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JFH Music News

JfH OLD Music News

May, 2006


*Thursday, May 25th, 2006*

Bebo Norman
Bebo Norman will be co-hosting 'Tennessee Mornings' on FOX 17 this Friday May 26th (tomorrow!) at 6am Central. Watch him co-host with Kelly Sutton all morning. So turn your TV on to FOX 17 this Friday morning from 6am-8am central and see Bebo on the morning show. In other Bebo news, his followup to the successful record Try is slated for a September 19th release! Fans who belong to the "Simpletons" forum at BeboNorman.com will be able to catch a sneak peek tomorrow! (from BeboNorman.com)
Sara Groves
INO Records and documentary film-makers from the Nomad Series have collaborated to release "Sara Groves: Just Showed Up For My Own Life" a music infused, reality style film featuring Sara Groves in all aspects of her life over the past year. The project will be available nationwide on August 8, 2006. A very rare opportunity in Christian music, this project invites the audience to view an artist beyond the studio, beyond backstage and beyond the road life. Travel with Groves to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Slidell, Louisiana as relief efforts are underway to restore a community ravaged by the storm. See the beautiful country of Rwanda on an emotional trip with Groves and her team to learn about the challenges of reconciliation and economic development 11 years after mass genocide. Due to some sensitive footage from a Rwandan Genocide site, the packaging will include a warning with a self-imposed PG rating “Contains some graphic footage which may not be suitable for younger viewers". "We started out making a simple music DVD, with behind the scenes footage in the studio, scenes from our life on the road, and of course some concert footage, but it just failed to capture the essence of the album,” recalls Groves. “So, we partnered with a documentary film company to tell the larger story. We started to ask what it means to “add to the beauty,” and that question led us around the world. As production wraps up, I am profoundly grateful that God chose me to be a witness to this span of years. I am excited to be a witness to what God is doing in this, my brief time on earth, and humbled that He has invited me to be a part of His beautiful, restorative work." Chip Johnson, director of the film, explains the style of coverage for such: "We like to call it a 'reality film', with a fast paced, music driven, reality tv style but without the game show element that we see in most reality shows. We were interested in following Sara because her music reveals a thought provoking side of life. The perfect fit for our first installment of the Nomad Series." The film will feature music from Groves, while additional features will include her live set from the 2006 Jars of Clay tour, short sermon and teaching illustration clips from Sara for use in small groups/church services, discussion starters, as well as trailers from upcoming releases. (from The M Collective)
New Flicker rock band Fireflight will be filming their debut music video "You Decide" next Friday with a special appearance by Josh Brown from Day Of Fire. The band's freshman release, entitled Healing Of Harms drops July 25th. Speaking of Day Of Fire, the Essnential Records rock band will be filming a new video for a selection from their pending sophomore record, Cut & Move. DOF's new album will hit streets in less than two weeks, on June 6th. (from NightVision Artist Management)
Entertainment Tonight’s The Insider will run its feature on Brian Littrell today - Thursday, May 25. The piece centers on his May 2 solo debut project, Welcome Home. In addition, Entertainment Tonight’s Welcome Home CD Giveaway is online at ETonline - http://et.tv.yahoo.com/contests/ (from Provident Label Group)
For a glimpse at the brand new video from Celtic punk rock band Flatfoot56, click here to see "Brotherhood!" Their Flicker Records debut, Knuckles Up, releases July 25th. (from Savvy Media)
Mark Harris
On the verge of the final leg of the 4HIM Encore tour, member Mark Harris’ solo project The Line Between The Two and the current radio single “Find Your Wings” takes off landing at No. 1 this week on R&R Christian Inspo chart, No. 4 on the Christian AC Indicator and No. 9 on Christian AC Monitored charts. In addition to the significant listener response from radio airplay, Harris’ solo debut is connecting with buyers resulting in a dramatic 907 percent sales increase in the last 13 weeks placing the project in the Soundscan’s Current Contemporary Christian Top 20 albums. "I wanted to write a letter through song to my kids,” explains Mark Harris of the inspiration behind the hit single. “This is a simple prayer and wish for my kids -- they are the greatest legacy that I will leave behind." (from The M Collective)
*Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006*

Staple
Yet another young rock band has called it quits... "After 6 amazing years, Staple has decided to make this our last summer as a band," the band announced last week on their official website. "We will be doing a final farewell tour in July, as well as hitting several major festivals this summer. We've had the opportunity to meet and be blessed by countless people, and though there have been high and low times, we wouldn't trade it for anything. We can't say enough thank you's for all you guys' support, prayers, hospitality, and encouragement over the years, and we ask for continued support for each of us in our own endeavors. Brian is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, traveling with her, and is involved with the worship program at his church. He is also considering writing some of his own material and possibly recording at some point. Darin and Israel are collaborating on a new project to be announced shortly, with the goal of having recorded music available by the upcoming tour. If you have comments or fond memories that you wish to share with us, please do so on the comment section of our Myspace, rather than messages, or on our website forums. We hope that our music and message has and will continue to challenge and encourage you in whatever phase of life you find yourself. Thank you and God bless" (from StapleMusic.com; thanks to Tay)
Third Day
Platinum-selling, triple GRAMMY and multiple Dove Award winning rock band Third Day is pleased to announce the upcoming Fall’06 leg of their hugely popular “Wherever You Are” Tour. With plans to hit 38 markets, including Houston, New York City, Atlanta, Portland and Seattle, fans and promoters alike are anticipating a great show, and the continuation of blockbuster attendance numbers that have been ever increasing over Third Day’s illustrious, decade-long career. In addition to the return of the popular worship band David Crowder Band to a majority of the dates on this new leg, lead singer Mac Powell is proud to announce special guest, RKT Music recording artist, Hyper Static Union. “Touring with DCB was everything we expected and more! The audiences were not the only ones entertained and inspired by these guys, we were as well. We’re thrilled to be able to tour with them again. With the addition of Hyper Static Union on the fall tour it's sure to be an even more exciting night!” *David Crowder Band will not perform on all tour dates. The artist performing on those dates will be announced soon. Over the course of the band’s Spring ’06 leg that included 34 dates, nearly 140,000 fans came out to see the high-energy, worship-driven show from Christian music’s most popular rock band. Having partnered with Chevrolet for almost half a decade, Third Day experienced 16 sellouts including major markets Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Fairfax, Nashville, Greensboro, Sacramento, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, and more. Attendance averaged 4000+ over the course of this Spring ’06 leg of its “Wherever You Are” tour. Drummer David Carr communicated honestly, “We had up nights and down nights—so to speak—as far as audiences and energy goes, but it seemed that the one constant was that each night many lives were touched and moved a little closer to the healing hand of God. We can not claim one iota of credit for that but we are grateful that we were instrumental in that process.” “It's incredible how much energy is generated from a sellout show,” guitarist Brad Avery expressed. “The room almost bursts at the seams with fan excitement. Promoters have done a tremendous job getting the word out about these events and because of that, we have been blessed with many sellouts. Hats off to them and everyone involved, and thanks most of all to the fans for coming out and making this an amazing tour." (from Provident Label Group)
BarlowGirl
One of the premiere rock bands on the music scene, BarlowGirl, will release Another Journal Entry Expanded Edition on August 29, 2006. At the same time, the group has shot a new video for their breakthrough hit, “Never Alone,” in conjunction with their label, Fervent Records, and the label’s parent company, Warner Bros. Los Angeles. Due to the incredible response to BarlowGirl’s latest CD, Another Journal Entry , Fervent Records will release an enhanced version of the project (“Expanded Edition”) that will include five previously unreleased songs, a disc to exclusive website coverage, and a BarlowGirl “More Than Music” book. The five new cuts on the CD include, “For The Beauty of the Earth,” acoustic versions of “On My Own,” “Porcelain Heart,” “I Need You To Love Me,” and a radio edit of “Never Alone.” The CD will be enhanced with website access to three BarlowGirl music videos, film footage of life on the road and in the studio with the group, exclusive photos, and wallpapers, myspace skins, screensavers, and buddy icons. BarlowGirl “More Than Music” book will give an insider look into the lives of the band that will include a biography, behind the songs, stories from the road, fan testimonies, and thoughts about the future. In addition to releasing Another Journal Expanded Edition, BarlowGirl recently shot a new video in Nashville for their major hit single, “Never Alone.” Broken Poet Productions was at the creative helm for the taping that took place along Church Street in downtown Nashville and at the former Metro General Hospital property on Hermitage Avenue. “The response to BarlowGirl’s two projects on Fervent Records has been overwhelming,” says Susan Riley, President, Fervent Records. “The group has a very loyal fanbase with new fans coming onboard everyday. We want to give them a closer walk with their favorite band and give the fans a better chance to know the heart and soul of these three fabulous young women, Rebecca, Alyssa, and Lauren Barlow.” (from Bozeman Media)
Big Idea
Faster than a speeding asparagus, more powerful than a masked scallion, it’s a cucumber with super-suction ears! Big Idea, Inc. presents VeggieTales: LarryBoy and the Bad Apple, an all-new adventure featuring LarryBoy battling temptation and discovering the importance of making good choices. This brand new release includes the new theme song “Rock on LarryBoy,” plenty of family-friendly bonus features and is priced at $14.99 SRP. The DVD arrives in stores July 29 and August 1, 2006 in Christian and general market stores respectively. "LarryBoy faced the fib from outer space, wrestled the rumor weed and now has to see through the sour plot of the Bad Apple,” said Greg Fritz, Marketing VP at Big Idea, Inc. "Kids and parents love this silly superhero, and we’re thrilled he’s back!” LarryBoy is also expanding to other media formats! LarryBoy and the Bad Apple will be debuting on PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance games on August 1st, 2006! The LarryBoy and the Bad Apple Soundtrack will be released with new LarryBoy theme song on August 1st, 2006. LarryBoy will also be traveling the country in a 12-city promotional tour including stops in Dallas, Orlando, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Nashville, New York and other top markets, making daily appearances at Wal-Mart and Christian retailing stores. Finally, iTunes, Sony Connect, Rhapsody and other partners will feature new songs and ring tones from LarryBoy and the Bad Apple DVD. (from Hoganson Media)
*Friday, May 19th, 2006*

John Reuben
John Reuben's latest endeavor needs your assistance! The hip hop artist has been hard at work on a pilot for a potential new sitcom entitled The Professional Rapper. The artist released a newsletter today enlisting the help of fans to view the show's pilot online and vote for it on YouTube.com. The following is John's letter to the fans... "Hey Everybody, So you haven't heard from me in a bit. Well, I have an answer for that. I've been hiding away in the forest. I am a bad communicator. I have been a bad friend. I'm sorry. Forgive me please. I've been extremely busy working on some new stuff. I've been in the studio working on a new record that will be coming out shortly as well as something a little different. In November, me and a few friends got together to film what I like to call an "Altered Reality". You know as well as I do that Reality TV Shows are played out. So here's a fresh perspective. See my altered reality... "The Professional Rapper" ...not to be confused with the album Professional Rapper or reality at all for that matter. The real reality is that this show has the potentional to be turned into a tv show/movie/something else... the possibilities are endless. We've already been able to generate a lot of interest and this is where you can greatly help me out. Click Here To Watch "The Professional Rapper" and leave some good comments (only good comments!) and 5 star ratings. Bad comments and ratings are not accepted, criticism not welcomed, operators are on duty 24 hours a day to receive flattery, blind optimism and all forms of sucking up! Spread it around as much as possible. Watch it as many times as you can and send it to every one you know. If we get enough views than we get to make a show. Sign up at Youtube.com and make ReubonicPlague one of your friends. Hundreds of videos will then follow. Thanks for your support! - John Reuben" (from Reubonic Plague)
The Afters
After building a strong fan base in their home state of Texas in 2000 The Afters find themselves on the heels of their full length Major Label Release I Wish We Could All Win. The track "Beautiful Love" was selected as the theme song for MTV's hit show "8th and Ocean," which just wrapped up it's first season. Not familiar with The Afters yet? Check out their media player here, http://www.theafters.com/mediaplayer/!
MercyMe
MercyMe had a nice sales jump in their 3rd week of release for their new CD, Coming Up to Breathe, selling over 29,000 units, keeping them in the top 50 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 2 on Billboard’s Contemporary Christian SoundScan chart. Their radio single for “So Long Self” jumped up to No. 21 on the R&R mainstream AC chart this week, as well as to No. 13, No. 3 and No. 4 on R&R’s Christian CHR, AC Indicator and AC charts respectively, all with a bullet. Fans can now check out the music video for “So Long Self,” here for windows, or here for Quicktime. In addition, Nielsen BDS recently awarded MercyMe a BDSCertified Spin Award for their song “Homesick” receiving over 40,000 spins at Christian radio. (from The M Collective)
Eleventyseven
Pop punk band eleventyseven is set to release its debut music video “MySpace” to video outlets nationwide on June 1st. The video includes a massive improvised food fight shot with students at Glendale High School in Tulsa, Okla. Filmed by Steelehouse Productions, the “MySpace” video storyline mimics its lyrical message about embracing individualism and being honest about who you really are: "When was the last time you were honest / Instead of posting blogs of fake emotions / When you finally resurface to the point of finding purpose / We’ll begin to see just who you are" Frontman Matt Langston elaborates, “Hopefully it just gets kids thinking about the fact that there is more to life than conforming to a profile you create to feel accepted. You can’t live life only showing people what you want them to see." As for the food fight, it was shot over two days and involved more than 100 students armed with cafeteria not-so-favorites. Director Sam Stanton comments on the video’s technical challenges, “Filming a food fight isn’t what was tough, it was convincing everyone who had to clean up that it was a good idea to do it.” To view the “MySpace” video, go online to: YouTube or Google. eleventyseven’s first single, “More Than a Revolution,” has been a specialty radio favorite, and the group was featured this spring on Columbia Records artist Superchick’s national tour. The band’s national debut, And the Land of Fake Believe, released to retail outlets May 16. (from Savvy Media)
“American Idol” celebrity George Huff will launch his Ford Motor Co.-sponsored music video, “Miracles,” on the Gospel Music Channel, Tuesday, May 23. The title track from his applauded 2005 Word Records and Dove-nominated album, the supporting “Miracles” video will broadcast exclusively on the Gospel Music Channel at 9:01 pm Eastern, immediately following FOX network’s American Idol. For cable customers not currently receiving Gospel Music Channel programming, the network will stream “Miracles” for online viewing at www.gospelmusicchannel.com after the nationwide broadcast. Huff’s partnership with the Gospel Music Channel and Ford to produce “Miracles” is part of the auto manufacture’s recently-introduced “Bold Moves” campaign, a new marketing communications platform showcasing Ford products, customers and employees making bold moves in their lives. In addition to the “Miracles” premier, Huff will be traveling to L.A. to attend the “American Idol” season finale and will be featured throughout Tuesday on more than 30 major FOX news affiliate markets across the nation, including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington DC, Miami, Denver, Atlanta, Nashville and more. He will continue with media coverage on Wednesday by means of radio interviews with local stations throughout the U.S. Huff will further be featured on TV Guide Channel’s “Idol Tonight Wrap Up” show on Thursday. For more information on George Huff and his national debut release, Miracles, visit www.georgehuffworld.com. (from Word Records)
GMA Music Award-winning Curb recording artist Selah has garnered the top four positions on the Nielsen Christian SoundScan Inspirational Overall chart for the week ending May 14. Selah’s latest release, Greatest Hymns, holds the #1 position, followed by Hiding Place, Be Still My Soul and Press On. Last year, Selah surpassed 1 million units in combined sales. Selah’s long-awaited new studio recording, Bless The Broken Road – The Duets Album, is slated to release August 8. The project features the multi-format hit single, “Bless The Broken Road” (with Melodie Crittenden), which is currently in the Top 5 on Christian AC charts, according to Billboard. Selah has garnered five GMA Music Awards, including three for Inspirational Album of the Year, as well as receiving nominations for Artist and Group of the Year. For further information on Selah, visit www.Selah.com. (from Turning Point PR)
*Thursday, May 18th, 2006*

Avalon
Multi-million selling vocal group Avalon has recorded a new song, “For Freedom,” in tribute to American soldiers past and present. Beginning this week, the track was made available exclusively through digital outlets as a single download or in a three-song set that includes the Avalon hits “We Will Stand” and “The Creed.” “For Freedom” was penned by songwriter Matt Moran for his grandfather, a World War II veteran. He recalls, “As a young kid, I loved to sit at my Grandma’s feet and listen to her memories... like so many others, she was forced to say goodbye to the love of her life when he was sent off to fight in 1944. I’ve always been struck by the courage of those men and women who sacrifice so much for their country. It is no small thing to give up a life that is relatively comfortable in exchange for something so dangerous and completely foreign, not to mention having to say goodbye indefinitely to those you love the most.” The members of Avalon were in turn struck by Moran’s heartfelt song. Group co-founder Janna Long says, “Freedom is truly a wonderful gift and privilege that we have all been given at a tremendous price to others. I am humbled every time I think of the thousands of (soldiers) who have given their lives so that I might enjoy all the liberties given to me.” Sure to be an especially poignant listen for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day occasions, Avalon’s For Freedom digital-only EP is available via iTunes, Napster, Sony Connect, and Rhapsody. Avalon is currently in the studio recording a hymns album scheduled for release this fall. The award-winning group is also appearing at Women of Faith conferences throughout the summer. Learn more at www.AvalonLive.com. (from Sparrow Records)
FM Static
FM Static will unveil their sophomore album Critically Ashamed on Tooth & Nail this July 18th. Critically Ashamed, produced by FM Static, hails 11 songs with a highly-accessible pop-punk style. The song listing includes titles like “Flop Culture,” “America’s Next Freak,” “Girl Of The Year,” “The Next Big Thing,” “Tonight,” “The Video Store,” “A Nice Piece Of Art,” “What It Feels Like” and “Moment Of Truth,” with the first single “Waste Of Time” impacting radio this week at both the CHR and Rock formats. “I'm a big fan of albums that are fun to listen to front to back, so that's what we tried to do,” said frontman Trevor McNevan. “The songs are honest and more of a funny, sometimes sarcastic view of things going on around us. It's musically a true pop record, without trying to carry any cliche "pop punk" agenda." FM Static was formed in 2003 by Thousand Foot Krutch’s Trevor McNevan (vocals/guitars) and Steve Augustine (drums) as a side project and outlet to express their pop/rock musical inclinations. Their debut album What Are You Waiting For? was released in 2003 and has sold over 60,000 albums to date. The single “Crazy Mary” from that same album was recently named one of the most played songs of 2005 by BMI. For more information on FM Static, check out www.toothandnail.com or their official artist website at www.fmstatic.com (from LB PR)
Sanctus Real
Sanctus Real claims its 4th No. 1 RADIO SINGLE with “I’m Not Alright!” The song, from the band’s critically acclaimed, fastest selling album ever, The Face of Love, hits #1 this week on the R&R CHR chart and is No. 4 and climbing on the R&R Rock chart. The band’s past #1 radio hits include “Everything About You,” “The Fight song” and “Beautiful Day.” In other band news... Sanctus Real already claims to have the best fans in the world, but sometimes there are fans that go above and beyond the call. Check out the music video for “The Fight Song” that was done by one of their fans, Jerry from Wyoming, at www.SanctusReal.com. (from Hoganson Media)
Leeland
Progressive rock band Leeland will release its debut project, Sound of Melodies, August 15, 2006. Co-produced by Marc Byrd, Matt Bronlewee, and Steve Hindalong, Sound of Melodies contains majestic, heartfelt melodies with lyrics focused both on human relationships and relationships with God. Leeland credits a multitude of European rock acts as its musical influence: Travis, Coldplay, Delirious, Doves, and Godfrey Birtill, among others. According to seventeen year-old Leeland Mooring, lead singer and guitarist of Leeland, “The heartbeat of Sound of Melodies is the heartbeat of our ministry. A lot of the songs came out of prayer, so while trying to stay fresh musically, we endeavored to match the music with an intensity for seeking after God. The main purpose of the album is to inspire those who listen, both young and old, to have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.” “Leeland is the best thing I have heard in a long, long time,” says Grammy Award-winning artist Michael W. Smith. “I can't stop singing the songs in my head. Great melodies. Great band. Great voice.” Originating from Baytown, Texas, brothers Leeland and Jack Mooring (keyboards), cousin Jake Holtz (bass) and friends Jeremiah Wood (lead guitar) and Mike Smith (percussion) comprise the five member group. Band rehearsals often take place at a local Baytown, Texas funeral home, which also doubles as a local church. “What people hear on the record is five young guys that have hearts to glorify God,” says Leeland’s brother Jack, who is also a youth minister. “That’s what it’s all about for us: Declaring to God and to people how amazing He is.” Youth services at the Baytown, Texas “Celebration of Life” church where the band formed, have recently been moved from Thursday nights to Sunday nights in order for Jack to be back in town from the road to lead the service. Marc Byrd, co-producer of Sound of Melodies and co-writer of “God of Wonders,” shares his excitement for the band. “Leeland is one of those rare bands blessed with an amazing and pure talent, and an equally inspiring heart after God. After working in music for over ten years, it’s harder to be impressed and it’s easy to forget why I first started in Christian music. Working with Leeland has been a joy and a reminder that music is a gift from God and always to be used for His glory. It’s been my privilege to work with Leeland.” Leeland will be on the road this summer playing dates that include: Spirit West Coast (Del Mar), Alive Festival, Creation East, and Kingdom Bound Festival. Additional dates are being added and are available at www.myspace.com/leelandmusic. Additional information on Leeland is available at www.essentialrecords.com. (from Provident Music Group)
DecembeRadio
Slanted Records recording artists DecembeRadio have just completed their debut, self-titled release, which hits the streets on June 27th. Group members Josh Reedy, Eric Miker, Brian Bunn and Boone Daughdrill worked alongside producer and artist/musician Scotty Wilbanks in Atlanta at the acclaimed Southern Tracks studio. DecembeRadio, featured in BILLBOARD Magazine's "Faces to Watch for 2006" cover story, wrote and created the material for the recording with Wilbanks, who described the process, "...It's so awesome to work with guys whose musicianship is amazing and whose songs are so contagious. These guys rock! They are such a breath of fresh air for contemporary Christian music." DecembeRadio completed the recording just in time for a busy summer. The band will receive prime stage positioning at AtlantaFest in June as well as at Rock the Universe in Orlando in September. The group will be playing the popular Cornerstone Festival (July) as well as SoulFest (August), where they will be featured on the event's new music sampler. DecembeRadio is featured on Word Distribution's HOT SUMMER HITS retail campaign as well as the FORECAST...COOL NEW MUSIC bonus CD. The HOT SUMMER HITS promotion will be carried in over 1000 outlets, including key placement at Family Christian Stores, LifeWay Christian Stores, Berean, Mardel and other key accounts. The group will also receive endcap positioning through Tower Records in select markets nationwide. The band performed the debut single "Love Found Me" during Gospel Music Week at the radio/retail luncheon sponsored by Word Distribution. Voted Buzz Band of the Year at the Christian Rock Radio Summit in 2005, DecembeRadio wowed the audience during Gospel Music Week at the rock showcase at 12th & Porter, downtown Nashville, and they turned heads earlier in the week at the Word International showcase as well. The group's classic rock style has listeners comparing them to mainstream acts such as King's X, Jet, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Porcupine Tree and The Black Crowes. Their melodic rock approach is accented with heavy guitar riffs, altering rhythm patterns and gutsy vocal performances, creating a well-rounded project that is indicative of their southern rock influences while capturing their own modern rock edge. (from Slanted Records)
Casting Crowns
GRAMMY Award winning group Casting Crowns and featured guests, Nichole Nordeman, Josh Bates and speaker Tony Nolan, corporately known as the “Lifesong Tour,’ recently sang to the final packed house of the tour after a three month, 47-city spring run that marked 19 sellouts and connected them with more than 209,000 fans. With the spring and fall legs combined, the Lifesong Tour closes with 84 markets notching up an incredible 357,000 in total tour attendance. In addition to remarkable ticket sells, the Lifesong Tour had a major ministry impact. The tour saw over 43,000 individuals make decisions for Christ and allowed Casting Crowns the opportunity to unite more than 12,000 World Vision children with sponsors. Lead singer Mark Hall recalls, “We prayed for three things to happen on the Lifesong Tour: that people would come to know Jesus, that believers would grow closer to Jesus, and that they would walk away challenged to find their ministry in the body of Christ. God was honored and Jesus was lifted up and He let us be a part of what He is doing in 84 cities.” Nichole Nordeman adds, “It was a great experience to see so many people over much of the country, these past several months. I'm not sure when I have enjoyed playing music live as much as I did on this tour... I felt as though I hit the lottery every night playing with such amazing players. God was, as He always is, faithful to show Himself to me in very new and unlikely ways...and I am richer for the experience.” “It was awesome to see that Casting Crowns’ individual lives for God offstage are just as powerful as their collective music onstage,” notes Josh Bates. “It was a real encouragement to my personal walk with God just to get to be with them on the road as my friends and for me to be a part of this tour.” Guest speaker and tour pastor Tony Nolan states, “Casting Crowns has redefined what it means to be a Christian artist. God was so thick in every venue and we saw over 43,000 decisions made for Jesus with over 85% of those being for salvation. Glory to God.” The buzz in each market was electric and exceptional numbers helped make the Lifesong Tour one of the most successful bills of the spring. “The Lifesong Tour was the most well attended Christian event in this park’s history,” said Brian Davis, Promotions Manager, Six Flags New England. “Six Flags New England creates family fun and fond memories by providing our guests with a diverse entertainment package. Casting Crowns exceeded all expectation, delivering an unforgettable and powerful performance.” (from Provident Music Group)
*Tuesday, May 16th, 2006*

Superchick
Pop/rock outfit Superchick has signed a long-term recording agreement with Columbia Records that also extends the band’s established relationship with Inpop Records. A revamped edition of the band’s 2005 Beauty From Pain, newly titled Beauty From Pain 1.1, will be released on July 18. The original release Beauty From Pain debuted in May 2005, becoming a No. 1 Billboard Heatseeker and selling more than 150,000 copies. Long-time fan of Superchick, Grammy Award-winning Producer of the Year as well as Columbia Records A&R executive Steve Lillywhite heard the album, deciding to bring it and Superchick to the label. “From the moment I heard Superchick I knew there was a level of songwriting that sat with the best of what pop music has to offer,” says Lillywhite. “And the moment I saw them live, I was convinced they were the complete package!” “I never in my wildest dreams thought we’d be working with such an accomplished and celebrated producer,” comments Superchick’s Melissa Brock. “We’re excited that the album will be re-released because of its accessibility to so many people. We are still the same band and will continue to communicate the same positive message for anyone and everyone.” Inpop Records president Dale Bray elaborates, “Superchick is among the most exciting bands in Christian music and all of us at Inpop are excited about this opportunity. We feel honored to be a part of the future relationship between Superchick and Columbia.” Beauty From Pain 1.1 will include breakout tune “One Girl Revolution,” original remixes of “Anthem” and “We Live,” as well as the brand new song “Stand in the Rain,” recorded especially for the major label edition. For further information about the upcoming release, visit: www.Superchick.net. Chicago-based Superchick comprises sisters Tricia Brock (vocals) and Melissa Brock (vocals, guitar), Matt Dally (bass, vocals), Dave Ghazarian (lead guitar, vocals), Brandon Estelle (drums, vocals), and Max Hsu (keyboards/DJ). The band’s eight-song demo became the core of Superchick’s 2001 debut album on Inpop, Karaoke Superstar. The band went on to release Last One Picked in 2002, Regeneration in 2003, and Beauty From Pain in May 2005. To date, Superchick has sold upwards of 450,000 albums. (from InPop Records)
Project 86's long awaited sequel to their popular "Spy Hunter" music video hit the web this week! Surf on over to Project86.com or MySpace.com/Project86 to view the band's video for "My Will Be A Dead Man." (from Project86.com)
Switchfoot
Switchfoot wants to invite everyone out to the 2nd Annual Switchfoot Bro-am on June 3rd in Encinitas, CA. What: 2nd Annual Switchfoot Bro-Am / When: Saturday, June 3rd, 2006 / Surf contest: 7AM-2:30PM / Concert: 12 noon-5PM / Where: Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA. This is a FREE event open to the public! The band announced the following event details this week, "The Switchfoot Bro-Am surf contest returns to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas on June 3rd, 2006! This year's event benefits Casa de Amparo (an Oceanside organization that since 1978 has provided safe emergency shelter and state-of-the-art treatment and intervention services for abused and neglected children throughout San Diego County), and builds on the success of last year's event by adding an auction event night on Thursday, June 1, and vendors and a live music stage on the beach with performances throughout the day by local bands (including surf legend Tom Curren, Years Around The Sun, Ryan Ferguson, This Holiday Life, and Tristan Prettyman). We will close out the afternoon with our first hometown show of 2006! Confirmed surfers in this year's event so far again include Tom Curren, and riders representing DC Shoes, Hurley, Surfer, Surfing Magazine, Transworld Surf, Jet Pilot, Surfride, Arnette, Macbeth, Atticus, AKA Surfboards, Redsand, Jedidiah, Cobian, and lowercasepeople.com, among others to be announced shortly. Check out the following sites for updates: www.switchfoot.com/bro-am and www.myspace.com/switchfootbroam" (from Switchfoot)
The Passion Of The Christ
Nashville-based Christian retail mega supplier, Word Distribution, announces the signing of a long-term distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which garners the promotion of two marketing veterans and establishes three new positions in the marketing department to represent distributed label marketing services. This signing represents a renewal of the agreement between Word and 20th Century Fox that began over two-and-a-half years ago and has resulted in a significant increase in sales of family-friendly and faith-based films in the CBA marketplace. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's (TCFHE) ongoing commitment to provide these types of film and marketing support to the CBA marketplace was further solidified by the recent renewal of a long-term distribution agreement that provides Word with exclusive distribution of these quality Christian and Family films to the CBA. Along with this agreement, TCFHE has unveiled the new "FoxFaith" imprint that was announced in February at the NRB 2006 (National Religious Broadcasters convention). With this new imprint, 20th Century Fox becomes the first major Hollywood studio to commit to faith-based film projects with limited theater runs. All films that appear with the FoxFaith logo will contain overtly Christian content and be based on stories and books by best-selling Christian authors. With the success of such titles as Frank Perretti's Hangman's Curse, films from Hallmark Channel award winner, Janette Oke ("Love" series) and the groundbreaking The Passion Of The Christ, TCFHE will continue to distribute and market to the CBA new family friendly films. Upcoming films include Three, based on the best-selling book by Ted Dekker, Mother Teresa, starring Oscar nominated actress Olivia Hussey, and The Last Sin Eater, based on the popular book by Francine Rivers. “20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is excited about the continued growth in our relationship with Word Distribution, whom we view as a critical strategic partner in the development of our faith-based business,” says Jeff Yordy, Vice President Acquired Marketing for TCFHE. “With the launch of the FoxFaith brand nationally later this year, over a dozen new Christian films in production, and important additional strategic initiatives underway, Word has become a critical part of driving this business forward, and we are pleased to expand our relationship with them.” (from Hoganson Media)
Casting Crowns
GRAMMY Award winning group Casting Crowns secures its fifth consecutive radio No.1 this week with “Praise You in this Storm,” the second chart-topping single from its Gold-certified Lifesong album release (8/30/05). The hit song takes top honors across multiple formats, including R&R’s Christian AC Monitored and AC Indicator charts and CRW’s AC chart, while maintaining its fifth week at No. 1 on both R&R and CRW’s Inspirational chart. "Praise You in this Storm” marks the band’s fifth consecutive career No.1 following mega hits “If We Are the Body,” “Who Am I,” and “Voice of Truth” all from the band’s platinum-selling debut record. The current No. 1 song most recently succeeds the title track and first radio hit “Lifesong” from the band’s GRAMMY-winning sophomore album. “Praise You in this Storm” (also known as “Erin’s Song”) was written for 11-yr.old fan, Erin Browning, who was diagnosed with bone cancer shortly after the band met her at a show in Feb. 2004. Through e-mails and phone calls, Casting Crowns walked with Erin’s family through this unimaginable storm, and lead singer Mark Hall was so deeply touched by the unwavering faith of a heartbroken mother that the lyrics to “Praise You in this Storm” were born. Erin passed away in fall 2004, but others are now inspired by her story and the message of hope and strength in this powerful song. Erin’s story and others will be available this fall in “Lifestories,” the first book release from Mark Hall. To read an excerpt, please visit www.castingcrowns.com. Platinum-selling and GRAMMY Award winning band Casting Crowns was named Group of the Year for the second consecutive year at the 37th Annual Gospel Music Awards last month. Earlier this year, the band received its first GRAMMY for its sophomore recording, Lifesong (8/30/2005). While this project was certified Gold after just 12 weeks in the market, the band has sold a career total of more than two million records in its short career. In 2004, Casting Crowns’ self-titled debut album quickly earned the highest first-week sales of any debut artist on Nielsen SoundScan Christian market sales chart for the year, eventually selling over 1.3 million units. The project’s three radio singles all spent multiple weeks at No. 1 on numerous charts, including a record-breaking 13 weeks at number one for the mega hit, "Voice of Truth.” For the year 2004, Casting Crowns was the most played artist on all Christian radio formats combined, and performed to more than two million people in concert. Currently, the band’s fifth radio No. 1 “Praise You in This Storm” remains atop Christian radio charts. (from Provident Label Group)
*Friday, May 12th, 2006*

Family Force 5
On the heels of their recent debut release Business Up Front, Party In The Back, Maverick/Gotee band Family Force 5 has landed on top as their radio single “Replace Me” nabs this week’s #1 spot on both R&R’s Christian Rock chart, as well as the Christian Radio Weekly Rock chart. Family Force 5, who is booked by Creative Artists Agency, has been touring extensively in promotion of their March 28th album release date. Family Force 5 will open for Switchfoot in Nashville on June 17th as part of the Journeys Backyard BBQ. The band is also slated to perform at major Christian music festivals this summer including Ichthus, Alive, Creation East, and Cornerstone, as well as overseas at the Frizon and Flevo festivals. Led by front man and guitarist Solomon Olds (aka Soul Glow Activator), Family Force 5 includes Solomon’s two brothers Jacob Olds (aka Crouton) on drums/vocal, and his twin Joshua Olds (aka Fatty) on bass/vocals. The force of five is rounded out by Nathan Currin (aka Nadaddy) on keyboard and Derek Mount (aka Chap Stique) on guitar. Family Force 5, who has dubbed their brand of music as “crunk rock,” likes to focus on feel-good, party music. For more information on Family Force 5, check out their official artist website at www.familyforce5.com or go to www.myspace.com/familyforce5. (from LB PR)
Audio A
As announced earlier this year, 2006 will mark the final chapter in the Audio Adrenaline history books. But fear not! Mark, Will, Ben and Tyler aren't going anywhere before releasing Adios, a greatest hits collection slated to hit a store near you on August 1, 2006. With plans for Adios in its initial stages, fans can anticipate a commemorative look at the expansive career of Audio Adrenaline through the band's greatest hits along with two newly recorded songs. A special edition Adios package is slated to include a DVD containing all Audio Adrenaline videos, live performance footage and new band interviews. This package will also feature interviews from artists impacted by Audio Adrenaline, including tobyMac and Steven Curtis Chapman, as well as members of MercyMe, Pillar, Relient K and Newsboys, each talking about their shared tour experiences and favorite memories of Audio Adrenaline. "The plans emerging for Adios promise to deliver a fun and poignant experience in which Audio Adrenaline fans can participate," says York. "The legacy of Audio Adrenaline is one that will continue to make impact for many years to come." The guys were recently in Nashville during GMA to spend some time with fans while recording the two new tracks. Stay tuned to AudioA.COM as more details about Adios are unveiled! (from AudioA.COM, JfH News; thanks to Patrick)
Pillar
Pillar is still heavily at work on their forthcoming new release. "Just last week we wrote two more songs that have the potential to be the best of the lot," the band said in a newsletter this week. "Last Friday was an off day on The Warriors Tour so we went back in the studio for the day to record these two new jams. The working titles for these two songs are "The Reckoning" and "Autumn." Rob has two more weeks in the studio booked after the tour to finish up vocals. Check out these 3 short video clips (clip one, clip two, clip three) from our day in the studio. We also had several meetings with our management and record label last week to discuss the new album. It appears the new album will be released in October. Once we get a set release date we will let you all know. While that may appear to be a long wait just know that we are planning something for you all this very early summer. Something that will make you all happy. It might involve some new songs and audio from a live show? So do you guys want to hear a new song? Right now? We will be leaking a rough mix of our new song "Everything" this week on the tour podcast..." Head over to www.thewarriorstour.com's podcast section and check it out if you want to hear this new song. (from Pillar)
Fireflight
Flicker Records’ modern rock band Fireflight readies its national debut, The Healing of Harms, set to release July 25. Produced by Skidd Mills (Saliva, Fighting Instinct, Skillet, Dirty Americans, ZZ Top), the record is a collaboration of varied musical tastes and influences. Fireflight defines the record and its sound as containing hints of emo-core, modern rock and progressive metal, tied together by soaring vocals and memorable melodies. Lead vocalist Dawn Richardson’s lyrics are selfless and direct, reflecting Fireflight’s mission to emphasize its music and vision beyond itself, mainly by its lyrics. The Healing of Harms speaks to those facing insurmountable odds, needing answers after falling in harm’s way. Issues of self-worth, respect and inner beauty are all themes that resonate in the hearts of Fireflight members. “Finally, the doors are opening,” says Richardson. “It really feels like God has given us these opportunities so that we can help reach those who are wounded, those who need this music. Fireflight wants to write music that people can feel, make records that are universal enough to stand the test of time, and stay genuine and honest—or die trying.” Comprising Richardson, Wendy Drennen (bass), Glenn Drennen (guitar), Justin Cox (guitar) and Phee Shorb (drums), Fireflight formed five years ago in Orlando, Fla. A fixture of the local rock scene, Fireflight is familiar to national music audiences as well. Its self-released EP, On The Subject of Moving Forward, also produced by Wisner, sold thousands of copies independently. Additionally, Songwriters Showcases of America named Fireflight “Band of the Year” in 2004. Having performed alongside established rock acts Skillet, Emery, Anberlin, Disciple and Kids in the Way, among others, Fireflight will continue to tour throughout 2006 and beyond in support of its debut release. The band has signed an exclusive booking agreement with The Jeff Roberts Agency. For more about Fireflight, visit www.fireflightrock.com or www.flickerrecords.com. (from Savvy Media)
First Call
Shortly after the new CD from the original First Call arrives in store shelves at the end of this month, PAX-TV will be airing a special on June 18. Filmed in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the special features First Call sharing their thoughts and performing several of the songs on their new CD, Rejoice: An A Cappella Hyms Collection. "Hymns have always been a huge part of who Bonnie, Melodie, and I are - individually, and as a group," Marty explains. "We have sung various hymns together through the years, and so when we decided to do the CD a cappella, it felt natural to make it a Hymns project." In all their years of recording, First Call never did a Hymns project. And Bonnie thinks there was a reason for that. "What a precious project to work on now, after all that has happened to us,"she says. "It feels so good to sing vertically at this point." Featuring arrangements from David Hamilton, Travis Cottrell and David Maddux, Rejoice takes the group full circle, back to what started it all – the unique, Manhattan Transfer-ish, jazzy, intricate vocal stylings First Call was always known for. Bonnie's husband, Brent King (who just won his fourth Grammy Award for engineering/production), has served as the project's producer. There is nothing like an original, and Rejoice is back to basics for First Call. "This is the original trio," enthuses Bonnie. "The original First Call... allowed to begin again... a rebirth, so unexpected, so merciful and healing... and for anyone who listens, you'll hear the hope of the three of us -- still united, still friends, still undivided in heart." "We honestly never dreamed we would be back on stage with each other again," says Melodie. "But God has been so faithful in the midst of so many things. His redemptive heart shows up when we least expect it." You can read more about the reunion of the Original First Call at http://christianpublicityservices.com/dramatic_rose/dramatic_rose/fcallpr.htm. (from The Adams Group)
Michael Sweet
Legendary rocker Michael Sweet of Stryper has announced that he is releasing a solo Hymns album on Integrity Records and plans to tour in support of the album this fall. Michael will be performing songs from the hymns record, which releases August 1st,in Churches, theatres and coffee houses across the northeast. Touring solo is a change for Michael after touring twice in recent years with Stryper; for their reunion tour and then last year in support of their first new album in over a decade, Reborn. Both the tours and the album were extremely successful. Michael’s new show is sure to please even the most die-hard Stryper fans. Michael may even perform some Stryper material in a way that it has never been heard before. For more info on Michael, visit MichaelSweet.com (from iTickets)
Bleach recently returned from their trip to Germany for a few shows. The band has posted new photos from their experience on their myspace page at: MySpace.com/bleach (from iTickets)
*Tuesday, May 9th, 2006*

Jeremy Camp
BEC Recording artist Jeremy Camp has yet another great opportunity for his latest recording, Live Unplugged: Jeremy Camp. The project will be available in 500 Hallmark Gold Crown stores nationwide, along with Amy Grant’s Rock of Ages, the only other Christian artist included in the national chain’s Mother’s Day/Father’s Day promotion. Other artists featured in Hallmarks’ promotion include Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, SheDaisy, Jim Brickman, and Michael Buble. Camp's next project, Beyond Measure is scheduled for an October 31st release. (from The M Collective)
David Crowder Band
sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records collegiate favorite David Crowder Band prepares to release B Collision: The Eschatology of Bluegrass June 27. The album follows the path of A Collision, which has been widely regarded as one of the best albums of 2005, receiving five-star reviews and comparisons to groundbreaking albums of the past and artists such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Hank Williams. In September 2005 David Crowder Band’s A Collision debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard Top 200, became an iTunes No. 1 hit and launched the top 10 R&R hit single, “Here Is Our King.” Lauded by Billboard, Washington Post, Knight-Ridder, Dallas Morning News, CCM, etc., the album also sparked the band’s fastest selling album to date. The recording continues to be a SoundScan Christian Retail sales hit after 31-weeks. The album further captured GMA Music Award honors for Best Rock/Contemporary Album and Best Rock/Contemporary Song (“Here is Our King”). Recently finishing a hugely successful tour that saw 19 sellouts with Third Day, David Crowder Band has also completed acclaimed tours with Michael W. Smith and MercyMe, as well as continues to be a featured band at the enormously popular collegiate Passion gatherings. Taking inspiration from its engaging live performances and with a full summer festival schedule (see www.DavidCrowderBand.com), David Crowder Band now offers B Collision, an intimate, acoustic version of its parent recording. “We prepared and distributed a musical documentation entitled A Collision,” says David Crowder. “It would be rhetorical nonsense to have begun with B Collision. And thus, B follows A. It heaves its inspiration and meaning from what was ordered before it. It consists of a number of songs. Most of them rendered in the acoustical fashion. Simple constructions. Wood and metal strings. Vibrating the air. Some of these songs have been here before. But not presented in this manner. And then something fun happened on tour this fall. A moment of the "LIVE" variety that we insist on sharing. “And then there is the subtitle,” continues Crowder. “A Collision had a subtitle and B follows A and so B must and does have a subtitle. ‘The Eschatology of Bluegrass.’ Wood and metal singing. Moving the air. Telling of how things will be okay. Regardless of how they seem right now. Something will follow. We are in sequence. And it just so happens we know the beginning and the end.” B Collision also features the acoustic version of the current A Collision hit single “Wholly Yours,” as well as Crowder with special guests Robbie Seay Band and Shane & Shane on his “Be Lifted” and “I Saw the Light.” (from Hoganson Media)
Michael W. Smith
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings the thought-provoking Christian drama The Second Chance to DVD on July 18th. Starring multiple award-winning singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith in his acting debut, the film tells a story of two churches as they collide over issues of race, poverty and faith. The Second Chance also introduces accomplished stage actor jeff obafemi carr as Jake Sanders and features veteran actor J. Don Ferguson (The Longest Yard, Remember the Titans) and Lisa Arrindell Anderson (Medea’s Family Reunion, Clockers). The Second Chance DVD will be available for an SRP of $24.96 and will include bonus features such as Michael W. Smith’s powerful “All in the Serve” music video, deleted scenes and a “Beyond the Making of The Second Chance.” Smith is one of the most popular recording artists in Contemporary Christian Music and has also enjoyed chart-topping success on pop radio. As a recording artist and songwriter, Smith has garnered a staggering 29 #1 singles, 5 Platinum Records, 14 Gold Records, an American Music Award, 40 Dove Awards, 3 GRAMMY®* Awards and been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People. This year, he received his 11th GRAMMY® nomination for his “Healing Rain” album which debuted at #11 on the Billboard Hot 200 Charts. His 18 studio albums have sold over 13 million copies and he routinely plays to sold-out stadiums around the world. (from Provident Label Group)
Kirk Franklin
Fo Yo Soul Entertainment/Zomba recording artist Kirk Franklin announces new dates for “Kirk Franklin & Friends,” the next leg of his national tour in support of his latest CD, Hero. The new upcoming tour dates will allow many of Franklin’s fans in markets that do not traditionally get major concerts to attend his performance including cities such as Charleston, SC, Rochester, NY, Omaha, NE, Des Moines, IA and Macon, GA among others. The tour also plans to make a stop in New Orleans at the New Orleans Arena. Fellow artists joining the gospel music star on the “Kirk Franklin & Friends” portion of the tour is EMI Gospel artist and Dallas native Myron Butler along with his group Levi, as well as Stellar Award winning Sony Urban artists Men of Standard. Commenting on having his friends join him for this leg of the tour Franklin says, “I am honored to welcome long time friends Myron Butler and his group Levi as well as my boys, Sony Urban artists, Men of Standard for the second leg of tour.” Remaining on the tour is Philadelphia-based Cross Movement Records’ hip hop artist, Da’ T.R.U.T.H of whom Franklin says is, “the perfect marriage between the streets and the soul.” The first leg of Franklin’s “Hero Tour” kicked off February 28 -- with special guests Mary Mary -- and played to sold-out venues in cities across the country including New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland and Washington, DC to name a few. In a recent review of the show, the Newark Star-Ledger wrote, “Franklin puts an unabashedly modern spin on gospel music, embracing hip-hop music as well as hip-hop showmanship.” Due to previous commitments this summer, the Grammy Award winning gospel sisters duo will not be continuing on this leg of the tour. Kirk, the biggest selling gospel artist in the SoundScan era, is well-known for his dynamic and energetic performances, which have included two hugely successful “Hopeville Tours” in the past few years. On the current tour, the gospel dynamo performs selections from his sixth album, Hero, which debuted in the #1 position on two Billboard Magazine charts -- Top Gospel Album and Top Christian Albums – and continues to maintain the top positions respectively. The music video for the second single, “Imagine Me” is scheduled to be filmed later this month in Los Angeles. The video for “Looking For You,” the first single release from the CD, continues in heavy rotation on BET. (from Fo Yo Soul Entertainment)
Bleach
Tickets are now available online for Bleach's Benefit show in May an orphanage in Uganda. Go to iTickets now! "Even you aren't able to make it to the benefit, you can still make this a success," the band recently said on their MySpace page. "Drop us a message on here or through the Benefit MySpace and we'll tell you how you can help these kids. A little bit to us can make such a huge difference to them. We love you and we'll see you all in May. This will be a full-on Bleach show by the way. We'll bring out all the faves...Let us know what you want to hear! Be reasonable...something you've heard us play in the last 3 or 4 years... - Milam, Davy, Sam, Jerry and Jared" To order tickets, visit iTickets now. (from MySpace.com/Bleach)
*Sunday, May 7th, 2006*

Congratulations to our friend TobyMac and his wife Amanda as they welcomed their fifth child into their home in March! Amanda gave birth to Judah Monroe McKeehan on Friday March 24, 2006. The healthy baby boy weighed in at 6 lbs. 13 ounces! (from TobyMac.com; thanks to Lauren B.)
Krystal Meyers
Dove Award nominated Krystal Meyers has announced the release date of her second album on Essential Records, Dying For A Heart. The September 19 release was produced by “The Wizardz of Oz” production team (Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair) and artist/producer Ian Eskelin with new original songs written by Krystal. “I am so excited about this new record,” according to Meyers. “I had to write the majority of this one on the road and in between shows, which really challenged me lyrically. There are a few songs that are controversial, dealing with real issues facing young people today. I wanted to write those songs to challenge the youth of my generation. I feel the songs on this project have matured both stylistically and lyrically. The rock songs are heavier and we have some prettier, more melodic moments as well.” Dying For A Heart is comprised of the following ten tracks: “Collide,” “Live,” “The Beauty of Grace,” “The Situation,” “Love Is On the Run,” “Only You Make Me Happy,” “Together,” “Shake It Off,” “Stand and Scream,” and “Hallelujah.” In addition to completing her second record, Meyers has wrapped on a flurry of activity including: graduating high school, performing as part of the Winter Jam Tour, presenting at the GMA Awards, and a trip to Japan. Meyers delivered her “anticonformity” message to Japan between March 25 and April 1, visiting with key media and performing a show for over 500 contest winners. While overseas, Krystal interviewed with MTV Japan and did a photo shoot for Nylon Magazine Japan, of which she will appear on the cover of the June issue. Meyers’ self-titled debut album will be released through BMG Japan on May 24. She will return to Japan during the first week of June for additional radio and retail appearances. Since the U.S. release of her debut album on Essential Records, seventeen year-old Meyers has garnered a Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year, had three Top 10 singles (“The Way To Begin”, “My Savior”, and “Anticonformity”), and performed before more than 400,000 people. (from Provident Label Group)
Kids In The Way
Flicker Records will be re-releasing Kids In The Way's sophmore record Apparitions Of Melody under a new title, Apparitions Of Melody - The Dead Letters Edition featuring 2 brand new songs recorded by mainstream producer giant David Bendeth (Hawthorne Heights, As I Lay Dying, Breaking Benjamin). Also included will be a DVD featuring a brand new video of their newest song, yet to be released, along with "Apparitons Of Melody," "Phoenix With A Heartache," and "We Are." Also talks of some behind the scenes footage and extras. Stay tuned to www.kidsintheway.com or their myspace (www.myspace.com/kidsintheway) for the latest. (from Myspace.com/KidsInTheWay)
Forever Changed
While we’re all very sad that Forever Changed is finishing the last chapter of their story as a band, we are really happy to announce that the band isn’t leaving us high and dry! Not only is the band preparing for their farewell tour throughout the south (see tour dates below), their final project Chapters will be available in limited retail release in July. If you can’t wait that long, the CD will be available at shows, on the band’s website and the www.floodgaterecords.com online store. As always, these guys have to go out in style, and the band posted a fabulous little in-studio video of the making of Chapters – which you can watch on the band’s myspace - http://myspace.com/foreverchanged (from Floodgate Records)
MercyMe
On the heels of a major promotional tour in support of their fifth recording Coming Up To Breathe, multi-platinum band MercyMe has once again hit the Billboard Top 200 SoundScan charts in a big way, debuting at No. 13, sandwiched between Toby Keith and Shakira’s latest, selling over 58,000 units in its first week of release. The album entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Christian SoundScan chart. The album is also No. 25 on i-tunes Today’s Top 100 Albums list. Along with sales, MercyMe’s first single for the project, ‘So Long Self,’ has been the No. 1 most-added single at mainstream AC radio for the second week in-a-row, already sitting at No. 23 on the Billboard AC chart and No. 26 on the R&R AC chart in just 14 days. The single set records as it shot to the top five of R&R’s Christian AC chart in just a few weeks, and is also climbing their Christian CHR chart, currently at No. 21. “We have certainly felt a ground swell of support for this band and their new project on every level,” remarked INO president Jeff Moseley. “Radio, media and retail have really come to the table to set this record up in a huge way, and for that we are truly grateful.” MercyMe just wrapped up an extensive promotional tour, and stopped-by Christian and mainstream AC radio stations nationwide with on-air time and promotions with stations such as Star99.1 in New York, WGTS and Associated Press radio in Washington D.C., KLOVE, WMBI, The Moody Broadcasting Network and WLIT in Chicago, KLTY, KCBI, KVIL in Dallas, KXOJ in Tulsa, WAY-FM Tallahasee, FISH Atlanta and many others. Retail highlights from the promo tour included a live performance at a WalMart in Houston co-sponsored by Chik-fil-A and KSBJ, which over 3000 fans attended. In addition, the band had hundreds of fans show up at in-stores at John's Christian Store (Carol Stream (Chicago), IL), Jesus Book & Gift in Greenbrook NJ, The Potomac Book Store in Silver Springs MD, and a Lifeway Christian Store in Hurst (Dallas), TX. The band also launched an acoustic tour with live local release party concerts in Knoxville, TN, LaFayette, LA., Montgomery,AL., Tallahassee, FL., Little Rock, Myrtle Beach, SC and more. MercyMe's Online/Digital street week presence included prime positioning with Wal-Mart.com, iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, Sony Connect, Borders, Barnes and Noble, FYE Stores, BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, among others and an exclusive video premiere at Yahoo! (from The M Collective)
Phil Wickham
Simple/INO Records’ singer/songwriter Phil Wickham and his self-titled debut are receiving acclaim from media as his project bowed on April 25th. Selling 5,847 units placed Phil Wickham in the Billboard’s Top 200 at No. 149, Billboard’s Top Christian Albums at No. 8 and Billboard’s Heatseekers at No. 3. Featuring eleven original tracks, this self-titled release is a poignant collection of worshipful songs from Phil’s heart. Phil Wickham, a Southern California native, is the second artist to sign on MercyMe’s Bart Millard and producer Pete Kipley’s label Simple Records. To support his release, Phil toured this past week with MercyMe and will be out again hitting major cities such as Grand Rapids, Chicago and Tulsa next week. This summer Phil will be performing concerts across the country including KLTY’s Celebrate Freedom and KXOJ’s Freedom Live. This fall he will jump back on tour with MercyMe. For more information on Phil Wickham visit his MySpace (myspace.com/philwickham) and the new JFH artists database page for Phil. (from The M Collective)
downhere
Dove Award-winning Canadian melodic alt-rockers Downhere return May 23 with Wide-Eyed And Mystified, the group’s highly-anticipated third recording and Centricity Records debut. Produced by Mark Heimermann (Michael W. Smith, dcTalk), Greg Collins (U2, Gwen Stefani) and Downhere, Wide-Eyed And Mystified features 13 tracks, all written by the band. Highlights of the album include “Surrender,” “Dying To Know You,” “Unbelievable,” “The Real Jesus” and “Little Is Much,” a tribute to band members Jason Germain and Marc Martel’s fathers, who both serve as pastors in Canada. The album’s debut singles, “The More” and “A Better Way,” have been released to Christian CHR and AC radio, respectively. “Working with Centricity on a new record has been a welcome breath of fresh air,” said Downhere’s Marc Martel. “Never before have I been so challenged in my songwriting, the result being a collection of some of the best stuff we've ever produced. Sonically, the essence of our identity as a band has been captured more than ever, thanks to the talent and experience of producers Mark Heimermann and Greg Collins. I cannot wait to present this entire album to our audience.” "We are so happy to finally have everything come together—new label, great producers, and great songs—and to come out with our best album yet,” added Downhere’s Glenn Lavender. “I feel like this album is a combination of all the best things from our previous two and we can't wait for people to hear it!" “Working on this recording with Downhere was like an A&R person’s dream,” said John Mays, vice president, A&R, Centricity Records. “The guys are so musical, and so thoughtful, but they also have a great work ethic and were committed to making music that wouldn't just comprise another CD project, but something we felt like would be an important contribution to the culture and the Church.” “By the time we were done, I think the guys had turned in close to 50 songs, so we feel really good about the 13 that made the CD,” Mays continues. “I'm proud of the guys and all of the love and labor they poured into the this recording. I think we ended up with something special.” In support of both Wide-Eyed And Mystified and the upcoming Spirit West Coast festivals, Downhere will play a series of street week concerts in California beginning May 23, where they will give away a limited number of tickets to Spirit West Coast’s Monterey festival in August. The tour will end with the group’s main stage performance at Spirit West Coast in Del Mar on May 28. Downhere is currently in Marrakech, Morocco, participating in the country’s Friendship Fest. The second annual event, designed to unite Christians and Muslims in peace and tolerance, Friendship Fest will also feature The Crabb Family, Joy Williams, KJ-52 and George Huff, among other artists from the United States and Morocco. (from Turning Point PR)
Fireflight
Fireflight has made their debut single "You Decide" available as a FREE download at their Myspace. The song features a duet with Day Of Fire front man Josh Brown. The song goes to radio at both CHR and Rock formats Friday, May 12. Their debut release from Flicker Records, The Healing Of Harms hits shelves Tuesday, July 25th and they will be supporting it by playing every Christian festival this summer, 13 in all. Fireflight will also be a part of this fall's ShoutFest tour. Visit Myspace.com/fireflight for details. (from Night Vision AM)
*Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006*

The Afters
Following the mass response to The Afters’ popular song “Beautiful Love,” the track has been awarded RIAA Gold Certification for Digital Sales. The RIAA award was developed to recognize the significant sales of the ever growing digital music market since 2004. Certified Gold tracks have sales of more than 100,000 downloads. “Beautiful Love” is currently the theme song for MTV’s reality series “8th & Ocean,” which spawned the single selling more than 90,000 digital tracks in a six-week period. Since the debut of the series, The Afters’ official MySpace has exploded receiving more than one million plays on their page to date. In addition, the song has made its home on four major charts landing on the iTunes Top 100 Downloaded Songs for seven weeks, currently sitting at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (debuted at No. 69), No. 43 on the Billboard Pop 100, and No. 23 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs. The Afters are also the eighth “Most Popular Artist” on MTV.com. This song will also debut on the silver screen this month in the Lindsay Lohan movie Just My Luck, opening nationwide May 12th. Releasing their debut project I Wish We All Could Win in 2005, The Afters have received applauded attention from their fans and media outlets. The Afters’ music has appeared on the networks of MTV, mtvU, ABC Family, and E! News as well as on HOT AC and VH-1 radio along with outlets such as Billboard, BOP and Popstar. “Beautiful Love” is not the only song from the debut album receiving national attention, as the track “Until the World” has been the theme song for the ABC Family series “Beautiful People” for two seasons. The MTV college network, mtvU, is also a strong supporter of the band as their music video for “Beautiful Love” was awarded with an mtvU Award for Best Streaming Video in 2005, and the music video is currently in daily rotation on the college network that is viewed on more than 730 campuses nationwide. In addition, The Afters’ earned their first No. 1 R&R Christian CHR single with the Dove nominated, hit song “Beautiful Love.” The Afters were awarded the Dove Award for “New Artist of the Year” (2006). (from The M Collective)
Tonex
Award-winning Gospel artist, Tonex, is being sued by Zomba Recording/Verity Records for over $1 million after Tonex complained to the world that he is being mistreated and, thus, desires to break ties with the record company. Tonex's attorney, Courtney M. Coates, Esq. says, "This unfortunate and heavy-handed lawsuit was filed for no other purpose than to force Tonex to record future albums under harsh, oppressive and unacceptable working conditions which no artist should tolerate." He continues, "Notably, the allegations made by Zomba/Verity against Tonex still ignore Tonex's numerous complaints about the label's unfair business practices, including its failure to completely and accurately account and pay him monies owed over the last several years." Tonex's independent record label, Nureau Ink, LLC, wants to release the best of Tonex's latest music under his sole creative direction and control. Last week, Nureau Ink and Tonex fought back and filed a federal lawsuit in California to have a judge confirm that Tonex's recording contract is terminated or otherwise unenforceable. As the renowned minister, producer, writer, singer, actor, and dancer begin to fight for his freedom, Tonex says, "This is not just about me. I represent every artist that has been manipulated and used by the music industry and I seek vindication for all of the unsung heroes who are not working and not eating, because they are not being treated fairly by record companies." This intense legal battle will set the stage for future artists and increase awareness to other possible victims in the music industry. An impassioned Tonex says, "I want to put out the greatest music I've ever worked on, but Verity Records won't allow me to do so." He adds, "Even though I have endured my share of personal hardships, I am definitely made out of steel and velvet and am putting all of my trust in the Almighty God." While Tonex is struggling financially to make ends meet, his music has made Zomba/Verity well in the millions in record sales. The artist's loyal fan base includes over 500,000 people and a radio listening audience of over 40,000,000 weekly. Taking unprecedented steps to slay a gospel music giant, such as Zomba/Verity, takes fortitude, but Tonex says he's ready with God and his fans by his side. "Although Verity has left me financially broke and without anything, I am still in good spirits and know that a lot of people are supporting this ministry," says the artist. Tonex is assembling a top legal defense team and has set up a legal defense fund to help him defray the costs of litigation. He has retained San Francisco entertainment lawyer, Courtney M. Coates, Esq., of Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy to prosecute his California case. Well-known New York attorney, Londelle McMillan, Esq. of The McMillan Law Firm is reportedly exploring the prospect of defending Tonex in the New York lawsuit. If you are interested in showing financial support for Tonex during this difficult time, please mail all checks payable to "Hanson Bridgett Client-Trust Account," c/o Courtney M. Coates, Esq, 425 Market Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105. For more details log on the official Tonex myspace page at www.myspace.com/tonexworld. (from Sweet Finesse Entertainment)
Natalie Grant
Following a breaking news story that preempted her April 18 appearance, Curb recording artist and 2006 GMA Music Award-winning Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant is now slated to appear on the FOX News Channel’s “DaySide” program this Thursday, May 4. In addition to discussing her music and recent Dove Award win, Grant will perform her new single, “The Real Me,” during the broadcast. “DaySide” airs weekdays at 1 pm ET. For further information, visit www.nataliegrant.com. (from Turning Point Media)
RSJ
This Thursday, May 4th, is not just ‘another day in May' -and organizers of the National Day Of Prayer want everyone to know it. Grammy and Dove Award winning Christian artist Rebecca St. James, newly chosen National Spokesperson for the 2006 National Day Of Prayer, has been enlisted to focus the emphasis of a new generation of youth to participate in the May 4th call for America to pray. The Australian born singer has been recognized as a consistently articulate and passionate voice in media for God based faith and values agendas. In addition to recording this year's theme song for the National Day Of Prayer-"America, Honor God," St. James is hosting and performing on a television music special, also scheduled to air pre the May 4th NDP observance day this Thursday. The hour long special, "Freedom" was taped in Nashville on April 25th. The program mixes music, major name artists, innovative moments of art, spoken word, and candid filmed interviews with young people on their thoughts about the importance of prayer in America. Produced by Steve Gilreath of SGTV, producer of this year's Gospel Music Awards, the program will air this week on television affiliates nationwide. Joining St. James are musical guests BarlowGirl and Warren Barfield. "We feel so honored that we were invited to be part of the National day of Prayer," says BarlowGirl. "Our passion is to encourage everyone to draw closer to God through personal prayer times and to learn that only through prayer can we bring God's kingdom to earth." Enlisting Rebecca St. James as 2006 National Spokeperson and producing a youth oriented television special are only the beginning steps of the National Day Of Prayer becoming more than a yearly observance one day each May. During the next twelve months, NDP organizers will begin a variety of efforts to encourage Christians of all ages in America to pray for the nation and its leadership in five centers of power: church, education, family, government, and media. "America, Honor God" as recorded by Rebecca St. James is the first pop-oriented worship song used to represent NDP. Written by Atlanta songwriter Phil Laegar and produced by Grammy Award winning producer Tedd T., the song will be available for downloads through major web outlets this week. A music video was also produced for distribution nationally. Affiliate networks confirmed to carry the "Freedom" television special include FamilyNet, INSP/I-Life, Cornerstone Network/CTN, NRB, and the Gospel Music Channel. Noted Steve Gilreath: "We're confirmed for airing this week on multiple networks in observance of National Day Of Prayer this Thursday, with the re-play of multiple airings expected over the next few months. This affiliates list represents a huge share of American homes that will be able to access viewing of the NDP special." To resource National Day of Prayer website, and view the "America, Honor God" video online: www.nationaldayofprayer.org (from Morning Star PR)
Ana Laura
Dove-nominated female vocalist Ana Laura is set to headline K-Love’s upcoming “Se Fuerte” events, which features a week of live shows surrounding the Cinco de Mayo holiday with TSG Recording artist GB5 and Puerto Rican artist Josh Lopez. Along with a partnership with the national radio network K-Love, these Texas-based performances are sponsored by Food for the Hungry and will serve as a bi-lingual music event celebrating faith and the Hispanic-American community. Initial dates will run May 2 - May 7. The “Se Fuerte” shows include concert performances in San Marcos on May 3, San Antonio on May 4 and 5, and Austin May 6 and 7. Additional, upcoming nationwide cities and dates for “Se Fuerte” to be announced throughout 2006. “Se Fuerte,” which translated from Spanish means “Be Strong,” is Ana Laura’s personal mission statement encouraging fans struggling with issues related to negative self image. Ana Laura released her self-titled, debut project on March 7 and is quickly becoming one of Christian music’s most celebrated new artists. Her latest single “Water,” is currently at Christian radio, as she tours the country as a part of the David Phelps “Life Is a Church” tour this spring and summer, along with Anthony Evans and Daren Streblow. With national television appearances such as the MBNA 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Race, where she performed on NBC to over 10 million viewers, Ana Laura has also participated as a part of the national “Girls of Grace” tour with Point of Grace, Rebecca St. James, Jaime Jamgochian and Marc Schultz. She also finished 2005 along with NewSong and Anointed on “The Christmas Blessings Tour” which made stops in 16 cities and closed with a CBS broadcast on the last evening of the tour. For more information on Ana Laura, visit www.analauramusic.com. (from Provident Label Group)
SCC
Steven Curtis Chapman and his band are now in Australia, their 2nd country on a month long tour of Southeast Asia. Getting their legs now after fighting off jet lag and the loss of an entire day to the international dateline, Steven hits the stage three times in the land down under this week, including a concert in SCC guitarist Adam Lester's hometown Brisbane, Australia on Thursday. For the latest on the tour and an insiders peek at preparations, visit the new blog at Steven's site. (from StevenCurtisChapman.com)
Beatmart Recordings announces the signing of Soul P., one of the nation's most accomplished independent emcees. Hailing from Portland, Soul P. is constantly expanding his fan base through persistent touring and recording. It was this incredible drive and self-motivation that attracted the attention of Todd Collins, one of the most highly respected figures in urban Christian music and the creative head of Beatmart Recordings. "Soul P. is a tireless worker and this is one of the main reasons we wanted to sign him," comments Collins. "I learned early on that Soul P.'s artistry is his job! He has continually booked his own shows and routed his own tours for years. As a label, Beatmart wants to come in and help take what Soul P. has started to the next level." Soul P. and Beatmart Recordings are already in the studio, hard at work on Soul P.'s debut album, tentatively titled The Premier. This new project already promises Soul P.'s signature lyrical depth, mixing inspired hip-hop with current social issues. "I signed with Beatmart because it was honestly the best situation for me," says Soul P. "They have given me a chance to work with Todd Collins, and Todd really believes in me as an artist and as a person." Born and raised in Seattle, Soul P. lived out his childhood in the midst of the worst the 1980s had to offer. Surrounded by the crack epidemic and rising gang violence, Soul P.'s world was forever shaped by what he saw. "I draw inspiration from God, life, and music in general," explains Soul P. "I've found that I'm especially impacted by my life experiences. Just watching my son sleep reminds me of where I came from and where I'm going." A talented and sought after emcee is always on the move, and Soul P. is no exception. He has independently released two critically acclaimed albums that have garnered high praise from both the critics and the listeners alike. Soul P. was also a founding member of the group Acts 29, and has continued to maintain connections with the underground. (from Savvy Media)
Actor Stephen Baldwin continues to take his ministry to new levels as he prepares for the release of three books published by Broadman & Holman. The books titled Livin It: Testimonies; Livin It: What It Is & Spirit Warriors will be in stores nationwide on July 1st. Livin It: Testimonies is a book of testimonies from several of the top skateboarders that toured with the Livin It skate team. These testimonies address some of the most important issues that teens face today. From pre-marital sex to drugs and alcohol, these athletes have overcome their pasts and chosen to make the right choices in life through Christ. Livin It: What It Is tells the story of what Livin It represents - a way of life. It’s about finding purpose for being on this planet, knowing there’s a God who loves you for who you are, and believing there’s hope for the future. Livin It is about having a purpose and sharing that purpose with people you know. Spirit Warriors is the first graphic novel from Baldwin about six radical young kids entering the spiritual war zone every day for classic battles of good against evil. Each spirit warrior has his or her own unique ability, moving between the natural and supernatural to fight for their faith and the expansion of God’s kingdom. Baldwin spent the past few years touring the country with the Livin It skate team that has brought an evangelistic message showcasing extreme sports. Releasing the Livin It books is just a way of bringing the message and story behind these amazing talents to reader’s nationwide. In preparation for the releases, Baldwin will be making an appearance at the upcoming BEA in Washington D.C. May 18-21 and ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) in Denver July 9-13 in support of the books as well as doing interviews to get the word out about these creative works. For more information on the books visit www.broadmanholdman.com/livinit and for info on Stephen visit www.stephenbaldwin.com. (from Big Machine Media)
*Monday, May 1st, 2006*

Orrico
After a long break, Stacie Orrico is ready to return to music. The singer recently had the following to say on her myspace page... "Greetings to all of my unbelievably dedicated supporters! It has been a long time, and I am thrilled to tell you all that I am back and ready to get this show on the road. After two years of resting with my friends in Malibu, California and then settling back in my hometown with family in Seattle, I am well rested and more inspired and passionate than ever before. My time away from the music scene enabled me to reflect on the experiences of the Stacie Orrico project and prepared me to channel my growth into this new album, Beautiful Awakening. I can't wait to share new stories of my life in a more soulful and personal body of work. Stories of love, heartbreak, coming of age, growing pains and the true joy that can be found in the process - in the journey of this thing we call life! Thank you all for being so wonderful and patient. I am so excited to be back here in this place with you. You should be hearing my new single "I'm Not Missing You" on the radio in June. Until then, I'll post updates to let you know what I'm up to. God Bless and I'll see you soon, Stacie Orrico" (from MySpace.com/StacieOrrico; thanks to Corey L.)
SCC
Although we reported on Steven's forthcoming Spring 2007 project as well as his visit to China, we have some official news regarding this... On the heels of making history winning his 50th Dove Award, a feat accomplished by no other artist in this industry, Sparrow Records’ artist Steven Curtis Chapman will make history again during his 19-city international tour. Beginning today, Friday, April 28th, Chapman and his band will perform in New Zealand and then head on to Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea and in several cities within China. In addition to ground-breaking events in China, Chapman is putting on five concerts in South Korea for U.S. troops; a historic event because it will be the first Christian concert ever for U.S. troops based there. After his tour closes in China, Chapman’s family will join him there to spend a month working in area Beijing orphanages. Upon his return to the U.S. later this summer, Chapman will head into the studio to start recording for his 2007 spring release. For years, Chapman’s music has been heard and seen around the world. Now with this year’s international album release, titled Musical Blessings, Chapman has just topped the mainstream radio chart by nabbing the No. 1 spot on Thailand’s biggest radio station, 105.5 Eazy FM, for two consecutive weeks with his single “The Blessing.” As Chapman was rehearsing for his international tour, he also made numerous appearances in Nashville and around the country. Not only was he joined by his two musician sons to perform on Easter Sunday in front of over 10,000 people for a church service held at Middle Tennessee State University’s Murphy Center, earlier in the month Chapman and wife Mary Beth met with Tony Dungy, the current head coach of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, at the “Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast” held during the Final Four basketball series. Chapman performed at the annual event while Dungy shared his testimony in front of the thousands of attendees where there were 144 decisions for Christ. The “Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast” provides business executives the opportunity to hear from college and professional coaches and players who come to share about their successes, failures, families and faith. Also while in Indiana, the Chapman’s took time to meet with Duke University’s honored senior J.J. Redick, one of the top NCAA college basketball players of this year. Another highlight this spring is the release of “A Thunder and Lightning Bug Story,” the third book from the Chapman’s children’s picture book series, Shaoey & Dot, published by Tommy Nelson, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Now on shelves, this installment of the well-known series tells the touching tale of Shaoey, also the star of the first two books in the series, and her ladybug friend named Dot, as together they help others conquer their fear of the dark. A Thunder And Lightning Bug Story was written from the personal experience of the Chapman’s and is sure to comfort any little one who is hesitant to turn out the lights. (from The M Collective)
Chris Tomlin
The GMA Music Awards have begun offering exclusive music downloads of two live performances from the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards, according to John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA) and executive producer of the GMA Music Awards. The GMA Music Awards is gospel music's biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel music come together for a night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows gospel music's highest honor -- the Dove Award. The GMA Music Awards were presented live at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on April 5 and is currently airing in national syndication through May 21, 2006. The iTunes Music Store is carrying two exclusive tracks from the two most electrifying and inspiring performance moments of the GMA Music Awards. The first is an acoustic Tribute Medley to Steven Curtis Chapman, performed by Mark Hall (Casting Crowns), Mac Powell (Third Day), Jeremy Camp, and David Crowder. The acoustic performance honored Chapman for winning his 50th Dove Award, an accomplishment unmatched by any other major award show winner. During the medley, Hall, Powell, Camp and Crowder perform Chapman classic hits "For the Sake of the Call," "I Will Be Here," "Magnificent Obsession," "More To This Life," and "Dive." The second exclusive download is the moving performance of 2006 Dove Award Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Tomlin singing the 2006 Dove Award Song of the Year "How Great Is Our God" ending with the audience joining Tomlin in singing "How Great Thou Art". Both exclusive tracks are available for $.99 at the store. In addition, iTunes also features albums from all the 2006 Dove Award winners and performers on the awards show on a special Dove feature page. iTunes users can go directly to the GMA Music Awards page by visiting: http://www.gmamusicawards.com/iTunes. (from Spinhouse PR)
MercyMe
MercyMe, the platinum selling Christian band whose hit song "I Can Only Imagine" captured the world's imagination, propelled them to the top of the Christian industry as well as into the mainstream spotlight, is raising their voice in support of the nationwide mission of Redeem The Vote to encourage young voters of faith to register and participate in the political process. Redeem the Vote is launching the non-partisan outreach being endorsed by lead artists MercyMe to register 18 to 29 year old voters, building on the historic ‘young voter' turnout of the 2004 elections. The campaign will base their strategy on a tri-fold agenda of synergistic artist partnerships such as the one being announced with MercyMe, peer-to-peer outreach, and internet registration. Noted Bart Millard, lead singer of MercyMe: "We are very happy to partner with an organization that encourages Americans to educate themselves about the candidates, and to get out and register to vote. Voting is a great privilege that we can sometimes take for granted in America. We hope that Redeem the Vote will see great results through this program." Consistently a major touring band, MercyMe's latest album project, Coming Up To Breathe launched last week. Commenting on the launch of this year's campaign, Redeem The Vote founder, Dr. Randy Brinson noted: "Massive outreach efforts in 2004 resulted in young voter turnout increasing by 11% over 2000 levels. In 2006 we'll be reaching out to the millions of young people of faith and registering them to vote." Founded in 2004, Redeem the Vote enlisted name Christian artists in their initial launch year campaign. This year's strategy emphasizes radio advertising, email, peer outreach, and will again rely heavily on the drawing power of Christian music. "We're privileged to have the partnership of a major group of the caliber and influence of MercyMe aligning their efforts with Redeem The Vote," noted Dr. Brinson. "We share a common vision for America's greatness that is built solidly on the foundation of its youth." (from Morning Star PR)
Fervent Records introduces Group 1 Crew as the newest members of its label family. The Florida-based, three-member group will launch its anticipated national debut August 29. Group 1 Crew was founded when group visionary and veteran emcee, Manwell Reyes, formed a Bible study for local musicians three years ago and united with Pablo Villatoro and Blanca Reyes (no relation to Manwell). The eclectic trio pieced together their diverse styles and created an original sound, fusing their assorted influences of The Black Eyed Peas, Beethoven and The Fugees. “Our sound is fresh, funky and live,” explains Manwell. “We can perform in such a variety of styles—everything from melodic pop to Spanish R&B. We aren’t limited to one specific genre.” Even bigger than their music, though, is their compassion for people inside and outside of the church. Manwell continues, “We want our show to be one that everyone can come to and walk away experiencing the love of Christ in a non-threatening way—our music isn’t for one specific demographic, it’s for anyone with a pulse.” It’s no accident that their name takes that vision one step further. Group 1 Crew represents an entity with one purpose, one goal and one ministry: to shine the love of Christ through the power of song. Additionally, Group 1 Crew’s call to make music that people can relate to parallel’s the spirit of Fervent Records. “They have amazing testimonies that will affect many lives,” says Fervent President Susan Riley. “They are some of the best communicators I have seen in years. Artists like these are rare to find and we are thrilled to share their music with the world.” Group 1 Crew heads into the studio next week with producer Chris Stevens (TobyMac, Shawn McDonald, Sanctus Real). The group will also team with 220 Management and will be booked exclusively by GOA. To learn more about Group 1 Crew or listen to their latest songs, visit www.myspace.com/groupone (from Word Records)
Since 2000, new Flicker Records band Flatfoot 56 has been playing its Irish punk rock in the Chicago area. Now the band of three brothers, Tobin, Justin and Kyle Bawinkel and friend Josh Robieson are ready to release their label debut Knuckles Up on June 27. The brothers Bawinkel began jamming as a three-piece in 2000. Josh Robieson, doubling on bagpipe and guitar, brought the sound all together. It was then the name “Flatfoot 56” came into being, inspired by youngest brother Kyle, who wore number 56 on his baseball jersey and was teased for having flat feet. Flatfoot 56 released three independent records in less than five years, playing bars, colleges and church shows along the way. Fully embraced by the local scene, the band soon found itself among Cornerstone 2003’s biggest buzz bands, and in late 2005, signed with Flicker Records which will release the group’s third LP, Knuckles Up. Guitars, drums, bagpipes and a mandolin fuel Flatfoot 56’s upfront energy, while Tobin, the primary songwriter for Flatfoot 56, uses a confrontational tone in the lyrics, addressing faith, friendship and the hard life that so many face in his city. Though much of the lyrical content is brutal in both honesty and imagery, the album is not without its lighter moments. The balance between sobering truth and humorous storytelling gives this record life beyond simple punk rock punch. “We live among morally and spiritually bankrupt people who are in desperate need of something better,” says frontman Tobin. “Not that we are any different from them, or more special, other than that we have something special to live for. Christ hung out with common people, not just the Church. Flatfoot 56 is here to give people a completely different idea of what Christians are. We don’t preach at bars. We seek to make the audience have a great music experience while modeling a life of faith.” The band maintains a busy concert schedule leading up to its June release and will be appearing all over the country this summer. For upcoming dates in your area, visit: www.flatfoot56.com (from Savvy Media)

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This Friday, April 20
Jason Crabb Unexpected [Provident]
Stryper God Damn Evil [Frontiers]
Roy Tosh Above the Water [RMG Amplify]
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Bright Ones Bright Ones [Bethel Music]
Randall Goodgame Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs Volume 3 (independent)
Sanctus Real Changed [Provident]
Sarah Reeves Easy Never Needed You [Word]
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