Christian Music Monthly: April

*Three-time Grammy Award winner and Gospel Music Hall of Fame legends The Mighty Clouds of Joy are celebrating 45 years of creating acclaimed gospel music with their new album, “In the House of the Lord: Live in Houston,” which released on April 12. The group recorded the project during a special concert at The Fountain of Praise Hillcroft Worship Center in Houston, Texas, in December 2004.
*Ardent Records inked a deal with S/R/E Recordings, the active rock label under INO Records, to distribute and market its entire roster, including Todd Agnew, Jonah 33 and Skillet. New projects from Agnew and Jonah 33 are expected this fall, with a project from Skillet anticipated in early 2006.
*Amy Grant, who took off her shoes to worship at the GMA Week Sunday night worship service, has announced the release of her twentieth album, “Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith,” on May 3. The project follows the recent Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Gold certification of Grant’s first hymns project, “Legacy…Hymns & Faith,” marking sales in excess of 500,000 units. Produced by Vince Gill and Brown Bannister, “Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith” contains twelve classic hymns and worship songs, including a “Rock of Ages” duet with Gill, along with a newly recorded version of “El Shaddai,” which was named “A Song of the Century” by the RIAA in 2001. “It’s not worth making a record unless you’ve really got something to say,” said Grant. “If I have albums to make and creative energy to do it, I want to create something timeless, and these songs have stood the test of time.”
*sixstepsrecords (yes, they don’t use capital letters) released their eighth Passion project, “Passion: How Great Is Our God,” April 12. After seven critically acclaimed Passion recordings that have sold well-over one million units, this CD features brand new music recorded live from the main stage at Passion 05 held in January in Nashville. The recording captures the heart of Passion 05 and its 11,000-plus attendees with 13 live tracks, including songs by David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall and Chris Tomlin, among others.
*Dove Award-winning, best-selling rock band Pillar and Tooth & Nail recording artist Thousand Foot Krutch collaborate for this spring’s hottest ticket, the “For Those About To Rock Tour.” Presented in partnership with primary sponsor Trivo Wireless, the tour will also feature Gotee Records rapper John Reuben and EMI CMG newcomer Dizmas. “This package combines the best in Christian rock and hip hop,” comments Third Coast Artists Agency agent, Dan Rauter. “We’re excited to team up with Pillar and Thousand Foot Krutch, two acts that are having a huge impact inside as well as outside the Christian music industry. To add John Reuben, a hip hop veteran and proven ticket-seller, along with newcomer Dizmas, makes for a truly powerful event.”
*Mark Harris, one-fourth of the renowned vocal group 4Him, will be releasing his debut solo project with INO Records on June 7, 2005. “The Line Between The Two” took Harris out of his comfort zone with 4Him and gave him the opportunity to reflect on his life’s journey discovering the mere trace of a line between birth and death. “You look at a tombstone and there are dates, but the line between the two is the life lived,” explains Harris. “And that’s really the story; the story isn’t the beginning and the end of your life but the story is what you did on that line, living in that line. Not one of us can define the moment that we’re born or die, but we can choose how we live the time that we’re here.”
*Devotion Music artist Kristina has been nominated for Best Female Vocalist for the 2005 SHAI Awards (formerly known as the Vibe Awards), Canada’s equivalent of the GMA Music Awards. This year’s awards, chosen by the general public, will be handed out on Saturday, May 14 at Hershey Center in Mississauga (Toronto), Ontario. More info is at Kristina’s debut single, “You Alone,” is receiving considerable attention at both AC and Inspo formats, including key markets such as Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, Jacksonville and Colorado Springs. “Bare My Soul,” Kristina’s debut CD, is in stores now from Billy Smiley’s Devotion Music, distributed by New Day Distribution.


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