Christian Music Monthly

Lead Story – Sanctus Real
* If you’re like me, you loved “Alive” and “Youth of a Nation” by
hard rockin’ P.O.D. Well, the band, made up of Sonny, Wuv, Traa, and
Turby, is back with a new CD, called “Testify.” It released Jan. 24,
and the band appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Last Call
with Carson Daly, and MTV’s Total Request Live. P.O.D.’s current
radio single is called “Goodbye For Now.” It will be interesting to
see how many more CDs this veteran band will add to their career
sales of 7 million.
* Avalon can s-a-n-g. I saw them live in concert, and the group still
knows how to tear the roof off a joint. Their new CD is
called “Stand.” They’ve visited radio stations, malls and popular
retail spots, performing for thousands at each stop to promote the
new release. The three-time Grammy nominated vocalists experienced a
crowd so large at the FYE store in Jacksonville, Florida, that
security ushered people into the store in groups of 10, so that they
did not exceed store capacity. The mall manager of an Atlanta area
promo tour stop noted that Avalon was the second largest event the
mall had ever hosted. Equally strong, enthusiastic crowds came to
welcome Avalon in Orlando, Spartanburg, SC, Charlotte, NC, and
Johnson City, TN. Jody McBrayer, Melissa Greene, Janna and Greg Long
were thrilled to see the crowds and stayed until the last autograph
was signed and the last photo was taken at each stop.
* A TV show called “JC Rocks” is intent on “making God famous
throughout the world.” One of the great things about this show is
that it’s seen on major secular TV stations in many markets at
reasonable, even important time slots (like 5pm). With that in mind,
please contribute financially to this show so it can continue to take
Christian music to places it needs to go. Here’s the link to show
your support: http://jcrproductions.org/cmm
* Denver and the Mile High Orchestra has a two-disc set called “Live
at Long Hollow” on DVD out now. If you like flashy and energetic big
band music with a Christian message, you will like having this
concert for your home entertainment. Especially interesting are the
bonus features, including a candid interview with Denver Bierman, the
leader of the group, who talks about the group’s obsession with
basketball. Later on, he sings to his newborn son, perched on top of
the piano. You will love this DVD. Visit www.denvermho.com for
details.
* As someone who gets hundreds of CDs a year, I’m always on the look
out for unusual ones so I can share them with you. Last summer, I got
a press release about “Christian Oldies: Heaven Bound,” but they
never sent the CD to me until a month ago, and it’s definitely a
stand-out CD from the rest of the crowded pack. Imagine taking
classic 1950s/60s doo-wop/pop hits and giving them Godly/Christian
lyrics…Joshua Records has put together Godly “oldies” on this disc,
with artists like Gene Chandler and Little Willie G. lending their
strong voices to the project. “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “The
Thrill Is Gone,” “Only You,” “Shout,” and “Stand By Me” are just some
of the songs on “Christian Oldies: Heaven Bound.” Get it atwww.bestbuy.com.
* Kingdom Bound Christian music festival will celebrate its 20th
year… with four top-notch headliners: MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Third
Day, and Newsboys. The annual event, which attracts some 70,000
people from all over the U.S. and Canada to Six Flags Darien Lake
amusement park and camping resort near Buffalo, NY, has tickets and
campsites available right now for the Aug. 6-9, 2006 celebration—call
800-461-4485 or visit itickets.com. For more info, please visitwww.kingdombound.org.
* “The Best Is Yet To Come,” is an awesome Gospel song. It’s just one
of many on “Finale,” the final Tri-City Singers CD/DVD double disc
set releasing April 4. Culled from a live recording in Nov. 2005 in
Atlanta, “Finale” features guest performances by Daryl Coley, Walter
Hawkins, LaShun Pace, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong.
* Before David was a great King, he was just a boy with a pocket full
of rocks. Myrrh Records has re-launched with their first worship
offering, a band called Pocket Full of Rocks, with a CD
entitled “Song To The King,” available March 14. Since 1995, the band
has been leading church worship services, and their music has turned
up on projects by Michael W. Smith (“Let It Rain”) and Phillips,
Craig & Dean (“Let The Worshippers Arise”). If you like Casting
Crowns, you will like Pocket Full of Rocks.
* Derek Webb’s third CD with INO Records, “Mockingbird,” is the kind
of CD made for people without pretension. Webb is known for wearing a
plain white t-shirt, a lot. He’s also known for “calling out” The
Church with what he thinks needs improving among believers. I’d bet
he’d be willing to get his white t-shirt dirty and sweaty if it meant
showing God’s love to someone in need. Is he a modern day Bob Dylan,
with his sometimes loose, sometimes tight and ever-thoughtful guitar
pop-rock songs? Perhaps.
* Grammy Award-winning Bruce Carroll made a name for himself in
Christian music during the early 1990s. He hasn’t been on the music
scene for a while, instead serving as the worship pastor at Hope
Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tenn., but get ready for a comeback,
because Bruce is back. “Big World” is the title of the new CD. It’s a
mix of folk, bluegrass and pop, the kind of CD someone at Starbucks
would buy. Besides music, Bruce is an author, and he and his wife are
working on “Divine Appointments,” slated for release later this year.
* Roads To Rome is a band that actually went to where Paul, one of
the Bible’s most fervent evangelists, walked, in places like Turkey.
The band’s new CD, which released Feb. 22, is called “Love Rain
Down,” and features a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. called “Long
Road To Memphis.” In a Christian music pop-rock scene that’s often
lily white, Roads To Rome stands out because there’s a man of color
in the group. Time will tell how this group does, and since racial
reconciliation is an issue that concerns them, I’m pulling for them
to succeed.
* Everytime I think of Sandi Patty, I think of Bette Midler. They’re
both bold and brassy ladies who’ve weathered the storms of life and
managed to walk the thin line between strong and vulnerable. Did you
know that Sandi is one of Christian music’s all-time best-selling
artists? Her latest Word/Curb CD, “Duets,” features 13 previously-
recorded songs where the almost operatic singer joins forces with the
likes of Larnelle Harris, Kathy Troccoli, Peabo Bryson, Russ Tuff,
and John Elefante. Since it covers Sandi’s long career in Christian
music, many of the songs are from the 1980s. This CD is a great
chance to get a glimpse into “old school” Christian music from one of
Christian music’s most popular singers.
* From Major League baseball pitcher to Christian singer? That’s Kent
Bottenfield. His baseball career ended in 2001 after a shoulder
injury, but Kent didn’t slow down. Now he’s got a CD out called “Take
Me Back.” With an adult contemporary sound compliments of uber-
producer Michael Omartian, Kent’s music is pleasant and heartfelt,
and it is unique to see a baseball player singing overtly Christian
songs, so I’d imagine his existing fan base will support his new
endeavor, and some new fans will be added along the way.
What’s Up With: mewithYou
Artist Spotlight – Eleventyseven
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