Pop Contemporary Song of the Year and Contemporary Album of The Year (1988) with Watercolour Ponies, and Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year (1992) with Home Free. He has twice been nominated for the Grammy Award-both for his performance of Watercolour Ponies (1987), and for Best Pop Gospel Album in 1992 with his stunning A Beautiful Place project. In the 90's Wayne Watson became one of the first major Christian artists to attract mainstream attention. He gave a groundbreaking emotionally charged performance of "Another Place, Another Time" with fellow artist Sandi Patty on NBC-TV's Tonight Show-an event that was deemed a defining moment in Christian music's move to wider audiences. In the late 90's, his inspirational hit "For Such A Time As This" became a centerpiece theme of CBS-TV's then highly rated series Touched By An Angel. A prolific songwriter of remarkable depth and relevancy, Wayne Watson's connection with his audience has to date produced a history of 23 #1 singles at Christian radio-including "Friend Of A Wounded Heart," "When God's People Pray," "Almighty," "Be In Her Eyes," "Another Time, Another Place," and "Home Free." He has recorded two dozen album projects since his memorable breakthrough project Working In the Final Hour caught the imagination of both listeners and an entire industry with its' release in 1980. "I feel the timing is totally right and I am very thankful to have Andrew speaking for me in the industry--knocking on doors on my behalf to find new opportunities to do what we do best," noted Watson in commenting on his signing with Patton House. In this newest season of his career, Watson will be returning to both an active recording and touring schedule. "Announcements will be forthcoming very soon on several major creative levels of Wayne Watson's career," noted Patton. (from Morning Star PR)
*Friday, July 21st, 2006*

Third Day
Following the highly successful Wherever You Are launch, Grammy-award winning group Third Day is set to release its first Christmas record. The next installment in the platinum selling Offerings worship series provides a unique blend of Christmas classics and new songs written by the band. The record will feature a combination of studio and live recordings, captured during an intimate setting in the band's hometown. Produced by Third Day, along with help from producer/engineer Don McCallister, the album will likely become this year's most impactful Christmas collection and a favorite for years to come. Songs on the project include live renditions of "Away In A Manger," "Silent Night," "The First Noel," and "Do You Hear What I Hear," as well as studio recordings of classics "Joy To The World," "What Child Is This," "O Holy Night," "Angels We Have Heard On High," and "O Come All Ye Faithful." Christmas Offerings is rounded off with four brand new songs including "Jesus, Light Of The World," "Born In Bethlehem," "Merry Christmas," and "Christmas Like A Child." Christmas Offerings is expected for an October release... (from Provident Music Group)
Kids In The Way
Flicker Records hard music band Kids in the Way updates its popular 2005 release, Apparitions of Melody, with an enhanced version, available in stores August 8. Apparitions of Melody: The Dead Letters Edition will feature two additional music tracks plus an exclusive DVD, containing videos and behind-the-scenes footage. The projects’ CD portion opens with new song and first radio single “Fiction,” an anthem about straying from truth in our lives. It also includes the heartbreaking farewell, “Getting Over You, Getting Over Me.” Both songs were penned by frontman David Paul Pelsue and produced by David Bendeth and Kato (Hawthorne Heights, As I Lay Dying, Breaking Benjamin). Pelsue comments, “We felt [Apparitions] was a really good record, and we’re really proud of the songs. So we’re re-releasing it with new tools at our disposal. We tried to keep [the new] songs in the vein of Apparitions, but really just focused on writing two killer songs people won’t forget, that’ll get stuck in their heads.” Also original to Dead Letters Edition is a DVD comprising music videos for “Apparitions o f Melody,” “We Are,” and “Phoenix With a Heartache” as well as documentary footage filmed at several live shows nationwide and in the studio. Less than three years since joining the Flicker Records roster, Indianapolis-based rock band Kids in the Way has made noteworthy headway in its promising career. Kids in the Way claimed a successful debut run with its first national record, Safe From the Losing Fight, in December 2003. The project earned Kids in the Way three Top 10 Rock hits, “We Are,” “Hallelujah,” and “Phoenix With a Heartache,” in addition to billing alongside popular artists Pillar, Audio Adrenaline with Relient K, and Skillet featuring Seventh Day Slumber. Since releasing its sophomore effort, Apparitions of Melody, in May 2005, the band has headlined three tours, and claimed three Top 5 Rock radio successes with “Apparitions of Melody,” “Breaking the Legs of Sheep” and “The Seed We’ve Sown.” The “Apparitions of Melody” video garnered Kids in the Way a 2006 Dove Award nomination for Short Form Music Video, title of Next Big Video Music Star by Fuse and MySpace.com, as well as Video of the Year at Nashville’s film festival. This summer, Kids in the Way appeared on the Flicker “Warped Tour” compilation, handed out in each of 39 cities. The band has amassed a major fan following with more than 40,000 friends on MySpace and will continue to grow its audience on tour this fall. For more information and upcoming concert dates, visit www.kidsintheway.com. (from Savvy Media)
Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin, winner of the 2006 Artist, Song, and Male Vocalist of the Year GMA Music Awards, will release his fourth album, See The Morning, on September 26 via sixstepsrecords. “I can’t wait for you to hear it,” Tomlin writes to fans in a recent blog. See The Morning follows up the gold-selling Arriving that featured the #1 hits “Indescribable,” “Holy Is The Lord,” and “How Great Is Our God.” Revealed song titles for See The Morning so far include “Made To Worship,” “The Lion And The Lamb,” “Holy Uncreated One,” “Awesome Is The Lord,” and “Everlasting God.” For a sneak preview of the See The Morning artwork, visit www.ChrisTomlin.com which will be completely relaunched in August. (from Sparrow Records)
Michael W. Smith
Michael W. Smith is hard at work on his followup to his successful pop record Healing Rain, tentatively titled Stand. One of our readers recently shared with us a conversation they had with a member of Smitty's band, Jim Danker. Danker writes, "The new record is what many thought Smitty should have done before. It's very stripped-down, acoustic/rock - no pretense, no slick production - just good songs with mature production. I agree with you - Healing Rain was NOT a "guitar- driven" record at all. I think Michael wanted it to be, but it just didn't turn out that way. I haven't heard all of the new record so I can't comment too much on it other than the songs we're doing live, but they are really good - much more straight-ahead organic rock. ...there's some Brit-rock elements, too." We don't know about anyone else, but consider our interest definitely peaked. (from Jim Danker, Jesusfreakhideout.com; thanks to K. Statler)
MercyMe
As their new hit single "So Long Self" hits mainstream AC radio’s Top 20 (No. 17 BDS) and No. 1 on the Christian AC Mediabase/R&R Chart, and they make their second appearance on The Tonight Show this week, MercyMe has announced their national fall “Coming Up to Breathe Tour” in support of their latest, best-selling CD of the same name. Debuting at No. 13 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts selling nearly 60,000 units, Coming Up To Breathe has remained strong on both the Billboard Top 200 and Contemporary Christian SoundScan charts for the 12 past weeks since its release. Hitting over 30 cities this fall including New York City’s Nokia Theater, Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena, Los Angeles’ The Pond, The Dodge Theater in Phoenix, and Houston’s Berry Center, the line up will also feature industry veteran band Audio Adrenaline and criticially acclaimed newcomer, Phil Wickham. About hitting the road again and doing so with Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe’s Bart Millard had this to say: “Words cannot express how excited we are to have AudioA on this tour! They have played a huge part in getting MercyMe its start, so getting the chance to take them out for their final farewell is a no brainer. This tour is really going to rock.” “The last 15 years have been nothing short of a miracle,” commented AudioA’s lead singer and founding member Mark Stuart. “Every moment...every concert...every song was such a gift from God. We can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to the greatest fans in the world than doing it on tour with our best friends, MercyMe.” This tour will be the final tour for one of the industries top bands, Audio Adrenaline, and also adding a final chapter to its substantial career will be ADIOS: The Greatest Hits, releasing Aug. 1. (from The M Collective)
Flyleaf
Acclaimed rock band Flyleaf was nominated for "breaking new band" and As I Lay Dying was nomiated for "there is none higher, ultimate metal god" on MTV2's All That Rocks awards, which will air Sunday July 30, 9 PM ET/PT. Fans can vote for Flyleaf and As I Lay Dying at http://mtv2.mtv.com/mtv2/ontv/atr/ and may need all the support they can get as they face some stiff competition. Also, tune into the awards ceremony for a special performance from Flyleaf. (from MTV2; thanks to W. Payne)
Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter's third release, The Triptych, is the latest to undergo the "special edition" treatment. The band recently announced the re-release of the album and details on what to expect on their official website... "One year after the release of The Triptych and its 3 limited edition covers, we will unveil a new special edition of The Triptych, featuring brand new artwork by Dan Seagrave that incorporates all of the elements of the other 3 covers -- a true triptych. And there is more. So much more. A brand NEW DVD and 4 bonus tracks will be included when this hits stores on October 31, 2006. And fear not, those of you who pre-ordered from Tower.com and got the Waging The Third War DVD still will have something special. The DVD that will come with The Triptych special edition is *not* that DVD. Here is what it will contain: A brand new documentary featuring new interviews with all 5 members about the "Undying" tour, a pro-shot and recorded live set from Pomona, CA with five camera angles, tons of photos (some of which you have seen in the tour blog) from the road, behind the scenes, the fans, live, you name it. And that's just the "tour" section. The "album" section will contain a brand new edit of "Waging The Third War: The Making Of 'The Triptych'" with less interview footage and more studio footage (making this cut different than the old one but each of them equally cool with different aspescts), a gallery with all of the "Triptych" art, photos from the album photo shoot including outtakes and other group shots by photographer Jeff Gros... And yes, there is a THIRD section on the DVD (this is "The Triptych" after all!) that will contain a "making the video" behind the scenes featurette with more interviews and footage from the set of "1,000 Apologies," all four Demon Hunter music videos videos ("Infected," "Not Ready To Die," "Undying" and "1,000 Apologies"), and a third photo gallery -- this one full of behind the scenes shots from the sets of all of Demon Hunter's music videos. Basically this is a full-on DVD; something that easily could be sold ALONE for MORE than the price of a CD, but instead will be packaged with "The Triptych" with a new cover and FOUR bonus songs: "The Tide Began To Rise" (acoustic) "My Heartstrings Come Undone" (acoustic) "My Throat Is An Open Grave" (acoustic) "Undying" (Aaron Sprinkle remix)" Sounds good! Check it out when it hits shelves October 31st! (from DemonHunter.net; thanks to P. Hawkins)
Brandon Heath
Nashville singer/songwriter Brandon Heath is set to release his national debut album with Reunion Records titled Don’t Get Comfortable on Sept. 19. Teaming up with famed producer Dan Muckala (Nick Lachey, The Afters, Backstreet Boys), Heath’s new project hosts an arsenal of intelligent, pop-rock tunes that are as smart as they are catchy. Currently, the album’s first single “Our God Reigns” is rapidly gaining momentum at Christian radio as one of the most-added songs overall on the AC format. Heath has been a respected writer in the music community for years, collaborating with well-known artists like Bebo Norman, Matt Wertz and Dave Barnes, to name a few. The Nashville native first began writing at age 13 and credits the town’s legendary hotspot for songwriters, the Bluebird Café, as the place he first experienced music that moved him. “Music, for me, has always been about the songwriting,” Heath says. “When I listen to a song, I really want the lyrics to actually mean something,” he says. After playing Young Life camps and leading worship at his church, Heath is ready for his music to reach a larger audience. He notes, “The songs on this new record, appropriately titled Don’t Get Comfortable, reflect the things God has been communicating to me. I hope that people hear what He has done in my life through these songs and will be encouraged by His faithfulness.” Heath penned all 11 tracks including co-writes with Jason Ingram, Phillip LaRue and Ben Glover. The full song list includes: “Steady Now,” “Simple Man,” “Don’t Get Comfortable,” “Our God Reigns,” “Red Sky,” “You Decide,” “I’m Not Who I Was,” “Let’s Make It Last,” “I Will Lay You Down,” “The Light” and “Beauty Divine.” This fall, Heath hits the road with Bebo Norman and Aaron Shust playing venues across the country on a 40+ city tour. The tour kicks off Saturday, Sept. 16 in Oklahoma City (Yukon), Oklahoma and wraps Sunday, Nov. 19 in Cincinnati, OH. For more information please visit www.brandonheath.net. (from Provident Music Group)
These 5 Down
These 5 Down are back and gearing up to release the follow-up to their ground-breaking self-titled debut album. Members Nate Bauman, Brandon Whitlock, Justin Pletscher, Mike Case, and Josh Walker come from the gritty auto-industry town of Flint, Michigan (near Detroit). Motor City and rock and roll have always been co-conspirators. These 5 Down carry on this blue-collar tradition. Their hardcore sound has been likened to bands ranging from Korn to Underoath. The band¹s self-titled debut was hailed by critics and fans alike as one of Christian rock¹s best of 2000. They were named "Breakout Artist of the Year" by Progressive Airplay Journal and scored three Top Ten radio hits (including two #1¹s). On several occasions These 5 Down charted higher than heavyweights POD. The new These 5 Down release, entitled Friction, was produced by music industry veteran Dez Dickerson. Dez began his long and illustrious career as the original guitarist for Prince and the Revolution. (He is the guy with the Japanese headband in the classic videos "1999" and "Little Red Corvette".) The album will drop August 15, 2006. It is being released by Absolute Records and distributed by Bayside Distribution. (from Pavilion Entertainment)
Travis Cottrell
Indelible Creative Group announces the addition of Travis Cottrell to its growing roster. Cottrell is currently in-studio recording his debut project with the label, to release on November 7. Since graduating with a church music degree from Belmont University in 1992, Travis Cottrell has made his mark as a songwriter, session singer, and music arranger. He has also completed many print musical projects, including the Dove-nominated projects Hymns For Praise and Worship (Word) and Redemption: The Power of the Cross (Brentwood-Benson). Cottrell’s longtime passion, however, is leading worship. The worship leader at Two Rivers Baptist Church, a 6,000-plus-member congregation in Nashville, Tenn., from 1994-1995, he has additionally facilitated music for many nationally known speakers and pastors. Today, Cottrell’s ministry is largely tied to his role as primary worship leader for national Beth Moore conferences in conjunction with her Living Proof Ministries, sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources. He will lead worship at all of the Beth Moore conferences for the ’06-’07 season. “We are looking forward to serving Travis and his ministry,” says president and co-founder of Indelible Creative Group, Chris Thomason. “Travis and I have worked together before, and I am amazed at his diversity. He is a truly multi-talented worship leader, artist, producer, arranger, and writer.” With four previous solo records to his credit, Cottrell looks forward to what he calls a “classical pop album with Appalachian influences.” Produced by Kent Hooper (Scott Krippayne, Charlie Hall, Clay Crosse), his fifth project releases November 7. Additional details are forthcoming. For more information, visit www.indelibleonline.com or www.traviscottrell.com. (from Savvy Media)
Phillips, Craig & Dean
Taking a deep breath and singing with their passionate, classic three-part harmonies, INO Records’ artist Phillips, Craig, & Dean prepare to release their 11th studio project aptly titled Top of My Lungs on September 26. This release follows the widely successful worship trilogy Let My Words Be Few (2001), Let Your Glory Fall (2003) and their highly acclaimed Let the Worshippers Arise (2004). Once again produced by Nathan Nockels (Watermark, Downhere), Top of My Lungs bridges the praise and worship music with a more eclectic, progress musical palette. “Top of My Lungs represents the kind of praise and worship we want to be a part of, the kind of worship that holds nothing back,” states Randy Phillips. “All the songs of this album inspire that kind of worship. Great songs compel you to sing—fresh, deep, magnificent and strong lyrics about the goodness of God, they beg you to sing them as loud and with as much passion as you can.” Singing together for more than 15 years, PC&D have released 10 albums, 18 No. 1 singles and sold more than 2 million records. To say the least their music has impacted many throughout the years, and it continues to resonate with the audiences far and wide. Seeing God continue to use their gifts they love and reaching people in a tangible way bring joy to the trio, which is reflected on the new release. “Most of our songs come from real life experiences,” explains Dan Dean. “We sing to engage the church, to meet people where they live. God has allowed us to reach out people who are going through difficult places in their lives. We choose songs that will bring the reality of Christ into those places.” Top of My Lungs is filled with sweeping, powerful anthems such as the opener “Your Name” written by Paul Baloche that is already infusing into worship at churches across the country to the symphonic “Saved the Day,” a resurrection song penned by Michael Neale. The project is also rounded out with a guest appearance on “Tis Sweet,” which features Dean’s daughter and son and Phillips’ daughter, along with guitar work that lends to a more live, raw sound. “On every album you want to stretch a little bit, sonically, to move forward, so that was certainly a goal,” Shawn Craig says. “We’d toyed with the idea of doing a hybrid, more of the signature ballads and fun songs we used to record, but the more we dug into it, the more we found ourselves going back to praise and worship. We see the power of praise, the avenue it creates to people’s hearts, in preparing them to hear God’s word. It’s just a very personal thing to us.” Although they are steeped in their musical ventures, these three continue to remain active senior pastors at their respective churches in addition to packed personal lives. Randy Phillips and his wife began a new church in 2005 in Austin as well as hosting his own show, The Awakening on TBN. Shawn Craig recently was appointed senior pastor after finishing his Master of Divinity in April 2005 and will be married in November. Dan Dean just turned the big 5-0 and is celebrating his 30th anniversary with his wife Becky. For more information on Phillips, Craig, & Dean go to www.phillipscraiganddean.com (from The M Collective)
Kim Dexter possesses all the right qualities to make her music ministry stand out. She's young and energetic yet already established as a performer, producer, and songwriter. Her vast retail, radio and press credits reflect her seasoned professionalism, but a profound new vision gives her the energized passion of a debut artist. Kim is re-emerging this summer - as a solo artist. The former Mayfair Laundry vocalist has signed with California-based Christian record label 7k' Records, and her solo debut So This Is It will be in stores August 5th. In the 1990's, Mayfair Laundry was signed to the now defunct Pamplin Music, and toured constantly in support of a string of radio hits. When not on the road, Kim was working behind the scenes producing and writing music for several companies specialzing in music and video releases for children. Kim wrote the theme song for the immensely popular Bibleman video series as well as tracks for artists such as Bryan Duncan, Nicole C. Mullen, and Kim Boyce. After Mayfair Laundry went separate ways, conflicts in Kim's personal life brought new empowerment to the singer's music and ministry mandate. Struck by personal struggles within herself and with loved ones around her, Kim found her eyes opened to how much people really are hurting and what it takes to trust God through those times. Through her own dark moments, Kim wrote cathartic new songs that offered practical life lessons, and she began performing her music-driven message to churches and venues across the country. Though a seasoned artist, Kim marveled at the way God used her new songs to bring solace and assurance to rattled souls. "Through my own experience, I realized how many people are hurting in so many ways," says Kim. "Most people suffer in ways you'd never know. I want to show others what I learned about God and how He can help them in their lives. This record is focused on finding healing for the hurting and delivering the strong message of surrendering your life." Kim might already be an accomplished artist, but her new album and music ministry represent a brand new start. "Hopefully, with God's help, these transparent musical confessions can bring more new starts for all the hurting souls that hear them." So This Is It will be released by 7k' Records on August 5, 2006. 7k' Records is distributed by TAG Artist Group, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee. (from Nashville Publicity)
*Tuesday, July 18th, 2006*

Sanctus Real
Sanctus Real’s No. 1 radio hit, “I’m Not Alright,” from its best-selling album, The Face of Love, has now been featured on MTV’s college website, mtv-U, where fans can cast their vote for their favorite music video, hoping to add it to the channel’s video rotation. Fans can cast their vote online today and everyday this week at http://www.mtvu.com/music/freshmen/. You can also vote via AMPED Mobile by texting the word FRESHMAN to 22422 on your AMPED Mobile Phone. The deadline for voting is 11:59 a.m. on Friday, July 21. The winning video will be announced both online at mtvu.com and on-air beginning Monday, July 24 and will receive a prime spot showcasing it's victory on the website, along with a direct add into video rotation with the following week. Log on to www.mtvu.com and cast your vote today for “I’m Not Alright”! (from Hoganson Media)
InPop Records has informed Jesusfreakhideout.com with the first word on the title for the new record from Newsboys. The new ten song rock album is entitled GO, and is slated for an October 31st release date. More details to come... (from InPop; Jesusfreakhideout.com)
MercyMe
Six months to the day following their debut performance last December, MercyMe has been welcomed back to The Tonight Show With Jay Leno this Friday, July 21st! The band will perform their hit single “So Long Self” from their latest, best-selling CD Coming Up To Breathe. The Tonight Show With Jay Leno is taped live and airs nationwide at 11:30PM EST on NBC. (from The M Collective)
Leigh Nash
Leigh Nash (formerly of Sixpence None the Richer) is sharing her new visions. Of life. Of love. Of Heaven. And she has never been more satisfied. In the video from her first single, “My Idea of Heaven,” Nash takes a page from Bob Dylan’s book. She draws on the famous sequence from Dylan’s rockumentary Don’t Look Back, where several couples from all walks of life, turn away from each other, write their idea of Heaven on a cue card, and reveal them to one another on cue. Jeff Stephenson is directing this fun, engaging, and endearing look at the nature of love as shared by a variety of couples and defined by the individual partners. A well-established and highly-acclaimed film director, Stephenson has directed many intriguing documentaries, including Flyerman (2005) and Bellini’s Drive (1998). The title of “#1 Canadian Filmmaker To Look Out For” was bestowed upon him by Toronto’s Now Magazine, the equivalent of The Village Voice and LA Weekly in Canada. The video and single are in promotion of her upcoming debut album, Blue On Blue, which will hit stores nationwide on August 15th. “My Idea of Heaven” was officially added to AC radio on June 19th, as well as to rotation at KLLC in San Francisco. “My Idea of Heaven” is also streamed on KLLC’s Web site. Formerly the lead singer from the Platinum-selling group Sixpence None The Richer, Nash now brings her well-known voice back to the music scene. Most noted for the Grammy-nominated ballad “Kiss Me,” Sixpence has since become a household name. After the success of “Kiss Me” (landing on the soundtrack to Miramax Films’ “She’s All That” and played at the televised wedding of England’s Prince Edward in 1999) the band followed up with a cover of The La’s “There She Goes,” propelling them (and Nash’s vocals) into the limelight again. Nash has appeared and performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the gems of morning talk shows, as well as had her music hit #1 status in 11 countries and topped VH1’s Video Countdown. For more information visit www.leighnash.com (from Big Machine Media)
Bebo Norman
Artist / producer / composer Bebo Norman has announced the dates for his upcoming “The Dreaming True Tour” with special guests Aaron Shust and Brandon Heath (current dates listed as they become available at www.bebonorman.com). The tour, which will see 20 states, kicks off Saturday, September 16 in Oklahoma City (Yukon), Oklahoma and wraps Sunday, November 19 in Cincinnati, OH. Between the Dreaming and the Coming True, Norman's fifth studio album, will be in stores September 19 on Essential Records. The new project was co-produced by Bebo Norman and artist / producer Jason Ingram, with “The Way We Mend” produced by Glenn Rosenstein. Fans of Bebo Norman can expect to see and hear a Bebo with a new-found passion and confidence for the music he loves to create and share with the world. “I’m excited about this tour for numerous reasons,” shares Bebo. “Playing music hasn’t felt this new for me in a long time and I can’t wait to get out with my band and play these new songs.” Norman continues, “I’m also looking forward to being back out on the road with Aaron Shust. With all of his success lately, he’s obviously cut straight to the heart of listeners, but I’m mostly looking forward to just getting to spend time with him for a few months.” (from Provident Music Group)
Big Idea
Michael Farren, lead singer of the critically-acclaimed band Pocket Full Of Rocks, wrote and performed “Rock On LarryBoy,” the new theme song for the upcoming VeggieTales DVD LarryBoy and the Bad Apple, which releases August 1, 2006. The highly anticipated DVD release is the first new “LarryBoy” project in over six years. Farren’s contribution will also be featured on LarryBoy The Soundtrack CD. “Big Idea is thrilled to have Michael’s participation on the new LarryBoy project,” says Greg Fritz, Big Idea’s marketing VP. “The new theme song is upbeat, energetic and fun and is sure to be a hit with VeggieTales and Pocket Full of Rocks fans everywhere.” As one of 2006’s most successful new groups, Pocket Full Of Rocks has quickly garnered attention from all areas of the Christian music industry with their top-selling debut project, Song To The King. The album has seen success at Christian radio, garnering a top 15 AC and top 5 INSPO spot on the charts for the band’s debut single, “Song To The King.” “It’s an absolute thrill to be involved with Veggie Tales and the new LarryBoy DVD,” said Farren. “I had a great time working on this song and can’t wait for people to hear it.” (from Word Records)
As Cities Burn
Weeks ago, it was reported that As Cities Burn were planning to go their separate ways. Well, it seems that plan has changed a bit... "Thank you all so much for the emails, and conversations you have shared with us throughout the past month," the band announced late last week on their MySpace. "It is because of the overwhelmingly positive response we have received from each of you, that As Cities Burn has decided to stay together, and record another record. None of us are joining any other projects, TJ will remain in the band, and well be writing a new record this fall. To clear up any confusion, here is whats going on: We decided at the beginning of March while we were on tour with The Bled that As Cities Burn would be over at the end of August. T.J. was getting married and had decided to move on with his new life and settle down. We all decided we could not replace such an important part of the band, so we started making preparations to end the band, deciding a final tour was our best way to say thank you, and goodbye to all of you. Morale in the band was at an all time low at that point, and we had completely lost sight of what we were doing, and the purpose behind it. We had become worn out by seemingly endless time on the road and the struggles of trying to maintain some kind of normal life while touring. We were tired and weary; no one had the strength to pull the band back together. Now, months later, after being on our headlining tour for a couple weeks, we have had many opportunities to talk to you all about how As Cities Burn has impacted on your lives. Conversations we have had with many of you have been overwhelmingly touching and encouraging. Through all of this we have realized how much of a blessing this band is in our lives and the lives of many of our supporters. It has become clear to us that ending As Cities Burn right now would be extremely pre-mature, as there is much left for us to do as a band. We cant even begin to express how thankful and blessed we are by all of you that have encouraged and supported us over the past 4 years, and we are so excited to be continuing on to do another record. It was not our intention to be indecisive or deceitful through all of this, we deeply apologize for our inconsistency. Sometimes it seems that it takes a drastic situation to realize what is most important in our lives. Thanks to all of you for coming to our shows, and continually supporting us. Hopefully we will be seeing more of you as we finish out the summer and prepare to write a new record. We love all of you so much, God bless. -Colin, Cody, TJ, Pascal and Aaron" (from MySpace.com; Thanks to D. Doupagne & Mr. Taylor)
Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Camp has been super busy between becoming a dad again, recording his new record Beyond Measure, and helping his wife Adie with the pending release of her new solo project Don't Wait. "I am in the studio starting this week until the middle of June recording the new album," announced Camp in a recent newsletter. "This is seriously the most excited I have been going into an album. God has brought me around full circle in writing and just waiting on Him and hearing what he has to say. I feel that writing for this record has been as personal as my first album Stay, only under different circumstances. Will see how it all comes together. We are using four different producers for this album, which should be fun. God Bless you guys." Beyond Measure is targeted for an October 31st release. (from Jeremy Camp)
Underoath
Eager Madden NFL 07? According to GameSpot.com, Solid State rockers Underoath has joined the mainstream roster of high profile acts on the video game's soundtrack. The band's song that will appear in the new football game will be "You're Ever So Inviting" from their smash hit new record Define The Great Line. Madden NFL 07 will be released this August on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation Portable, and PC. The game is also being developed for the PlayStation 3 and Wii. (from GameSpot.com; Thanks to J. Pritchard)
Family Force 5
Family Force 5 rocked The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Friday night. The band's first appearance on the show also happened to be the show's season finale. The Late Late Show producers approached the group about aiding in the destruction of the show's set upon the close of their song. Sure enough, with cheap pawn shop guitars and baseball bats in hand, the band joined Ferguson after the completion of their hit song "Love Addict" in tearing apart the show's set! Once again, Family Force 5 brought down the house! (Pun sadly intended) For a brand new interview Jesusfreakhideout.com conducted with the band this Spring at GMA Week, click here! (from Jesusfreakhideout.com)
Red fans will be thrilled to know the band's brand new video for "Breathe Into Me" is available for viewing on YouTube! Surf on over to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBlhLGjGByc to check it out now! (from Red)
*Friday, July 14th, 2006*

GMA
There will be a decidedly festive Dove Award handed out for the first time at the 38th Annual GMA Music Awards after the GMA Board of Directors' recent approval of the addition of a Christmas Album of the Year Dove Award, announced GMA President John W. Styll. "By adding a new Dove Award for Christmas album, the board is recognizing that some of the finest gospel music projects produced each year are inspired by the holy celebration of Christ's birth and the joy of the Christmas season," Styll said. "After all, who better to honor Christmas music than a music organization dedicated to remembering the 'reason for the season' all year long?" All albums with a prevalence of recorded material related to Christmas that are released within the eligibility period qualify for consideration in the Christmas Album of the Year category. Christmas albums will not be eligible in other categories. The board approved the addition of the new category based on the recommendation of the Awards & Criteria Committee, which has made additional changes to the awards eligibility and voting. Click here for more details about these changes. (from GMA)
Mark Schultz
World Vision launches another major tour this fall The Broken & Beautiful Tour with two major Christian acts that are high-energy stage performers, Mark Schultz and Big Daddy Weave. The tour kicks-off in Decatur, IL on September 29th and will run through November. “World Vision is so grateful to have the support of Mark Schultz and Big Daddy Weave as they take the message of helping people around the world on one of this year’s major tours,” says Pamela Music, Director of Artist Associates for Word Vision. “Both of these acts are so heartfelt with their music ministries and bring such powerful worship to the stage that it results in a renewing and re-energizing of faith for everyone.” “We are hoping to make an impact with this tour that will challenge people with their faith,” says Schultz. “All of us serve a loving God and we need to extend that caring and support to children who are not as fortunate. I’m excited about sharing the stage with Big Daddy Weave and looking forward to each night’s performance where we, the performers, and the audience can raise our hands and voices in praise to the Lord.” Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave agrees with Schultz about the exciting possibilities of The Broken & Beautiful Tour. “Worship is the heart of the music ministry for Big Daddy Weave. When you can combine that worship with such a wonderful organization as World Vision and with the incredibly talented Mark Schultz, we hope to shake the rafters on this tour and to bring hope and salvation to a sometimes dark world.” Schultz is scheduled to release what insiders are calling his “career” album on September 26 that has the same title as the tour, Broken and Beautiful. The title track will also be released to radio later this month and was co-written by Schultz and Matthew West. Schultz has enjoyed an illustrious career to date with seven #1 hits, platinum selling artist, 2005 Dove Award winner,#1 on Billboard’s “Hot Christian Adult Contemporary Songwriters” list, “Letters From War” was the centerpiece of a U.S. Army campaign, Christian Music Today’s Male Vocalist in 2003, featured on the national magazine program, “48 Hours”, and was a sell-out concert at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Big Daddy Weave will also be releasing a new CD on September 26, Every Time I Breathe, that was produced by band member, Jeremy Redmon. The first singe from the new project, “Let It Rise,” is already getting airplay at Christian radio stations. The group’s previous album, What I Was Made For was the highest debut on Radio & Record’s AC chart and the project included two top 3 singles. The album gave the group its second #1 hit with “You’re Worthy Of My Praise,” that featured fellow labelmate, BarlowGirl. Big Daddy Weave will be featured on the Myrrh Worship Resource Vol. 1 – Let It Rain CD that also streets September 26. (from Bozeman Media)
Derek Webb
Derek Webb is feeling awfully generous these days. Webb made an announcement recently that his latest album Mockingbird will be available online... completely free. "I love music. I have grown up with music as a close confidant. And I believe in the power of music to move people," stated Webb in a recent online bulletin. "There's something remarkable about the way a melody can soften someone to a new idea. As an artist (and often an agitator), this is something I am keenly aware of. My most recent record Mockingbird deals with many sensitive issues including poverty, war, and the basic ethics by which we live and deal with others. But I found that music has been an exceptional means by which to get this potentially difficult conversation going. And this is certainly an important moment for dialogue amongst people who disagree about how to best love and take care of people, to get into the nuances of the issues. One of the things that excites me most about the future of our business is how easy it is becoming to deliver music to people who want to hear it. I heard a story once about Keith Green caring so much that people were able to hear and engage with his music that he gave it away for free, which was a very difficult and expensive thing to do at that time. It's actually never been as simple as it is today to connect music with music fans. And I want people to have a chance to listen to mockingbird and engage in the conversation. So this is why, on September 1st, we're launching freederekwebb.com, a place where anyone can go online and not just hear but actually download, keep, and share Mockingbird completely for free. In addition, freederekwebb.com will give you an opportunity to invite your friends to download Mockingbird in order to get them in on the conversation as well. We hope this bold campaign will provide a jumping off point for conversations about all of these issues, and communicate my commitment to playing my part in starting them. So please help us spread the word: on September 1st, Mockingbird will be set free! - Derek Webb." (from Derek Webb; thanks to Mr. Taylor)
Singer/songwriter Tammy Trent returns to Christian music with the release of I See Beautiful August 1. Produced by Tim Miner, Trent, John Mandeville and Tony Montana, the album marks Trent’s first full-length release in six years, after stepping away from the studio following the loss of her husband. Featuring 11 tracks that combine Trent’s signature pop sound with worship selections and introspective ballads, I See Beautiful is an autobiographical snapshot of the love, loss, healing and hope Trent has experienced since her husband’s death in a diving accident in 2001. Highlights of I See Beautiful include the title track, Trent’s revelation of choosing to see something beautiful in the worst moments of our lives; “Pray,” an offering of thanks and reciprocation to those who have interceded on her behalf; “Stop The World,” written just days after Trent’s loss; and acclaimed worship writer Kathryn Scott’s “At The Foot Of The Cross,” a deeply personal song for Trent. “I See Beautiful really captures so much of what’s important to me, in life and in music,” says Trent. “I love the fun, dance songs and the energy of wrapping yourself up in God’s life-giving truth. And I can’t imagine my life without worship. All these songs are my way of responding to God’s sustaining grace in my life.” “I knew it wouldn’t be an easy process,” Trent says of making I See Beautiful. “But I had to stop and take a good look at what God has done in my life, what He continues to do with each passing season. He’s bringing all the broken pieces back together. It’s not perfect, probably never will be, but there’s been progress in my life and somehow I wanted to share that with the world.” The album’s debut single, “Rescue Me,” which has been released to Christian radio, is one of the first songs Trent penned following the tragedy. “When you’re absolutely broken and you don’t know the right prayer, the right words, and you have nothing left to give, there’s nothing to do but throw your hands in the air and surrender,” Trent says of her motivation behind the song. “In that moment, God is the only answer you need. Somehow, God is enough. Always has been, always will be.” Trent has been a featured speaker and performer at Women of Faith conferences across the country since 2003, and she has also been a part of the organization’s REVOLVE Tour for teen girls for the past two years. Her autobiography, Learning To Breathe Again: Choosing Life and Finding Hope After A Shattering Loss, released in 2004 from W Publishing, followed by the 2005 devotional/gift book, Beyond The Sorrow: There’s Hope in the Promises of God, from J. Countryman. Trent has shared her story on The 700 Club, Focus on the Family Radio, and Family Life Today Radio, among numerous other outlets. Her self-titled debut released in 1995, followed by You Have My Heart in 1997, and the 2000 Sparrow release, Set You Free. Trent’s #1 hits include “My Irreplaceable,” “It’s All About You” and “Your Love Is 4 Always,” as well as the Top 5 hits “Welcome Home” and “Run To The Cross,” among others. I See Beautiful, a September Day Records release, will be distributed nationally by Infinity Music Distribution. (from Turning Point PR)
*Tuesday, July 11th, 2006*

Family Force 5
Maverick/Gotee band Family Force 5 will perform on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson this coming Friday, July 14th at 11:35am CST/12:35am EST on CBS. **The band informed Jesusfreakhideout.com that a special surprise will be happening (which we won't ruin for you!) since it's the show's season finale -- if it comes to fruition on Thursday's taping, you WON'T want to miss it!** Family Force Five continues to see an amazing response on the media front overall. This Thursday, July 13th the Atlanta-based five some will perform for a second time on DIRECTV’s CD USA, with the first performance being May 27th. (http://www.cdusa.com/Pages/Tune_In.aspx) Their music video for “Kountry Gentleman” also landed a spot on MTVU.com’s “The Freshman Class”. The band, who released Business Up Front, Party In The Back in March, has toured non-stop this year including a recent stint on the Vans Warped Tour. Family Force 5 also joined the Journey’s Backyard BBQ Tour, playing San Antonio, headlining Houston, and joining Switchfoot on the Nashville show. They’ve made the rounds at major summer music festivals this year as well, with shows at Ichthus, Alive and Cornerstone, and will be at the upcoming Frizon and Flevo festivals, two of the largest European music gatherings. At radio, Family Force 5 nabbed a #1 spot on both R&R’s Christian Rock chart, and the Christian Radio Weekly Rock chart with their single “Replace Me.” Their single “Love Addict” is currently going for adds at Rock radio. (from LB PR, Family Force 5, Jesusfreakhideout.com)
Switchfoot
Switchfoot is allowing fans a chance to finally share their cowbell skills with the entire world. "Click here for your chance to be flown to LA and play cowbell on our upcoming CD," a newsletter from the band announced this week. "If you win, you and a friend will be flown to LA for a day in the studio with us to play cowbell on a song for their upcoming CD to be released later this year! Just submit your info, and you're one step closer to cowbell shame... er, I mean fame. We'll see you in the studio!" (from Switchfoot)
RSJ
Rebecca St. James is taking "time out" in the month of July - a sabbatical time she has carved from her busy schedule annually over the last three years of almost non-stop international music tours, speaking engagements, and the writing of best selling music and books. Rebecca's latest book, She Teen, released in 2005 by Tyndale has been accorded the honor of being a top finalist at this week's Evangelical Christian Publishers Association ‘2006 Christian Book Awards,' being presented tonight in Denver. A relevant handbook for today's teen, Rebecca's book received sweeping national attention on its' release for its' unique high gloss "bookzine" format and uncompromising standards on ‘safe, healthy, and empowered' living for teen girls through the life application of biblical principals. Formerly the Gold Medallion Award, the nod from ECPA is Christian publishing's highest honor. Rebecca finds herself in the Book of the Year running in the category of books for Children/Youth - sharing the honor of the nomination in that category with more seasoned writers such as Jim George, and Max Lucado. Noted Cheryl Kerwin, Marketing Manager of Tyndale House Publishers: "This is the most prestigious award you can win in the Christian book industry. To have She Teen chosen as one of five titles nominated out of all the titles submitted, is a tremendous compliment to the book's value and to the work of Rebecca and her co-author, Lynda Hunter Bjorklund." "I'm very surprised and encouraged," noted Rebecca in learning of the accolades bestowed on her as an author. "In writing the book, it was my hope that it would be well received and become a practical tool for teen girls struggling with the pressures of the culture. To be recognized by ECPA for this effort is both very humbling and re-affirming to a young author." "Re-affirming" was exactly the description as well for Rebecca's appearance in June in Holland at the annual EO Youth Day-which attracted a crowd of more than 32,000 concert-goers for her headlining performance at the Gelredome Stadium near Amsterdam. She became the first artist to be re-invited for a third performance at EO (previous performances were in 1998 and 2000) for a 2006 return that was televised live on national TV throughout Belgium and the Netherlands to an audience of more than 1 million viewers. Noted Tim Dik, Music Director of EO: "Rebecca's concert was extremely well received-she and EO are a perfect match! She is a lovely person and great artist-I am looking for every opportunity to work her her again in the near future." In the near future for Rebecca is a well deserved month off - time to listen for the still small voice that will give her further direction on where the exciting journey of music and books may take her next. (from Morning Star PR)
Amy Grant
After selling over 25 million albums worldwide, winning numerous GRAMMY® Awards and countless other career milestones, Amy Grant is releasing her first live recording in 25 years with Time Again... Amy Grant Live on September 26th. In anticipation of this release and celebration of her illustrious career, Grant will be honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 19th. She is the first artist with roots in Contemporary Christian Music to receive such (Urban/Gospel great Al Green has previously received a star). The follow-up to her GRAMMY® winning album Rock of Ages…Hymns of Faith, Time Again... Amy Grant Live weaves a retrospective journey through a lifetime’s worth of Grant’s most treasured songs in her 30-year career. Filmed and recorded live in the exquisite Bass Hall in Ft. Worth, TX—the city of her very first paid performance – Grant invites audiences into her “living room,” even bringing a couch and painting from her own home as part of the intimate stage setting for the DVD. “I feel this project is marked by a longstanding relationship between a singer/songwriter and her audience, and I think you feel that,” remarks Grant. “That’s the unique quality of any artist/audience relationship that develops over a period of decades, because it’s not even about a particular song, it’s about the familiarity with something that’s been a part of your life for a long time. That’s why the whole emphasis of everything from the stage set up, the way we did the songs, the banter in-between, was ‘let’s highlight the familiarity, relationship and friendship – the shared experience.” The projects offer Christian and mainstream hits from the past 25 years including “Lead Me On,” “Good For Me,” “Stay For A While,” “Simple Things,” “Saved By Love,” “Out In The Open,” “In A Little While,” “Thy Word,” “Father’s Eyes,” El Shaddai,” “Oh How The Years Go By,” “Baby Baby,” “Eye To Eye,” “Ask Me,” “After The Fire,” “Carry You,” “Believe,” “Every Heartbeat” and “If These Walls Could Speak.” The CD additionally features a new studio recording of "In A Little While” and bonus material on the DVD includes behind the scenes/making-of footage, song-by-song descriptions, breakfast with Amy’s fan club, “fan cam” footage, “hanging with the band” and more. The brand new recording of “In A Little While” will go to AC/INSPO radio formats on July 28th, along with live versions of some of Amy’s biggest Christian radio hits. In addition, an XM Artist Confidential special will air street week, and longtime friend Michael W. Smith recently interviewed Grant for an upcoming Soul2Soul radio special where the two friends discussed songwriting, touring, and much more during a 1-hour long conversation. The radio special will air in 500+ markets the weekend of Oct. 6th. Grant will be launching a Symphony tour this fall where she will be performing with local symphonies in each market, including Atlanta, Nashville, Minneapolis, Kansas City and more. In addition, she will be filming an NBC Christmas special with several pro ice skaters including Kristy Yamaguchi and more. More information on this tour and special will be forthcoming. (from The M Collective)
The Crabb Family
INSP-The Inspiration Network today announced that Jason Crabb, a member of the top-selling Southern Gospel group The Crabb Family, will host the fifth season of its Christian talent search series C.A.T.S. The longest-running Christian talent search series on television, C.A.T.S. brings together 64 finalists selected from hundreds of entries throughout the country for the opportunity to win a national recording contact with a major record label. Music industry professionals and celebrity judges from the Christian entertainment genre critique the performances and select a winner. Ron Shuping, Executive Vice President of Programming for The Inspiration Networks, says that Crabb will bring a new energy to the program as it enters its fifth season: “We are excited to welcome Jason as host of C.A.T.S.,” says Shuping. “As a member of The Crabb Family, Jason has been wowing music fans all over the world with his amazing talent. We hope our viewers enjoy the enthusiasm and excitement that Jason will bring as the new host of C.A.T.S.” The Crabb Family is one of the most beloved groups in Gospel music. Among the group’s many accolades is: three Grammy® award nominations for best Southern, Bluegrass, or Southern Gospel Album (Live in Brooklyn, Driven, and The Walk); four 2005 Dove Award wins; 16 #1 songs on the national radio charts; yearly concert attendance of more than 800,000; and recognition by CCM Magazine as one of the “25 most important artists shaping Christian music today.” Individually, Jason Crabb’s accomplishments include “Favorite Male Vocalist” at the 2004 Harmony Honors Awards and “Favorite Young Artist” at the 2000 Singing News Fans Awards. The fifth season of C.A.T.S. will debut in January 2007 on INSP. Season four of C.A.T.S. airs at 10:00PM EST every Saturday on INSP. Check your local listings for channel line-up information. The current season of C.A.T.S. can also be viewed online at http://www.insp.com/cats/2006/. (from INSP)
Grammy nominated and Dove Award winning artist, Kim Hill, once again takes front and center stage in the Christian Rock music world with her latest release, Broken Things, that will street September 26th. Hill has teamed with 33rd Street Records for the new CD and it will be distributed nationally through the company’s distribution division, Bayside Entertainment Distribution. "Bayside is very pleased to welcome Kim Hill to our family of artist owned labels,” says Morty Wiggins, President, 33rd Street Records and Bayside Entertainment Distribution. “We're delighted to have a singer-songwriter of Kim's stature on our roster. Bayside's success depends on the quality of the music we distribute and an artist like Kim Hill makes our job much easier." Jay R. Schield, President of Over The Line, who brokered the deal between Kim Hill and the 33rd Street label, has strong expectations for Broken Things. "Kim Hill's connection with Bayside Distribution and 33rd Street Records is a solid match. Pure and simple, we all think it's a true rock record with something to say." Hill recorded Broken Things in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee with the award winning producer, Paul Ebersold (Third Day, Sister Hazel, Three Doors Down), at the helm of the project. Hill co-wrote five of the eleven songs on the new album and she personally asked some of Christian music’s premiere artists/songwriters to also contribute songs for the project. As a result, Mark Lee of Third Day penned with Marc Byrd “Lover Of My Soul” and with Rodney Clawson “Deeper,” Margaret Becker co-wrote with Hill, “Wide,” Jill Phillips “Blame Somebody Else,” Andy Gullahorn contributed two songs “You Don’t Belong Here” and with Chad Cates “Here Inside Of Me,” and Kate Miner wrote the closing number “Just The Same.” By returning to her folk-rock roots, Hill’s Broken Things is reminiscent of her 1991 Grammy nominated CD, Brave Heart. However, the new project leans more to ’70s & ‘80s classic rock with songs that are simply crafted and not overproduced….original modern sounds with retro moments. The track “A Million Pieces” sums up the feeling for the new CD, “She has finally seen the light that He loves broken things/So let all the pieces fall and see what that freedom brings.” And that faith and freedom gives way to the wondrous Grace that brings peace as Hill sings on “Here Inside Of Me,” “It’s amazing how the maker of the universe/The one who parts the waters and the sea/Who lives and reigns and watches over all the earth/To make His home right here inside of me.” Hill understands broken things having survived a divorce several years ago which left her as a single mom of two boys, and was a feature cover story last year in Today’s Christian Woman. Hill also leads worship at women’s conferences all over the country through Every Woman’s Hope and ministers to women facing various life struggles, shame, and heartache. Hill has first-hand experience with the brokenness that exists in our society….and within our Christian culture….. where people put on a brave front that everything is fine while all the pieces are falling apart. “Everyone has brokenness in their lives but when we embrace it and turn it over to God then the healing can begin,” says Hill. “And the brokenness applies to everyone, not just women, so Broken Things is a CD that can be enjoyed by men and even teenagers.” And Hill adds, “It was fun to get back to my folk-rock roots so the music could drive the message a little more.” For more information and updates on Kim Hill please visit www.kimhillmusic.com. (from Bozeman Media)
*Saturday, July 8th, 2006*

Newsboys
Word has finally surfaced on what has become of Newsboys newest project. Over a year later than originally announced for release, Newsboys newest album has been given an October 31, 2006 street date! Furthermore, Newsboys.com has begun taking preorders for $18.99, but it appears the double-disc album concept has been scrapped. Last year the band announced that the new album would be two records in one - a new worship project as well as a new rock album. According to the preorder information on Newsboys.com, the album will include 10 brand new tracks, along with 3 bonus songs, a "Behind the Band" video, and a "Behind the Album" video podcast. You can preorder from newsboys online and for a limited time receive an autographed copy! These orders will be shipped to your address prior to the October 31st street date. (from Newsboys.com)
The Afters
There is good news for gospel music in 2006 and it's not just in the message of the music. According to Nielsen SoundScan, gospel music album sales experienced a double-digit percent increase in sales at the mid-year point in 2006, compared to the first half of 2005. This marks the first time since 2002 that gospel music sales have risen in the first half of the year. When factoring in rising digital tracks sales (which were not tracked until two years ago), the total sales impact of gospel music adds up to a reason for rejoicing, says GMA President John W. Styll. "The first half of 2006 has been encouraging for gospel music," Styll said. "It is especially good news that the growth extends to a wide diversity of albums and styles, suggesting that the inspiring and compassionate message that unifies all gospel music is resonating in our culture today." As of July 2, 2006, 17,952,000 gospel music albums, including those sold via digital download, have been sold year-to-date compared to 16,085,000 albums for the same six-month time period in 2005. That represents an 11.6 percent increase in sales in a 2005 to 2006 year-to-date comparison. In contrast, the overall music business reports a four percent decline in album sales. Legal music downloads are accounting for a continually larger piece of overall gospel music sales. Of the total albums sold in the first half of the year, 502,000 were purchased digitally compared to 191,000 albums downloaded in 2005, a nearly 163 percent growth in digital album sales from the first half of 2005 compared with the first half of 2006. That growth is skewing slightly higher than the overall music business' 126 percent increase in digital album sales. As for individual digital tracks, 2,688,000 songs were sold through digital downloads for the same time period compared to 1,989,000 last year, a 35 percent increase. The top-selling digital track so far in 2006 is "Beautiful Love" by The Afters. According to Styll, no trend or style of gospel music has sparked the sales growth. "Take any album's individual success out of the charts and gospel music sales are still up. Both seasoned artists and new names are finding their way onto the charts. Consumers are buying gospel music where they want to buy music, whether at a Christian store, a general market retailer or on their computer. If there is any explanation behind the growth trend, it might be that we are seeing more acceptance in the marketplace for the gospel message, and hopefully, we are also finally experiencing a decline in music piracy," he said. Looking ahead to the second half of 2006, traditionally the stronger season for music sales with high profile fall releases and holidays generating bigger sales, gospel music will count on an impressive slate of new projects from high profile artists to maintain or improve on the current growth. Among the artists with upcoming new releases are Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, Hezekiah Walker, Jars of Clay, Jeremy Camp, Leigh Nash (formerly of Sixpence None the Richer), Mark Schultz, Michael W. Smith, Pillar, Relient K, Selah, Smokie Norful and others. Compilation projects with high hopes include Hip Hope 2007 and Three Wooden Crosses: 17 Inspirational Songs from Todays Top Country Artists and the perennially successful WoW Hits project. (from GMA)
Tooth & Nail Records, Solid State Records, and purevolume.com have teamed up to offer listeners the One Dark Summer exclusive digital sampler! Download over 30 free songs from Tooth & Nail and Solid State Artists now, including new music from Jonezetta, FM Static, Project 86, Underoath, The Almost, Classic Crime, Run Kid Run, and many more! Click here to access the free sampler! (from Tooth & Nail Records)
Dead Poetic
The new album from Dead Poetic, Vices doesn’t arrive in stores until October 31st, but Tooth & Nail Records is giving fans a first glimpse of the new album now. Check out the brand new song “Narcotic” on PureVolume.com and then check out Dead Poetic on tour with labelmates Showbread and Sullivan now! (from Tooth & Nail Records)
It's been a long wait, but it's almost over! The new album from Showbread, Age Of Reptiles, hits stores everywhere on August 1st! Age Of Reptlies is the follow-up to the band's debut release, No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical." Check out the brand new song "Oh! Emetophobia!" right now at PureVolume.com! (from Tooth & Nail Records)
*Friday, July 7th, 2006*

delirious
Pioneering modern worship group Delirious? has posted an online recap of its personal and professional activities over the past year and realized a special milestone as well: “We’re another year on, a decade since the band went full time and a seemingly endless number of days left in the tank.” Highlights from the past twelve months include the launch of the group’s popular new album World Service, plus its involvement with major ministries like Hope Rwanda and Hope HIV. Delirious? also has six concerts in the United States scheduled for this month, and members Martin Smith and Stu G. are working on a book based on 50 of the band’s best known songs. Read the entire “Cyber Small Talk” recap here. (from Sparrow Records)
Grits
Gotee records’ Grits has landed the big screen as their hit song “Ooh Ahh” (2006’s 7) is being used in both The Fast And The Furious: Toyko Drift, as well as Big Momma’s House 2 featuring comedian actor Martin Lawrence. Grits’ music has graced the movies before with the single “Here We Go” featured in Something’s Gotta Give starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, as well as music used in independent films including Devious Beings, Lockdown, and Road Dogz. Their songs have also been used extensively on television including shows like “MTV CRIBS,” “The Real World,” “Pimp My Ride,” “Tough Enough,” and “Boston Public.” The duo’s most recent album is simply titled 7 and marks a decade in the music industry. The album features 13 of the group’s breakthrough tracks, as well as three new songs plus the “Jay Mumbles- Mega Mix” as a special bonus track. While their first three albums established Grits as underground icons it was their breakthrough fourth album Art Of Translation that solidified the group's assent as one of hip-hop's hottest new rising stars. Grits cracked MTV2’s Top 10 Most Requested and Top 5 Handpicked and received favorable media coverage in the pages of XXL, Spin, Vibe, Billboard, The Source, URB and other major publications and media. Over the course of their career, Grits has shared the stage with OutKast, Jay-Z, Nappy Roots, Ice Cube, DJ Shadow, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Goodie Mob, and Monica. They have a Billboard Video Award, 3 Dove Awards, and 2 GRAMMY nods to their credit. Grits, who teamed up in 1993, is comprised of rappers Bonafide (aka Teron Carter) and Coffee (aka Stacy Jones). For more information and additional tour dates on Grits, check out www.gotee.com or www.Grits7.com (from LB PR)
The Swift
Rocketown Records recently announced the signing of four-piece pop band The Swift. The band will release its third national album and Rocketown debut, Singing Back to You, on Oct. 10 before heading out on a 30+-city fall tour with labelmate The Turning and special guest Josh Wilson. Founded as a worship band in North Carolina in 1998, piano man/ vocalist Britt Edwards and bassist/vocalist Mike Simons still form the core of The Swift, which followed up its 2002 self-titled debut with 2004's Today. Performing in front of thousands at camps and conferences each year as well as opening tours for Mercy Me and Audio Adrenaline, The Swift brings an active and devoted fan base to its new label home. Piano-driven and vertically focused, Singing Back to You unveils the band's deepening maturity and dynamic musicianship with stylistic leanings reminiscent of Keane and Ben Folds. The Swift's Edwards said, "All of our records have been and will continue to be worshipful because that's such a big part of what we've always done live. I call this our 'official' worship record because this is the first one that we've really concentrated totally on worship and what that means to us. With this record we are seeing God as a wonderful creator who has been, in a sense, singing to us through the beauty of creation, and this album is our response." The band's first radio single, "Nothing But the Blood," goes for adds July 28. In addition to a number of summer camps and conferences, The Swift will be supporting the Matt Stanfield-produced CD with the Fall 2006 "Back to You Tour" with RKT Music band The Turning and special guest Josh Wilson. The dates are currently being booked by The Breen Agency and Verge Artist Agency. Rocketown Records President Don Donahue said, "The Swift is a band I have known of for a couple years. They are men who take to heart the call to live Christ in front of kids on a daily basis. This project may be our first together, but it's been years in the making in front of camps and concert crowds across the nation." (from Rocketown)
Josh Bates
Josh Bates isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in - and for Mayfield Flavor Decision '06, that's Peanut Butter Cookie Dough! This up-and-coming contemporary Christian artist has announced his support for the unique peanut butter platform of cookie dough flavored ice cream, creamy peanut butter swirl and cookie dough pieces. "I used to love to eat cookie dough right out of the tube when I was younger, but I never really gravitated toward the cookie dough ice creams," Bates admitted. "But I said, ‘Wow! This is something different!' It was so different from all the other ice creams, and I thought this was a really good combination." The decision came after Bates and members of his band conducted a private "eat and greet" with all four candidates. Despite being an avowed chocolate fan, Triple Brownie and Extreme Moose Tracks were a distant second and third for Bates, with Blueberry Cream Pie pulling up the rear. Bates also admits that peanut butter, though typically prevalent in most kids' menus, was not a frequent part of his diet in his youth, so his instant attraction to Peanut Butter Cookie Dough was a surprise. "I think it's a young flavor," Bates said. "I think it will appeal to a younger group of people." This statement makes perfect sense for the twenty-something musician, who is currently on tour in support of his debut CD release, Perfect Day. Bates said the title track of the CD is one which he can most relate to his choice of ice cream candidates. "Mayfield Peanut Butter Cookie Dough is the perfect ice cream for a ‘perfect day,'" Bates quipped. Other candidates' headquarters have so far scoffed at the notion of celebrity endorsements playing a part in this fight for the freezer. A Blueberry Cream Pie representative, who asked to remain anonymous, said she thinks it's questionable for Bates to come out in support of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough considering the flavor's reputation as being "on the edge" and a "dark horse candidate." But Bates, true to his honest nature, takes the criticism in stride. "I think the ‘edginess' of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough goes right along with my personality," Bates replied. "Plus, I like to root for the underdog." Bates also hopes his participation in the political process will inspire kids to do their part through the Mayfield Flavor Decision '06 Kid Campaigner Contest, where they can campaign on behalf of their own favorite flavor for a chance to win great prizes. (Parents or guardians can get more information at www.MayfieldVote.com) For a photo of Bates with the Mayfield Mom and his beloved ice cream flavor, click here! (from Provident Music Group)
Superchick
Columbia/Inpop recording artist Superchick has been as busy as ever as they prepare for the mainstream launch of their album Beauty From Pain. The band recently filmed a music video in Los Angeles for "We Live," an original remix off the upcoming rerelease Beauty From Pain 1.1. Directed by Antti Jokinen (Train, Missy Elliott, Kelly Clarkson), the video has been playing on MTV Overdrive as well as on MTV.com and can be viewed presently at music.yahoo.com/premieres. Beauty From Pain 1.1 releases on Columbia Records/Inpop Records July 18. The group also recently met up with Olympic volleyball athletes while shooting a promotional spot for women's beach volleyball to air on the FOX Sports Network. The network tapped Superchick's "It's On " as its theme song for coverage of all women's volleyball events. (from Savvy Media)
Stryper
The Alabaster Artist Agency announced yesterday an exclusive, world wide representation agreement with rock super-group, Stryper. Alabaster Artist Agency (AAA) will represent Stryper and lead singer Michael Sweet for all concert appearances world wide. AAA recently opened its doors in Nashville as a partnership between record label owner and talent manager Steve Thomas and former William Morris Agency agent Mark Guynn. Stryper exploded onto the rock scene in 1984 with their EP The Yellow & Black Attack. Stryper was the first Christian rock band to land a deal with a mainstream record label when they signed with Enigma Records in 1984. The group, known for their piercing guitars and melodic vocals went on to sell more than 8 million records. The band got together for a reunion tour in 2003, reunited, and released their first studio album in over a decade in 2005 on Big 3 Records titled Reborn. The band has since toured both nationally and internationally consistently and there are plans in the works for more touring. “I couldn’t be more excited about representing Stryper,” AAA Vice-President and General Manager Mark Guynn said. “I’ve listened to the band for 20 years now and have always been a fan of their music. It’s an honor to represent them and I look forward to getting them out there again in front of their considerable fan base.” Enjoying the recent resurgence of Stryper, the co-founder and frontman of this legendary pop-metal outfit, Michael Sweet, releases the worship-oriented disc HIM, his first all-new solo effort in five years and his fourth career full-length album. Slated for an August 1, 2006 release by Infinity Distribution, the 11-track album HIM, co-produced by Sweet and longtime friend Kenny Lewis, represents the dream project Sweet has long desired to record. “This is the type of album that I hope will encourage people and lead them toward worshiping God,” Sweet says. Sweet will definitely be touring surrounding this new release. (from Big Machine Media)
Nevertheless
With offers from nearly every label in town, Flicker Records is excited to announce that they have signed indie-pop/rock band Nevertheless and the September 19th release of their debut, Live Like We’re Alive. "I heard seeds of greatness on the band's indie EP, along with an honesty and passion in Josh's voice that immediately got my attention,” remarks Blaine Barcus, VP of A&R for Provident Label Group. “I felt that same honesty and passion upon seeing their show. Nevertheless is a band of guys who are determined to make great music, but equally determined to communicate hope in a culture spinning out of control." It is this determination that gives Nevertheless an asterisk amidst their contemporaries in indie pop/rock. At first listen they would fit nicely in the vein of such bands as Jimmy Eat World, Further Seems Forever, and Cartel, except for one difference: Their songs deal in as much spiritual substance as they do in relationship experience. On Live Like We’re Alive, the band delivers diversity in emotion as well as depth in empathy, which are traits that are seldom found in the current rock context. “These aren’t just songs to soothe breakup sores or to feed the fires of crushes; they are also songs to mend deeper wounds,” comments lead singer and one of the band’s primary songwriters, Josh Pearson. “We chose to explore the entire spectrum of emotions on this record, not just teenage heartache.” At the heart of the album is an energy created by a dynamic between high and low, verse and chorus. Pearson’s voice soothes as soft moments give way to explosive guitars and driving beats. Structure is simplified without being compromised, to complement songs as a whole, and in the end, the album as a whole. Each instrument is but one variable in a song. Each song is a variable in the album, and the album itself is a variable in the equation of changing the listeners that Nevertheless touches with the music itself. “Our producer, James Paul Wisner (Underoath, Dashboard Confessional) really took the songs to a higher place,” continues Pearson. “It was also great to co-write with Kevin Kadish (Stacy Orrico, Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz) on several tracks. Recording the album was a process that really stretched us to our limits, but we came out sharpened on the other side. We have never worked so hard on anything in our whole lives. I feel like the process reaffirmed our reasons for doing this, because we had to give our all or go home.” “Flicker couldn’t be happier about working with Nevertheless,” said Troy Vest, VP Marketing and Artist Development for Flicker. “They fit in exactly with what we as a label strive for, and that is to provide amazing art from individuals that have something solid and meaningful to say to today’s world. These guys are passionate, talented and ready to work, and so are we!” Nevertheless’ first radio single (and music video), “The Real,” will hit radio this July, with the video following in early August, and having hit several summer festivals already, the band will continue to hit the road on Shoutfest dates and the Accelerate Tour this fall with two other new bands turning heads, Decyfer Down and Red. They will also spend a few weeks on the road with Maverick Record’s band The Finalist. (from The M Collective)
Needtobreathe
Mark the calendar, set the Tivo, whatever you must do in order to catch new rock band needtobreathe make its national television debut July 25 on ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” program. The South Carolina-based act will perform a song from its wildly acclaimed debut album, Daylight. In the meantime, needtobreathe’s first single, “You Are Here,” has broken into the Christian Hit Radio top ten, and the band’s co-headlining Love & Heat summer tour is underway. (from Sparrow Records)
*Monday, July 3rd, 2006*

Underoath
Tooth & Nail recording artist Underoath's latest project, Define The Great Line, claimed the No. 2 spot on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart in its first week of release. This marks the highest debut on the Billboard Top 200 chart for a Christian album since Lee Ann Rimes' inspirational project You Light Up My Life (Curb Records) debuted at No. 1 in Sept. 1997. The project sold 98,000 units for the week ending June 25, making it the highest first week sales mark in Tooth & Nail's history. It also marks the most units sold in the first week since Switchfoot's Nothing Is Sound (Sparrow Records) sold more than 131,000 units in Sept. 2005. Underoath's first week success places them in good company. Only Rimes, Switchfoot , P.O.D. (133,325 for Satellite), Michael W. Smith (123,820 for This is Your Time), God's Property (119,419 for God's Property From Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation), dc Talk (106,213 for Supernatural), Kirk Franklin (104,747 for The Nu Nation Project), and Jars of Clay (100,454 for Much Afraid) have had stronger first-week unit sales. Define The Great Line also debuted on No. 1 on Billboard's Hard Music chart and at No. 8 on its Digital Album chart, according to a press release. It claimed the top spot on the "Billboard Top Christian Albums" and "General-Market Retail" charts and came in at No. 2 on the "Christian Retail" chart. (from GMA; Jesusfreakhideout.com)
Falling Up
Falling Up has scanned over 150,000 records and become one of the hottest Christian market acts. Now the band has teamed up with Tedd T, Aaron Sprinkle, Trevo McNevan, tobyMac and more to produce a new record of remixes of all their hits, entitled Exit Lights. This isn’t just remixed tracks, but a whole new album of material based on their hits, as well as brand new songs. Exit Lights hit shelves September 12th from BEC Recordings. (from EMI CMG; Jesusfreakhideout.com)
Everyday Sunday
The recent purchase of Flicker Records by Sony/BMG has delayed the junior release from pop/rockers Everyday Sunday. "We are very excited about everything, and are working hard on the new album," lead vocalist Trey Pearson mentioned last month on the band's MySpace. "Unfortunately, that means you are going to have to wait a little longer until the record is actually released. But we promise, it will be worth the wait! It is by far the best album we have ever done before, and we cannot wait for you all to hear it! So, the good news is that we are still going to release a 3-song EP at the end of the summer to hold you over until the album drops everywhere. I can't wait for you guys to hear our new stuff!" We've heard some demos of the new material and we can confirm that it will be worth the wait! (from MySpace.com/EverydaySunday; Jesusfreakhideout.com)
Switchfoot
Following a server crash due to exceptionally high traffic, Switchfoot’s in-studio webcam is back up and fully operational. The San Diego rock band recently announced its plans to record a follow-up to 2005’s award-winning Nothing Is Sound. Billboard magazine reports the set is slated for November release. Between the studio sessions (that you can watch now via webcam), Switchfoot has several major summer concert dates scheduled including ten shows in Europe during August. For complete details, click over to www.Switchfoot.com. (from Sparrow Records)
Newsboys
Oriole Park at Camden Yards will heat up on July 7th - 9th when Franklin Graham, 648 churches, and newsboys come together for the Metro Maryland Festival. Evangelist Billy Graham is also planning to participate, health permitting. The Metro Maryland Festival will feature nightly messages by Franklin Graham and energetic and diverse music by award-winning artists, including Newsboys, American Idol finalist George Huff, Israel Houghton and New Breed, FFH, Andrae Crouch, Randy Travis, and long-time Billy Graham musicians George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows. Although Billy Graham held his final Crusade event in New York City June 2005, it wasn't the end of his personal ministry or his last opportunity to speak. Health permitting, the elder Graham hopes to support his son's event and offer words of hope to the community. The Metro Maryland Festival will be open to the public and free of charge. Main events start at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8, and at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, July 9. KidzFest will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 8. For more details, visit www.bgea.org (from Newsboys.com)
Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz traveled to Atlanta last week to film a video for the song "Everything To Me" from his new album Broken & Beautiful. "Letters From War" director Craig Miller returned again to produce the video. Like most of Mark's songs, "Everything To Me" contains an incredible story, this time dealing with adoption. Mark is currently working with many prominent adoption agencies to use the song to promote the cause. The video is expected to debut close to the release of his new album. The title track is the first single, and was sent to radio stations this week. Be sure to listen for it, and call your favorite station to let them know you want to hear Broken & Beautiful! (from Word Records)
Joshua Fest 2006 announces it official Labor Day Weekend lineup: September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, the Plumas County Fairgrounds in Quincy, CA will host the 4th annual Joshua Fest. This year will feature 3 packed days of Worship, Camping and over 80 bands featuring such artist as: Thousand Foot Krutch, Pillar, Skillet, Hawk Nelson, Seventh Day Slumber, Falling Up, Project 86, Disciple, StorySide:B, Kids In The Way, Family Force 5, Krystal Meyers, Dizmas, Paul Wright, Spoken, LA Symphony, Mainstay, The Fold, Aaron Sprinkle, Fair, Manafest, Stellar Kart, Brian McSweeney (formally of Seven Day Jesus), Run Kid Run, Decyfer Down, Nevertheless, Eleventy Seven, Slow Coming Day, Radial Angel, Everstays Red, RedCloud and Last Tuesday. In addition to the 80 plus bands Joshua Fest will also play host to several activities including: A Couples/Marriage Workshop, a Skate Park featuring pro demo's from the Boarders for Christ team, a Youth Leaders Only Lounge with workshops for youth pastors hosted by Interlinc, inflatable rides free to kids 12 and under, and Camp Jericho kid's area! Joshua Fest is located at the Plumas County Fairgrounds in Quincy, CA in Northern California between Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV on Hwy 70 in the Sierra Mountains. For tickets and group rate information go to: www.joshuafest.com or call 1-877-222-5674 (from Joshua Fest)
Eager for some new tunes for you iPod? InPop Records has released an online-only music sampler to download for free! The sampler includes 12 songs, including new music from Newsboys, Mat Kearney, Jimmy Needham, Foolish Things, Paul Colman, and more! Head on over to www.inpop.com/ipop2006 for the download. And tell 'em JfH sent ya! (from Inpop; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

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Music Out This Week

This Friday, June 22
Fades Away Resurrection Part I EP [Voluminous]

Here Be Lions Only a Holy God [Live] [Integrity]
Impending Doom The Sin and Doom Vol. II [eOne]
Javen Grace [Tyscot]
Lecrae Let the Trap Say Amen [Reach]
Plumb Beautifully Broken [Centricity]
Plumb Fight For Her Book [Shoe Publishing]
Matthew West All In (Re-Release) [Sparrow Records]
Urban Rescue Run (single) (Independent)

NEXT Friday, June 29
Hillsong Young & Free III [Capitol CMG]
John Mark McMillan The Mercury Sessions [Lionhawk]


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