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JFH Music News

JFH Music News Archive

May, 2004



*new as of Friday, May 28th, 2004*


RSJ
As critically acclaimed artist Rebecca St. James returns to the US following a highly successful European tour, the Australian native continues to garner considerable global mainstream coverage sparked by her stance on sexual purity. St. James was recently asked about her views on abstinence during an interview for Reuters International News Service in London. Her moral message she avidly promotes to teenage girls is now reaching additional millions as major broadcast and print media outlets report the story. Along with a Reuters UK Internet posting, which generated May 16 television coverage on CNN Headline News and online at CNN.com, St. James appeared on the nationally syndicated Fox News Live with Allan Colmes radio show and was featured on AOL’s AIM Celebrity news page. She also obtained recent print and web spotlights in The Washington Post and The Tennessean, as well as exposure in an India-based newspaper, New India Express, and Scottish publication, The Scotsman. “Rebecca was initially quite stunned that the original interview with Reuters in London had reached literally around the globe with such extensive coverage and such a profound impact less than twelve hours later,” says Peter York, EMI Christian Music Label President. “She was very encouraged that the message of purity— a platform of her ministry that Rebecca has been consistently passionate about—made international news through her comments at a time when abstinence issues have never been more relevant on the world stage.”

JoC
While attending a recent DATA rally in Philadelphia, Jars Of Clay's frontman Dan Haseltine informed Jesusfreakhideout.com of a new project they band is putting together in support of Africa. The Thousand Wells project is an attempt by the band to raise enough money to have one thousand clean water wells built in Africa. Hoping to raise at least a million dollars for the project in under two months, the band hopes fans will share in their vision to see the continent of Africa healed of the AIDS epidemic and poverty. We'll have more information on Thousand Wells as we hear about it. For more information on what Jars Of Clay is doing to help fight AIDS and poverty in Africa, visit the Blood:Water Mission website at http://www.bloodwatermission.org

Bebo Norman
Dove-nominated and critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Bebo Norman recently completed production on his fourth studio album Try, releasing at retail Aug. 24 on Essential Records. Recorded in the renowned Sputnik Studio (Jars of Clay, City on a Hill), Try combines Norman’s intimate songwriting with a new musical territory, working for the first time with producers Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay, City On A Hill series) and Matt Bronleewe (Michael W. Smith, Natalie Imbruglia, Michael Tait). Norman says, “I’ve never been as excited about one of my records as I am about Try, and the reason is simple…I think I’ve rediscovered the joy of songwriting with this new project. The songs are very simple, very straightforward, and more than ever, at the heart of where God has me right this minute in this life that I feel so blessed to live.” Norman’s lyrics continue to pull from his own life experiences, as his sincerity is revealed throughout each song. Robert Beeson, sr. vp of A&R for Provident Label Group, notes, “Try offers a maturity in songwriting that reflects a very spiritual and hopeful season in Bebo’s life. He, once again, is able to capture the simplicity of life and relationships, while going deeper in broadening his connection musically.” With a different production team from his previous albums, Try offers a fresh perspective from the talented writer. Norman takes a very human approach to the recording process with this album, describing the sound as “organic restraint.” Mitch Dane explains, “Bebo coined the phrase, ‘organic restraint,’ which to me meant making the production simply a back drop to the song. I wanted to keep it all about Bebo and his guitar. The first song we tracked was the title song, ‘Try.’ We were both so taken back with the passion and energy of such few tracks that we knew we were onto something great. It was ‘organic’ and we did use ‘restraint,’ but the passion and energy was a surprise and a breath of fresh air. After creating this sonic template, the rest for the songs just fell into place.” He adds, “The end result is a record that, I feel, sounds very real, honest and human, like Bebo. My prayer is that it will speak truth, hope and love into the hearts of the listener, as it has mine.” Described by the producers as “intellectually organic,” this album incorporates well-thought-out instrumentation, including mandolins, dobro and steel guitar. Matt Bronleewe notes, “Bebo breaks the mold of the traditional singer-songwriter, leaving no rock unturned in creating the best art he can. Whether it’s an orchestra or a toy piano, nothing is out-of-bounds – the song leads the way. It’s been amazing to work with someone so willing to push the boundaries and really stretch to make something lasting and unique.”

Supertones
BEC Recordings artist, the O.C. Supertones proves its staying power, releasing the band’s seventh national project in nearly as many years. Revenge Of The OC Supertones, in stores next month, features the group’s unique brand of rock, carrying with it a thoughtful message about God’s coming Kingdom. Reminiscent of the band’s early days, Revenge of the Supertones exudes a certain raw musical quality, while also reflecting the group’s significant instrumental growth spanning eight years. As Brandon Ebel, CEO of Tooth & Nail/BEC Recordings comments, “Revenge Of The OC Supertones is in the same vein as the band’s first three recordings but with modern influences. This is an artist that consistently produces relevant music without deviating from its core sound or message. They are truly timeless!” “We weren’t trying to make a slick record,” comments producer Mark Townsend (Relient K). “Revenge of the Supertones possesses a gut-level, raw element that will connect with rock fans, while also reflecting the natural ‘punkisms’ characteristic of ska music. It’s a very lyrically cohesive album as well, challenging people to be aware of where they stand regarding the Kingdom of God.” Conveyed throughout the record’s 12 lively tracks is a recurring theme of God’s Kingdom, promise of an eternal afterlife, and what needs to be reconciled in this world to prepare for the next. Songs like album-opener, “Wake Me Up on Time,” stresses the lyricist’s desire to be ready upon His return, while “Prince of Peace” is a cry for God’s deliverance from our earthly burden. Revenge Of The OC Supertones drops June 15.

The new Smalltown Poets recording is complete. The album is titled It's Later Than It's Ever Been and is scheduled to be in stores in September. The first single, "The Truth Is Out", will be released to radio in mid/late summer. The band is continuing work on a new website and their first email newsletter. Stay tuned!

dctalk
Bethany House, the same publishing company that released the million-sellers Jesus Freaks and Jesus Freaks II, is partnering once again with TobyMac and Michael Tait to release the 360+ page Under God which urges readers to take their stand for America's future by examining our past. Using unforgettable accounts of both famous and little-known Americans, Under God examines the stories of men and women who forged our nation. Against these, they pair the dark side of America's legacy—racism, slavery, injustice—in order that a new generation might seek God's face and avoid repeating sins of the past. Under God will be available everywhere mid-October 2004. (Story from dctalsolo.com)

Bethany Dillon
Congratulations to 15 year-old Bethany Dillon, whose first single, "Beautiful," from her self-titled debut album has cracked the Top 5 on Radio & Records' Christian Hit Radio chart. Having a hit song is just one of many new adventures in this intelligent young singer/songwriter's life. Posting in her online journal, Bethany writes enthusiastically about her recent first national tour with worship artists Shane & Shane, her first experience at the Dove Awards last month in Nashville, and how she just received her driver's permit (she'll turn 16 in September). Also a driving force at retail, Bethany Dillon, which released in April, is in the Top 40 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart and is the #2 most downloaded full Christian music CD on Apple's iTunes web site. ("Beautiful" is among the Top 100 downloaded songs at iTunes). Up next, Dillon serves as a guest album reviewer in the June issue of CCM magazine. She will perform at the Spirit West Coast music festival in California on July 21 and 22 and then gear up for her 40-city tour with Bebo Norman that runs August 24 through November 12.

Congratulations to Greg and Janna Long of Avalon on the birth of their baby girl, Lillian Flowers Long, born on May 17! The Longs sincerely appreciate your prayers during the pregnancy and ask that you continue to pray for their family as they take on their new roles as parents!

Phil Keaggy
Renowned guitarist Phil Keaggy has signed on as the latest client of Blanton, Harrell, Cooke & Corzine. Keaggy, a world-class master of fingerstyle guitar and a giant in the Christian music community, joins a stellar roster of artists served by the Nashville-based management company, including novelist Frank Peretti, up-and-coming vocalist Kara Williamson, and musical headliners Fernando Ortega, Joy Williams, Michael W. Smith, and Amy Grant. A six-time Dove Award winner for Best Instrumental Album (Wind & Wheat, 1988; Beyond Nature, '92; Acoustic Sketches, '99; Majesty & Wonder, 2000; Lights of Madrid, 2001; Hymnsongs, 2003), Keaggy was voted Favorite Guitar Player five years in a row by readers of CCM and twice took second place in Guitar Player's annual reader poll in the Best Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist category.

Pillar
On June 15, Pillar's rocking new album Where Do We Go From Here will be released. The band has recently finished a brand new music video for "Bring Me Down". It is being serviced to all Christian video programs/channels right now. The video will be going to Fuse and MTV on June 10 to coincide with the mainstream radio release of "Bring Me Down" on June 7. The band hopes to have the video posted on pillarmusic.com for you to view very soon.

Mark Schultz
The U.S. Army, with the assistance of Word Records recording artist Mark Schultz, is launching a new program, dubbed “Be Safe – Make It Home,” targeted at servicemen and women. The program, which launches on June 7, educates soldiers about potential hazards, most notably from operating motor vehicles, and informs the general public about the need to support servicemen to “Be Safe.” Schultz’s song “Letters From War” is the centerpiece of the awareness campaign. Schultz and the Army are producing a music video, training video and PSAs, all featuring the song, that will be used to educate soldiers and the general public of the Army’s high-rate of accidental fatalities. “Letters From War,” from Schultz’s current album Stories & Songs, deals with a soldier returning home safely from war. While the song was inspired by the diaries his great grandmother kept when three of her sons fought in World War II, the song’s message is as relevant today as it would have been 60 years ago. “Letters From War” has touched the heart strings of the country and is currently No. 6 on the Christian Adult Contemporary chart. “Statistically, this has been a rough year for Army accident casualties,” said Brigadier General Joseph Smith. “In an attempt to reverse this trend, the Secretary of the Army initiated the ‘Be Safe’ campaign to educate soldiers, with the end result of keeping them alive and well. We want our troops to be safe and make it home when participating in everyday activities that can lead to accidents such as driving, swimming and biking.” Since the beginning of the year, the Army has experienced 168 accident- related fatalities, 39 percent of which occurred in privately owned vehicles. Combine that figure with the almost 26 percent who are killed in Army motor vehicles and Army combat vehicles, and vehicular accidents account for 65 percent of accident-related fatalities. The remaining 35 percent of fatalities consist of fire, personal injury and aviation accidents. A key element in the campaign is a newly created safety video that will be shown to all troops. The video and other materials will also be available to Department of the Army Civilians, defense contractors and family members. “Letters from War” is featured in the training video. Schultz recast the final lines of the song to fit the Army’s safety campaign, and will be making public and media appearances, along with Army officials, in support of the campaign. A June 7th kickoff event is currently being planned.

Inpop Recording Artist James Clay just signed an exclusive management agreement with TenEntertainment, Inc. James is fresh off a 13 date tour with Shane & Shane, and radio singles Franklin Park (CHR) and Wicked Woman (rock) are currently impacting radio. The self-titled debut album is scheduled for a June 15, 2004 release. “Our focus is not to be the largest company,” states Shannon Brown, President of TenEntertainment,“ we want anyone who works with us to be confident that we are bringing them top quality artists. James Clay is a musician and songwriter whose integrity and talent go above and beyond our expectations. We couldn’t be happier to welcome him to our company, and are excited about his bright future.” James Clay has an amazing history that gives him maturity beyond his years. At an early age, his mother left his father and took James and his siblings to join a controlling religious cult in southern Georgia. Through God’s grace, James saw through their lies and found his answers straight from scripture. By the age of 14, he was working full time to support his family, doing anything from jobs as a chimney sweep to moving four to five thousand live turkeys a day at a turkey factory. While supporting his family he was also completing high school and beginning to write songs. Songs about grace and mercy and finding love from a heavenly father. Over the past 8 years, through his hardship he’s been perfecting his craft. Now with his debut project releasing, James’ story of overcoming adversity, positive outlook and his journey of faith can reach out to a world that desperately needs to hear.

Casting Crowns
Casting Crowns continues to set records as its second single, “Who Am I” claims all three No. 1 positions on Christian Radio & Retail Weekly’s radio charts. This marks the first time in the publication’s history a group has held the Adult Contemporary, Christian Hit Radio and Inspirational chart positions at one time. In addition to the CRW charts, “Who Am I” is No. 1 on R&R’s Adult Contemporary Monitored and Adult Contemporary Indicator charts, as well as, the Inspirational chart. “Who Am I” is also No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Christian AC chart and Hot Christian Singles and Track chart, as well as No. 1 on the PDAdvisor AC, CHR and Inspirational charts. The PDAdvisor focuses on the needs of Christian radio, featuring weighted, spin-based AC, CHR, and Inspirational charts, BDS airplay monitor research, SoundScan retail sales charts and radio and industry news.

Sparrow Records will release the debut album from Shawn McDonald, entitled Simply Nothing, on August 10. Supporting the project, Shawn's first single, "Gravity," hits radio stations nationwide on June 11, and McDonald will be on tour this fall with David Crowder Band. You can download the Microsoft 5.1 mix of "Gravity" by Shawn McDonald right now, at ShawnMcdonaldMusic.com.

Todd Agnew
Multi-Dove Award nominee and Ardent Records signature-voiced artist, Todd Agnew, will be prominently featured on two national, major market tours this fall and winter. Recently completing the successful, 25-city tour in support of his critically acclaimed debut, Grace Like Rain, Agnew’s career first as a headliner, he will additionally headline World Vision’s “In the Name of Love Tour” beginning this September and continue traversing the nation in November as a special guest on the Newsboys and Rebecca St. James “Adoration Tour.” The two-and-a-half-hour “In the Name of Love Tour” event is sparked by the recent EMI/Sparrow benefit project uniting popular Christian artists, including Agnew, to record chart-topping U2 songs. Promoting the fight against AIDS in Africa and offered exclusively by the Greg Oliver Agency, the tour additionally features new EMI/Sparrow artist, Starfield, who also appears on the In the Name of Love: Artists United for Africa album; Word/Curb/Warner band, Building429; and Fervent Records’ BarlowGirl, the all-girl band that traveled with Agnew on his “Grace Like Rain Tour.” Speaker Bryan Currie and renowned youth speaker David Nasser will emcee the “In the Name of Love Tour.” “We are very excited about the impact that this strong lineup will have on the tour,” says Pamela Muse, spokesperson for World Vision. “Not only do we have a great cause with these artists uniting together for the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Africa, but the strategic alliance with LifeWay Resource’s Centrifuge will help us to get the word out about the fall concerts and the tour’s ministry potential.”

Gospel Music Association's Female Artist of the Year, Stacie Orrico, is currently gracing the cover of Guideposts for Teens magazine in the June/July 2004 issue. In the issue, Stacie talks about beauty from within, making the best of stressful situations, and being a role model with her attitude, clothes and music. Stacie fans will definitely want to pick up a copy!

Essential Records pop group FFH recently visited the office of Dave Ramsey, host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Dave Ramsey Show, and best-selling author of Financial Peace and The Total Money Makeover. Preparing for the release of its fifth studio album on Sept. 28, FFH performed and lead devotions for the staff of 100.

*new as of Wednesday, May 26th, 2004*


Kevin Max
Kevin Max has just signed on to the role of Joseph in the Visalia Theatre Company / Hutson-Cavale Productions revival of the classic Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The musical tale of Jacob’s son Joseph and his eleven brothers has become a favorite of theater-goers worldwide since it’s debut over 30 years ago. “When we decided to do Joseph, Kevin was the first person who came to mind. His natural charisma and stage presence is compelling enough, not to mention he’s a great singer. We were thrilled when he agreed to be a part of our production,” stated Mike Cavale, one half of the team of Hutson-Cavale Productions. “I think this could open a lot of doors for Kevin.” “I have always been intrigued by the theatre, and I feel very connected to the persona of Joseph. I always love to challenge myself and broaden the scope of what I do, and I think this could be a very good process for me as an entertainer,” explains Kevin. “Add in the wonderful melodies, the excitement of the theatre and the extreme fashion statements – how could I say no?” Betsy Wolfe will be playing the part of the narrator. The remainder of the cast is still being assembled, and will be announced in the upcoming weeks. The show will be playing at the Visalia Fox Theatre in Visalia, CA. Performance dates are as follows: August 20-23; August 27-29; September 3-5. Tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat go on sale June 5 at 10am through Vallitix – www.vallitix.com - 888-825-5484, or through the Visalia Fox Theatre box office. Tickets are $35-$20. Group rates are available.

Audio A
YOU, YOUr church and YOUr community are formally invited to team up with Audio Adrenaline as they embark on The Hands & Feet Project (THFP). This mission’s objective is to reach out to the orphans in the impoverished country of Haiti. "Basically, we're going to be starting an orphanage," states lead singer Mark Stuart, "to house about 100 kids. Instead of calling it an orphanage or setting it up like an institution, we're beginning to see the vision of starting little homes with Haitian parents. We want these kids to be adopted by church families. We want to give the orphans we find a loving Christian family, a chance to grow up in a Christian school and go to Church." Interested in knowing what you can do to help? Stuart suggests:
1// Pray for the country of Haiti.
2// Financially support - for instance, getting your youth group signed up as a team (details to come).
3// Come to Haiti on a missions trip (possibly with Audio Adrenaline) to build one of 8 homes within the children’s village."
4// Spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested in participating.
An Audio Adrenaline CONCERT is going to be AUCTIONED ONLINE, as well as other items (Ben’s drum set), to raise the capital needed to launch The Hands & Feet Project. More information will be posted as it becomes available. There will be a special newsletter eventually, but for the time being make sure you subscribe to the AudioA.COM newsletter for the latest developments. Click here to see a couple pictures that Mark took in Haiti. The image is the perfect size to make it your desktop wallpaper. Help spread the news! Also, more information will be available in the future at www.handsandfeetproject.org.

RSJ
Rebecca St. James caused a stir in London recently that has been heard around the world. Interviewed by Reuters International News Service in London during her current European tour Rebecca was asked about her views on the abstinence message she passionately espouses. Views asked for included her opinion of Britney Spears, who also made a very publicized vocal vow of abstinence until marriage. "I feel sad for Britney," said Rebecca in a feature that hit headline news on both the worldwide website of CCN.com and CCN Headline News in the U.S. headlined 'Christian Rock Star 'Sad' For Britney.' "She has had an unbelievable amount of pressure put on her. She would have people from the top of her record label to her manager and her peers saying you've got to be more raunchy, show more skin," noted Rebecca. "It's like water on a stone, it just starts wearing away no matter how strong you are." Rebecca's concern extended not to taking shots at Britney but to the overall message being sent to the young by 'role models' from the world of entertainment-a message she feels is too often counter productive to purity. Her passion in talking to Reuters about the abstinence message is more than lip service. As proven by her last book "Wait For Me," which reached the #1 spot on the respected CBA charts in the U.S. and is now in a 9th printing in worldwide international release (including in the UK), abstinence is a subject the singer has invested not only her heart, but also a lot of time and research into. Coincidentally, the self-written anthem to "waiting"-aptly titled "Wait For Me" has been Rebecca's most enduring imprint song. In the UK alone, the spirited Aussie (she was born in Sydney) has her work with the message of abstinence cut out for her. A British study published by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2002, found that HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infects 46% of teenage girls after their first sexual intercourse. Since 1996, there has been a sustained increase in diagnoses of most STDs. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland diagnoses of gonorrhea have risen 87%, genital Chlamydia infection by 108% and syphilis by 486%. Staggering figures in a country that has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe. Rebecca, who awoke in Vienna this A.M. on the continuation of her May 12-25th tour of Europe, was stunned to learn that following her London interview with Reuters on Saturday she had made international headlines on Sunday. She's encouraged that because of the media people worldwide are talking-both pro and con. "I think most people understand talking about purity is an area young people need to be encouraged in as there's so much pressure to compromise on the issue these days. I think deep down people know it's the right way to go. Parents are constantly coming up to me and saying 'thank you for talking about this issue.' I even have single adults that have been divorced coming up and saying that the issue of purity is an area they need encouragement in as well. It's a message that's increasingly universally accepted and one that I almost always get very positive feedback on for my stand." CNN Link: http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Music/05/16/st.james.spears.reut/index.html

Kutless
Christian radio is creating a unique media foothold at the Olympics. With over 21,000 journalists from close to 200 countries the Olympics are the most media covered event. Christian Media for a long time has been out of the loop on this, though no longer. This summer in Athens, Greece for the Olympic Games Christian Radio stations around the world will be utilizing Christian musicians as their on the scene reporters. Providing daily live updates from the scene of the action with such musicians as the radio and retail successful group Kutless and national newcomers Loudmouth Worshippers. In the shadow of Mars Hill at the Acropolis to the seaport of Corinth, these Christian musicians and more from around the world will be performing at various venues around Greece during the games, coordinated by GOfest.org. Not just reporting on the action these musicians will have the unique opportunity to be a part of the Olympic experience. Radio stations using these musicians include such national networks of KLOVE, Air-1 and the Effect Radio as well as dozens of local stations across the country, providing the largest Christian Media coverage of the Olympics, ever. Watch for Loudmouth Worshippers‚ single "Mighty Flame" going for station additions in late July. Kutless‚ song "Sea of Faces" is currently in the Top 20 on the AC radio charts. This is GOfest.org's third Olympic outreach involvement.

New EMI Christian Music Group artist, Something Like Silas, preparing to launch its brand of alternative rock-worship June 15 with Divine Invitation, recently returned from South Africa after performing for over 100,000 people in Malawi. Helping found the emerging church in San Diego called Flood four years ago, where Something Like Silas continues to lead worship most Sundays for almost 3,000 worshippers, the band joined Flood’s mission trip to Malawi. Engaging the crowd as part of the half-time entertainment at soccer (football) games, the band performed in stadiums in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba and Chichiri, and one indoor event in at the University of Malawi. “Putting on stadium events across the country, traveling between cities on a little shuttle-bus that you knew it was only a matter of time before it broke down and playing for over 100,000 Malawians is only the logistic and boring report of it all,” reflects Eric M. Owyoung, the band’s leader, songwriter and vocalist-guitarist. “Interweaved within the events are experiences that can never leave you the same, experiences that leave you confused on how to respond-- ‘should I laugh with joy or should weep with compassion?’” While in Malawi, the band visited two ministries for orphans run by Children of the Nations, each with a feeding program. The orphanage visited in Chitipi houses and feeds some 75 orphan children. “Though it is widely common for the normal little village home - or hut - to be full of orphans themselves, the orphanage is there to help ‘the leftovers’ of society, those who have been double orphaned and do not have even secondary caretakers,” notes Owyoung. “Yet, I have never seen a group of such well behaved and exuberantly playful and friendly kids in all of my lifetime in America. Looking down at dozens of orphaned kids who are clenched to your legs can make you feel like your life is done, full, complete. I will never forget some of their faces.”

Newsboys
$100,000 in cash and prizes will be shared by 50 winners in 16 categories in the 2004 International Songwriting Competition (ISC). All musicians, bands, artists, and songwriters are invited to enter their songs. Since its inception in 2002, ISC especially takes pride in its judges and this year is no exception. ISC 2004 offers both aspiring and established songwriters the opportunity to have their songs heard by a prestigious panel of judges that so far includes: Sean "P.Diddy" Combs (Grammy award-winning Artist, Producer/Songwriter)
Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC)
Aaron Lewis (Staind)
Sully Erna (Godsmack)
John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting)
Macy Gray (Grammy award-winning Artist)
Scott Kirkland (The Crystal Method)
Monte Lipman (President, Universal Records)
Stacey Earle (Americana Artist)
Clint Black (Grammy award-winning Country Artist)
Tracy Gershon (Sr. Dir. A&R/Artist Rel., Sony Records Nashville/Producer, Nashville Star)
Alan Meltzer (CEO, Wind-Up Records)
Kim Stephens (VP of A&R, Lava Records)
Peter Furler (Lead Singer/Songwriter, The Newsboys)
Chris Parr (VP of Music Programming & Talent Relations, CMT)
Michael McDonald (President, ATO Records)
Paul Asher (Co-President, Sanctuary Artist Management)
Many more judges will be added soon. ISC's mission is to provide songwriters and musicians exposure in the international arena. Aside from the cash and prizes, ISC winners will also benefit from a promotional campaign that includes an annual compilation CD distributed to A&R executives, artist showcases at various conferences, air-play on ISCRadio, and more. Categories for 2004: AAA/Roots/Americana, Dance/Electronica, Jazz, R&B/Hip-Hop, Blues, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, Lyrics Only, Rock, *Children's Music, Gospel/Christian, *Performance, Teen, Country, *Instrumental, Pop/Top 40, World (*New for 2004) Enter your songs now! Visit songwritingcompetition.com for updates, an entry form and more information.

SCC
Award-winning singer/songwriter recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman and Family Christian Stores partnered this past Christmas, and continued to work together this Easter season, to promote two analogous and generous operations - the Chapman family's Shaohannah's Hope Foundation and Family Christian Store's The James Fund. In just a few months, $50,000 has been raised with this joint venture, benefiting orphans across the world. Beginning this previous Christmas season, Family Christian Stores offered the sale of the James Fund teddy bear, nicknamed Barnabas, for $5.00. The bear was then donated to an orphan or personally adopted with the funds going to the united foundations. The promotion proved an instant success as over 25,000 James Fund bears sold in six weeks. Because of the tremendous demand, the second phase of this promotion launched this Easter season. The adopted stuffed animal, the Shaoey Bunny, named after the Chapman's first adopted daughter, benefits Shaohannah's Hope, the foundation named in her honor. The Shaoey Bunny is also available for $5.00. The overwhelming success of the Barnabas bear sales prompted Family Christian Stores to create an additional amount of Shaoey bunnies, offering the purchase of over 35,000 bunnies. To date, there is just a handful left at Family stores nationwide. Thus far, $50,000 has been raised and presented to Shaohannah's Hope Foundation and The James Fund. This promotion, in progress through May 9th, continues to raise more funds on behalf of this partnership. The Shaohannah's Hope Foundation exists to care for orphans by engaging the church and helping Christian families reduce the financial burden of adoption. These families can provide not only love and support but also provide a child with the knowledge of God's plan for his or her eternal life with a forever family.

Reese Roper recently flew to San Francisco to start recording the album for his new venture Roper and to get the band's website up and running. They would love suggestions from you in three areas. First, what kind of things you would like to see on the website; Second, what bands you would like to see Roper tour with this fall and finally they are taking suggestions for a theme on their first tour. You can email your ideas to news@roperisdumb.com

The Insyderz' Joe Yerke and his wife Leslie had a baby! Welcome to the world little Ella Grace! She was born April 16 at 6:15pm and is happy and healthy… gotta wonder what lullabies from her Dad sound like…

On April 24, Mourning September’s lead singer Tony Chavez married his longtime sweetheart Alicia in Broken Arrow, OK. The remaining three-tourths of MS – Dave, Zach and Josh, served as groomsmen while Tony’s brother, Natha, served as best man. Guests were treated to a preview of the band’s new album as the happy couple marched out to “April Dreams,” a song Tony wrote to commemorate the day. The two then spent two weeks in Cancun! Congratulations Tony and Alicia!

Sanctus Real
Help Sanctus Real kick off the release of Fight the Tide on Friday June 18th at the Mill! The band will be raffling off some pretty cool prizes to those that buy a CD at the show, including one autographed guitar from Peeler Music in Toldeo, OH. The show will sell out, so get there early to ensure your place! Sanctus will also be there early signing autographs from 4-5 pm. Check the SanctusReal.com tour page for all the details!

Tickets for the last Bleach show in Nashville on Aug. 29th should be on sale in a couple of weeks. You will definitely need to buy in advance as this one will sell out. As some of you know, Relient K has confirmed to play the show and the rumor has it that they will cover a Bleach song in the show. You should email them and let them know which song they should cover. Make sure you come visit the guys if you plan on hitting one of the summer festivals. They will have some new merch on display that should become collector’s items.

Tooth & Nail have just posted an mp3 from Joy Electric's forthcoming album, Hello, Mannequin, at pureVOLUME.com! Hello, Mannequin is electronic music made the way it was originally intended, with a slight nod towards the future! Check out the song "Disloyalist Party." and then pick up Hello, Mannequin in stores June 1st!

Rachael Lampa has been busy working on her new album and is putting final touches on including some exciting guest appearances. The album releases July 27th and Rachael will be in Atlanta for Word @ the Tabernacle for the release week.

Arch Music Group signs Christian artists Sojourn Fare to its roster. Nathan Gaddis and Jordan Roe, half the members of the Grammy nominated group True Vibe, formed Sojourn Fare in 2003. The name Sojourn Fare refers to a passage in Hebrews 11 that reads: "They agreed that they were nor more than foreigners and nomads here on earth. They were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland." The duo has used this to define themselves as "strangers in a foreign land, seeking our true home with the provision and sustenance given to us by our King." David Williams, President of Arch Music Group, met Roe and Gaddis in early 2004 and was instantly drawn to the vision the two shared. "Over the last year, Nathan and Jordan have gone through some radical changes," comments Williams. "They have come out of a group that was very successful in the eyes of the industry. Every measuring stick we use to evaluate success, from record sales totaling over 300,000, as well as five top five singles with two number one's, to Grammy nominations for their last record, was achieved during their tenure in True Vibe. Yet, out of this model, they came out on the other side wanting to do things differently. They desire to establish a solid ministry with a focus on discipleship". How different is it? Whether you are describing the music or the group's vision, the best word to use is vulnerability. To start, the music is an acoustic guitar-driven sound complimented by piano and a thick worship leading background shared by the two. "The music that we are creating now is real," comments Gaddis. "It comes from a place that is vulnerable in us and a place that wants people to know what our walk with the Lord is like".

Bible Factory Outlet in Grapevine Mills (Grapevine, TX) joined Dallas' KLTY in a Brown Bag Concert with Inpop recording artists, Shane & Shane and James Clay. Shane & Shane performed selections to over 2,000 people from their upcoming June 1st release, Upstairs, and fans were treated to a few songs from the self-titled debut from James Clay, also due out in June. Independent artist Jeff Johnson rounded out the roster for the concert and album signing event.

*new as of Friday, May 14th, 2004*


Michael W. Smith
This Sunday, May 16, Bono, Dikembe Mutombo, and Michael W. Smith will join on stage to unite against the Africa AIDS Crisis! This event is FREE and open to the public. Please go to www.data.org to download your free tickets now! This event will be at 1:30amEST at Independence Mall (5th and Market) [Rain location: The Trocadero Theater, 1003 Arch Street]. Following the rally, Jars of Clay will lead a worship service at 4pmEST at Philadelphia Cathedral (3723 Chestnut Street) with World Vision's Rich Stearns. Doors will open at 3:30pm: first come, first serve. Please join us in a celebration of hope and unity!

Blindside
This just in... Blindside's scheduled performance at ACES BASEMENT on FRIDAY MAY 22ND has been postponed. The guys have been given a very exciting opportunity (which they can’t talk about just yet...). The band wants to apologize to all who bought tickets. If you have, check with the club or your local ticket outlet for info on what to do with your tickets and we will announce the NEW date as soon as possible. It will be routed into the headlining tour the band is working on now for August/September...

Rachael Lampa
Dove Award-winning female vocalist Rachael Lampa is preparing for the release of Rachael Lampa, her third studio album. The self-titled project will release July 27 and, for the first time, features Lampa as co-writer on all of the album’s eleven tracks. Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning music legend Tommy Sims (Eric Clapton, Amy Grant, Michael McDonald, CeCe Winans), Rachael Lampa includes a variety of musical styles, from pop to rock to funk to modern adult contemporary, all showcasing Lampa’s celebrated vocal abilities. The project features a guest appearance from multi-award winning and critically acclaimed steele pedal guitarist Robert Randolph and his performance and vocals on “Good Life”. Additional standout tracks include “When I Fall,” “All This Time” and “No Other One.” Nineteen-year-old Lampa’s songwriting was influenced by events in both her personal and professional life, including her five years of touring and recording experience. “This album is a true representation of who I am as an artist, both lyrically and musically,” shared Lampa. “Although I wrote a bit on my last record, this is the first time I have truly expressed myself from the first song to the last. This past year has been a year of growing pains for me, but I hope that, with these songs, I have effectively communicated the joy and love that our Father has for us – no matter what situation we may find ourselves in.”

Grits
Hip-hop recording act Grits steps up the pace in 2004 with both a recent Dove Award win and two albums set to street in June and November respectively. At the recent 35th Annual Gospel Music Awards, Grits took home the trophy for “Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song Of The Year” with their single “Believe” from The Art Of Translation. “Winning this award is just a great feeling,” said one half of Grits, rapper Coffee, “To be appreciated in this way among our peers, especially being hip-hop, shows that the genre is gaining more attention in the Christian music industry.” This accolade for Grits’ 2002 album is accompanied by a string of other successes including the song “Here We Go” being featured on “MTV Cribs” and “The Real World”, as well as being used in the recent box-office smash hit “Something’s Gotta Give” starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. The Art Of Translation, which is selling consistently and nearing the 150,000 sales mark, also made an impressive showing on the CMJ Hip Hop Chart with a peak position at #11. Dichotomy A, the first of two albums to release this year, ushers in a more aggressive sound for the group with Dichotomy B rounding it out in a November unveiling. Both albums offer fans a total of 24 songs, ranging from soulful vibe to a dancehall flavor. Producer credits for Dichotomy go to Grits, as well as Otto Price (Out Of Eden, Toby McKeehan, Barlowgirl). The radio promotion plan surrounding Dichotomy includes servicing of two singles to Christian radio with songs “Hittin’ Curves” and “Pardon Me Yo”. A music video for “Hittin’ Curves” is also being serviced to television and music video outlets nationwide. On the tour front, Grits is currently on the See Spot Rock 40-city nationwide tour along with 12 Stones, Skillet, and Pillar, with more touring plans underway.

The Passion Of The Christ
Mel Gibson's Icon Productions has set Aug. 31 as the debut date of the DVD release of The Passion of the Christ. Few details have been given, with the exception that it will be able to be viewed with either English or Spanish subtitles and priced at $29.98 on DVD and $24.98 on VHS. No mention of any DVD "extras" that may be included in the release yet, but Video Store magazine reported that "customized church sleeves" will be available for bulk orders from churches and directed those who are interested in selling it at churches to contact the Christian Booksellers Association.

Kevin Max
Kevin Max is getting active again. With plans for a new independent EP and starring in a stage version of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, KMax recently left this post on his official message board... "How is everyone?... so, just to give you all another rambling update. I am in the middle of finishing off the EP design and ready for manufacturing soon, Randy has been very helpful in the process and we have a goal for a release at the end of this month, beginning of June. Hopefully i will be able to have some copies on me when we take over Bongo for another intimate set of poetry and rock and roll. We originally had planned to play 12&porter but then thought the intimate setting would be more of an alternative homecoming. As many of you know the JOSEPH thing is a done deal now and i will be performing the month of august through the middle of september, i am then hoping to be back over in Europe, South Africa and Brazil doing catch up shows. I am so excited to get the new book out as well but i am cautious about timing and marketing, i want to find a publisher for this one, unlike Detritus which was so user friendly. As for Soupernatural, Julie Matthews called me today and had great news and wants to become a member and keep you all up to date on the progress of the film. I am also involved with another Independent project with our own TvMan. If he wants to talk about that he can. Look forward to that as well, so the books are filled and time is precious again. Thanks for being my friends and online family, I look forward to performing near you soon. peace love and old duranduran video's. KevinMax." For more details, surf on over to KevinMax.com

Michael W. Smith
On July 9, two of the music industry’s most lauded artists, multi- platinum, Grammy and American Music Award winner Michael W. Smith and the million-plus selling Gospel Music Association’s Group and Artist of the Year, MercyMe will partner to launch the highly anticipated “One Nation Tour”. The co-billed tour, partnered with Compassion International, will feature special guest David Crowder Band. The 30 + city tour will visit major venues, parks and fairs covering an expansive range from east coast to west in the U.S. and Canada, from the debut concert in Birmingham, Alabama to a wrap-up on August 22nd in Charlotte, North Carolina at Carowinds. (All dates subject to change) The tour provides the opportunity of a second teaming for Michael W. Smith and MercyMe, who shared the stage on “The Celebration Tour” in 2003, which drew an audience of more than 200,000. The concert event marked Smith’s 20th Anniversary in music, and proved to be one of the most successful tours of his career. Smith comments, “It’s going to be great to be on the road again with the guys in MercyMe and David Crowder. My hope is that every night of this tour everyone, myself included, will be challenged in a new way. It’s going to be great evening of music and worship.” The “One Nation Tour” is expected to be enthusiastically embraced by concert goers. “Working with an artist with the history, talent, and integrity of Michael W. Smith is a privilege,” remarks Clear Channel promoter Ted Mankin. “I’ve worked with him for twenty years, and look forward to twenty more. His entire organization has always been a straightforward, fair group.”

Pc3
Inpop Records announced today that it has finalized a recording agreement with Paul Colman, former frontman and founding member of Dove Award-winning Aussie group Paul Colman Trio (pc3). Colman, who announced plans to lead a solo career earlier this month, has already begun an impressive career as the leader of pc3. The band was named the Gospel Music Association’s New Artist of the Year in 2003 and one of 2002’s Top Ten Breakthrough Artists of the Year by Radio & Records. The group’s debut project, New Map of the World, received a GRAMMY nomination for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year and a Dove Award for Pop/Contemporary Album in 2003, along with producing two #1 radio singles and giving the Trio an opening slot on Third Day’s 2002 “Come Together” Tour. “I am very excited about signing to Inpop records,” said Colman. “Peter and I have been mates for years and it is wonderful to be able to now work alongside each other, making music that glorifies God and shares His love and grace with the world.” “Paul has been a good friend of mine for years and I love his heart,” said Newsboys frontman Peter Furler, founder and co-owner of Inpop Records. “We cannot wait to be a part of his future because I think the best is yet to come for Paul Colman.”

Here's recent sad news from Pillar. Please keep lead vocalist Rob Beckley and his family in prayer... "Rob's mother-in-law passed away this morning. Please keep his wife and their whole family in prayer. We canceled our two shows this weekend (May 14/15) so they can be with family and at the funeral. We hope all who was planning to attend the shows this weekend understand. -- Pillar"

Third Day
GRAMMY and Dove Award winning rock band Third Day is celebrating an unprecedented first week of sales following the anticipated May 4 release of its brand new studio album, Wire. With a total of 61,106 units scanned, Wire debuts this week at No. 1 on Neilsen SoundScan’s Top Christian Albums chart and Top Current Contemporary Christian chart, while landing at No. 12 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. It marks the biggest first-week sales ever for Third Day. “An incredible six months of team work displayed itself this week between the band, management, Provident Label Group, radio, retail and the fans,” said manager David Huffman, chief operating officer of Creative Trust, Inc. “We never imagined we would be able to achieve and supersede these goals. Third Day fans are incredible and have shown they’re glad to see and now hear a new record from their favorite band.” Wire also debuted on Apple iTunes’ music service as one of the top-ten most downloaded play lists, along side artists including Maroon 5, Norah Jones and Diana Krall. More than 1,000 Third Day fans gathered at Atlanta’s historic drive-in restaurant The Varsity last week to celebrate the release of Wire at a special post-concert party that followed two sold-out performances at The Fox Theater. The two hometown concerts were a stop on Third Day’s 85-city Third Day Live tour with special guests tobyMac and Warren Barfield. The tour, sponsored by World Vision and Chevrolet, has already been seen by more than 95,000 in the first 19 shows.

Jaci Velasquez
Multi-award-winning and platinum-selling artist Jaci Velasquez took home her second Billboard Latin Music Award recently. Velasquez' fourth Spanish-language album, Milagro, captured the Billboard Award for "Latin Christian/Gospel Album of the Year" at the Billboard Latin Music Awards on April 29th. Velasquez has experienced great success as both a Christian and Latin performer, with RIAA-certified Platinum albums in both genres, and multiple awards for both her English and Spanish language projects. In addition to five Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards for her English projects, the acclaimed female vocalist has received two "Spanish Language Album of the Year" Doves, including one in 2003 for Milagro, along with two GRAMMY Award nominations for her Latin performances, a Latin Grammy nomination, and numerous other accolades from the Latin industry.

Newsboys
Premier Christian Cruises (PCC) announces its 2nd Annual K-LOVE Friends & Family Music Cruise. The K-LOVE Friends & Family Music Cruise 2005 sails on January 23-27, 2005 from Port Canaveral, FL to Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas aboard the Carnival Fantasy. Hosted by K-LOVE personalities Jon and Sherry Rivers and Mike Novak, the cruise will feature a lineup of acclaimed Christian artists, including the Newsboys, ZOEgirl, Big Daddy Weave, Mark Schultz, SONICFLOOd, Brother’s Keeper, Natalie Grant, Salvador, Joy Williams, Todd Agnew, Matthew West and Everyday Sunday. Other featured guests include inspirational speakers David Nasser and Phil Newberry, comedians Jeff Allen and Mike Williams and illusionist Brock Gill. The K-LOVE Friends & Family Christian Music Cruise’s maiden voyage last January sold out in just 13 weeks after sales began in April 2003. The 2005 cruise begins its sales already with more than 60% of the cabins booked in advance. However, with 1,026 staterooms, a six-story atrium, a 1,300 seat state-of-the-art theatre, two smaller concert venues, and an outdoor stage on the ship’s deck, the 2005 cruise aboard the ms Fantasy will accommodate 2, 600 passengers, significantly more than the first. “After the huge success of our maiden cruise, we didn’t think twice about obtaining a larger ship for 2005’s K-LOVE Friends & Family Music Cruise,” Roy Morgan, founding partner of PCC. “And chartering the entire ship allows us to program the entertainment for the cruise, creating a family-friendly atmosphere for the artists and passengers.”

RSJ
Rebecca St. James is going back to Europe this week. One of the most successful Christian artists in the world, she's excited about the prospect of again performing for European concert goers -a scenario she has repeated for audiences literally all over the world. Pretty rarified stuff for an artist whose music has taken her to the heights of international popularity-and who just a scant two weeks ago won a coveted Dove Award for her portrayal of 'Maggie' a "girl of the streets" in the controversial rock opera musical "!Hero," which swept the States in a tour of multiple sell-outs last fall. The Continent holds a special spot in Rebecca's heart from past touring. "We've visited Europe quite often now and have a real passion for touring over there," she noted in a recent interview. "I grew up in Australia which hardly ever gets any international performances. I know what it's like to live in a country where you read magazines and see all these tour dates-and I remember as a kid getting all excited with 'Oh...when is this tour coming to us!'...only to realize 'Oh it's only in America!' Or...'how cool is this band!'...and again they were only touring in America! So I can relate to how so many young Christians feel in Europe. We have invested a lot of time in going to Europe-as well as to Australia and New Zealand and I feel very passionate about the importance of continuing that. I'm excited about going back to over for this tour! The audiences are just so excited that someone would come so far to play for them. The enthusiasm is just awesome. I'm looking forward especially to going back to countries like Austria and Germany-we'v! e only been once each-and now getting to go back and establish a bit more of a relationship with the people there is going to be wonderful." On May 12th the international outreach aspects of Rebecca St. James' music and ministry launched in earnest for the schedule of European concerts that carry through May 25th.

Smalltown Poets
Smalltown Poets just finished up in the studio and will be releasing their new album later this summer. We will keep you up to date on that. You can also check out what's up with the guys at http://www.smalltownpoets.com! Haven’t heard these guys before? Well they have release 3 albums with ForeFront Records, more than a dozen successful songs at radio, extensive concert touring, two Grammy nominations, seven Dove nominations and record sales of well over 250,000, Smalltown Poets has connected with a diverse audience. Stay tuned!

Seven Places are currently back in Seattle, at Compound Studios, with producer Aaron Sprinkle working on their follow-up release to Lonely For the Last Time due out this Fall. You can see the guys this summer at most major summer festivals- check out their site http://www.sevenplaces.com for more information on where they will be!

*new as of Monday, May 10th, 2004*


Relient K
On the heels of a recent Dove Award for “Modern Rock Album Of The Year” with their highly-acclaimed Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right… But Three Do, Relient K is gearing up for their fourth Gotee album release. At the recent 35th Annual Gospel Music Awards, Relient K beat out contenders in the “Modern Rock Album Of The Year” category. Singer/guitarist Matt Thiessen commented on their win. "This past week a really nice lady gave us a Dove Award,” said Thiessen. “We want to thank everybody in the positions of power that helped make that happen (I forgot to thank them on stage). Also, we're going to start chiseling away at a new record this week. We're really excited. It's going to sound a lot like if Tom Arnold and Nichole Kidman had a baby and then gave it up for adoption. But not really." The band, currently writing new material, entered the studio last week to record their latest album slated to hit streets later this year. Relient K’s debut self-titled album released in 2000 and since then the band’s three albums, including last year’s Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right… But Three Do, have sold a combined total of over one million albums to date. Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right… also debuted on the Billboard Top 200 album chart at #38, and was nominated for a GRAMMY award. The band, who is on the road an average of 150-200 dates a year, just wrapped up a tour with openers The Rocket Summer, Yellow Second and Mae. Relient K has also toured with acts including Switchfoot, The O.C. Supertones, and Five Iron Frenzy among others.

Pax217
PAX217 is back in the spotlight. The band has answered the call of friends and fans to put together a brand new EP. Here's a direct announcement from the band... "After speaking to the THE VOICES and our fans, we decided it was time to give the world some new music. Eight months later, having stretched your patience, we are proud to bring you 5 new songs called the "Check Your Pulse" EP. Check Your Pulse is a LIMITED EDITION EP and can only be purchased online or at live shows. These will go quickly! So make sure you get your copy as soon as it's available. Keep checking PAX217.com and be the first in line to preorder the EP before its official release date."

Caedmons Call
Essential Records' folk-pop group Caedmon's Call was recently honored with an award at Compassion International’s Artist Appreciation Dinner for its five years of partnership resulting in sponsorships of more than 6,000 children. This recognition comes with the band’s return from its latest Compassion International trip to Ecuador and Brazil as the group begins work on its upcoming fall studio album which takes Caedmon’s Call deeper into its overseas ministry by recording with musicians and songwriters in these countries and India, to raise awareness of existing persecution and poverty. "Compassion is thankful for the relationship with Caedmon's Call and we are extremely committed to its passion for children living in extreme poverty,” says Spence Smith, artist relations for Compassion International. “This award represents our gratefulness and we look forward to our continued partnership as well as anticipate the band’s upcoming record which will further explore the experience of uniting these cultures in music.” Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, releasing them from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. Founded by Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion International began providing Korean war orphans with food, shelter, education and healthcare, as well as Christian training. Today, Compassion International helps more than 550,000 children in more than 20 countries.

Lauded artist-worshipper/songwriter/author and UK-native Matt Redman recently signed with sixstepsrecords in the U.S., the EMI CMG imprint that is home to fellow artist-worshippers Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band and Charlie Hall. Previously contributing songs and appearing on several of sixstepsrecords’ popular Passion CDs that have sold over a million units collectively, Redman is preparing to release his label debut, Facedown, June 15. Redman will further be releasing a companion DVD on the label August 24 and a like-titled book on Regal Books, which also releases in July. “Matt has been an adopted member of the sixsteps family for years, so we are glad to make it official,” explains Louie Giglio, founder and director of Passion and sixstepsrecords. “We have worked very closely with Matt as he has been a part of many of our Passion gatherings and CDs. He truly has a heart of worship and we are looking forward to joining him in spreading God’s glory over the earth.” Produced by Nathan Nockels (Watermark, Passion) and mixed by Tom Laune (Passion, Michael W. Smith, Nichole Nordeman) at his studio in Nashville, Facedown is a collection of 11 new songs, plus two spontaneous moment tracks, featuring Redman’s signature guitar-driven, modern rock sound. Also featured on the album are Christy Nockels on vocals, Nathan Nockels on keys and guitars, John Ellis (Tree 63) on guitar, and Terl (Iona) and David Raven (session drummer for The Swirling Eddies, etc.) on drums. The lyrics take a creative and introspective look at why and how we worship on songs like “Gifted Response” and “Worthy, You Are Worthy,” which features additional vocals by Chris Tomlin. “When we face up to the glory of God, we soon find ourselves facedown in worship. To worship facedown is the ultimate outward sign of inner reverence,” says Redman of his vision for the project. “When it comes to expressing our worship, what we do on the outside is a key reflection of what’s taking place on the inside. Facedown worship always begins as a posture of the heart. It’s a person so desperate for the increase of Christ that they find themselves decreasing to the ground in an act of reverent submission.”

Jeremy Camp
On the heels of the highly acclaimed worship album, Carried Me: The Worship Project, BEC Recordings singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp released his first DVD, titled In24 last week on May 4th. Living up to the title, this DVD encompasses 24 hours on the road showing fans the ins and outs of a day in the life of Jeremy Camp on a typical concert day. In24 will also include live performances of songs from Stay and Carried Me as well as behind the scenes footage, soundchecks, meet-and-greets, and music videos for "Understand" and "Walk by Faith." Jeremy Camp was recently named the Gospel Music Association's "Male Vocalist of the Year" in addition to "New Artist of the Year" last week in Nashville during the 35th Annual GMA Awards. He is currently working on his sophomore project, which is titled Restored and set to release late fall.

KJ-52
The 35th Annual Dove Awards, which took place Wednesday, April 28th, proved not only momentous for rapper KJ-52 as an artist, but his label, Tooth & Nail / BEC Recordings in their 10th year of existence as well. As a change from the Dove Awards of years’ past, 2004 marked the first year GMA has separated Rap/Hip-Hip Album of the Year from the Category of Dance Album of the Year, noting the worth of hip-hop and rap in today’s Christian music scene. And with scanning almost 200,000 records of his own, KJ has definitely proven his worth as well, making him the perfect winner in the category with his 2003 release, It’s Pronounced Five-Two. Not only was his Dove the first for the musician as an individual, but it marked the first Dove Award for any Tooth & Nail / BEC Artist in the label’s 10 year history as well. A label originally known for its rock acts, KJ-52 has become the face for rap and hip-hop on the label, and done so with great success. Look for KJ-52 at summer festivals and with a brand new video coming soon, as well as part of a new studio project with Todd Collins.

Dove nominated recording artist Joy Williams will soon add another title to her name but this time it's not related to her music. Williams recently announced her engagement to Nate Yetton, director of promotions at Inpop Records and is planning for a June wedding. Congrats Joy and Nate!

Sanctus Real
This year’s Modern Rock Song and Album Of The Year Dove Award nominees, Sanctus Real, prepare for their sophomore bow, Fight The Tide, set to release June 15 on Sparrow Records. Following the release of its record-breaking freshman debut, Say It Loud, Sanctus Real has catapulted to critical acclaim and traversed the nation performing for hundreds-of-thousands of music fans. “Sanctus Real has poured a substantial foundation with Say It Loud,” says David Sylvester, EMI CMG director of artist development. “Launching in 2002 as Sparrow’s best-selling Rock artist, the band has proven their ability to connect with fans, both on stage and off. Fight The Tide is a really diverse rock album, and will connect with the band’s current fans and also gain new fans.” “It's been amazing to see the response to Say It Loud over the past year,” adds Chris York, the band’s A & R director. “And we refused to make a sophomore slump record. With Fight The Tide, the guys have succeeded in recording the best music they've ever created. We are thrilled with the new album.” Produced by Tedd T (Stacie Orrico/Delirious?), the first single from the new album, “Everything About You,” released to CHR and Rock radio last week. The single follows the band’s five consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the CHR R & R chart with “Beautiful Day,” from In The Name Of Love: Artists United For Africa, a project lauded by USA Today, Fox News and MSNBC, among others.

The Lost Dogs are working on a new record that will feature fresh arrangements of your favorite songs by each of their bands: 77's, Daniel Amos, The Choir - and in the spirit of the late Gene Eugene - Adam Again! Sitting in on percussion & aiding w/ production for the album & tour is none other than Mr. Steve Hindalong, drummer for The Choir and producer of the popular City on a Hill modern worship albums. The band will travel as a four-piece, adding percussion and the occassional electric guitar on bass during the show. For those of you who liked the sound of Nazarene Crying Towel or the last 77's Acoustic Tour - this show will be right up your alley!

Skillet
In a recent newsletter, Skillet frontman John Cooper shared a little about what their new song "Open Wounds", featured on the rerelease of their new record Collide, is about... "Soon we are going to do a pre-order for our "Collide" release online. We are less than a month away from the release date and we will be putting up some info about how to pre-order. I was speaking with some people about the new song "Open Wounds." This song is very much about my relationship with my father growing up. To make a long story short, we had a terrible relationship for years and I thought that it would never get better. There came a time as I was older when I realized that I needed to forgive him for things even though he had not asked for that forgiveness. Anyway, our relationship was restored after many years of fighting. I remember at one point thinking that we may never talk to each other again, and I was fine with that. I also remember thinking that I did not want to invite him to our wedding, but Korey made me! It took me a few years to realize that true forgiveness is free. It did not matter if he knew how he made me feel, and how I felt betrayed by him. I believe that forgiveness is one of the most powerful weapons in the world. I believe that when we choose to forgive people, we are using a gift that has been given to us from God because it is not in our fallen nature to do so. What a better place this world would be if we would learn to forgive. Anyway, without sounding cheesy, I want to encourage anyone who has the same story as me concerning their relationship with a parent. Life is too short to live it in pain. Do something radical, and decide to love them without barriers." Right on, John! The Collide rerelease is May 25th...

Rocketown Records announced recently at a Gospel Music Week press conference that it will release the label’s first compilation Christmas album on Oct. 5, with participation from the label’s roster as well as from respected industry peers. The album, titled Gloria, will be produced by Charlie Peacock and Scott Dente and will include both traditional Christmas classics and new original songs written in community by the artists. In December 2004, many of the artists on the Gloria project will embark on a Christmas tour, which is being booked now by David Breen at The Breen Agency. “For many years our loyal and faithful Rocketown followers have been asking the question ‘When will there be a Rocketown Christmas record?’” said Rocketown Records President Don Donahue. “For a while now we've been brewing up what we hope will be a collection of songs and artists that you will have in your home for many, many Christmas seasons to come. We want you to have music to bake cookies to, yes, but also we'd like you to discover the true rhythm of the entire Advent season through these songs that focus on the anticipation and expectation that surrounds our celebration of Christ’s birth.” Artists involved in the creation of Gloria include label founder and Chairman Michael W. Smith, Christine Dente, Ginny Owens, Shaun Groves, Alathea, Taylor Sorensen, Steve Mason (Jars of Clay), Cindy Morgan, Wayne Kirkpatrick, George Rowe and Watermark as well as producers Peacock and Dente. The artists participated in several different community writing sessions that occurred at Peacock’s Art House studio and Kirkpatrick’s Maple Room studio during the past several months. The album’s original cover concept was designed and painted by well-known artist Jimmy Abegg.

A friend of JfH recently had the pleasure of attending a video shoot for a brand new Everyday Sunday song entitled "Comfort Zone". The video was filmed in Bakersfield, California and you can check out photos from the shoot at danielsmusic.com! (Thanks to Daniel for the news)

Dove Award winning recording artist Ginny Owens and Habitat for Humanity International have announced a partnership that will raise awareness for Habitat’s house building efforts. Owens' involvement will start with participation in some Habitat house builds and media activities in local tour markets during her current “Beautiful” tour. Plans are also underway to create a multi-artist, multi-city event in the fall of 2004 involving local and national artists. Collectively, these artists and their fans will raise money to sponsor and build a Habitat house with a family in need. “More than 12 million US children, one in six, live in poverty. Habitat seeks to provide hope for those families. If I can encourage people to know that ANYONE can help, I will. I’m ready to pick up a hammer and be a part. I hope it will inspire others to do the same,” explains Owens. “Habitat for Humanity is thrilled to partner with Ginny Owens,” said Karen Peterson Lienau, Habitat for Humanity International Special Event Director. “She is showing how everyone can put their faith into action and help eliminate poverty housing from the face of the earth.” The first step with the new partnership with Habitat will be Owens' focus on raising awareness for Habitat during her media interviews scheduled this week during GMA Week in Nashville.

After an incredible month of great music by 24 bands and artists from 13 different states and 2 countries, the LIME 04 Independent Band/Artist Showcase is officially over. The event featured a panel of judges once again coming from different aspects of the Christian Music Industry to give the bands/artists real-world feedback. Up for grabs as prizes in the showcase were recording time at world-famous Ardent Studios, Mastering from L. Nix & Co., stickersandmore.com packages, and guitars from Gibson and Epiphone Guitars. Here's is how it ended:
Grand Prize Winner - Solafide - Rock Category (Pinckneyville, IL) (www.solafiderock.com)
1st Runner Up - The Awkward Romance - Rock Category (Covington, GA) (www.theawkwardromance.com)
2nd Runner Up - Under The Blue - Pop/Contemporary Category (Dallas, TX) (www.undertheblue.com)
3rd Runner Up - Joel Geleynse - Singer/Songwriter Category (Kitchener, Canada) (www.joelg.ca)
Check out the LIME 04 official Website at: http://lime.visibleschool.com to see pictures from the event


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Music Out This Week

This Friday, December 14
3C Live Good To Me (Live) [DREAM]
Lauren Daigle Look Up Child (Vinyl) [Centricity]
PEABOD Anti-Social - Single [Centricity]
Smalltown Poets Carol of the Bells - Single (independent)

NEXT Friday, December 21
**No Known Releases**

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