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2:57 PM
Page 6
by Jay Swartzendruber
Bethany Dillon
The Files
Rock & roll. iPods. tobyMac. DVDs. Concerts.
Activism. Hymns. These are several examples of
things that are definitely ! right now in the world
of Christian music. Whether youтАЩre wondering
whatтАЩs cool, fresh, hot, it, now or the next big
thing, ! marks the spot.
I doubt we could have picked a more exciting
time in Christian music to tackle this special
edition of CCM. From our communityтАЩs increasing
profile and influence in mainstream music, to the
bevy of raw talent emerging in the pool of new
artists, to the way changing music technology is
keeping record companies (and artists) on their
toes, to the ever-growing supremacy of rock &
roll, there is simply nowhere else IтАЩd rather be.
Are you a fan of surprises? If so, then this
monthтАЩs issue is for you. Consider Mark JosephтАЩs
feature on Christians in mainstream music
Your Christian Music Magazine Since 1978
volume 27 issue 10
For those whose lives are strengthened through faith-informed music,
CCM Magazine goes behind the scenes to celebrate the artistry of
Christian music.
CCM Magazine is a publication of Salem Publishing, a division of
Salem Communications.
тАвтАвтАвтАв тАвтАвтАвтАвтАвтАвтАв
CCM Magazine
Publisher James R. Cumbee
Associate Publisher & Editor in Chief Roberta Croteau
Editor Jay Swartzendruber
Managing Editor Stephanie Ottosen
Departments & Creative Ventures Editor Christa Farris
6 ccm april 05
(beginning on page 48). I thought IтАЩd heard itтАФ
and, to a degree, lived itтАФall. JosephтАЩs article
repeatedly raised my eyebrowsтАФhe connected
some unexpected dots for me, changing my
historical perspective on musicians being salt and
light in the broader music world.
And new artists. Do the names MuteMath,
Bethany Dillon, Mat Kearney, BarlowGirl, Kiki
Sheard and John Davis mean anything to you?
They willтАФeach one of them. And theyтАЩre the tip
of the iceberg.
Just as new as many of those artists, is the key
technology thatтАЩs making its way into music
production, distribution and aural consumption,
and, as a result, redefining the ways artists and
labels respond to your preferences. While our
main ! spread will get you up to speed on
the latest trends with downloads and ringtones
(see page 39), our тАЬPresidential BriefingтАЭ feature
(beginning on page 54) will give you, among
other things, a fresh perspective on where labels
are headed technologically.
Editorial Assistant Andrea Bailey
Art Director Lee Steffen
Production Director Ross E. Cluver
Contributing Editors Andy Argyrakis, Margaret Becker, Michael Card,
Richard Farley, Gregory Rumburg, Chris Well
Contributors Andy Argryakis, Anthony DeBarros, Richard Farley, Thom
Granger, David Jenison, Mark Joseph, David McCreary, Bart Millard,
Jessica Robin, Greg Rumburg, Russ Taff, Michael TenBrink
Web Editor Christa Farris
Circulation Director Buffy Booker
Customer Service Representatives Amy Cassell, Emeka Nnadi
Fulfillment Manager Leesa Smith
Executive Director of Advertising
L. Smitty Wheeler 615/312-4235
Senior Director of Advertising
DeDe Tarrant 805/987-5072
Account Executive Gregory Byerline
Account Executive Phil Davis
Marketing Coordinator Michael TenBrink
Advertising Coordinator Carol Jones
SupremacyтАФis that the right word to have
used with regard to the current emergence of rock
& roll in Christian music? You tell me. In addition
to being the most popular genre among Christian
music fans, rock album sales in 2004 actually
doubled the amount sold the year before. And its
momentum doesnтАЩt appear to be slowing down
anytime soon.
All told, who would have expected what weтАЩre
seeing today? The fact that insiders are
speculating about Jeremy Camp being the next
Michael W. Smith, Bethany Dillon the next Amy
Grant, Relient K the next Switchfoot and
MuteMath the next, well, whatever тАЬthe Coldplay
of Christian musicтАЭ meansтАж one thingтАЩs for sure,
these are fascinating times. And without a doubt,
a fantastic time for CCM to do our first ! issue.
While this special edition of CCM has been a
load of fun to work on, this month has been
bittersweet. With the conclusion of this issue, we
say тАЬfarewellтАЭ to our friend and esteemed
managing editor, Stephanie Ottosen. After four
impressive years with the CCM team, Stephanie
recently returned to her hometown of Houston,
Tex., where she and her husband Micah are
preparing to welcome their first child. Perhaps no
one will be hit by StephanieтАЩs departure as much
as yours truly. You see, Stephanie taught this onetime publicist тАЬthe way of the editor.тАЭ
I, we, will miss her.
[email protected]
Special thanks: Chuck Anderson of NoPattern for the
wonderful cover illustration. Chuck has worked with Audi,
McDonalds, Microsoft, Computer Arts Magazine,
ESPN The Magazine and Creativity Magazine to
name a few. Check out for more info.
Sales/Marketing Associate Craig Felker
Sales Assistant Lindsay Stowers
Main Office 104 Woodmont Blvd., Suite 300, Nashville, TN 37205
615/386-3011 (ph) тАв 615/386-3380 (business fax) тАв 615/385-4112
(editorial fax) тАв 615/312-4266 (advertising fax)
Subscriptions/Customer Service CCM, 104 Woodmont, Ste 300, Nashville
37205, 800/333-9643 or [email protected] Annual
subscription rates: United States, $19.95/one year, $35.95/ two years,
$53.95/three years; Canada, (U.S. funds) $27.95 per year; all other countries,
(U.S. funds) $33.95 (surface) or $67 (airmail). For address changes or other
inquiries, please include both old and new addresses and mailing label.
Allow four to six weeks for new subscriptions to begin.
Cover illustration by Chuck Anderson (
12:49 PM
Page 8
the pictures as wallpaper, seeing as I
am the more тАЬexpressive type fanтАЭ;
but I have problems tearing up the
magazine. Thanks for continuing to
be creative and helping to make my
month better.
тАФJenny Stracener, Soddy Daisy, TN
IтАЩm loving the February issue of CCM.
(I was especially looking forward to it
to see who was in the ReadersтАЩ
Choice Awards.) After I opened it up
[тАЬCCM ReadersтАЩ Choice Awards
2005тАЭ], I was floored. The
photography that David Dobson did
for the issue is amazing and is
enough, by itself, to tide me over until
the next issue! As Mr.
Swartzendruber stated in his letter
from the editor, I would love to use
I have been a dedicated CCM
subscriber for almost seven years and
wanted to commend the CCM staff for
the wonderful work on the 2005
ReadersтАЩ Choice Awards. This issue is
by far the best visual-looking issue
ever! Kudos to photographer David
Dobson and the rest of the CCM staff
for the amazing layout and design of
all the ReadersтАЩ Choice Award
winners. It was evident that each
photograph was deeply thought about
and planned out. All of the photos
showed creativity by Dobson and
individuality by each artist. The design
of this issue rivals most mainstream
magazines. I hope that David Dobson
and the rest of the CCM staff get
awarded for this beautiful
тАФTim Kong, Nyack, NY
I just wanted to let you know that the
artist photos from the readersтАЩ poll
were outstanding. I donтАЩt know who
came up with the concept, but give
them a pat on the back. Very creative
and fun!
тАФKevin Avery
Program Director/Morning Show
104.7 The Fish/Atlanta, GA
Unbelievable! Maybe the best issue
ever. The photography of the artists is
amazing. Great job.
тАФDanny Clayton
Program Director/morning show
105.3 The Fish/Milwaukee, WI
Just got my copy of CCM at work and
was blown away by your photos of the
ReadersтАЩ Choice winners. These
pictures look great and are so
creative. As another media hound, I
grew weary of seeing the same press
kit photos that I would get across my
desk. However, these photos of
tobyMac, Rebecca St. James and
everyone else look phenomenal.
What a breath of fresh air to see our
favorites in a new light. Thanks, CCM!
As always, you guys rock.
тАФJennifer E. Jones, Producer,
Virginia Beach, VA
The trailer park [Jeremy] Camp family
photo made me laugh out loud! ItтАЩs
good for these artists to have fun
with a photo op, not just the same
old posing. Original and fun pictures
for the whole article were
8 ccm april 05
appreciated, not a "barefoot on the
beach" or "gazing out to sea" in sight.
тАФNicola Topsom, Edmonton, AB
I just got through reading the
ReadersтАЩ Choice issue and saw that
Apologetix and Disciple were voted
the top two indie bands. It would
really be great to see an article on
these two bands in your mag. I have
been a subscriber for a long time and
enjoy it, but to see a story on these
two groupsтАФespecially DiscipleтАФ
would be awesome.
--Darrell Gibson, via email
Thanks for your suggestion, Darrell. Did you
happen to catch our full-page interview with
Apologetix alumnus (and Word Distribution
sales rep.) Keith Harrold last July? Also, youтАЩll
be pleased to know that Disciple just signed a
recording agreement with INO MusicтАЩs new
modern rock label, S/R/E Recordings. ItтАЩs safe
to say youтАЩll be seeing Disciple amidst future
pages of CCM.
In the February issue of your
magazine, you wrote a short article
about Backstreet BoysтАЩ Brian Littrell
[тАЬThe InsiderтАЭ]. This put the biggest
smile on my face. I have been a fan
of his group for 10 years. They have
been a vital part of my life (including
helping me decide that the music
industry is the place for me). I believe
the Lord put the Backstreet Boys on
this earth to help others and myself
get through tough times. Brian Littrell
has especially touched my heart. I am
12:49 PM
Page 9
likes of Randy Stonehill, Eric Clapton,
Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan. As I
watched McCartney play the halftime
show of the Super Bowl, I could not
help but think of NormanтАЩs poignant
message of our SaviorтАЩs love.
тАФBrent Kohlenberger, Swansea, IL
bands, etc. have become part of my
daily life. I really enjoy the music and
the positive messages I get from the
songs. Thanks again, and keep up
the good work.
тАФRon Morrison, Park Forest, IL
I just wanted to drop a line to tell
everyone at CCM how much I enjoy
reading your magazine. A friend
introduced me to Christian music in
2001 (and also CCM), and I do not
listen to anything else. Listening to
and reading about Christian music,
We welcome your comments. Address your letter to
Feedback, CCM Magazine, 104 Woodmont
Blvd., Suite 300, Nashville, TN 37205; fax
615/385-4112, Attn: Feedback; or e-mail
[email protected] Always include
your full name, address and phone number. Letter
may be edited for length and clarity.
In last monthтАЩs issue, CCM
incorrectly cited two important
songwriting credits and quotes
about the songs in our ZOEgirl
feature. It was actually Kristin
Swinford who was the primary writer
of the song тАЬSkin DeepтАЭ and spoke
about it. Likewise, Chrissy Conway
was primary writer and spoke of
тАЬNot the One.тАЭ Our apologies to
them both.
glad that he is a man of God and
does amazing things through his
celebrity status. I cry every time I
think of the great work he is doing for
children with heart disease. I do,
however, have one complaint about
your article. In it you write the
following line: тАЬPop music
aficionados wonтАЩt have to say тАШbye,
bye, byeтАЩ to its favorite boy band...тАЭ
With this sentence you are implying
that the Backstreet Boys sing the
song тАЬBye Bye Bye.тАЭ That, however, is
false. The song тАЬBye Bye ByeтАЭ is
sung and performed by *NSYNC.
тАФJanet Valdez, via e-mail
Janet, might we have used an *NSYNC song
title on purpose? WeтАЩll never tell...
In your short list of Songs To Or
About Famous People [тАЬList-O-Rama,тАЭ
February], I was surprised that you
failed to mention a timeless classic
by Christian rock pioneer Larry
Norman. тАЬSong for a Small Circle of
FriendsтАЭ is a beautiful song to the
WhatтАЩs your favorite Christian music legend or supposedly tall tale? What about that nagging question concerning
your favorite artist that, apparently, no oneтАЩs been able to answer? ThatтАЩs where we come in. Check here each
month as CCM distinguishes fact from fiction, and e-mail your questions to [email protected]
Dear CCM,
I saw a commercial for the Adam
Sandler movie, Spanglish, and it
had a Jars of Clay song playing
during it. It got me wondering how
songs make it into movies. I
figured you guys would have the
inside scoop.
тАФFilm Buff in Philadelphia
Good question! To get the answer for
you, we went straight to an expert in
Los AngelesтАФTyler Bacon, who
executive produced albums by
Sixpence None the Richer, The Choir,
Fleming & John and Living Sacrifice in
the mid тАЩ90s and is now the president
of Position Music. His company
pitches songs (тАЬcutsтАЭ) to the film and
television industry and has landed
tracks in such shows as тАЬSmallville,тАЭ
тАЬThe O.C.тАЭ and тАЬMalcolm in the
MiddleтАЭ as well as in major motion
pictures such as Elf and The Butterfly
Effect. Position is hired by record labels
(including EMI Christian Music
Group, which includes Gotee, Sparrow
and ForeFront Records) and/or music
publishing companies to work their
catalog of songs in Hollywood.
According to Bacon, much of the
process of landing a songтАЩs placement
into film or television is simply
relational. He stays in close contact
with music supervisors at film studios
and production companies as well asтАФ
to a lesser extentтАФproducers, directors or
music editors. These contacts keep
companies, such as Position, in the loop
as to what they are looking for. For
example, Bacon said heтАЩll get a call from a
studio that is shooting a film with a party
scene for which theyтАЩre looking for a
dance song, or a dinner scene for which
theyтАЩre seeking a jazz song. Bacon will
then select the songs from his clientsтАЩ
catalogs that are best suited for said
scenes and send the songs to the studio
for consideration.
Position also does тАЬblind pitchingтАЭ by
putting together compilation discs of
songs from its clientsтАЩ catalog that are the
most TV/film-friendly and sending them
to music supervisors. Bacon said such
pitching does result in phone calls from
parties interested in using certain songs.
In fact, with television Bacon will
sometimes get a desperate call from a
music supervisor who, for whatever
reason, has just had a song drop from a
show. Exemplifying how quickly things in
Hollywood can turn around, Bacon said
heтАЩs put together deals on a Friday for a
show that airs the following Monday!
Once a song is selected for use, two
licenses need to be negotiated: a master
license, which grants permission from the
record label to use the recording of the
song under the agreed-upon terms, and a
synchronization (тАЬsynchтАЭ) license, which
likewise grants permission from the songтАЩs
publisher. And, yes, that process is really
done for every single song you hear in
a film or a television show! Nothing
happens by accident in Hollywood!
According to Bacon, a ballpark
figure for use of a song in a movie
trailer is $7,500 to $60,000, while
placement in a TV show will pull in
between $1,000 and $15,000,
depending on the length and
placement of the music clip. This
amount is then split between the
songwriter, the publisher and the
labelтАФand, of course, it also pays
PositionтАЩs fee.
april 05 ccm 9
1:46 PM
Page 11
GMA Music Awards
preview, Grammy
round-up and more.
by Christa Farris
A Time for
The nominees have been
announced for a while now.
The location has been
decided (the legendary
Grand Ole Opry House in
Nashville), and the artists
are probably even shopping
for their fashionable outfits
as we speak. But what
everyone wants to know is:
WhoтАЩs going to take home
the most Doves on Christian
musicтАЩs biggest night? On
the eve of the 36th annual
GMA Music Awards, CCMтАЩs
own editorial team weighs
in with its predictions...
Jeremy Camp photographed
by Brandon Dickerson
Jay Swartzendruber, Editor
Christa Farris, Departments Editor
Stephanie Ottosen, Managing Editor
Diego Rock: Switchfoot reconnects with producer John Fields and hits the studio anticipating a July
april 05 ccm 11
10:50 PM
Page 12
[Nominees: Jeremy Camp, Jason Crabb, Mark Hall,
Israel Houghton, Fernando Ortega]
Should Win:
Swartzendruber: Jeremy Camp
Farris: Jeremy Camp
Ottosen: Jeremy Camp
Will Win:
Swartzendruber: Jeremy Camp
With all due respect to his competition this
year and the next 10 years, J.C.тАЩs in the
house, and heтАЩs not renting!
Farris: Jeremy Camp
While last yearтАЩs victories were, well, more
of a surprise, itтАЩll be no surprise this year
when he walks away with yet another
statue for his great vocal delivery.
Ottosen: Jeremy Camp
ItтАЩs been a year of radio hits, big sales and
successful tours for this new dad.Why
shouldnтАЩt he win again?
her voice has never sounded better, but
Nicole is an old favorite; and voters wonтАЩt
soon forget the voice that sang тАЬRedeemer.тАЭ
[Nominees: Casting Crowns, The Crabb Family,
MercyMe, Selah, Switchfoot]
Should Win:
Swartzendruber: Switchfoot
Farris: Switchfoot
Ottosen: Switchfoot
Will Win:
Swartzendruber: Casting Crowns
How many bands have managed to sell
more than two million albums, mostly in the
mainstream, while loving the Savior, His
church and its neighbors with such
humility, integrity and artistic excellence?
Yes, Switchfoot тАЬshouldтАЭ win. But I believe
the nod will actually go to Christian
musicтАЩs new favorite sons (and daughters).
Will Win:
Swartzendruber: Bethany Dillon
and his brilliant work on Steven Curtis
ChapmanтАЩs All Things New.
BarlowGirl has sold more albums, but
Bethany connects with both a young and
older (as in voting!) audience.
Farris: Brown Bannister
Farris: Bethany Dillon
A talented girl with a guitarтАФwhatтАЩs not to
love? Like one of her guitar-wielding
mentors, Jennifer Knapp, Bethany should
walk away with the тАЬNew ArtistтАЭ crown.
Ottosen: BarlowGirl
This trio sold the most of any debut artist
last year and had a No. 1 radio hit to
boot. These sisters will take the bird home.
[Nominees: Bethany Dillon, Natalie Grant, Nicole C.
Mullen, Christy Nockels, Joy Williams]
Should Win:
Swartzendruber: Bethany Dillon
Farris: Bethany Dillon
Ottosen: Natalie Grant
Will Win:
Swartzendruber: Bethany Dillon
[Nominees: Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Selah,
Michael W. Smith, Switchfoot]
Should Win:
Swartzendruber: Switchfoot
Farris: Switchfoot
Ottosen: Switchfoot
While this category is as closely matched
as they come, it came down to this for me:
Who would I vote for if I was one of the
other nominees?
Will Win:
Swartzendruber: Casting Crowns
Ottosen: Casting Crowns
They deserve it, and theyтАЩve been exemplary
as Christians in the mainstream.
Farris: Nicole C. Mullen
When it comes right down to it, I think the
more familiar, powerhouse chops of Nicole
C. Mullen will be the ones the voters will
award this time around.
[Nominees: BarlowGirl, Building 429, Day of Fire,
Bethany Dillon, Matthew West]
Ottosen: Nicole C. Mullen
NatalieтАЩs continuing to reinvent herself and
MTV, VH-1 and beyond, Switchfoot has
had the kind of year that artists dream
about in terms of mainstream visibility. But
when it comes to the mainstream sector of
Christian music fans, I think itтАЩs the catchy
conviction of Casting Crowns thatтАЩll
ultimately translate to a victory.
No doubt, SwitchfootтАЩs been everywhere this
year and continues to blow us away with
its success in the mainstream, but I think
voters will cast for a group that stays closer
to the Christian music industry home.
Should Win:
Swartzendruber: Bethany Dillon
Farris: Bethany Dillon
Ottosen: BarlowGirl
Ottosen: Brown Bannister
Ed Cash is the тАЬitтАЭ producer this year, but I
think voters canтАЩt help choosing Brown
Bannister because they have so many
years in a row.
Farris: Casting Crowns
Look at the credits of some of Christian
musicтАЩs most creative outings to date, and
youтАЩll see Ed CashтАЩs name. But Brown
Bannister has the kind of name recognition
that should keep his Dove track record solid.
Because Switchfoot is тАЬChristian by faith,
not by musical genre.тАЭ
Farris: Switchfoot
I dare them to vote for anyone elseтАж
Ottosen: Switchfoot
[Nominees: Brown Bannister, Ed Cash, Israel
Houghton, Pete Kipley, Mark A. Miller]
Should Win:
Swartzendruber: Ed Cash
Farris: Ed Cash
Ottosen: Ed Cash
[Nominees: тАЬBlessed Be Your NameтАЭ-Tree63, тАЬDare
You to MoveтАЭ-Switchfoot, тАЬFriend of GodтАЭ-Israel
Houghton, тАЬGlory DefinedтАЭ-Building429, тАЬHealing
RainтАЭ-Michael W. Smith, тАЬMeant to LiveтАЭ-Switchfoot,
тАЬMoreтАЭ-Matthew West, тАЬThrough the FireтАЭ-The Crabb
Family, тАЬWho Am IтАЭ-Casting Crowns, тАЬYou Raise Me
Should Win:
Swartzendruber: тАЬDare You to MoveтАЭ
Farris: тАЬDare You to MoveтАЭ
Ottosen: тАЬMeant to LiveтАЭ
Will Win:
Swartzendruber: тАЬWho Am IтАЭ
Because Casting Crowns owns Christian
radio and, thanks to тАЬMeant to Live,тАЭ
SwitchfootтАЩs votes in this category will be
split between two songs.
Farris: тАЬHealing RainтАЭ
тАЬDare You to MoveтАЭ was the empowering
anthem du jour of the year; you just
couldnтАЩt escape it. But Michael W. SmithтАЩs
тАЬHealing RainтАЭ is the power track thatтАЩs
going to edge it out. It has all the makings
of a Dove winner: a big chorus, worshipful
accessibility and, donтАЩt forget, the crucial
Michael W. Smith stamp.
Ottosen: тАЬHealing RainтАЭ
Will Win:
Swartzendruber: Brown Bannister
Thanks to both BannisterтАЩs higher profile
тАЬMeant to LiveтАЭ was all over the charts, but
MichaelтАЩs got to win at least one
release, expected to be a тАЬdarkerтАЭ and тАЬlouderтАЭ rock album тАв SheтАЩs One Busy Girl: Ginny Owens Writes
12 ccm april 05
10:50 PM
Page 13
From left:
AvalonтАЩs Melissa
Greene, Jody
McBrayer and his
wife Stephanie
with Norah Jones.
Inset: Steven
Curtis Chapman
and Matchbox
20тАЩs Rob Thomas
L.A. Story
In a star-studded event, several of your
favorite Christian artists strolled the red
carpet in style at this yearтАЩs Grammy Awards.
Now get the scoop on SkilletтАЩs first trip to the
festivities, along with other great artist photo
ops that probably wouldnтАЩt happen in any
place other than Los Angeles.
The Grammy Diaries
Unless youтАЩve been living under a rock, you probably
already know that the late Ray Charles, Alicia Keys,
Kanye West, Usher, Green Day, John Mayer and
Maroon5 scored some pretty key wins recently on
Grammy night.
But Christian musicтАЩs finest were also wellrepresented. Before we dive into the winners, did you
catch the constant pans of Amy & Vince or happen to
spot Jars of Clay after Green DayтАЩs performance of
тАЬAmerican Idiot?тАЭ I must say it was cool to see someone
other than, well, Usher getting some love from the
Grammy cam.
As for that aforementioned Grammy gold, Steven
Curtis Chapman added another trophy to what must be
an overflowing collection for Best Pop/Contemporary
Gospel Album for All Things New. Third Day also
chocked up another accolade for Best Rock Gospel
Album for its latest, Wire. Smokie Norful scored in the
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album category with
Nothing Without You, while Randy TravisтАЩ Worship &
Faith also took top honors in the Best Southern, Country
or Bluegrass Gospel Album.
тАЬThis is way cooler than prom!тАЭ
> >>> Songs
Skillet may have lost to Third Day in
the Best Rock Gospel Album
category, but the band definitely
relished its opportunity to hang out in
L.A. for musicтАЩs most glamorous night
as these exclusive photos reveal.
Band pictured with Zach Kelm,
Manager, Q Management Group
тАЬWeтАЩre on our way now.тАЭ
тАЬWe just lost and are
pretending not to care.тАЭ SkilletтАЩs
Lori Peters and Ben Kasica
pictured at Warner Bros.тАЩ postGrammy party.
тАЬHeтАЩs cool, and yes, his beard is
real.тАЭ SkilletтАЩs John Cooper is
pictured with Z.Z. TopтАЩs Billy F.
Gibbons at a post-Grammy event.
тАЬBest Friends 4EverтАЭ SkilletтАЩs
Korey Cooper, John Cooper, Ben
Kasica and Lori Peters are pictured
with тАЬScrubsтАЭ and Garden State
star, Zach Braff.
for Her Upcoming October Studio Project, wraps up Next MonthтАЩs Release of Live From New Orleans
april 05 ccm 13
10:51 PM
Page 14
A Passionate Makeover
Can you believe that itтАЩs already been more than a year since the release
of the worldwide movie phenomenon known as The Passion of The
Christ? And now for something even more unbelievable: A toned-down
(read: less gory) version of the movie, The Passion Recut, was recently
released in theaters for those who werenтАЩt comfortable with the extremely
graphic crucifixion scenes in the original. While it hasnтАЩt been finalized at press
time, there are talks of the Mel Gibson film being an annual event release.
A River Runs Through It
Speaking of whatтАЩs new at the multiplex, Passion star James Caviezel is set to
star in Madison, an independent, feel-good movie in the vein of Field of
Dreams or Hoosiers that recently premiered at The Sundance Film Festival.
Based on a true story of a dying river town (Madison, Ind.), the film is a
father/son tale of the come-from-behind win in the 1971 race for the gold cup
of hydroplane boat racing. Complete with 180 mile per hour, flat-bottomed
boat racing, the underlying theme is the spirit of smalltown America and the
difficulties of generational transition from the тАЩ60тАЩs to the тАЩ70тАЩs.
For more information, visit
New Must-See TV: тАЬThe Logan ShowтАЭ
While touring the Christian music festival circuit during
the summer of 2004 to encourage voter registration,
19-year-old Logan Sekulow and his friends came up
with a winning concept for a new T.V. show.
Now the first show of its kind in Christian T.V. land,
тАЬThe Logan ShowтАЭ is a new youth-oriented variety
program that takes the best elements of late-night
shows such as тАЬSaturday Night LiveтАЭ and тАЬConan
OтАЩBrienтАЭ with a little тАЬAustin City LimitsтАЭ musical flavor
mixed in and offers a funny, enjoyable diversion from
the usual late-night fare for the whole family.
Hosted by Sekulow along with co-host John Drake
Windsor, the show features a cast of eight guys and
girls who provide the bulk of the entertainment via
comedy sketches in front of a live studio audience in
Nashville, Tenn. Christian musicтАЩs preeminent artists
also get in on the fun with live performances and
Currently broadcast into 60 million homes in the
U.S. on FamilyNet, INSP, JC-TV, iLife and more, a live
stream of the show is also available on and
CD тАв Speaking of Rocketown Artists: Label Signs Singer/Songwriter
10:52 PM
Page 15
>> pop
DVD Picks
from Your
This month we've got two artists
endorsing the same film. If you have
yet to see this late тАЩ80s classic, take
it from them...
Blake Knight, Ill Harmonics:
My favorite comedy is an oldie but a
goodie. I would recommend that
anyone who likes dry wit rent The
Princess Bride on DVD. The movie is hilarious but also touches some
heart strings with an intricate love story and, of course, the ever brilliant Fred
Savage ("The Wonder Years"). A must-see and a must-own.
Eric Lemier, The Rock 'N' Roll Worship Circus:
The Princess Bride is a movie that everyone needs to see. There's action,
comedy, love, deceit, and the movie is "really historically accurate." It's a
timeless classic that the whole family will enjoy.
Faith in
Christina Milian
She may not be a household name
just yet, but with turns in the muchhyped reunion of John Travolta and
Uma Thurman in Be Cool and in the
recent Tommy Lee Jones vehicle Man
of the House, rising star Christina
Milian is having the kind of career
start that many aspiring actresses
dream about.
Describing how she stays
grounded in spite of her newfound
acclaim, Milian recently told USA
Today she maintains her strong
Catholic convictions, even pausing to
pray before she enjoys her salad. тАЬI
pray constantly and appreciate life,тАЭ
she says. тАЬThe struggles IтАЩve been
through have gotten me to where I
am today.тАЭ
april 05 ccm 15
12:19 AM
Page 16
to Seattle
When it comes to
recording his brand new
live disc, there is no place
like home for Shawn
True Love Completely
Took Me By Surprise...
By 2005 GMA Awards Nominee Christy Nockels
While my five-hour flight from
Nashville to Seattle was a bit of a
whirlwind experience for a onenight concert stop, this kind of
travel is nothing new for Seattlebased singer/songwriter Shawn
McDonald, whoтАЩs been on the
road in support of his Sparrow
debut, Simply Nothing, for
months on end.
But even the most experienced
artist isnтАЩt particularly fond of a 6
a.m. wake-up call, even in the
rainy java capital where thereтАЩs a
caffeine rush available on
practically every street corner.
However, despite his lack of
sleep, McDonald persevered as
he spent the better part of the
morning before his live CD
recording making radio
appearances, conducting
interviews and participating in a
photo shoot.
But if all the running around
caused this soft-spoken artist any
stress, you wouldnтАЩt have guessed
from his calm composure onstage
later that evening at the packedout venue of SeattleтАЩs Mars Hill
church. With a chill atmosphere
accentuated by candlelight and
the handiwork of an onstage
artist who painted as McDonald
sang, the evening seemed to go
off with very few hitches.
After the show CCM caught up
with McDonald for the inside track
on his first live recording and
CCM: What stood out to you
about this particular recording
McDonald: тАЬIt was a neat night.
Not only was I at home playing,
but I had a lot of friends and
family in the audience. I was just
really moved tonight.тАЭ
CCM: You seemed just a little
nervous at the beginning but as
the night went on, you seemed
so much more assured. Was that
the case?
McDonald: тАЬYeah, IтАЩd say so.
There was a lot of pressure
tonightтАФpressure that it has to
sound goodтАж But at the same
time, there were also a lot of folks
out there. It was intimate with all
the people just right there, and so
I think there was a little
nervousness at first. I think as it
went on, though, I realized that
God was doing His thing, so the
nervousness kind of left.тАЭ
CCM: IтАЩve heard rumblings that
you are writing some new songs
and getting the process started
for whatтАЩs going to be your true
sophomore record. Tell me a little
about whatтАЩs been happening so
McDonald: тАЬWell, I think the
plan is to go into the studio in
mid-June, July and August. IтАЩve
written about eight new songs
right now, and then IтАЩve got about
10-15 older ones that I havenтАЩt
pulled out of the pot yet. So weтАЩve
got a good number, and IтАЩm
taking the whole month of May
off just strictly to write. My goal is
to have 25-30 songs coming into
this record, so that we can really
lay down all the songs and pick
the best ones.тАЭ
IтАЩll never know why self-respecting, God-fearing young
women give their heart and soul to guys they know are
not GodтАЩs best for them. I remember my daddy telling
me, тАЬChristy, there will always be a guy around who is
willing to spend his life with youтАФeven a good guyтАФbut
itтАЩs GodтАЩs heart for you that you wait for His best.тАЭ
As I grew a little older, I fell into that trapтАж keeping an
unguarded heart and allowing myself to go from one
relationship to another. How I wish now that I would
have just embraced the alone time that surrounded me.
Somehow I dreaded breaking off relationships because
I hated being alone, and I feared that my prince might
never come. Because of fear I wasted many of my high
school and college years.
I remember the day when God began to soften my
heart toward truly understanding what it means to
prepare myself for His best. I attended a small girlsтАЩ
retreat where we were asked to write a letter to our
future husbands. We poured our hearts out in pen and
paper and then wrapped them neatly with wedding
paper. I clung to this letter, keeping it visible as a
reminder that someday he would come. I wanted to
open it and read it again and again, until one day it
dawned on me that the letter could continue. I began to
keep a journal for my husband-to-be, full of thoughts,
prayers and promises for the years to come. This journal
kept hope alive within me and effectively helped me
pinpoint places in my dating life where I was settling for
something short of GodтАЩs perfect design for me.
God pierced my heart when I met my sweet husband,
Nathan Nockels. I was broken before God that He would
bring Nathan into my life in spite of my immaturity. The
grace and mercy of God came and took my breath away.
As a wedding gift, I gave Nathan the letter and journal
I had been writing in. What a treasure for both of us to
enjoy for years to come. We will celebrate our 10-year
anniversary this year, and I am still amazed at the
incomparable and priceless reward of recognizing and
preparing for GodтАЩs best for my life.
For more information, please visit
Michael Olson to Its Roster тАв Nicol Sponberg Leaves Selah to Pursue Ministry With Her Husband; Melodie
16 ccm april 05
1:49 PM
Page 18
Tell CCM
I had a very depressing time last
week, and I happened to play
the CD Still the Cross by FFH.
The song тАЬYou Love Me AnywayтАЭ
stood out; it made me realize
that, no matter what I do, God
still loves me. The first verse
struck me especially when it
said: тАЬI thought I had it all but
then I messed it up/ The same
old thing got the best of me.тАЭ
That has happened to me so
often, and that is why I got
depressed last week because I
was feeling like, тАЬI canтАЩt do this!тАЭ
Then when I heard this song, I
knew that I could do it with
GodтАЩs help. Thank you, FFH, for
writing this song. You helped me
to want to keep going!
тАФJamee Lee, Ohio
fan fare
Kirk Sullivan
Mitchell Jones
Michael Card
Josh Schwartz
(Seventh Day Slumber)
Chrissy Conway
Alisa Girard
Christine Dente
Ginny Owens
Danielle Young
(CaedmonтАЩs Call)
Mark Nash (PFR)
A few months ago, CaedmonтАЩs Call percussionist Garret Buell celebrated the best
New YearтАЩs Eve yetтАж at his own wedding to Alathea member Carrie Theobald. The
couple took their vows in CarrieтАЩs East Tennessee hometown.
Sanctus RealтАЩs drummer, Mark Graalman and his
wife, Susan, recently welcomed a baby boy to their
family. The coupleтАЩs firstborn, Benjamin Yo-Sup,
arrived on Feb. 4 weighing 8 lbs. 8 oz. and
measuring 21 inches long. About his sonтАЩs name,
Mark said, тАЬItтАЩs Korean tradition that grandfathers
give newborns their middle names. Since Susan is
Korean-American, we asked her father to choose a
biblical name that he liked. He chose Yo-Sup, which
is Korean for Joseph.тАЭ
Photo by David Dobson
Welcome to the World
Crittenden Steps In тАв TheyтАЩre Back: Anointed Set to Make its Return As a Duo This Month With Now is
18 ccm april 05
12:24 AM
Page 20
Russ TaffтАЩs ministry
and 5 Questions
with Ton├йx
by Stephanie Ottosen
TakinтАЩ it to the
Streets By Russ Taff
5 Questions
For some strange reason, extremely talented artists often seem to
go unnoticed. The brilliant Ton├йx, however, is not one of those
artists. Since releasing his nascent album, Pronounced Toe-Nay, in
1997, the then unknown performer has watched his career take off.
The artist and pastor followed his debut with 02, which garnered six
Stellar nominations and a Dove Award for тАЬUrban Album of the
Year.тАЭ And this year, his latest album, Out the Box, won a whopping
six Stellar Awards.
If you could visit any
place in the world, where
would it be and why?
I really would like to visit
Shangri La. ItтАЩs somewhere in
the Tibetan mountains. To find
out more information about this
[fictitious] place, you should
rent a movie entitled Lost
Horizon. This place is beautiful,
and the only rule there is тАЬbe
WhatтАЩs your most
embarrassing moment
One time I was walking over to
the organ to play it, but it was
kind of dark. I missed a step
and fell on the staircase
leading over to the organ. To
keep my balance I ended up
using the organ keys for
support, so it sounded really
funnyтАФlike a cartoon.
As a kid, what did you
want to be when you grew
I wanted to be a prosecuting
attorney and an amusement
park owner.
WhatтАЩs one goal you
have as an artist?
To be universal in my appeal
to affect the world and bring
change to a dying society. To be
a humanitarian of Christian
principle and a Nobel Peace
Prize winner.
A few years ago, if you had handed me
a list of societyтАЩs most serious
problems and asked me to name the
one closest to my heart, street
prostitution would probably not have
been my first choice! My thoughts
would probably have been something
like this: тАЬThey brought that on
themselves; itтАЩs not like itтАЩs a birth
defect or something they couldnтАЩt
help.тАЭ This attitude doesnтАЩt reflect
a lack of compassion, just a lack
of understanding. And now that I
have met the women of Magdalene, I
know better.
A few months after my wife, Tori, and
I started attending St. AugustineтАЩs
Chapel, we got involved with
Magdalene House, a long-term residential housing and recovery program
for Nashville women with a criminal
history of prostitution and drug abuse.
It was founded by our pastor, Rev. Becca
Stevens. I was asked to take her down
to NashvilleтАЩs infamous Dickerson Road
strip to pick up a woman who had asked
for shelter. When I saw the hopeless
eyes of the women on that street and
watched the cars prowling along like
predatory animals, it was a reality
check for me. I had lived in Nashville for
more than 20 years, and I didnтАЩt even
know this part of town existed.
So Tori and I educated ourselves. We
discovered that 100 percent of the
women Magdalene served were
addicted to drugs, usually crack
cocaine. Many were victims of violent
homes or domestic abuse. Almost all of
them had children, but almost none of
them had custody. And most heart-
breaking of all, we learned that the
average age of the first sexual
experience for women on the street is
between the ages of 7 and 11тАФoften at
the hands of a family member.
But the women are truly remarkable.
They donтАЩt whine about being тАЬvictims.тАЭ
They take responsibility for their
actions, and they are working hard to
take full advantage of the opportunity
they are given. There are sometimes
setbacks and relapses, but the success
stories are staggering. Magdalene
women are getting their G.E.D.
certificates, attending college and
learning computer, job, financial and life
skills that will enable them to become
productive members of society.
The Magdalene program now has
four residences and even its own
cottage industry, Thistle Farms, which
produces a line of nurturing body
products handmade by the residents.
Tori and I serve on the board of
directors and continue to be moved and
inspired by these amazing women. This
ministry is about helping to change the
world one life at a time until we all live
in a society in which it is no longer
acceptable anywhere for people to be
bought and sold.
Before establishing a prolific career as
a solo recording artist, Russ Taff burst
upon the Christian music scene in
1977 as the widely-acclaimed lead
vocalist for The Imperials. He has won
a total of 5 Grammy Awards and 9
GMA Dove Awards.
Russ Taff at a Magdalene Celebration
event at Fisk University Chapel
WhatтАЩs one question
youтАЩd like to ask God when
you get to heaven?
тАЬGod, explain what purpose
тАШtragic deathтАЩ served in your
overall purpose.тАЭ
the Time тАв Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. makes headlines after unveiling new course titled Kicking
20 ccm april 05
11:18 PM
Page 22
A conversation
with Jim Worthen
and the latest
industry buzz
by Jay Swartzendruber
When you look at todayтАЩs Christian music scene, what stands out to you?
I wish there was more of a sense of history for our market. What you guys have
done with the тАЬHall of FameтАЭ page is great. I would just like to encourage the
gatekeepers of the catalogs to get songs up on iTunes. Now that they donтАЩt have to
be pressed onto CD, thereтАЩs no excuse for them not to be online so kids can check
out some of the older stuff.
тАв тАЬAccording to SoundScan, Tooth & Nail/BEC sold more than two million albums
in 2004тАФof that exactly 50 percent Christian market and 50 percent
general market.тАЭ
тАв тАЬNo Tooth & Nail band that has sold 20,000-plus on their debut album has ever
sold less on their follow-up release.тАЭ
тАв тАЬNo band signed directly to Tooth & Nail or its imprints Solid State or BEC for a
multi-album deal has ever gone on to another label and sold more records.тАЭ
to Jim
And the beat goes onтАж
Jim Worthen (third from the
right), flanked by Tooth &
NailтАЩs Demon Hunter
For more than 11 years Seattle-based Tooth & Nail Records has laid
claim to the Christian communityтАЩs most rabid fans. With a stunning
roster that includes Jeremy Camp, Underoath, Kutless, Starflyer59,
Anberlin, KJ-52, Norma Jean, Aaron Sprinkle and Thousand Foot
Krutch, among others, Tooth & Nail has joined Sparrow and Integrity
as one of the Christian marketтАЩs top three selling labels. While founder
Brandon Ebel has long had a cult following, his second in command,
Vice President/Chief Financial Officer Jim Worthen, takes a more
stealth approach. When Jim departed Diamante Music Group in 1997
to join Tooth & Nail, he reunited with Ebel, whom he had befriended
when the two worked at the now defunct Frontline Records in the
early тАЩ90s.
How would you describe your job? DonтАЩt you have your hands in almost
Yes. I may be working on budgets or come out of a finance meeting and go right
into another meeting looking at T-shirt designs or listening to new bands. I
always want to keep that focus where IтАЩm not just stuck doing finance or
one thing.
Tooth & Nail is certainly a label to watch for breaking artists. Jeremy
Camp, Kutless, Underoath and Thousand Foot Krutch come to mind in
recent years. Who do you expect to emerge in the coming months?
I think of artists whose first albums did extremely well and are now getting
ready to release their second CDsтАФFalling Up, Emery, Hawk Nelson. Each of
these artistsтАЩ debut sold 40 to 50,000-plus. In our history, you know, second
albums just take off from there. Norma JeanтАЩs new album [released] March 1,
and we have big expectations for the group. [EditorтАЩs note: First weekтАЩs sales
exceeded 19,000 copies!] ItтАЩs one of the heavier bands out there, and the
members worked that first album for years and sold 60,000 copies. The Mae
record [released] in March also, and that oneтАЩs going to be big.
A Day Behind the
Scenes with Jim
8:30 Download current sales report
and discuss with Brandon [Ebel]
9:00 Answer e-mail
10:00 Company prayer meeting
10:30 Watch brand new Haste The
Day video
10:45 Review updated budget reports
and make necessary adjustments
12:00 Lunch with new T&N signing
Number One Gun
1:00 Answer e-mail
1:45 Proofread new Living Sacrifice
2:00 Production/new release
scheduling meeting
3:15 Starbucks!
3:30 Review month-to-date
4:00 More e-mail
4:30 Instant message with sales
managers in Nashville and L.A.
5:00 Review invoices before
submitting for payment
5:45 Discuss new Telecast recording
progress with Josh White
An impressive rendition of the Ashley
Cleveland song тАЬPower of LoveтАЭтАФ
originally featured on her 2002 album
Second SkinтАФaired on FOXтАЩs hit TV
show тАЬAmerican IdolтАЭ in February.
Performed by semifinalist Nadia
Turner, the song was written by
musician/producer Kenny Greenberg.
Entertainment WeeklyтАЩs Michael
Slezak stated that TurnerтАЩs тАЬflawless
take on the gospel-rock song тАШPower of
LoveтАЩ was week 1тАЩs biggestтАФand bestтАФ
The Passion тАШ05 Live EP, which
features new songs by Chris Tomlin
and Matt Redman, cracked iTunesтАЩ
overall Top 10 in February. Look for the
April 12 release of Passion: How Great
Is Our God (sixsteps), the full-length
album from the тАШ05 conference.
at the Darkness: Social Justice, Spiritual Longing and U2 тАв Dead Poetic Working on sophomore record тАв
22 ccm april 05
12:54 PM
Page 24
by Michael Card
тАЬYou, GodтАФdonтАЩt put off my rescue. Hurry
and help me!тАЭ
тАФPSALM 22:19
Our Next Companion on the Journey of Lament: David
We now come to the third leg of our journey of lament. Last month we
met our first traveling companion, Job. He was an example to us of
someone who understood that true worship means offering our suffering
to God as well as our praise. Job
taught us about not letting go of
God no matter how painful the
DavidтАЩs life was a wilderness;
struggle might be. He helped us
but as we have seen,
to see that the real answer to
is the place
prayer is always the presence of
where the journey of true
God, for in the close of his story
worship begins.
he didnтАЩt get back the children he
had lost (though God gave him
other children). He got God back!
Now we meet up with David,
the great composer of lament in the Bible. By far, the majority of the
psalms are his, and the majority of these are laments.
DavidтАЩs life was fashioned for lament. He was born in the wilderness
outside Bethlehem, the youngest of eight brothers. He was confronted all
his life with powerful enemies such as Goliath and Saul. He was betrayed
by his own son. In the end, he almost forfeited his kingdom because of an
adulterous affair that led to murder. David seems to have had only one
true friend in his lonely lifeтАФJonathan, the son of Saul, his most bitter
enemy. When Saul and Jonathan were killed together in the battle of
Mount Gilboa, David composed a lament for both of them. DavidтАЩs life
was a wilderness; but as we have seen, wilderness is the place where the
journey of true worship begins.
24 ccm april 05
As we join David on this journey of lament, he reminds us that the path
is taking us somewhere. The course of this trip is outlined in DavidтАЩs
psalms. It began in the Garden of Eden, where the simple obedience that
God required was lacking in the first couple and will end someday in the
New Jerusalem, where His presence will be restored to us. It is a journey
toward true intimacy with God. If we follow the path David marks out for
us in Psalms, it will lead us from the starting point of obedience, to the
law (Ps. 1), to an unheard-of closeness to Him that will be reflected in our
worship (Ps. 150). (If you remember, this is the same journey Job made in
his experience of lament.)
LetтАЩs look at some of the signposts David has provided for us on our
PSALM 13 The key phrase тАЬHow long?тАЭ gives voice to the lament of all of
us who struggle to maintain the hope that God will тАЬshow up.тАЭ Lament
helps us to hold on until He does.
PSALM 27 This psalm seems to make a confusing step backward, beginning
with confidence and ending with doubt. But the truth is, often we do lose
ground in our struggle to hold on to God. Here David provides us with the
words for when we do falter, because the truth is, no matter which direction
we find ourselves moving, there is always a reason to hold on to hope.
PSALM 51 In this psalm David provides the words we need to realize the
depth of our sin. This was a lament he composed after his adultery with
Bathsheba (II Sam. 11). Here we learn that all sin is, ultimately, sin against
12:55 PM
Page 25
God (v.4). David learned that all he had leftтАФa
broken spirit and a repentant heartтАФwas all
God ever wanted.
PSALM 22 This may be the darkest of all the
psalms in the Psalter. The musical title тАЬThe
Deer of the DawnтАЭ hardly seems to match the
forsaken lyrics. Psalm 13 asks the question,
тАЬHow long?тАЭ; this psalm simply asks, тАЬWhy?тАЭ
This is, of course, the psalm Jesus quoted from
the cross. In these dark words Jesus found the
perfect expression of His own agony. As He
experienced the hell of the hidden face of God,
Jesus screamed the question most every lament
asks: тАЬWhy have You forgotten me?тАЭ
In verse 19 a long-awaited shift occurs:
19 O Lord, do not stay away!
You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
Rescue me from a violent death;
spare my precious life from these dogs.
Snatch me from the lionsтАЩ jaws,
and from the horns of these wild oxen.
Then I will declare the wonder of Your
name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise
You among all Your people.
тАЬтАШBlessed are those who mourn for they will
be comfortedтАЩ (Matthew 5:4).
These are the words of Jesus, part of His
introduction to the Sermon on the Mount.
Many believe that this blessing and the seven
others that make up the Beatitudes are a
roadmap of sorts, guiding us from being an
enemy of God to trusting in God and finally
to living like His Son daily. Early on in this
journey towards godliness, Jesus stresses the
importance of mourning; itтАЩs a step that
cannot be skipped. This mourning He blesses
isnтАЩt over the loss of a loved one or a job. It
is lament over the poverty in our spirit тАУ the
lack of anything right in us (Matthew 5:3).
Without this kind of sorrow we cannot fully
trust Jesus for salvation. Wailing over our sin
is key to repentance and to understanding
what it is we have been saved from by Jesus
Christ. So we cry out with Paul when we
examine our hearts, тАШWhat a wretched man
I am! Who will rescue me from this body of
death?тАЩ (Romans 7:24).тАЭ тАФShaun Groves
Praise the Lord, all you who fear Him!
Honor Him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show Him reverence, all you descendants of
For He has not ignored the suffering of
the needy. He has not turned and walked
away. He has listened to their cries for help.
I will praise You among all the people;
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those
who worship You.
The poor will eat and be satisfied.
All who seek the Lord will praise Him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
The whole earth will acknowledge the
Lord and return to him. People from every
nation will bow down before Him.
For the Lord is king! He rules all the
Let the rich of the earth feast and
worship. Let all mortalsтАФthose born to dieтАФ
bow down in His presence.
Future generations will also serve Him.
Our children will hear about the wonders of
the Lord.
His righteous acts will be told to those
yet unborn.They will hear about everything
He has done. тАФNew Living Translation
The lament concludes with a long passage of
praise in which the psalmist reaches out to
every conceivable group. The journey of Psalm
22 is the journey of lamentтАФfrom the darkest
dark to the brightest light, from the most
forsaken suffering of Jesus to His eventual
experience of the тАЬjoy that was before HimтАЭ
(Hebrews 12:2).
On an infinitely smaller scale, this is the
journey we, too, must walk: the journey that
lament bids us to makeтАФfrom the painful
experience of the effect of our own sin to the
glorious freedom that only comes from breaking
through the darkness of that impenetrable cloud
and into the glory of Presence.
Michael Card is an award-winning scholar, musician and radio broadcaster
who resides in Franklin, Tennessee. His latest book and study guide titled A Sacred
Sorrow deal with the painful circumstances surrounding the lives of Job, David,
Jeremiah and Jesus: circumstances that that provoked these men into a unique song
of worship. Visit for more information.
april 05 ccm 25
12:18 PM
Page 27
snow is finally melting for those in
AmericaтАЩs most arctic areas, and the spring chill
all across the country is slowly fading into a
summer breeze. In addition to barbecues,
parties will envelop backyards and jeans will be
traded in for shorts. But the real celebration of
the season comes in the form of Christian
music festivals. Indeed, thereтАЩs no better way to
ring in the warmer months than with the
biggest and best ministers of live music. And
this yearтАЩs festivities are proving to be among
the grandest yet. Need proof?
Just read on and see.
Some concertgoers are
extremely dedicated, hopping
around from city to city and
event to eventтАФliterally
planning their summers
around such spectacular
soir├йes. Perhaps theyтАЩll divide
their destinations by region,
visiting the most acclaimed
in each area and meeting up
with new friends along the way to explore the
nationтАЩs best to their fullest potential.
Less intense but still fervent regulars often
have a singular, annual routine of hitting the
open trail (well, more like the yellow-lined
road), unfolding gigantic maps and packing a
cooler of Coke for the journey in the car. Some
drive four hours; others may spend an
afternoon, while the extremely dedicated make
a day-long pilgrimage to their all-time, most
awesome hot spot for guaranteed satisfaction.
Then there are those who
may be major fans of
Christian music but,
perhaps, have yet to
experience the festival circuit
firsthand. Granted, the
veterans are probably
chuckling right now, but
they must remember back to
the days of being in the
inexperienced travelersтАЩ
shoes when someone had to
GUIDE 2005
show them the ropes.
No matter what the audience, CCMтАЩs 2005
festival guide is the surefire manual to making
this summer the coolest ever. It features some
of the most popular, jam-packed extravaganzas
of all time, which promise to not only warrant
an unforgettable experience but also a
spiritually uplifting encounter. So sit back in a
hammock, kick off those sandals, splash on
that sunscreen and get ready to bask in the
glory of this yearтАЩs many incredible festivals.
Alive Festival
June 22-25 / Canal Fulton, Ohio
(Clays Park Resort)
Those anywhere near Ohio, its surrounding
states or the whole nation for that matter have
been flocking by the thousands to the Alive
Festival since it first opened its doors in 1988.
The extended weekend event takes place
within some of the most spacious and scenic
confines of the Canal Fulton vicinity, including
the acoustically pristine and visually stunning
april 05 ccm 27
12:19 PM
Page 28
In addition to that unforgettable music lineup, thereтАЩs also a three-day worship conference
sponsored by (free with
every festival admission). Such an addition will
enlighten, equip and educate those within the
worship field with some of the most notable
experts in that arena. Whether involved with
small services or mega-churches, everyone who
attends is sure to return home renewed.
Amphitheatre Stage, Woods Stage, Beach
Stage, Alive Caf├й and Family Fun Tent. These
variety-filled venues have housed legends,
leaders and breakthrough artists, providing
something for virtually every demographic,
denomination and artistic disposition. Over
the years such sights have been a mecca for
cultures to combine, various visions to merge
and the body of Christ to be lifted up with one
rousing voice.
тАЬAlive started as a festival that would offer a
chance to hear over 50 concerts and speakers at
one huge festival and a way to reach out to
people who may not come into a church, but
would come if invited to a music festival,тАЭ says
director Bill Graening.тАЬ[ItтАЩs] also a way to
bring various churches together as a
celebration of our faith and belief in
Christ regardless of denomination or
church affiliation.тАЭ
That far-reaching scope has served its
purpose, reeling in seekers whoтАЩve eventually
become new believers, while becoming a source
of sustenance, encouragement and
entertainment for the faithful. This yearтАЩs lineup is packed with diversity, sure to please
virtually any palette. It includes major players
Switchfoot, Third Day, Relient K,
tobyMac, Audio Adrenaline, Pillar,
Superchic[k], John Reuben and Blindside.
Also along for the ride are rising stars Sarah
Kelly, Sanctus Real, Tree63, KJ-52,
Kutless, Mars Ill, House of Heroes,
Building 429, Starfield, Across the Sky,
Palisade, Mute Math, Tomorrow Today
and Day of Fire.
тАЬWe love to serve the artists who come to
Alive and make them our guests,тАЭ Graening
says. тАЬMany artists say Alive is their favorite
festivalтАжbecause we treat them as our honored
guests, not just artists we pay to play. ThatтАЩs due
to our amazing staff of volunteers, many of
whom have helped serve at Alive for all 17 years!тАЭ
28 ccm april 05
тАЬ[It will include]
training for modern
worship with 18
seminars for
worship leaders,
pastors, musicians,
vocalists and
Graening continues.
Like the aforementioned desire to
reach beyond the churchтАЩs walls,
this is yet another example of Alive
extending its arm into the
community for the good of the
gospel. In fact, itтАЩs been found that
besides having an enjoyable time,
many attend for all four days and
receive Christ by the end.
For Graening, his wife and the staff, тАЬItтАЩs all
about serving the customers by providing a
safe, diverse festival with great camping, hot
showers and clean restrooms,тАЭ he says.
тАЬ[ThereтАЩs also] swimming, waterslides,
basketball, volleyball and tons of concerts with
the best Christian music available, giant video
walls with sound and lighting [plus]
encouraging speakers and teachersтАжWe give a
clear gospel message each evening at main stage
and love to see thousands come to know Jesus
as their personal Savior through the ministry of
Alive! That keeps us excited to work on
another festival year in and year out.тАЭ
For additional information, log on to
Kingdom Bound
July 31-August 3 / Buffalo, New York
(Six Flags Darien Lake)
Imagine all the opportunities a festival can
bring merged with all the enjoyment of an
amusement park, complete with roller coasters,
shows and spectacles. ThatтАЩs exactly what the
New York area gets treated to every year with
Kingdom Bound Ministries, an undertaking that
began in the late тАЩ80s with the goal of sharing the
Good News through Christian music. The initial
dream first came together with talent agent Fred
Caserta and musician Mike Caputy, who moved
at a grassroots level, corralling local pastors to get
involved. One of the tag teamтАЩs earliest events was
тАЬSeminars and workshops will be led by Chris a mid-тАЩ80s concert featuring Sheila Walsh, Russ
Tomlin, David Crowder, Vicky Beeching,
Taff and Mylon Le Fevre, which eventually
Peter Furler of Newsboys and speakers
attracted the attention of a special events
Malcolm DuPlessis and Pete Greig. Also
coordinator at Six Flags Darien Lake.
we have added more worship to the festival
тАЬThe festival began and continues to be
and continue to offer youth leaders a special
presented in an amusement park, which is
tent to get free CDs, resources, water and
open to the public during the event,тАЭ explains
snacks. [They can] meet artists and speakers
executive director Donna M. Russo. тАЬIn 1986,
while getting time to rest during the festival.тАЭ
our president, Fred Caserta, was approached by
Even beyond these outreach extensions, a direct the park and asked to put together a Christian
invitation is given to 500 youth and counselors
day of music [which] grew into the first festival
from childrenтАЩs homes and youth organizations in in 1987. 2005 will mark the 19th festival at
the area that donтАЩt have funds to otherwise attend. Six Flags Darien Lake.тАЭ
12:19 PM
Page 30
This summer truly promises to be a
milestone year, culling together fan favorites
from the past two decades, along with todayтАЩs
top new talent. The line-up is led by the likes of
Michael W. Smith, tobyMac, MercyMe,
Rachael Lampa, Newsboys, Rebecca St.
James and Jeremy Camp. And fest-goers will
also likely want to check out Denver & the
Mile High Orchestra, Bethany Dillon,
Jason Upton, Andrew Carlton and Tree63.
On the speaking side, all are looking forward to
acclaimed actor Stephen Baldwin, who will
share his story of coming to Christ and his
career in the movies, along with testimonies
from several others with prominent pasts.
тАЬKingdom Bound 2005 will feature the
BMX demonstrations of тАШLivinтАЩ It,тАЩ along with
skateboard demos and the Word from Stephen
Baldwin,тАЭ Russo relates. тАЬAlso, relatively new
to the festival is the тАШSend a FriendтАЩ program in
which sponsors help to send over 500
underprivileged or handicapped young people
to the festival for a day. The тАШSend a FriendтАЩ
day will include the amusement park, all
festival activities and a special message from
Reggie Dabbs.тАЭ
After nearly 20 years in operation, Kingdom
Bound remains focused in its vision and
flawless in its execution. тАЬThe purpose for this
event is two-fold: to bring people to a saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ and to encourage
believers in their walk with God,тАЭ Russo says.
тАЬPersonally, it is always amazing
to see people touched and
changed by an encounter with the
living God, and that is what we
hope to accomplish every year.тАЭ
For additional information, log on to
GMA Music in the Rockies
July 31-August 6 / Estes Park, Colorado
(YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center)
Formerly known as Seminar in the Rockies,
GMA Music in the Rockies has been the
premier Christian music seminar series and
talent competition since 1974. Since then, the
festival-style event has been the meeting point
for aspiring artists and songwriters who come
from all corners of America to share their
stories, perform songs and receive feedback
from several established industry veterans.
тАЬMusic in the Rockies is unique because itтАЩs
30 ccm april 05
more than a concert festival,тАЭ says GMA
spokesperson Tricia Whitehead. тАЬThere is the
talent competition, which has been responsible
for launching the careers of artists including
Jars of Clay, Stacie Orrico, Rachael Lampa,
Nichole Nordeman and BarlowGirl. There are
seminar tracks for aspiring songwriters, artists
and worship leaders taught by the most
respected professionals in the industry,
including some seminars taught by artists.тАЭ
In this yearтАЩs illustrious line-up (with additional
acts to be announced as the event date nears) are
Newsboys, Jeremy Camp and Salvador. The
genre lines continue to be blurred with
additional style shifts courtesy of Tree63,
Brian Free & Assurance, Margaret
Becker, Paul Baloche, Ginny Owens, Chris
Rice, Ton├йx, Natalie Grant and Denver &
the Mile High Orchestra. Add in key industry
executives, and GMA Music in the Rockies is a
must attend event for those looking to lift their
music ministries to the next level.
12:19 PM
Page 32
тАЬMusic in the Rockies is so important because
it provides a unique and unparalleled
opportunity for aspiring artists and songwriters
to be seen and heard by the key music industry
decision makers. During the music
competitions and performances, they are also
given priceless mentoring and professional
development. And the seminars help them to
succeed wherever they go and at whatever level
of music they pursue,тАЭ Whitehead summarizes.
тАЬWith Music in the Rockies, we always hope to
discover the next Jars of Clay or Stacie Orrico;
but even more important to us, we want to
equip and inspire future generations of artists
and music ministers.тАЭ
On top of that education and countless
enhancement opportunities, the YMCA of the
Rockies Estes Park Center is set within the
breathtaking confines of ColoradoтАЩs Rocky
Mountains. Between the fresh mountain
breezes, awe-inspiring sunshine, roaming
wildlife and natural beauty, the creative juices
and inspirational streams are likely to flow. With
such an abundance of things to see, lasting
memories are sure to be formed and greater
artistic ventures achieved.
For more information about Music in the
Rockies, log on to
Creation Festival East
June 29-July 2 / Mt. Union, Pennsylvania
(The Agape Farm)
Creation Festival West
July 27-30/ George, Washington
(Gorge Amphitheater)
Since the late 1970s, Creation Festival has
become a leading entity in music loversтАЩ
summertime vacation planning. Though itтАЩs
now a national dynasty, the festivalтАЩs roots were
humble, starting with east coast concert
promoters Tim Landis and Harry Thomas,
who spent much of the psychedelic period
promoting тАЬJesus MusicтАЭ line-ups. тАЬAfter one
of the New Jersey concerts, Tim came over to
[my] house and at the kitchen table [we] found
out [we] both had a similar vision,тАЭ says
director Harry Thomas. тАЬMusic is a very
effective way to translate the gospel to the next
generation, and [we] both felt it was time to do
a festival featuring a strong emphasis on
teaching and music directed to the youth. After
prayer and taking some bold steps in faith,
Creation тАЩ79 was launched. From the very first
32 ccm april 05
festival, we recognized the calling God had
upon this event to reach young people with
His love.тАЭ
And that mission has continued since the
EastтАЩs edition took residency at the Agape Farm
halfway between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh,
truly a gorgeous environment with its expanse
of wooded areas. Between the natural main
stage amphitheater, the incredibly beautiful
stunning views of various cliffs only adding to
the mind-blowing production within the
facility. A similar pool of artists to Creation
East is on deck for the West, including Audio
Adrenaline, Newsboys, TobyMac, Michael
W. Smith, Jeremy Camp, Relient K,
David Crowder Band, Casting Crowns
and MercyMe.
Regardless of which one a fan attendsтАФor
both for the especially braveтАФall are promised
amazing extracurriculars, along with avenues for
spiritual enhancement. тАЬWe have communion, a
candlelight service, extreme games, after-hours
events, a youth workersтАЩ VIP hospitality tent, a
childrenтАЩs tent, vertical worship tent and
seminars,тАЭ Thomas shares. тАЬCreation is more
than a music event. We have kept focus on our
goals, and we always honor the Word of
GodтАжOur main goal is to communicate the
gospel of Christ. Nothing beats seeing
thousands of young people
hiking trails
streaming forward to the prayer
and the
tent to yield their lives to Christ.тАЭ
spectacle of
For additional information about both Creation
Festivals, log on to
mountains, the
facility is truly
one of a kind
June 30-July 3 / Bushnell, Illinois
and enhances
(Cornerstone Farm)
the already
The origins of the central Illinois-based
Cornerstone Festival date back to conversations
list of star
at the magazine of the same name in 1984. That
power on
periodical had already been a source of spiritual
each yearтАЩs insight for those who lived within the Jesus
round-up. People USA (a.k.a. JPUSA) community and
eventually translated to the stage for a wide array
in the
of musical, artistic, athletic and meditative
ranks for
expression. тАЬ[Cornerstone started as] a
this summer are Switchfoot, Newsboys,
place where Christians and even
Michael W. Smith, MercyMe, TobyMac, those who werenтАЩt so sure what they
Audio Adrenaline, David Crowder Band, believe could come together and
Casting Crowns and Relient K.
enjoy great music and engage in
With consistently solid line-ups like that
meaningful discussions and
every year, itтАЩs no wonder why the Creation
workshops about art and faith and
legend reached concertgoers in the West,
life on this earth,тАЭ recalls festival
inspiring a second edition eight years ago at the director John Herrin. тАЬA festival that
equally magnificent Gorge Amphitheater. The
wasnтАЩt so steeped in тАШChristianese,тАЩ one that
stage is one of the worldтАЩs most recognized and young people could feel free to explore their faith
frequently visited, marking the grounds where
and yet be themselves.тАЭ
the Dave Matthews Band recorded its latest
And for the past 20-plus years that tradition
concert collection. Pollstar (one of the
has continued, focusing on many of the more
industryтАЩs leading tour publications) named it
alternative acts in Christian music, along with
the nationтАЩs best outdoor concert facility, with
those whoтАЩve made significant impact in their
Cornerstone Festival
12:19 PM
Page 34
mainstream spillover. Keeping up
with such a balance and offering
attendees a chance to look, dress and
encounter faith in a variety of forms
has made Cornerstone one of the
most progressive and well-planned
gatherings throughout the whole
nation. As a result of regularly rising
attendance, expansion is also in order,
including 10 official stages featuring over
300 artists, in addition to what Herrin
describes as тАЬcampsite/generator stagesтАЭ with
tons of new bands. The line-up is virtually
endless as well, including heavy hitters
Switchfoot, Jars of Clay and Third Day,
plus niche regulars Ashley Cleveland, Joy
Electric, Starflyer 59, Zao, Over the
Rhine and Duvall.
On top of that illustrious
list, many of the other
attractions have been beefed
up on an incredibly massive
farm nestled in IllinoisтАЩ
attractive rolling prairies.
тАЬWe have expanded
тАЬIt is an event where young people can have lots of fun fellowshipping
in a safe environment. Safe from drugs and alcohol but, just as
important, safe to figure out what God has for them.тАЭ
For additional information on Cornerstone Festival, log on to
DC Fest with Luis Palau
October 8 - 9 / Washington, D.C.
(The National Mall)
Western New YorkтАЩs Premier Christian Festival
Newsboys тАв Rebecca St. James тАв Mercy Me тАв Michael W. Smith тАв and more!
34 ccm april 05
just people like myself coming together to explore
our faith and challenge o n e a n o t h e r t o g r o w in
o u r understanding of GodтАЩs love,тАЭ Herrin concludes.
тАШCornerstone yoUтАЩ to 10 tents with over 250 hours of workshops and
seminars,тАЭ Herrin continues. тАЬOur commitment to the arts has grown
with the introduction of the тАШBurning BrushтАЩ and multiple тАШpilgrimage
sitesтАЩ scattered across the grounds, where artists will be sharing their work.
тАШFlickerings,тАЩ our independent film fest, is in its fifth year and growing.
Sports, skateboarding, childrenтАЩs ministry and lots of great fun and
fellowship are on the menu this year at Cornerstone.тАЭ
Whether a committed believer or an observer on the fringe, a trip to this
Midwest haven is sure to re-ignite or light a faith fire, superceding
background, musical tastes or personal interests. Though everything will
make for round-the-clock entertainment, spiritual growth is also an
essential component of organizersтАЩ blueprints. тАЬCornerstone is really
Central Oregon Festival
with Luis Palau
1-800-461-4485 тАв 716-633-1117
July 23 / Bend, Oregon
Putting together a festival of any magnitude is an
enormous task that takes an incredible amount of
planning, prayer, resources and assistance. Add in variables
like setting up in a major city, bringing along Christian
musicтАЩs most prominent acts and having state-of-the-art
sound, lights and sporting contests, and itтАЩs truly a
daunting task. But despite all of the
work needed and the exorbitant
costs, the Luis Palau Evangelistic
Association continues its roll of
amazing outpourings, which are
remarkably free to the public on each
and every occasion!
тАЬIn 1999, we started a new тАШmodelтАЩ of
mass evangelism focusing on free,
family-friendly festivals that combined
an evangelistic message with major
Christian artists, a food court, Veggie
TalesтАЩ kids area and extreme sports demos,тАЭ explains
Andrew Palau, national festival director for the Luis Palau
Association. тАЬSince then, close to four and a half million
people have attended a Luis Palau Festival!
12:19 PM
Page 35
тАЬWhat makes these unique is that
young people and families are
drawn to hear the Good News in
a welcoming, fun environment
where believers and seekers are
equally welcome.тАЭ
OCTOBER 8-9, 2005
The tagline for this cutting-edge and relevant
outreach direction is cleverly called тАЬGreat Music
/Good News,тАЭ in which churchgoers are encouraged
to invite their fellow parishioners but also friends,
family and co-workers who may not already know
the gospel. The fact that each event is held in a
neutral setting (often a giant public gathering place)
helps break down any
discomfort barriers
and brings together
everyone in various
aspects of the
тАЬThis is the first year where we are focusing
most of our resources on a single-major U.S.
eventтАФthe D.C. Festival on the National Mall in
Washington, D.C., on October 8 and 9,тАЭ Palau
continues. тАЬBesides being within steps of the U.S.
Capitol and the Washington Monument, the D.C.
Fest will bless the city through service projects in
the schools and neighborhoods, as well as a
massive food drive. Our тАШLivinтАЩ ItтАЩ action sports
demo team will be wrapping up a big summer tour
featuring skate and BMX pro demos on a custombuilt skate park.тАЭ
Aside from that nationally attractive event
(which will be broadcast on more than 1,000 radio
stations and later as a television special), a second
effort is being staged near the Palau campтАЩs home
turf in Oregon. тАЬFor our friends in the Pacific
Northwest, we will be having a one-day festival on
July 23 in Bend, Ore., which is a couple hours
from our hometown of Portland,тАЭ Palau offers. тАЬIt
will have most of the components of our big-city
events, just on a smaller scale.тАЭ
Though the final musical array for each has yet
to be announced, previous acts have included
Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin, MercyMe,
TobyMac, Point of Grace, Jump 5 and Audio
Adrenaline. Expect a similar selection and many
more in what is sure to stir the soul and hopefully
impact an entire region with the timeless message
of truth!
w w w. d c f e s t i v a l . c o m
IN LATE 2005
703.838.8791 тАвтАв www.dcfes
For additional information about these Luis Palau
festival events, log on to
april 05 ccm 35
12:19 PM
Page 36
Fish Fest
April 16 / Irvine, California
(Verizon Wireless Amphitheater)
Kicking off the summer festival season in
sunny Southern California is the fourth
annual Fish Fest sponsored by 95.9 The Fish
radio station.
тАЬWhen The Fish went on the air in August
of 2000, we launched Splash Bash at Raging
Waters in San Dimas that October to
celebrate,тАЭ on-air personality Chuck Tyler
explains. тАЬIt was very well received.тАЭ In 2002
the festival was moved to the 16,000-seat
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
тАЬThe turnout shows thereтАЩs a real appetite for
a family-friendly festival. You can bring the
kids and not be fearful of over-the-top
language coming at you from the stage or the
audience,тАЭ Tyler says.
Appearing at this yearтАЩs Fish Fest are some of
contemporary Christian musicтАЩs biggest rock
and pop artists, including Michael W. Smith,
Audio Adrenaline, tobyMac, Selah,
Kutless, Watermark, By The Tree and
Hawk Nelson. Also slated to perform are
some exciting up-and-coming bands, such as
Day of Fire, Olivia the Band, Hyper Static
Union and Krystal Meyers.
тАЬWho gets to perform at Fish Fest is really
chosen by the public, who buy their albums
and call in requesting them at the station,тАЭ says
Tim Taber, president of Costa Mesa-based
Transparent Productions, the leading Christian
concert promotions company in Southern
California and promoter of Fish Fest. Fish Fest
will feature bands on the stage of the
amphitheater, called the Mainstage, and at the
smaller Festival Stage by the main entrance.
This year Fish Fest will also feature the
third-annual Starfish Winner.
тАЬItтАЩs our version of тАШAmerican Idol,тАЩтАЭ Tyler
jokes. тАЬWe went on the air telling people to
send us a CD of one song theyтАЩd sing. We
narrowed it down to 10 finalists, and snippets
of their songs were then put on the Internet,
where listeners could go and hear and vote for
their favorite.тАЭ
тАЬThe station representatives and the public
thus chose the winner,тАЭ Taber says. The lucky
winner then gets the chance to have a
professional demo made of his/her song and
gets to perform at Fish Fest and share the stage
36 ccm april 05
with his/her favorite artists.
The тАЬoriginalтАЭ Fish station, 95.9 KFSH-FM,
covers Southern California from its base in
Anaheim and received the NAB Marconi Award
for Best Religious Station for 2002. Today, 15
Fish format stations across the country offer
programming thatтАЩs safe for the whole family.
For additional information, log on to
Fish Fest
By The Tree
Michael W. Smith
Olivia the Band
April 17 / Sacramento, California
(Arco Arena)
Fish Fest is excited to expand the festivities
to Northern California. This year marks the
inaugural Fish Fest sponsored by 105.5 KKFSFM and features the same line-up as its
Southern Cali sister festival, with the addition
of Lincoln Brewster. A Starfish winner from
105.5 will also get the chance to perform.
The all-day festival also has two stages, one
indoor and one outdoor, to keep patrons
entertained. Similar to the Southern California
Fish Fest, there will be family attractions,
vendor booths and various exhibits
surrounding the arena. The radio stations will
be broadcasting live with artist interviews and
backstage commentary.
Exclusive to the Northern California Fish
Fest is a skate park from Glory Skateboards.
The mission of Glory Skateboards is to
combine trendy clothes and apparel,
professional skateboard decks, accessories and
services from skate demos, with live music.
GloryтАЩs focus is on one-on-one mentoring as a
way of reaching the youth culture in a positive
manner. It wants to let youth know they can
still be a part of whatтАЩs in without sacrificing
their personal beliefs.
Whether you live near Irvine or Sacramento,
Fish Fest offers something for everyone.
тАЬтАШChristian musicтАЩ is a label that encompasses
a variety of genres because itтАЩs faith-based, not
style-based,тАЭ Taber explains. тАЬWhatever the
style, the message has to do with faith and a
life in Christ. So itтАЩs positive music.тАЭ
Tickets to both events, presented in
conjunction with Transparent Productions, are
available through Ticketmaster.
For additional information, log on to
12:19 PM
Page 38
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As any good purveyor of pop culture knows, trends come
and go faster than you can say тАЬHammer pants.тАЭ But
when something truly extraordinary comes along,
you know itтАЩs not going to be in the 99-cent bin any time
soon. But what is it exactly that separates the 15 minutes
of fame from the long-term success story? ItтАЩs a little
something we at CCM like to call !.
Now for all of you whoтАЩve ever relished the fact that you
discovered something grand before your friends did, this
cheat sheet of sorts is for you. Get the inside track as we
break down everything thatтАЩs ! in 2005--from the best in
rock to ringtones, from southern gospel to Smokie Norful,
from politics to hot pop and everything in between.
By the CCM staff
and contributors
11:13 PM
Page 40
ItтАЩs no secret Pillar and Kutless have led the way in the
recent тАЬmainstreamingтАЭ of hard music within the
Christian community. Impressive album sales aside,
consider it was just last year that Pillar performed on the
nationally televised GMA Music Awards broadcast, and
Kutless has already rocked the stage at one of the Rev.
Billy GrahamтАЩs crusades.
In the broader music world, though, thereтАЩs no faithdriven hard music group thatтАЩs been more influential than
P.O.D. These San Diego-based rockers signed with
Atlantic Records without ever toning down their message,
and even with radio success, the band has no plans to
tone down its music either. With a new album slated for
2005, the Southtown boys have recruited producer Greg
Fidelman, best known for working with such hard rockers
as Slipknot, System of a Down and Audioslave.
The future looks especially bright for Christian hard
music with other extremely credible bands on the rise.
For example, consider the momentum of current
hardcore breakout Underoath. And nothing says тАЬGive
grandma a heart attackтАЭ like Demon Hunter, whose
songs include such church choir faves as тАЬBeheaded,тАЭ
тАЬCoffin BuilderтАЭ and тАЬMy Throat Is An Open Grave.тАЭ Jokes
aside, the kids love this Solid State Records band, and
when it comes to faith-sharing, whoтАЩs going to interrupt a
group of guys who call themselves Demon Hunter?
The same boldness can be seen in their labelmates
Norma Jean, who just released OтАЩ God, The Aftermath and
saw a whopping 19,000-plus copies of the album
snatched up its first week out. (To give you perspective,
thatтАЩs 5,000 more than SwitchfootтАЩs The Beautiful
Letdown sold its first week!) тАЬFrom our merchandise to
the album artwork to our stage show, we like everything
to have meaning,тАЭ says Norma Jean drummer Daniel
Davison. тАЬWe want to make sure everything is pleasing to
the Lord and pleasing to His glory.тАЭ D. J .
Thanks to the diligence and vision of so many artists, rock & roll claims more
credibility in todayтАЩs Christian music scene than most anyone might have
imagined just a decade ago. Switchfoot and Relient K lead the new wave of
Christian acts attaining mainstream success, as artists like Skillet and
Thousand Foot Krutch seem poised to follow suit. Mainstay rockers Third Day
continue to pick up honors such as the second Grammy trophy they nabbed in
February, while rising rockers Sanctus Real dominate the dial as Christian
radioтАЩs most played rock act of late. Of course, letтАЩs not forget SoCal product
Jeremy Camp, who continues winning fans over at an astronomical rate.
Indeed, Christian rockтАЩs current success owes a debt of gratitude to all the
acts that fought for creativity and credibility in the тАЩ90s. From Sixpence None
the Richer to MxPx, bands expressed their art and faith on the very same
stages as their general market counterparts. Starflyer 59 is one such band
that remains as relevant today as it was over a decade ago when it struck its
first chords.
тАЬI have never wanted to be one of those bands that, if you listen to its album
ten years later, youтАЩre embarrassed you ever bought it in the first place,тАЭ says
Starflyer singer-guitarist Jason Martin, whose band was one of the inaugural
Tooth & Nail acts. тАЬAs artists, we are hoping to accomplish what we have been
trying to do since we started, simply put out good music.тАЭ DAV I D J E N I S O N
40 ccm april 05
11:35 PM
Page 41
Get out of the boxтАФfast. That seems to be a
common thread linking ! pop acts MercyMe
and Casting Crowns. As debut artists (2001
and 2003, respectively) each shot to
popularity as though shuttled by the
Superman ride at Six Flags. Already with a tail
of success as long as HaleyтАЩs Comet, these
stars still have that ! brightness today.
American Music Award-winning MercyMe
recently landed its third mainstream hit single
with тАЬHomesickтАЭ on the heels of hits тАЬI Can
Only ImagineтАЭ and тАЬHere With Me.тАЭ With
platinum and gold-selling projects to its credit,
the six-man group didnтАЩt have to imagine
being one of the top-selling acts of 2004.
Indeed, MercyMe was the only group with two
albumsтАФAlmost There and Undone (INO)тАФ
appearing in the Top 10 of the year end
Christian album sales chart.
Casting CrownsтАФboy, what else can we say
about these kids? The stats are well-known,
and when a cynical fellow journalist declared
the other day he really digs this record, that
summed it up. Mark Hall & Co. are the real
deal. With seven nominations to convert to
Dove statuettes this month and a boatload of
records sold, Crowns are polished and ready
to rule.
Veteran pop acts stand at the gate ready to
challenge the younger, newer establishment,
however. Seven-time Dove Award-winning
Nichole Nordeman releases her project
produced by Jay Joyce (Patty Griffin, Abra
Moore) next month after a two-year hiatus.
May also finds Latin diva Jaci Velasquez
bowing a new record, and August is tentatively
slated for Rebecca St. JamesтАЩ next offering.
Now whoтАЩs it? G R E G O RY RU M B U R G
Earlier this year the Gospel Music Association sent out a state-of-the-industry
press release which announced: тАЬтАжthere has definitely been a shift [in
Christian music sales] toward rock, hip-hop, urban and other styles particularly
popular with younger consumers.тАЭ While faith-based hip-hop has benefited
from this increasing momentum in recent years--make no mistake--it has been
a slow build.
Keeping the faith, Christian hip-hopтАЩs high profile advocate tobyMac
continues to create inventive music while also helping equip a younger
generation of artists. And breakouts such as GRITS, Ton├йx and The Cross
Movement have shown fans that the churchтАЩs hip-hop community is not only
talent-filled, but extremely diverse. Since the late тАЩ90s, GRITS has emerged as
Christian musicтАЩs most high-profile hip-hop group. The Tennessee twoтАЩs resume
includes Dove Awards, a Grammy nomination, film (SomethingтАЩs Gotta Give)
and television (тАЬThe Real World,тАЭ тАЬMTV CribsтАЭ) soundtracks, along with editorial
love from the likes of SPIN, XXL, Vibe, The Source and URB.
Ton├йx, meanwhile, continues to make surprising in-roads for faith-based hiphop, especially in the more traditional gospel music world. The 28-year-old
minister from Southern California owned this yearтАЩs Stellar Awards, walking
away with six, including тАЬArtist of the YearтАЭ and тАЬSong of the YearтАЭтАФthe latter for
his standout тАЬMake Me OverтАЭ off his double-disc release, Out the Box (Verity).
The Cross Movement is another primary reason the future looks bright for
Christian hip-hop. The group has not only managed to grow its fanbaseтАФ
approaching 100,000 strongтАФwith each release, itтАЩs even launched its own
record label, appropriately dubbed Cross Movement Records. Founding
member and label head John Wells is preparing to unveil a new campaign
called тАЬWhy Hip-Hop?тАЭ He explains, тАЬThis will unite various forces already
thriving in the Christian hip-hop arena and look to educate the industry about
the facts and the potential of hip-hop music, appeal to those who can help this
genre and ministry be better represented to a seeking generation, and
demonstrate what hip-hop music, art and culture can look like when submitted
to the Kingdom agenda of Jesus Christ.тАЭ JAY S WA RT Z E N D RU B E R
april 05 ccm 41
12:33 AM
Page 42
MuteMath photos by David Dobson
Though entertainment choices are plentiful amongst a series of
package tours, this yearтАЩs ! list topper has to be the tag team
between MuteMath and Mat Kearney. Those familiar with the
former can trace membersтАЩ roots back to Earthsuit, though its
eclecticism and initiative boil over into an entirely new format via
the debut EP Reset (Word). Vocalist Paul Meany is one of todayтАЩs
most charismatic alternative front men, which, when coupled with
an array of keyboards and percussion, is truly a lethal combination.
Add in a series of electronic loops, pulsating programming plus laptop derived arrangements, and the groupтАЩs one of the most
innovative and experimental acts of the modern era.
Singer/songwriter Kearney is cut from the same ingenious cloth.
His freshman effort Bullet (Inpop) is known for its assorted
amalgamation of pop, acoustic rock and hip-hop. Originally signed
to Inpop, the breakthrough artist recently branched out his deal to
the mainstream via Aware/Columbia and is likely to remain an
unstoppable creative force. The tour promises top-notch talent and
is sure to tantalize every concertgoersтАЩ sensory tentacles.
ItтАЩs been said before, but we now have the numbers to
back it up: Southern gospel is the new alternative music.
DonтАЩt believe it? According to concert tracker Pollstar,
Bill GaitherтАЩs Homecoming tour sold more tickets in
2004 than Rod Stewart, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac.
In fact, Homecoming charted at #16 of all tours last year.
The tour even landed on Rolling StoneтАЩs 2004 тАЬRockтАЩs
Rich List.тАЭ
Gaither, 68, remarked, тАЬAt this stage of my life, IтАЩm just
delighted to still be touring and included on a list with
such great talent!тАЭ
Speaking of southern gospel, The Crabb Family
continues to make surprising in-roads for a group reared
on тАЬthat old time gospel music.тАЭ Following its significant
showing in the CCM 2005 ReadersтАЩ Choice Awards, the
family also nabbed no fewer than eight nominations for
the 36th annual GMA Music AwardsтАФincluding Group of
the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year (Jason Crabb) and
Song of the Year (тАЬThrough the FireтАЭ).
Of course, none of this is a surprise to readers of
Homecoming Magazine. (Where have you been?)
42 ccm april 05
11:40 PM
Page 43
One look at 2005тАЩs release schedule and
one thing is clear: If Christian artists have
anything to do with it, hymns will define
the next wave of modern worship. But,
thatтАЩs then, and this is now.
Top 10 Worship Songs
1) тАЬHere I Am to WorshipтАЭ by Tim Hughes
2) тАЬOpen the Eyes of My HeartтАЭ
by Paul Baloche
3) тАЬLord I Lift Your Name on HighтАЭ
by Rick Founds
4) тАЬShout to the LordтАЭ by Darlene Zschech
When it comes to gospel and R&B music, todayтАЩs hottest
names are Smokie Norful and Kierra тАЬKikiтАЭ Sheard. Just look
at what theyтАЩve done recently. NorfulтАЩs Nothing Without You
(EMI Gospel) landed the 2005 Grammy Award for Best
Contemporary Soul Gospel Album, while the teenage Kiki
recently nabbed nominations from the GMA Music Awards,
the Soul Train Music Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.
тАЬYou can chase after success and recognition all you want,
but the truth is that unless God ordains it, it really doesnтАЩt
matter,тАЭ says Norful, as if he isnтАЩt polishing that Grammy
trophy this very second. тАЬMy goal has always been to see
people blessed by the music God gives me, and thatтАЩs
happened beyond anything I ever imagined.тАЭ
Of course, the Grammy wasnтАЩt the first award for this
Arkansas-born sensation, whose debut disc, I Need You Now,
won three Stellar Awards on its way to making Norful
BillboardтАЩs No. 1 Gospel Artist in 2003.
Coincidentally, KikiтАЩs Top 10 single тАЬYou DonтАЩt KnowтАЭ
produced by Rodney Jerkins (DestinyтАЩs Child, Britney Spears)
was just recognized itself as BillboardтАЩs 2004 R&B Gospel
Single of the Year. Though still not old enough to vote, Kiki
continues to ignite radio and win fans with countless urban
praise classics. Indeed, R&B Gospel is entering a new era,
and itтАЩs one where these talents will finally get the acclaim
they rightfully deserve. D. J .
5) тАЬCome Now is the Time to WorshipтАЭ
by Brian Doerksen
6) тАЬYou Are My KingтАЭ by Billy Foote
7) тАЬForeverтАЭ by Chris Tomlin
8) тАЬGod of WondersтАЭ
by Marc Byrd and Steve Hindalong
9) тАЬYou Are My All in AllтАЭ
by Dennis Jernigan
10) тАЬBreatheтАЭ by Marie Barnett
These are the top 10 songs sung in Sunday morning worship
services across the United States at press time, according to
CCLI, the official global reporting service for worship music.
For more information on CCLI, visit
! Worship Song:
тАЬHere I Am to WorshipтАЭ by Tim Hughes
ItтАЩs probably a good thing that worship leader
Tim Hughes didnтАЩt go with his gut on whether
тАЬHere I Am to WorshipтАЭ would be a good
Sunday morning praise song because Hughes
frankly wasnтАЩt impressed with his own workтАФ
especially on an early rendition.
тАЬI was playing some stuff on my guitar
when the verse came out,тАЭ Hughes modestly
recalls. тАЬBut I just couldnтАЩt get a chorus that I
was happy signing off on. The original one
was so embarrassingly bad.тАЭ
While leading worship at his home church,
Soul Survivor in Watford, England, Hughes
sang a retooled version of тАЬHere I Am to
WorshipтАЭ for his pastor Mike Pilavachi, who
promptly told him he should start using the
song more often. Shortly after having that
pastoral encouragement, the song became
the title track for HughesтАЩ 2001 debut
Worship Together.
тАЬIтАЩd been reading about the cross and
thinking about JesusтАЩ amazing sacrifice and
how sometimes we donтАЩt know how to
respond to that,тАЭ Hughes says. тАЬItтАЩs often too
much for us to comprehend. And in the song I
hope the chorus captures that feeling in a
small way.тАЭ C H R I S TA FA R R I S
april 05 ccm 43
11:44 PM
Page 44
Pictured at a recent
ONE Campaign event,
with wristbands in tow,
are (L-R): Stephen
Mason (Jars of Clay),
Charlie Peacock, Matt
Odmark (JoC), Margaret
Becker, Dan Haseltine
(JoC), Charlie Lowell
(JoC), Peter Furler
(Newsboys) and
Michael W. Smith
Is your favorite artist an activist? Based on recent trends in Christian music, the
answer, most likely, is тАЬYes.тАЭ Whether they support a pro-life culture by advocating
adoption, encourage sexual purity via the True Love Waits campaign, draw attention
to persecuted Christians under oppressive governments, or call us to love convicts
through ministries like Prison Fellowship, todayтАЩs artists are making profound
differences in our world. Some are actual pioneers in educating the church about
important global, yet extremely personal issues. Consider CaedmonтАЩs Call and its
activism to help the 250 million persecuted Dalits in India, or Natalie Grant and her
heroic efforts on behalf of young children forced into slave-based prostitution.
And todayтАЩs Christian artists arenтАЩt just daring; theyтАЩre determined. Think about
the fact that for three years now, their biggest emphasis has been on the AIDS and
poverty emergency in Africa. ThereтАЩs a reason for that. Can you imagine if a tsunami
of Indonesian proportions occurred every 6 weeks? ThatтАЩs the sobering reality of the
drastic situation in Africa. Every month and a half, more than 200,000 people die
from HIV/AIDS on the worldтАЩs poorest continent.
This year you may have noticed some of your favorite artists wearing white
wristbands, the international symbol for the fight against poverty. In America this
movement is being spearheaded by The ONE Campaign, a coalition organized by
World Vision, BonoтАЩs DATA organization, Bread for the World and others. The ONE
Campaign calls for тАЬcompassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world
overcome AIDS and extreme poverty.тАЭ (To obtain your own white wristband and
discover ways you can help, visit J.S.
If you had to think of just one book thatтАЩs exploded over the
past few years, thereтАЩs a good chance it has a purple cover.
Pastor Rick WarrenтАЩs The Purpose-Driven┬о Life, which hit 20
million copies and outsold mainstream blockbusters My Life
by Bill Clinton, The South Beach Diet and The DaVinci Code
combined, has become the best-selling hardback in U.S.
history. The reader-friendly 2002 book, which describes how
meaning in life comes through following GodтАЩs purposes, has
ignited a spiritual movement in countless communities around
the world. Despite its unapologetic gospel orientation, The
Purpose-Driven┬о Life has been embraced by the mainstream
culture and even reached #1 on the New York Times Hardcover
Advice list. Now, thatтАЩs a crossover.
44 ccm april 05
Among Christian artists, Blue Like Jazz (Nelson Books) by
Donald Miller is the other current, undisputed gem. Almost a
catchphrase in the creative community of late, this fresh and
practical tome is packed with accessible theology that reads
like a memoir. Why all the buzz? The book resonated with
almost everyone who read it, but especially those who wrestle
with the paradoxical nature of faith, the trouble with getting
spiritual needs met by organized religion and the desire to be
culturally relevant. It may well be that Donald Miller is the new
voice speaking to and for this generation. His recent work is
Searching For God Knows What (Nelson Books), and this
summer he will release Through Painted Deserts (Nelson
Books). A N D R E A B A I L E Y
11:46 PM
Page 45
Everyone knows the download has
become the up-to-the-minute link between
Christian music and its listeners, and
since downloading turned a regulatory
corner, the practice emerged legit in
2004. Today every Christian music fan has
the hits at his/her fingertips. From, you can now download these
Top 5 Songs of 2004 (according to which combines and averages
national charts from Billboard, R&R and
1. тАЬHere With MeтАЭ - MercyMe
2. тАЬWho Am IтАЭ - Casting Crowns
3. тАЬBlessed Be Your NameтАЭ - Tree63
4. тАЬGlory DefinedтАЭ - Building 429
5. тАЬNever AloneтАЭ - BarlowGirl
And for the Christian music junkie whose
cell phone is glued to the side of his head,
there is a new way to make a joyful noise.
Yes indeed, when your friends hit you up,
your phone can promptly proclaim the
latest Christian chart-topper. For a
minimal fee, Christian ringtones can be
downloaded off the Internet and sent to
your phone, or if your cell has Web access,
simply scroll and click.
Hottest Ringtones of 2004 (according to
1. тАЬJesus FreakтАЭ - DC Talk
2. тАЬHistory MakerтАЭ - Delirious
3. тАЬBeautiful OneтАЭ - Tim Hughes
4. тАЬThe Heart of WorshipтАЭ - Matt Redman
5. тАЬMajesty (Here I Am)тАЭ - Delirious
Hottest Ringtones Right Now:
1. тАЬIf We Are the BodyтАЭ - Casting Crowns
2. тАЬStayтАЭ - Jeremy Camp
3. тАЬDare You to MoveтАЭ - Switchfoot
4. тАЬWireтАЭ - Third Day
5. тАЬThis is My LifeтАЭ тАУ Salvador A . B .
For so many years, Christian artists have worked to тАЬspill overтАЭ into
the mainstream, but these days the general market is spilling right
back. One need only look at country legend Randy Travis, the
consummate radio chart-topper who broke into the gospel market
with his Dove Award-winning Inspirational Journey (Word). The
singer/actorтАЩs faith-filled music even inspired the two-part season
finale for CBSтАЩ тАЬTouched By An Angel,тАЭ which also starred Travis.
Another TV personality making the jump to gospel music is тАЬThe
West WingтАЭ actress Kristin Chenoweth. тАЬI grew up basically wanting
to тАШbeтАЩ Sandi Patty,тАЭ explains the Tony Award-winning actress,
whose new faith-based album is called As I Am (Sony/Integrity).
тАЬHer records had an impact because she was not only a great
singer, but she had a great message. I wanted to make a record
that could influence Christian women of all ages.тАЭ
Still, thereтАЩs more to come. Backstreet BoysтАЩ member Brian
Littrell recently signed with Reunion Records for his solo Christian
debut, set for a fall release, even as his group lights up pop radio
with their new single тАЬIncomplete.тАЭ Littrell, who sold more than 55
million albums with the super-group, can be heard on WOW #1s
with his version of тАЬIn Christ Alone.тАЭ D. J .
Following President BushтАЩs secondterm win, the strength and zeal of
тАЬevangelicalsтАЭ was the big topic of
discussion among Democrats and
Republicans alike. And when you
look at the number of organizations,
congregations and, yes, artists who
got involved, itтАЩs no wonder the
media paid so much attention. From
Point of Grace, The Katinas and
Steven Curtis Chapman on the
campaign trail to Michael W. Smith,
Nicole C. Mullen, Third Day and Jaci
Velasquez performing at the
Republican National Convention in
New York City, these Christian
artists and many others got quite a
bit of exposure to the general
public, thanks to Dubya.
For some artists, taking such a
public stance on politics might
seem a bit overboard, but for others
like Steven Curtis Chapman, it was
just a matter of expressing his
beliefs and support. тАЬI respect
President Bush and the way he has
led our country through these
difficult times,тАЭ Chapman said of his
involvement with the campaign. тАЬI
will never forget his strength in the
days immediately following 9/11. I
appreciate his commitment to his
faith and the depth of his
conviction, and he has my support.тАЭ
april 05 ccm 45
11:51 PM
Page 46
Ed Cash
photographed by
Jeremy Cowart
Take a look at todayтАЩs Christian music scene, and it
becomes clear that an especially versatile breed of
producer is emerging at the forefront. While the
magnificent veteran Brown Bannister (Amy Grant,
Steven Curtis Chapman) remains king of the hill, a
younger crop of helmsmen have been tapping into
their resources as innovative multi-instrumentalists.
46 ccm april 05
One such individual is the resourceful Ed Cash, who
also represents another growing trend among
producersтАФthe тАЬhome studio dweller.тАЭ The Charlotte,
N.C. native entered the scene in the mid-тАЩ90s as an
independent artist before becoming Bebo NormanтАЩs
producer of choice. From there he helmed recordings
by CaedmonтАЩs Call, Wes King and Kathy Mattea, then
brought us 2004тАЩs standout albums by Bethany
Dillon and Chris Tomlin.
тАЬAnytime you mix art and commerce, the potential
for danger is just enormous,тАЭ says Cash. тАЬTo me the
great challenge is, in some sense, being a liaison
between the deepest art and trying to get records out
there. Rather than talking about тАШhit songsтАЩ or тАШradio
songs,тАЩ I love the word тАШconnectivity.тАЩ тАШHow does this
song connect?тАЩ There are a lot of тАШhit songsтАЩ out there
that, to me, donтАЩt connectтАФto the heart, anyway. IтАЩm
just more and more drawn to those tunes that not
only have a catchiness and a hookiness, but a real
vibrancy and a life behind them.тАЭ J . S .
1:58 PM
Page 47
Artists, books, movies or trends that
some of your favorite artists think are !
Pink is still the new black
Classic Nikes are all that
King James is back
The original тАЬRat PackтАЭ
plus Nat
Anything and everything
Red, gold, green and the
Jamaican flag
Indie coffee over Starbucks
There are the haps,
per tobyMac
Jim Bryson
1. Daniel Amos
(Horrendous Disc
album)...reliving my past
right now.
2. Macintosh computers
(is there really anything
3. NASCAR racing (also IRL,
F1, Champ cars)
4. HanginтАЩ with my son Riley
5. The movie National
Treasure (for now)
Ronnie Martin
Joy Electric
1. C.S. LewisтАЩ The Great
2. Finding Neverland
3. SF59 Talking Voice VS.
Singing Voice
4. Hank Hanegraaff
5. R.C. Sproul
Barry Graul
Mercy Me
1. The Practice Of The
Presence Of God
(Brother Lawrence)
2. The Afters
3. Napoleon Dynamite
4. Switchfoot
5. Mac computers
Remember the excitement you felt the first time you
heard dc talkтАЩs Jesus Freak or Jars of ClayтАЩs stunning
debut? ThatтАЩs exactly what it feels like to listen to the
electrifying, innovative sounds of MuteMath.
Mike Scheuchzer
Mercy Me
1. U2
2. Napoleon
incredibly funny and
clean movie.
3. The Afters...the next big
thing in rock & roll
4. The Chronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis...gotta get
ready for the movie.
5. Switchfoot
Just when you thought the band couldnтАЩt possibly top
what it had already done, Mmhmm did just that. Now
these Ohio boys seem poised to become household
names the same way Switchfoot did in 2004.
Bethany Dillon
Like some mad inventor rock star, Ton├йx continually
breaks the laws of time and space, fusing
imaginative lyrics with funk, guitar rock, hip-hop and
straight-up foot-stomping urban gospel music into a
fresh new genre all its own.
With its strong presence at the massive тАЬPassionтАЭ
gatherings and progressive praise catalog, The David
Crowder Band has never been content to do worship
the same olтАЩ way. And the best is likely still yet
to comeтАж
Robby Shaffer
1. Napoleon Dynamite
2. Jeremy Camp
3. Co-headline tours in
Christian Music
4. tobyMac
5. TV shows complete
seasons on DVD
HeтАЩs got a fresh sound for Christian music circles, a
moving story of faith, and heтАЩs totally new to the
тАЬindustry,тАЭ which only makes him more appealing.
His killer music fuses a little of this and a little of
thatтАФfrom rap to rock to hip-hop to popтАФand heтАЩs
poised to break into mainstream music right out of
the gate, thanks to a deal with Columbia.
2. Day of Fire
3. The Passion
4. Modern Modesty
5. Sparkles chapstick and
girl rock
Shawn McDonald
Expanding its musical reach beyond the confines of
southern gospel music, The Crabb Family keeps
breaking new ground, making fans in some of the
most surprising places.
Danielle Kimmey
Out of Eden
Not since a young Amy Grant has the Christian
community seen such titanic teen talent in both
songwriting and performing.
1. Old hymns sung new
2. Smokie Norful
3. Young people watching
4. Christian singers
becoming preachers
5. Cool Christian hangouts
and nightspots (i.e.
Rocketown in Nashville,
Example House in
Chicago, The Last Wave
in Orlando)
He may be a тАЬnew artistтАЭ to the Christian music
world, but the dramatically-converted lead singer of
Superdrag may single-handedlyтАФand inadvertentlyтАФ
ignite a mass reconnection with 1970s тАЬJesus
This actтАЩs latest album, TheyтАЩre Only Chasing Safety,
has sold more than 140,000 copies. Um, did we
mention this is a Christian hardcore band?
Mat Kearney
april 05 ccm 47
12:02 AM
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>>> Clockwise from left: Kirk Franklin, Kanye West, Korn co-founder Brian тАЬHeadтАЭ Welch and Daniel Bedingfield
why should the church
have all the good music?
When the тАЬJesus MusicтАЭ movement of the late тАЩ60s and тАЩ70s grew into a bonafide industry by the
1980s, few could have imagined the current influx of artistic believers into mainstream music.
Yet, today, groups such as Switchfoot, MercyMe and many others are embodying the dreams of
Christian musicтАЩs pioneering artists. Who knew? By Mark Joseph
From Edwin HawkinsтАЩ тАЬOh Happy Day,тАЭ to Amy
GrantтАЩs тАЬFind A Way,тАЭ from Jars of ClayтАЩs тАЬFloodтАЭ
and Bob CarlisleтАЩs тАЬButterfly KissesтАЭ to Kirk
FranklinтАЩs тАЬLean on Me,тАЭ for years now artistic
Christians have occasionally appeared on the
nationтАЩs pop music charts with songs that, to
varying degrees, reflected their beliefs.
But what was once a trickle has become a
steady stream over the past three years, as
numerous artists who profess faith in Christ and
Christian-flavored songs have been consistently
emerging on the pop music scene. Many artists
heretofore only known to Christian music fans
such as Switchfoot, Skillet, Smokie Norful,
Stacie Orrico, Pillar, MercyMe, Thousand Foot
Krutch, Natalie Grant and Daniel Bedingfield
suddenly appeared on the mainstream charts,
while others like Evanescence, Kanye West,
Mindy Smith, Lifehouse and Dana Glover went
straight to mainstream labels. And then there was
the equally fascinating prospect of watching
48 ccm april 05
musicians who had been popular in the
mainstream experience conversions and
completely change their artistic perspective.
Among these were Dave Mustaine of Megadeth,
rapper Mase and, most recently, Korn cofounder Brian тАЬHeadтАЭ Welch.
By mid-2004, amid SwitchfootтАЩs challenging
тАЬMeant to Live,тАЭ MercyMeтАЩs blatant тАЬI Can Only
ImagineтАЭ and Kanye WestтАЩs unflinching тАЬJesus
Walks,тАЭ it seemed the dreams of those artists who
had begun performing тАЬJesus MusicтАЭ in the late
1960тАЩs and early тАШ70s were finally coming true:
Christians were making music about their faith in
God and finding an audience for it among
Christians and non-Christians alike.
>>> That 70s Show
In the 1970тАЩs the hotbed of the Jesus Movement
was a Southern California church called Calvary
Chapel. The church produced Saturday night
concerts that featured up-and-coming тАЬJesus
MusicтАЭ musicians, created a record label called
Maranatha! Music and even had a bustling
bookstore where the music from this emerging
group could be purchased. Dozens of bands
emerged from the movement with names such as
Love Song, Sweet Comfort Band, Mustard
Seed Faith, The Way and Parable.
The churchтАЩs concerts were intentional,
evangelistic events, and these artists had high
hopes that their music would be heard by
unbelievers. Furthermore, they intended to be
proactive, taking their music beyond the confines
of the church itself. While this was in many ways
new territory for rock artists of faith, Christians
in other genres had been steadily making
significant in-roads.
Consider the legendary Statesmen Quartet
and the Blackwood Brothers. These two
southern gospel groups regularly made forays
onto high-profile television programs during the
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Page 49
тАШ50s and тАШ60s, even starting their own nationally
televised shows at one point. In addition, the
Statesmen Quartet anchored multiple motion
picture soundtracks. And then there was
Johnny Cash. The maverick Christian not only
incorporated hymns and gospel songs into his
regular repertoire, but he went so far as to
openly discuss his faith on his own network
television program, тАЬThe Johnny Cash Show,тАЭ
which aired for three seasons on CBS
beginning in 1969.
But Calvary Chapel wasnтАЩt sponsoring
southern gospel giants or the king of country
music; it was helping introduce тАЬJesus rock &
roll.тАЭ This was the 1970s, and Jesus and rock
didnтАЩt mixтАФat least, not as far as most
gatekeepers in the American church and in
entertainment were concerned.
One of the artists hoping to take songs of
faith into mainstream rock was the band Love
Song, led by popular musician Tommy
Coomes. тАЬThe minute the members of Love
Song were awakened by the truth of the
gospel, we knew we had to make an album to
tell our generation,тАЭ Coomes remembered. тАЬWe
were artists and songwritersтАУthat was our skill
and trade. It was natural to continue in but now
with new meaning and focus. Maranatha! was
an upstart label out of our church and did not
have the funds to make the kind of album we
envisioned, nor did it have the mechanisms to
get it out.тАЭ
If Calvary Chapel wasnтАЩt equipped to help
artists such as Coomes and Love Song fulfill
their mission, neither were its mainstream
counterparts, leaving Coomes and hundreds of
other Jesus Music era musicians in a bind.
тАЬThere was no contemporary Christian
music industry in 1970. The only kind of
gospel music we could find was either southern
gospel or black gospel,тАЭ he recalled. тАЬWe
instinctively knew that we had to find another
path. We spent the first two years doing
concerts, writing songs and learning more
about the Bible. We did showcases for
Columbia and Atlantic records and finally
signed a deal with a new label that had funding
and distribution with United Artists Records.
The mainstream media was hip to spiritual
themes and looking for artists who were
compelling. The frustrating thing was that they
didnтАЩt know how to promote the music. It was
too close to the culture for religious radio and
too gospel for regular radio.тАЭ
In the words of the late Mark Heard, one of
Christian musicтАЩs prophetic voices: тАЬWe were
too saved for the sinners, and the saved didnтАЩt
want us around.тАЭ
>>> The Butlers Did It
Parable, an early Jesus music favorite led by a
talented musician named Chuck Butler,
released its debut album in 1977 on Maranatha!
Music with dreams of affecting rock fans with
its faith. But the label, like most other fledgling
Christian record companies, was simply not
equipped to take the artists on its roster out
into the mainstream music world. Functionally,
it was music by the church made for the
church. ButlerтАЩs dreams of reaching out into the
world of rock with his music on the same level
as the Eagles or Led Zeppelin died as his band
faded from the scene.
Or did they?
Nearly three decades later another Butler,
ChuckтАЩs son Chad, better known as the
drummer of a dynamic rock band named
Switchfoot, hit the top 5 of both the alternative
and pop radio airplay charts with a song called
тАЬMeant to Live.тАЭ As the group approached rock
star status, ChadтАЩs bandmate bassist Tim
Foreman offered perhaps the most succinct
quote of the last 30 years to clearly represent
believers who intentionally create music for the
world at large:
тАЬWe are Christian by faith, not genre,тАЭ he
first noted in a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone.
Of course, during the last three decades,
others have attempted to say the same thing,
but the words never rolled off the tongues of
these artists as smoothly as they did ForemanтАЩs.
Take, for example, B.J. ThomasтАЩ tortured
attempts to say he was an entertainer who
happened to be a Christian and not a Christian
entertainer, CreedтАЩs denials that it was a
тАЬChristian band,тАЭ even though it filled its songs
with tributes to the only Deity who had ever
claimed that His yoke was easy and His burden
light, U2тАЩs endless attempts to explain what
they didnтАЩt believe instead of what they did
believe and EvanescenceтАЩs plea to be removed
from Christian-owned bookstores. Artist after
artist awkwardlyтАФand often embarrassinglyтАФ
struggled in their attempts to be in the world
but not of it.
There is little disagreement that for years,
mainstream music was not very hospitable to
musicians who wanted to sing about religious
or spiritual ideas that were orthodox in nature.
But by the turn of the century, in the aftermath
of numerous artists such as Stryper, KingтАЩs X
and Jars of Clay chipping away at the wall that
seemed to keep GodтАЩs more outspoken
followers out of rock music, the wall seemed to
be slowly coming down. There was Michael
W. SmithтАЩs тАЬPlace In This World,тАЭ Kathy
TroccoliтАЩs тАЬEverything Changes,тАЭ NewsongтАЩs
тАЬThe Christmas Shoes,тАЭ Bob CarlisleтАЩs
тАЬButterfly Kisses,тАЭ P.O.D.тАЩs тАЬAliveтАЭ and, of
course, the song that many credit with finally
knocking the wall down, MercyMeтАЩs тАЬI Can
Only Imagine.тАЭ
That тАЬI Can Only ImagineтАЭ tipped the
scale is a historical event riddled with irony.
Not only are the songтАЩs lyrics so unmistakably
тАЬChristian,тАЭ but the band wasnтАЩt even
pondering the mainstream market when it was
тАЬWe never saw it coming!тАЭ emphasized
lead singer Bart Millard, whose band is now
enjoying its third major pop radio hit. тАЬAll logic
>>> From top: Johnny Cash, Jars of Clay, Skillet,
Michael W. Smith
april 05 ccm 49
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>>> Clockwise from left: Steven Curtis Chapman, P.O.D, Love Song and Switchfoot
says that a song like тАШImagineтАЩ should have never
seen the light of day on mainstream radio.
Having one song played on mainstream blew our
minds, but to have тАШHere With MeтАЩ and now
тАШHomesickтАЩ played as well, we simply cannot
explain. We hope that more artists who wear
their faith on their sleeves are given this same
opportunity. God opened a door that we never
thought to knock on.тАЭ
тАЬImagineтАЭ and other songs showed the dream
was indeed possible, and by the time Switchfoot
prepared 2003тАЩs The Beautiful Letdown, the
mainstream music business was open, as never
before, to a band with a clear spiritual vision who
knew how to express it with care to a waiting and
watching world. Driven by two major radio
hitsтАФthe second being тАЬDare You to MoveтАЭтАФThe
Beautiful Letdown took less than two years to
surpass the 2 million sold mark.
>>> Stacking the Deck
Mainstream gatekeepers werenтАЩt the only ones
who delayed the recent emergence of Christians
in the world of rock. For decades, believers had
all too often circulated stories among themselves
about how difficultтАФindeed how impossibleтАФit
was to make an impact in the cultural mainstream.
тАЬCertain spiritual concepts canтАЩt cross over,тАЭ
one influential Christian rock pioneer had said.
тАЬTalk about God, talk about loveтАФno problem.
Talk about Jesus, his death, sinтАж Those concepts
are very offensive. The cross is still a stumbling
block. The mainstream rejects music that is
straightforwardly Christian.тАЭ
The problem with this attitude was that such
declarations assumed a static situation and didnтАЩt
take into account the тАЬXтАЭ factorтАФthat as more
and more Christians got involved in the
mainstream culture at every level, such moves
would pave a path for themes which would have
50 ccm april 05
once been anathema. Such warnings also had the
effect of frightening away those who sought
mainstream impact and became a sort of selffulfilling prophecy. As more young Christians
came to believe such statements, they were
discouraged from entering occupations where
their influence could be feltтАФradio programmers,
deejays, music critics, music executivesтАФand
where they could actually play a role in ensuring
that such themes made it to the mainstream.
>>> Rapturing Lambs
During the 1970s many Christian denominations, including the principal movements that
helped establish contemporary Christian music,
were convinced that ChristтАЩs return would take
place within a matter of months at any given
time. Naturally, the notion of the imminent
return of Jesus Christ to rapture His church didnтАЩt
exactly create an environment in which young
Christians were encouraged to go into cultureshaping careers: broadcasting, journalism, the
music business or other vocations where their
impact would be felt not within months, but
In addition to a rapture theology which
frowned on higher education and careers that
would require planning and foresight, this
popular movement of the 1970тАЩs all too often
encouraged a separatism from the world. This did
not result in masses of believers entering
mainstream venues from which to affect the
larger culture. Thus, when rock stars converted to
Christianity, they were often encouraged to leave
their careers at mainstream record companies and
record for Christian labels.
тАЬWe had just left Egypt, and we didnтАЩt want to
go back,тАЭ remembered Mike Macintosh, one of
Maranatha!тАЩs executives. тАЬA prime example of this
was when Leon Patillo, the lead singer of
Santana, left the group and began recording solo
albums for the label.тАЭ
>>> The Turning
The theology of separation that profoundly
manifested itself during contemporary Christian
musicтАЩs foundational years has been modified by
the current crop of artists who appear to reject
the notion that physical separation from the
world leads to holiness. Rather, a theology of
spiritual separation while being physically
integrated has taken hold, which has allowed
artists such as Jars of Clay to tour with
mainstream artists, Steven Curtis Chapman to
appear on тАЬThe Howard Stern ShowтАЭ or P.O.D.
to regularly take up residence on MTV.
Another factor that cannot be overlooked is a
greater openness to Christian ideas on the part of
many mainstream media gatekeepers. Part of this
is the result of Christians themselves joining
mainstream institutions where they have affected
Michael W. SmithтАЩs top five smash hit song
тАЬPlace In This World,тАЭ for instance, came about
because a young Christian named Claire Parr
(nee West) happened to be working at radio
promotions at Geffen Records and insisted on
working the single to pop radio on her off hours.
Other Christians have gone to work at MTV,
VH1, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, The Chicago
Tribune and dozens of other mainstream
institutions and have created more accessibility
for these artists through their mere presence
Key philosophical changes are also taking
place in the Christian marketplace. The Gospel
Music Association, for instance, made an
important change in the groupтАЩs mission
statement. What had traditionally been a
declaration that affirmed the groupтАЩs goal as
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Page 52
advancing gospel music, the GMA enlarged to
say that the groupтАЩs goal was now to advance
the Gospel in every genre of musicтАФa
significant shift that reflected the growing
desire of many artists to be identified as
Christians who worked in jazz, pop, rock or
R&B, instead of тАЬChristian music artists.тАЭ
The Christian music industry, meanwhile,
has helped to galvanize and organize a group of
artists and fans who may not otherwise have
found each other and enabled dozens of artists
to hone their craft and prepare to be salt and
light in the culture at large.
тАЭSome good things have happened along the
way,тАЭ noted Love SongтАЩs Coomes. тАЬMichael
Omartian, Seawind, Amy Grant, Michael W.
Smith, Steve Taylor, Steven Curtis Chapman,
Steve Green, Dann Huff and Tommy Sims
paved a path. Many more opportunities are
available today because of artists whoтАЩve
followed their hearts. I rejoice at the success of
MercyMe, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Switchfoot and Jars of Clay. TheyтАЩre courageous and
confident and have made great records that
have connected with millions of listeners.
Those who are culturally relevant may always
be suspect to some folks, but who did Jesus
hang out with?тАЭ
>>> Brave New World
The movement of Christians into the cultural
mainstream has been slow and steady, with
fitful starts and stops; but with a multi-pronged
approach, it is attaining significant ground.
Between Christians who made their way into
mainstream music (Jason Wade of Lifehouse,
Scott Stapp of Creed, P.O.D.), artists who have
converted to Christianity after achieving fame
(Alice Cooper, Dave Mustaine, Lauryn Hill), to
those who got their start in the Christian
market and made their way across the cultural
divide (Switchfoot, Chevelle, Relient K,
MercyMe, Skillet, Sixpence None The Richer),
the American mainstream music scene is today
home to hundreds of artists who are writing
and performing songs with a distinctly
Christian world view.
But these artists stand on the shoulders of
their forefathersтАФliterally in cases such as the
Butler familyтАФa generation of artists whose
purpose in creating тАЬJesus MusicтАЭ was to have
that music heard by a generation of unbelievers
and provide hope and transformation. And
today, older and wiser, they have advice to give
to their musical offspring:
тАЬIt seems like we need to rethink many
things,тАЭ said Coomes who has recently started
a non-profit company to mentor artists called
Music Compass. тАЬItтАЩs time to ask the 5 тАШWтАЩ
questions: who, what, where, when and why?
WeтАЩve accomplished a lot over the last 35 years;
but, as my friend Reggie McNeal says in his
book, The Present Future, тАШWe need to get outside
the bubble.тАЩтАЭ
Many artists are doing just that. And like
Moses who himself never made it to the
promised land but was at least given a glimpse
of Canaan from a distance, today some of these
Jesus Music era artists look on with satisfaction
as their children and childrenтАЩs children take
their music and beliefs to all, for all to hear. CCM
Church Celebration
>>> From top: Tommy Sims, Sixpence None the Richer,
Alice Cooper, Lauryn Hill
52 ccm april 05
Artists of faith in the mainstream may generate
that тАЬwowтАЭ factor thatтАЩs something special, but
Christian musicтАЩs blue-chip artists remain those
who serve, primarily, church audiences day in,
day outтАФPoint of Grace, Nicole C. Mullen,
Avalon, Selah and FFH come to mind. TheyтАЩre
to this genre what General Electric and CocaCola are to Wall StreetтАФsymbols of quality,
sound investments paying dividends no matter
which way the wind blows. And if last yearтАЩs
Dove Awards were any sort of tipping point, a
new crop of blue chip names may be emerging.
Making huge gains is AtlantaтАЩs Casting
Crowns. The Dove-nominated, seven-piece
outfit packs churches coast to coast. It touts a
platinum record, three No. 1 singles, a
platinum DVDтАФplus 3 CCMтАЩs ReadersтАЩ Choice
Awards in major categories, to name a few.
тАЬOur passion is to see the body of Christ
both walk with God and use the gifts HeтАЩs
given them to bring glory to Him,тАЭ says
Casting Crowns lead singer Mark Hall when
asked about being called to тАЬbuild up the
saints.тАЭ тАЬOur ministry is no more noble or
spiritual than anyone elseтАЩs. We glorify Him
when we bloom where weтАЩre planted.тАЭ
And Jeremy CampтАЩs high-stakes decisionmaking appears to be paying off. Though he
accumulated six No. 1 singles with his rock
debut, Stay, Camp chanced a career identity
crisis by following up with Carried Me: The
Worship Project. Image czars cringed; the church
cried hallelujah. Insiders are whispering
JeremyтАФboth a Dove Award-winning тАЬNew
Artist of the YearтАЭ and тАЬMale Vocalist of the
YearтАЭтАФis as versatile as one Michael W. Smith.
Still cultivating its initial public offering is
BarlowGirl. The bandтАЩs self-titled debut has
traded hotly over the past year, spinning off the
breakout single тАЬNever Alone.тАЭ This month it
hopes to make good on at least one of four
Dove nominationsтАФall while being an all-girl
band, the rarest of species in Christian music.
Give тАШem all an тАЬAmen.тАЭ
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Jim Van Hook
Terry Hemmings
In the business of selling Christian music, there has beenтАФalmost since the beginningтАФthe trinity:
three major companies and their respectively owned and distributed labels that have shared this market
for many years. Though now wholly owned by major music and entertainment conglomerates, each
is still managed by veterans of this business whose careers began with independently owned and
operated labels.
Bill Hearn was formerly the president of Sparrow Records prior to being named president and CEO
of EMI Christian Music Group, a division of EMI Recorded Music North America. His father, Billy Ray
Hearn, who founded Sparrow, continues to function as chairman of the group. A 27-year industry
veteran, Bill oversees management of EMI CMG Label Group, EMI CMG Distribution and EMI CMG
Publishing. He also serves on the board of The Sparrow Foundation and TJ Martell Foundation.
Jim Van Hook is currently CEO at Word Entertainment, the industryтАЩs oldest label that was started
in 1951 as Word Records. Van Hook was a music professor at NashvilleтАЩs Trevecca Nazarene University
for six years before starting his own company, Brentwood Music, with $500 in 1981. The company was
sold to Zomba Music Group in 1994 and had become an $85 million business when he officially retired
in 2003. In a unique arrangement with Word (owned by the Warner Music Group), Van Hook
concurrently maintains his role as dean of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at
Belmont University in Nashville.
Terry Hemmings, who spent a decade with Reunion Records, now serves as president and CEO of the
Provident Music Group, which includes labels as diverse as the benchmark Benson, Brentwood, Reunion
and Essential and recently acquired distribution rights to Integrity Music. Provident is now a division of
Sony BMG Music Entertainment, operating under the umbrella of RCA Label Group Nashville.
These are the men who steer the present and shape the future of the Christian music business on a
day-to-day basis.We believe you will find it fascinating to get a deeper insight into their world, hear
their reflections on the buying trends of 2004 and catch a glimpse of their future goals and plans.
54 ccm april 05
CCM: It was an interesting year for Christian
music, wasnтАЩt it? Though overall sales of
Christian and gospel music were almost
identical to 2003 (43.4 million units in тАЩ04
compared to 43.7 million in тАЩ03), sales of rock
titles more than doubled. Is rock selling better
because of general market exposure and
availability, or has the church finally just gotten
comfortable with more aggressive musical
Jim Van Hook: I think itтАЩs both. I think praise
& worship has sort of loosened up the church a
bit to accept a wider variety of styles than in
years past. Look at an artist like BarlowGirl
whose debut album has sold more than 200,000
units and is what we would have always
classified a rock record but is now really in the
center of the market.
Terry Hemmings: There has always been an
audience for rock, and the roots of this business
were in rock; but we kind of got away from it in
the тАШ80s and early тАШ90s. Over the last decade,
people like Brandon [Ebel, founder of Tooth &
Nail], in particular, have really done an
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Page 55
Bill Hearn
incredible job of developing a market again for
rock. Once that happens, and tools like Internet
sites and the like develop around that,
expectation develops in the consumer; and they
start looking for it. Combine that with a greater
access to the products, and you have a formula to
reach those people who were always there for
rock music.
Bill Hearn: I think a lot of those sales came from
labels like Tooth & Nail, which sell a lot of
product in the general marketplace. In the case of
Jeremy Camp, in particular, almost 50 percent of
his sales are coming from the general market.
TH: We exceeded our general market sales last
year by 35 percent, and that was without any
support at mainstream radio for any of our
records. ItтАЩs really just due to a focused effort on
retail, in general, as 50-60 percent of our sales
now are coming from mainstream retail outlets
like Target, Wal-Mart, etc. We actually consider
those to be Christian retail outlets for us in that
they are sold as clearly Christian records racked
in the Christian or gospel music section of their
music departments.
This is not the same situation as Switchfoot,
for example, that is being marketed as a pop act
and racked that way in the mainstream. We really
try to define these things by the artistтАЩs intent.
Casting Crowns has no desire to be anything but
a Christian band, yet its records sold very well in
those outlets. We went platinum on that record in
15 months. ItтАЩs extraordinary.
BH: WhatтАЩs happening is that mainstream
retailers are finally realizing that Christians are
shopping in their stores, too, and that itтАЩs OK to
put Christian artists on their samplers, end-cap
displays or promotional items because a large part
of their consumer profile is made up of faithbased individuals.
The real story about 2004 is that, since 2000,
Christian music sales have been flat because in
that same four-year period, sales of all music in
the United States were down 15 percent. So
during a very difficult economic period in the
music business, Christian music held its own. So,
in reality, we gained market share during that
period because we went from about 5.5 percent of
the overall music market to about 6.5 percent by
maintaining flat sales.
The question is what do we do to grow sales?
ThatтАЩs where I think you will see the industry
becoming more creative, addressing the needs of
the church more with worship musicтАФwhich IтАЩve
kind of termed the Christian pop music of the
new millenniumтАФand with the new stream of
artists who are choosing to position themselves as
mainstream artists as opposed to a crossover
Christian music artist.
CCM: Speaking of new artists, another trend
seems to be that the AC/pop that defined
contemporary Christian music for so long
appears to be falling out of favor with the fans.
Several historically top-selling AC/pop artists
who released projects in 2004 sold far less than
each did just a few years ago. Is this also a result
of rockтАЩs increasing popularity, or are Christian
music fans just ready for some new faces?
TH: I think itтАЩs a function of a couple of things. I
april 05 ccm 55
12:16 AM
Page 56
think the market turns over every so often, and
there will always be a hunger for new artists in
pop music. I think our opportunity with тАЬnewтАЭ is
greater than it has been at any time that I can
remember because radio is responding to newer
artists much quicker than they have in the past and
responding to a hotter AC sound more than in the
past as well. We will probably release more records
from new artists this year than ever before.
JVH: I think it all gets back to the songs. So many
records try to cover up an average song with great
production, and it just never works. A great song
has to have heart and meaning, be reflective of its
culture, expressed by a poet and recorded by
musicians who adequately carry that expression
through the art of music to a listener who hears it
and responds, тАЬYes! ThatтАЩs how I feel.тАЭ Other
things have value but none are as important as the
core, which is the song. Make great songs and
chances are, money and product are going to tend
to change hands.
CCM: Money and product continue to change
hands for Christian music but in new and different
ways all the time, of course. Have any of these
тАЬnew wineskinsтАЭ caused you to rethink how much
CDтАЩs cost and what buyers pay for them?
JVH: Pricing pressure is tremendous now, as the
perception today (because of downloads) is that a
song is worth 99 cents. Multiply that times 10 or
12, and you have a price point far below the 17 or
18 dollars that has been the standard for years.
WeтАЩre going to hold up the price point as much as
we can but not more than the market will allow.
Frankly, the relationship between the record
company and the artist has to change now as well.
We canтАЩt spend the kind of money on masters that
we used to, or marketing, for that matter.
TH: We have a 60-day introductory price on new
artists, which has been fairly effective, but after 60
days we move to full price with little downside.
Casting Crowns has been at full price for a year
now and is still selling well.
JVH: I fully believe CDs are going away as the
primary delivery system of content. I donтАЩt know
when, but I believe it will happen; and therefore,
there have to be multiple revenue streams at a
company like Word, and the relationship with the
artist has to be redefined. I still think there is a
place for this type of company because most artists
cannot become totally viable by themselves. But
the way to help them succeed is changing.
CCM: LetтАЩs talk about digital media, downloads
and the like. What are your thoughts about the
area of the business currently, and what are you
doing at your companies to take advantage of
these new markets?
BH: We have come to see that Christian music
consumers are just as wired as any other music
consumer and are consuming digital music at or
slightly above the rate of mainstream music
56 ccm april 05
We have been very aggressive in providing
content to the digital service providers. As of this
spring, we have over 1,000 full albums available
on the DSPs, which means over 10,000 songs, all
of our new releases and about 80 percent of our
back catalog available digitally. Individual songs
are running at about 80 percent of our total digital
downloads and full albums the other 20 percent.
We have about 60 ringtones available now and
will have over 300 available by June. The
prediction is that, while digital music will
continue to grow exponentially, mobile musicтАФ
ringtones, voice tones and images to cell
phonesтАФcould surpass digital downloads in the
next few years.
TH: We have increased our alternative marketing
staff to four, and those people communicate with
their parent company counterparts on a daily
basis about new opportunities and the like.
Sony/BMG is the worldwide leader in the digital
realm right now, and that includes ring tones,
wallpaper, ringbacks as well as downloads. Ring
tones for Casting Crowns are running about equal
to their business in downloads right now, for
example. Now weтАЩre finding a demand for artists
recording personalized messages for personal
voice mail, and I think that fits well with the
Christian music lifestyle.
JVH: This is a huge priority for me. We know
now that more than 10 million iPods have been
sold; five million of those were sold just last
quarter. And that does not include the new iPod
Shuffles. I havenтАЩt yet talked to a single individual
who owns an iPod and doesnтАЩt completely love it.
But the majority of sales in downloads is in
individual songs, and we have to look at that very
closely and come up with a new strategy to better
accommodate a new type of buyer. Instead of
looking for 10-12 songs to take into the studio
with an artist, maybe we just record the two or
three that really knocked our socks off and
sell those when theyтАЩre ready, as opposed to an
entire album. I donтАЩt think weтАЩre at that point
today, but I think we have to be open to new
approaches like that.
BH: The bottom line is, while digital music is an
important part of the future of the music industry,
it is still only two percent of our total music sales,
though our sales through digital increased five
times from тАШ03-тАЩ04. So even though we expect to
see exponential growth in digital music, we donтАЩt
anticipate it being more than 20 percent of our
business in the next 5-8 years.
What is wonderful about all of this is that
consumption of music is at an all-time high. If you
combine sales of physical CDs and digital
downloads, music surpassed 800 million units in
2004, which is the first time it has been that high
since 2000.
CCM: What is your greatest challenge now, and
what motivates you to face it on a daily basis?
JVH: As a survivor of leukemia [Van Hook was on
interferon treatments for over three years and has
been declared cured for more than 2 1/2 years
now], every day is a blessing and a gift for me.
As far as challenges go, obviously, Word knew
it was losing Integrity Music months before its
contract officially expired at the end of 2000. And
as of Jan. 1, WordтАЩs market share dropped from
28 percent to 14.8 percent, so I came in with a
full crisis in effect. The four things that I am
focusing on are getting the right people in key
leadership roles, managing the managers,
changing the business model to address the
changing landscape in the music business and
changing the corporate culture.
BH: The greatest challenge for us at the labels is
to make the paradigm shift from thinking that the
consumer relationship is the responsibility of the
retailer, to one that desires to understand their
needs and wants to better guide our marketing
and A&R to provide music that is more relevant to
them, making it available in ways that are more in
line with their lifestyle.
I love change; I love a challenge, and this has
been a tremendous challenge, to think of us as a
music company as opposed to a record company
that only produces plastic discs. There are no
rules anymore, and that makes it exciting for
people like me to be a part of changing things at
this time. IтАЩm just glad it happened at a time when
I was young enough to cope with it!
TH: I absolutely love music; and when I get up in
the morning, I canтАЩt wait to listen to it. If one is
not motivated by that love, I would imagine it
would be a pretty dry experience.
We have the opportunities to do incredible
things with our parent companies, but that also
requires us to think in new ways; and the
businessman in me loves that as well. WeтАЩve got
the biggest platform to take the gospel to people
through music that weтАЩve ever had, and our
challenge is to find the very best talent and make
the very best music we can so that we have
something to offer. Trying to break new artists is
a daunting task; but when you find something that
you canтАЩt stand the thought of people not
knowing about, itтАЩs very motivating to go the extra
mile to try and make it happen.
12:18 AM
Page 57
1. If you could sign any artist in the world
to your label, which one would it be?
Jim Van Hook: The Beatles
Bill Hearn: U2
Terry Hemmings: Sarah McLachlan
2. Of all the recent infiltrations of
Christians/Christianity into mainstream culture, which one (outside of
music!) is most intriguing to you?
Van Hook: George W. Bush
Hearn: Ministries focused on professional
athletes and sports celebrities. Their ability
to have an impact on the culture as role
models is significant, and I am seeing more of
that in the last few years.
Hemmings: There are some television
programs that have a positive impact and
remain viable programming. тАЬSeventh
HeavenтАЭ is a good example.
3. Which one in music?
Van Hook: U2/Bono
Hearn: Great music created by Christians.
Music from Christians is having more of an
impact on mainstream culture than ever.
Hemmings: I am watching The Afters.
4. Name your top three тАЬDesert IslandтАЭ
Van Hook: The Carpenters, Henry Mancini,
Collection of Hits of The Bee Gees, Louis
Armstrong. (However, I would would prefer
an iPod with my favorites included.)
Hearn: My iPod with a long-lasting battery.
Hemmings: Pink FloydтАЩs Dark Side of the
Moon, Dire StraitsтАЩ Love Over Gold and Rich
MullinsтАЩ A Liturgy, A Legacy and a
Hemmings: I consider the most important
thing to be the number of people who have
worked for us that are in leadership positions
in this or other industries and companies. I
believe one of the most important aspects of
this job is to provide a platform for others to
grow and succeed.
8. What is your most embarrassing
industry moment?
Van Hook: Passing on Sandi Patty in 1979
Hearn: Why would I tell you that? IтАЩd have to
relive it all over again.
Hemmings: Ironically, it just happened
yesterday. I was meeting with a new band
and asked one of the guys if he was related to
another. They were sitting at opposite ends
of the table, and I had not taken a hard look.
Turns out they are identical twins.
9. What word or phrase do you most
Hearn: тАЬI was listening to you, honey!тАЭ
Hemmings: тАЬDid we sell any records?тАЭ
Sometimes good news is just good news, even
if it does not produce an immediate result.
10. a. Hard music or southern gospel?
Van Hook: Neither
Hearn: I am a pop music fan. Give me a great
song any day!
Hemmings: Hard music
b. Napoleon Dynamite or Ferris Bueller?
Van Hook: Neither, but my friends tell me it
would be Ferris Bueller.
Hearn: Ferris Bueller
Hemmings: Ferris Bueller, my life story
Ragamuffin Band
5. Who do you think is todayтАЩs most overhyped mainstream artist?
Van Hook: Britney Spears
Hearn: Any finalist from тАЬAmerican IdolтАЭ
6. WhatтАЩs your usual at Starbucks?
Van Hook: A latte
Hearn: I try not to drink coffee.
Hemmings: I prefer PeetтАЩs. I order it online.
7. What do you consider your greatest
accomplishment in this industry?
Van Hook: Starting with $500 and building
the company [Provident] into one of the тАЬbig
Hearn: Supporting great artists in achieving
their vision
c. Simon, Paula, or Randy?
Van Hook: Randy
Hearn: I donтАЩt watch тАЬAmerican Idol.тАЭ
Hemmings: Peter, Paul and Mary (Actually, I
have the most respect for Simon. He is direct,
but most often correct.)
11. Presidential Picks: Who would you
like to see face off in the 2008 election?
Van Hook: Rudy Giuliani vs. [TennesseeтАЩs]
Governor Bredeson
Hearn: The two or three people who believe
in God, with the greatest character and
integrity and who have the best interests of
this country and our way of life as their
Hemmings: Arnie and HillaryтАФtoo bad it
canтАЩt happen.
april 05 ccm 57
12:22 AM
Page 58
12 9 8
7 101814 13
19 11 16
1 235
archedтАЭ musings.
A compendium of arguably useless and тАЬrese
Chris W
5 Things About Christian Music
That Will Definitely Happen in the
Next 10 to 12 Months (15 months, tops)
Every April, the think tank at CCM Magazine looks ahead to the important
trends in what we now call тАЬContemporary Christian Music.тАЭ ItтАЩs an annual
tradition as old as crackers and as timeless as your local boat show.
Tapping the experts here at CCM Industries, our researchers have come up
with this list. (Be sure to clip this page out and save it for future reference.)
Speedgrass. Members of Relient K studying under
More felt. Watch for big fashion spread from
master banjo player even now.
members of Avalon.
Eventually, all labels will merge into one, single,
├╝ber imprint. End of artist development as we
know it.
Apple introduces the iHat. Sponsors big BarlowGirl
spring tour.
1. The one where you put the bucket of ElmerтАЩs
Glue over the door and then when someone comes
in, the bucket falls on his/her head. OhтАФand
feathers. Gotta have feathers.
2. The one where you go online to your favorite
artistтАЩs message board and start a rumor about
him/her doing a concert in your backyard for
everyone who brings food. Sure, you made the
whole thing up, but hey! Free food!
In 2005, the MPAA will require every motion picture
soundtrack to include at least one Christian label
artist. Every. Single. One.
3. The one where you staple your sleeve to the
door of your office and tell everyone who passes by,
тАЬOh, look, my sleeve is stapled to the door.тАЭ ItтАЩs
funnier than it sounds.
4. The one where you hit the тАЬpageтАЭ button on
your office phone and then page yourself. Bucket oтАЩ
5. The one where you wear your heaviest coat and
stuff the pockets with frozen meat. As the day goes
on and the meat in your pockets thaws, enjoy the
puzzled looks of your co-workers. Or school chums.
Or dogs.
58 ccm april 05
5 Signs GMA Week
Has Arrived
1. Big banner тАЬWelcome to Music City, USAтАЭ
switched to тАЬThe House That Amy, Michael and
Steven Built.тАЭ
2. One in three people in downtown Nashville has
a Christian record deal.
3. Rickshaw service sponsored by Third Day and
the good people of Chevrolet.
4. Members of your favorite classic Christian rock
band reunite to serve fajitas.
5. Jimi Hendrix memorabilia at Hard Rock Caf├й
replaced by laundry belonging to Jay Swarz...Jay laundry belonging to the guy who
edits CCM.
12:32 AM
Page 60
listening in...
Rebecca St. James
& Evie Tornquist
When Rebecca St. James had the honor of inducting her
mentor, Christian musicтАЩs first bonafide star Evie
Tornquist, into the Gospel Music Association Hall of
Fame this past February, it made for an unforgettable
and extremely personal evening. Since Rebecca asked
Evie to be her mentor almost three years ago, these two
women have stayed closely connected, resulting in a
bond that far surpasses their obvious commonality:
music. On the heels of the Hall of Fame event, CCM had
the chance to listen in on a phone conversation
between these two distinct generations of Christian
artists: Evie, a Norwegian singer who laid the
groundwork for contemporary Christian music in the
1970s and тАЩ80s, and Rebecca, a beloved vocalist whose
11-year career continues to flourish with modern
pop/rock sensibilities and uplifting lyrics.
RSJ: Many people are aware, Evie, that
you are my mentor. ItтАЩs a huge honor
for me to tell everyone how much
youтАЩve meant in my life and how God
has used you to breathe life into me
and into my ministry. ItтАЩs totally been a
God thing!
Evie: ItтАЩs been a two-way blessing, Bec!
I was very humbled and honored that
you would think that much of me--that
I would have something I could share
with you. But then, I understand
mentoring to be just another fancy
word for discipling. Another way of
describing it would be тАЬjourneying
togetherтАЭ in this walk with Jesus. Now
that doesnтАЩt sound all that difficult to
me. It sounds like something thatтАЩs
very natural, and I am all for being
natural with other people, with friends
and with the Lord.
60 ccm april 05
When you approached me [to be
your mentor], I of course went to prayer
right away. One thing I did understand:
When you connect with a friend or
someone, like you and I have hooked
up in the relationship of being a friend
and discipling one anotherтАФbecause
you do that for me tooтАФthereтАЩs an
understanding that this is a long-term
commitment. This just isnтАЩt a week or
two. WeтАЩre in it for the long run.
RSJ: We are! One of the biggest things
that has had an impact on me is just
your sense of understanding. YouтАЩve
walked where IтАЩve walked, and thatтАЩs
been one of the most valuable things
to me in my life as a тАШmentee.тАЩ You
understand the pressures of my life
and what IтАЩm feeling, as well as the
stress of being in the spotlight as
regularly as I am.
Evie: Yes, though things have changed
a little since I walked in those shoes! I
do know that when you call and
perhaps need a little encouragement,
when we hang up, I am the one that
feels lifted, encouraged and brought
before the throne of God! Just about
every time on these calls, we pray
together on the phone. ThatтАЩs really
where the majority of our relationship
is these daysтАФby phone and e-mail
and such!
I would even say that in this kind of
тАЬmentoringтАЭ relationship, youтАЩll never
have exactly the same history and
experiences of life that youтАЩre both
12:32 AM
drawing from. But what God has given
us, Bec, is an understanding and a
common ground that is just
Page 61
then simultaneously working on an
album or book and doing lots of
mediaтАФit all seems to hit at once
sometimes. ThatтАЩs when I start feeling
the weight of those expectations.
It is! I very much believe in the
importance of mentoring for young
people! I encourage them to let God
show them who He would choose as a
mentor for them. If I had just randomly
picked a lady from my church without
asking God to provide for me, my
experience would never have been the
joyous, truly blessed friendship we
have, Evie!
Evie: Yes! ItтАЩs so important that God do
the matching! I think itтАЩs also
important that people know they donтАЩt
have to find someone who has walked
the very same walk to have him or her
be a mentor. They can find that person
or persons through the work of the
SpiritтАФthrough a work of GodтАФand all
thatтАЩs really needed for this wonderful
relationship to grow is time. The gift of
time and a listening ear. And then we
together just say, тАЬGod, what do You
want here?тАЭ ItтАЩs when two people sit
and share but listen to what God
impresses. Mentors should listen with
their hearts.
the responsibility to fulfill the plans He
has for you. You donтАЩt have to worryтАФ
itтАЩs in His hands! IтАЩve found a whole lot
of comfort in that, in just learning to
surrender and let it go. As we say in
Australia, тАЬNo worries!тАЭ
Evie: How rough they can be! And how
difficult to deal with on a regular basis!
We have expectations about ourselves
that can sometimes be so unrealistic.
Expectations that others put upon us
can be equally unrealisticтАФeither too
good to be true or too tough and
difficult. Expectations in and of
themselves are dreadful! IтАЩd much
rather deal with тАЬhope,тАЭ which is kind
of a тАШcousin wordтАЩ to expectation.
I love that! And by the way, if I
could describe you in a single word, it
would be тАЬgenuine!тАЭ The real thing, the
real McCoy. What you see is what you
get. I always tell people that the
transparent heart that is obvious in
your music and when youтАЩre onstage is
just as evident one on one. I tell them,
тАЬThatтАЩs why I love Rebecca so much.
SheтАЩs down-to-earth. She is one whoтАЩs
RSJ: I told someone the other day, if I
could describe Evie in one word it
would be тАЬencourager.тАЭ Those times
on the phone are when I gain so much
encouragement and wisdom. TheyтАЩre
times when, as youтАЩre praying for me
and just speaking truth into my life,
youтАЩve encouraged me so much with
some of my biggest challengesтАФ
including the dreaded тАЬE-word!тАЭ
Evie: (Laughter) YesтАжthe dreaded тАЬEword!тАЩ
RSJ: Expectations! What it comes down
to is expectations of self, largely. When
youтАЩre a performer and artist, those
expectations can generally be very
high. YouтАЩre constantly striving for
excellence and can be pretty hard on
yourself. I think you and I have agreed
that weтАЩre both pretty hard on
ourselves. And then come the
expectations of other people, which is
constant. When youтАЩre in leadership,
thatтАЩs something very normal. IтАЩve
struggled with that when IтАЩve been
exhausted from being on the road and
From Left: Rebecca,
Evie and Amy Grant
at the GMA Hall of
Fame event
Hope, of course, is a much more
positive thing. The context of the тАЬEword,тАЭ that you and I have so often
talked about, is that our expectations
have to be pulled back into alignment
with God, with His Word, and with a
realistic understanding of our frailties
and the frailties of othersтАФcoupled
with the hope that we have in Him and
in one another. I think unmasking and
revealing these expectations that we
deal with everyday in ourselves and in
others helps us get through it.
RSJ: One of the awesome things weтАЩve
talked about that has great meaning
for me in facing expectations is, тАЬGod
knows the plans He has for you, and
He will fulfill them.тАЭ When your life is
totally given over to Him, He will take
things about our relationship with
family and friends, decorating, cooking
and whoтАЩs got the best sale goingтАФ
thatтАЩs the wonderful thing! We have
lots of similar enjoyments in everything
from Thai food to a good sale at H&MтАФ
one of our favorite stores!
unassuming and real through and
through. Her love for Christ is
everything you would think it is when
you listen to her music and more. Her
love for family and friendsтАФher
infectious passion for the LordтАФand to
boot, sheтАЩs an awful lot of fun!
RSJ: WeтАЩre not always serious. We do
have fun and laugh a lot.
Evie: We can find something hilarious
in just about everything, canтАЩt we, Bec
тАФespecially if weтАЩre tired! We share
quite a few laughs about things that go
wrong and where we feel insecure. We
laugh at bad hair days, when the
humidity makes your hair go curly and
makes mine totally go flat! We laugh at
everything and nothing. We share
RSJ: We talk very little about music
when we hang out, but I know people
will want to know your thoughts about
Christian music, Evie, and how itтАЩs
changed from the days you were
walking much the same path IтАЩm
walking now. I can appreciate how you
paved the way for artists like me, and
for that I am totally grateful. I know
weтАЩve talked about the fact that for you
it was somewhat of a lonely road as
you were often out there on your own,
trying to be in a music ministry when
the concept of [contemporary]
Christian music still barely existed.
Evie: Really, come to think of it, the
music part of our friendship is almost
a sidelineтАФit really is! But to talk about
music for a minute--while clearly this is
a new day and a new eraтАФthere are
certain things that are very similar and
other elements that are different. I
never had a manager or a PR gal for
instance! My mother helped with all
the particulars of booking me on
concert tours and with Billy Graham
and television stations and that. But
really, it was just my mom and me.
Today, what you have, Bec, is a
much larger team that is, in a very real
way, supporting you everyday. I sure
wish IтАЩd had more of that myself. It was
often lonely for me. I traveled the
entire world many times over. It was a
little bag with my soundtracks and
meтАФand that was it! IтАЩm grateful you
donтАЩt have to be so alone. But on the
other hand, thereтАЩs a lot that comes
with having this larger support teamтАФ
challenges come with that.
RebeccaтАжdoes being the mentor in
this relationship mean I get the final
few words?
RSJ: Yes!
Evie: I love you, Bec, and we together
love and adore You, Jesus!
april 05 ccm 61
1:03 PM
Page 63
You Say You Want an EvolutionтАж
4th Avenue Jones forges forward with well-crafted hip-hop that breaks the mold on all levels of musicianship.
Stereo: The Evolution of HipRockSoul
Gotee/Lookalive Records
Hip-hop thatтАЩs not for the timid
Ahmad JonesтАЩ 1994 solo platinum hit тАЬBack in
the DayтАЭ was a nostalgic ode to a simple time
in life and music. But today neither he nor his
band seems particularly interested in
nostalgia. Perhaps thatтАЩs because their
File under:
Grade: Aprofessional lives have been neither simple
nor ideal since 4th Avenue JonesтАЩ formation in
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who... enjoy a
musical tour-de-genres highlighted by a
2000. After releasing a buzz-driving indie
knack for brutal lyrical honesty.
debut, No Plan B, the band landed a recording
agreement with industry giant Interscope Records. With L.A. as its hub, 4th Avenue
Jones continued to build a thriving тАЬundergroundтАЭ fanbase during 2002,
anticipating the release of its first Interscope album, No Plan B, Part 2. While the
band shared the stage with the likes of Black Eyed Peas, Macy Gray, Sheryl Crow,
The Roots and others, 4th Avenue Jones eventually found itself in that notorious
red-tape nowhere land known as тАЬrecord label limbo.тАЭ And as time would tell, Part
2 never released.
Fast forwarding on all counts and freed from its Interscope deal, 4th Avenue
Jones has entered a partnership with Gotee Records and constructed the
equivalent of a musical тАЬperfect stormтАЭ; an intriguing sonic convergence of
angular alt-rock riffs, gospel fervor, thick urban funk, tight beats, catchy choruses
and experimental production. Although clich├йs are challenged and genre lines are
blurred at every turn, somehow this band manages to stay securely tethered to its
L.A. hip-hop roots.
Confidently asserting their prowess, Ahmad and Tena Jones give Stereo: The
Evolution of HipRockSoul an uncommon visceral lyricism and emotional
immediacy. The details of a squabble in тАЬUnhappy BirthdayтАЭ are so honest that
listening feels a little invasive, while the realness of тАЬOverloadedтАЭ hits so close itтАЩs
almost cathartic. While many of the tracks lack such personal weight, nearly every
song carries something else equally rewarding. Longtime fans thrown by AhmadтАЩs
unexpected adventure into singing are specifically rewarded when he reverts back
into a hungry, hip-hop revolutionary on tracks like тАЬCaesarтАЭ and тАЬMonumental
Continental,тАЭ featuring labelmates GRITS. Not to be outdone, each time Tena
adds her gospel, blues and rhyme flavor to a track, she brings much needed
balance and beauty to a disc that vibrates with intensity.
Those seeking safety in his/her music or lyrics may find Stereo too bold and
brash. But for anyone looking for something a little out of the ordinary, this is a
truly special band. ANTHONY BARR JEFFREY
april 05 ccm 63
1:03 PM
Page 64
File under:
Grade: A
Pop/Adult Contemporary
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who... want
to get beyond spiritual comfort zones.
ItтАЩs Natalie like youтАЩve never
heard her before.
Confession time: As soon
as I was assigned to review
Natalie GrantтАЩs new CD, a
preconceived notion came to
mind. IsnтАЩt she just another
generic-sounding pop diva?
But after just one spin of her
aptly titled Awaken disc, that
thought was quickly relegated
to тАЬoh-so-mistakenтАЭ status.
Following an eye-opening
overseas journey and a recent
time of spiritual introspection,
Grant now releases her most
poignant and intimately
reflective project to date.
Musically and lyrically, Awaken
propels Grant to an artistic
pinnacle that should give her
some much-deserved street
Whether itтАЩs through the
powerhouse praise evidenced
on the CDтАЩs title track or the
piano-driven disclosure of
тАЬThe Real Me,тАЭ the albumтАЩs
evocative arrangements
convey the heart of someone
64 ccm april 05
who confronts reality head
on and embraces social
responsibility as an integral
part of her faith.
One hard-hitting issue
Grant tackles is the
harrowing problem of human
trafficking, not exactly
standard Christian music
material. But after traveling
to India and visiting the
appalling red-light district
there, Grant was shaken by
the experience. Her cathartic
rally cry of sorts is found on
тАЬHome,тАЭ a compelling
magnum opus featuring the
Prague Philharmonic
Orchestra. Further
admonition comes on
тАЬWhat Are You Waiting For,тАЭ
a catchy, up-tempo track that
issues an alert to Christians
to abandon complacency
and make a meaningful
difference for eternity.
Other weighty themes
emerge, including selfesteem (тАЬMake Me OverтАЭ)
and personal tragedy
(тАЬHeldтАЭ). Also memorable is
gospel-tinged selection
тАЬBring It All Together,тАЭ a
soul-stirring duet about
restoration beautifully
executed with country music
legend Wynonna Judd.
Throughout the disc,
GrantтАЩs robust vocal delivery
shines through brilliantly.
Moreover, full-bodied
instrumentation and solid
production enhance an
already stellar effort. Clearly
her finest performance, this
release certainly bodes well
for GrantтАЩs continued
File under:
Grade: BRock
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who... enjoy
a heaping platter of modern rock
guitar punch.
Never Take Friendship
Tooth & Nail
Proficient rock rings with
plenty of potential.
Modern rockтАЩs deep-fried
sound tastes mighty fine in
small morsels. But over the
course of a whole album, a
homogenized mix of
strident, distorted guitars,
pounding drums and angstdrenched vocals sparks ear
So it is with AnberlinтАЩs
Never Take Friendship
PersonalтАФa disc that, while
its individual songs (and
sing-along hooks) often
satisfy, fails to transcend a
formulaic plateau.
ThatтАЩs surprising, in part
because producer/engineer
Aaron Sprinkle (Poor Old Lu)
has such fine indie
credentials. And to be sure,
ample moments here prove
that Anberlin packs plenty
of inspiration. On тАЬ(The
Symphony of the) Blas├й,тАЭ a
spiraling, 16th-note high-hat
loops around a revolving
guitar figure. ItтАЩs a steely,
key-of-C ballad, spiked with
ghostly bell tones,
suggesting some exotic
hybrid of The Cure and
Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Yet much of Personal
opts for a driving, top-down,
volume-up approachтАФwhich
is not to say the rest of the
album lacks highlights. With
the title track, singer
Stephen ChristianтАЩs choppy
verse syncopation provides
a catchy setup for the calland-response chorus, while
his yearning performance
on тАЬA Day LateтАЭ is
countered nicely by creamy
harmonies. And on тАЬThe
Feel Good Drag,тАЭ a
descending bass line
wrestles with ascending
guitars and an angry vocal,
until the tune breaks down
like a car gasping for gas.
Perhaps the juxtaposition
of the last two tunes,
though, illustrates the
contrast between what
could have been and what
is. тАЬA Heavy Hearted Work
of Staggering GeniusтАЭ may
last little more than a
minute, but it is a stunner: a
sparse spaghetti-western
instrumental that conjures
images of an abandoned
nuclear test site. It is
followed by тАЬDance, Dance,
Christa Paffgen,тАЭ a song
that clocks in at an epic
7:09 but lacks the dynamics
or twists to justify its length.
Personal belongs in that
category of records that
deserves points for its
spiritual earnestness but
smacks of something
approaching sonic
calculation. What hints of
artistic risk that arise are
obscured, alas, behind a
too-obvious wall of guitars.
File under:
Grade: BPop/Rock
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who...
resonate with anthems of positive
Beauty From Pain
More positive messages
that even your parents will
After following up its first two
smash releases with the
remix project Regeneration,
the band with the bracketed
тАЬkтАЭ is back with 10 new
songs to empower Christian
youth. ItтАЩs a good thing, too,
since Superchic[k] seems to
fill the pop/punk/rock/
female singer niche that no
one else has yet to touch.
Not only does the opening
tune тАЬAnthemтАЭ kick off the
album with a bang, but it
also sets the recurring
theme of confidence and
positivity. Loud and fast, the
song is dedicated to тАЬgirls on
the boards with bruises and
scarsтАЭ among others and
reminds kids to not give up.
тАЬBowling Ball,тАЭ тАЬWishes,тАЭ
and тАЬItтАЩs OnтАЭ continue the
trend, radiating self-esteem
builders as their short-yetmemorable choruses loop
over rebellious guitars. With
lyrics like тАЬYou need that boy
like a bowling ball dropped
on your head which means
not at allтАЭ and тАЬNo matter
how you feel itтАЩs what you do
that matters,тАЭ songwriter Max
Hsu maintains a balance
1:04 PM
between lighthearted
rhymes and poetic depth.
Also an accomplished
producer (tobyMac, Jump5),
he blends affected vocals
with synthesized notes and
clean beats for a blended,
atmospheric effect in
тАЬSuddenly.тАЭ A similar
technique sets the mood in
тАЬCourage,тАЭ betraying the
heavy subject matter of
struggling with an eating
Ironically, the title track
and most impressive
composition, тАЬBeauty from
Pain,тАЭ is about as far from
the signature Superchic[k]
sound as it gets, although
pinpointing the groupтАЩs
sound is not a simple task.
While Superchic[k] comes
across live as rockers with
punk-tinged guitar chords,
its radio singles portray
more melodic traits like
acoustic guitar mixed with
delicate orchestration.
тАЬBeauty from PainтАЭ could
have been lifted from a
Sarah McLachlan album,
with its gorgeous vocals
and a piano foundation.
The emotion of the song is
almost overwhelming with a
promising message of
hope: тАЬAfter all this has
passed, I still will remain.
After IтАЩve cried my last,
there will be beauty from
The band truly hits its
stride with tracks тАЬPureтАЭ
(the recordтАЩs first single),
тАЬStories (Down to the
Bottom)тАЭ (a slightly
different mix of the song it
originally recorded for
tobyMac) and тАЬWe Live.тАЭ
Mixing its pop/punk guitars
with hints of reggae and
rap, this is a style that
makes the most of the
bandтАЩs eclectic talents.
Page 65
File under:
Grade: B+
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who... enjoy
hearing a vulnerable singer-songwriter
find the light
doing really matter at all?тАЭ
he sings before answering:
тАЬBut the one thing I donтАЩt
question is you.тАЭ
Songs like тАЬIтАЩm Coming
HomeтАЭ and the melancholy
тАЬLast Night in AmericaтАЭ offer
similar thoughts, but the
best is тАЬSweet River.тАЭ On it,
Colman shifts from brooding,
tribal-drummed verses to a
lush chorus, perfectly
matching lyrics about a dark
night of the soul that gives
way to blessing.
continued on page 66 >>
Let It Go
A satisfying solo outing from
the outspoken Aussie
Christian music fans in
America know Paul Colman
best as the leader of his Trio,
which released two highly
regarded albums and won
accolades including a Dove
Award for тАЬNew Artist of the
YearтАЭ in 2003. But Colman,
who disbanded his group last
year, is no stranger to life as
a solo artist. Before the trio,
he released three
independent albums and
traveled the globe. Clearly,
itтАЩs in his blood.
Perhaps thatтАЩs why Let It
Go is less a solo revelation
and more an extension of
what Colman has done all
along тАФ smart, Europeanflavored power pop.
This time, Colman is
surrounded by top Nashville
producers and writers,
including Ed Cash
(responsible for Chris
TomlinтАЩs excellent Arriving),
Newsboy Peter Furler and
worship leader Jason Ingram.
Even so, the guitar-driven
rock and ColmanтАЩs strong but
understated vocals will be
instantly recognizable to fans
of his trioтАЩs New Map of the
World and One.
The acoustic-driven тАЬThe
One ThingтАЭ launches the
album with a Paul Wrightmeets-John Mayer vibe, with
Colman revealing themes of
soul searching, questioning
and, ultimately, finding rest
in God. тАЬIтАЩve questioned
significance, meaning and
relevance/Does the work IтАЩm
Find it Online...
Print it Today...
Sing it on Sunday!
Charts for all your singers and instrumentalists:
the next step beyond a lead sheet
Flexible two-key arrangements for every song in
a variety of instrument combinations
New and emerging worship songs, plus the most
complete collection of CCLI's top rated songs
New titles continually being added to the site
Featuring arrangements of worship songs from:
Register with our site
and we'll keep you up-to-date with all of the new
additions. Registration is totally free! When your
church registers, youтАЩll be able to download a free
arrangement that you can use in worship immediately!
No one else offers
worship song arrangements
this complete and this flexible!
Visit to register
1:04 PM
Page 66
>> continued from page 65
About the only thing
missing from ColmanтАЩs trio
days is that bandтАЩs slightly
edgier treatment. With all
the Nashville cats playing,
Let It Go leans toward
standard pop rather than the
focused tightness of three
guys rocking. But his sweet
melodies and vulnerability
allow him a free pass on that
File under:
Grade: B+
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who... dig
innovative rock that keeps you
guessing, both musically and
Free To Conquer
Redemptive rock flourishes
with a decidedly
mainstream sound.
File under:
Grade: B+
Modern rock
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who... want
to rock but donтАЩt mind downshifting
for ballads
Once Upon a
Shattered Life
A little something for every
breed of rock & roller
Seventh Day SlumberтАЩs
debut for BEC feels like an
album from a band flirting
with two identities. On the
one hand, thereтАЩs a
thundering riff-monster
capable of hammering
listeners with pile-driver
licks. On the other, thereтАЩs a
glossy, radio friendly ballad
machine able to soothe us
with sweet songs of
redemption. The band
sounds best when itтАЩs
rocking hardest, but both
sides of its personality mesh
well enough that the duality
doesnтАЩt become more than a
minor distraction.
Singer and primary
songwriter Joseph Rojas has
a powerful set of vocal pipes,
and he can veer from a
croon to one of those throatrattling grindcore screams in
a flash. On тАЬBreak Me,тАЭ
when he growls that тАЬтАж you
tried to break me down,тАЭ itтАЩs
with an intensity that
66 ccm april 05
effectively relays his
frustration over the shots he
took from his adversary. But
then, on album closers
тАЬMasqueradeтАЭ and тАЬOceans
From the Rain,тАЭ his singing
finds a far more subtle tone.
His voice might not be any
more unique than most on
modern rock radio, but itтАЩs
one of the rare ones that
combines intensity with
Producer Aaron Sprinkle
(MxPx, Starflyer59) gives that
voice a crisp bed. Jeremy
HolderfieldтАЩs warm, crunchy
guitar tones leap out of the
mix, especially on the riffhappy тАЬMake BelieveтАЭ and
тАЬChrisтАЩ Letter.тАЭ Drummer Ray
FryouxтАЩs kit gets plenty of
punch, and bassist Joshua
SchwartzтАЩs lines range from
the melodic upper range to
deep lows, particularly on
тАЬBack in Time.тАЭ All this
elevates the album even
when some songsтАФlike the
ballads тАЬCarolineтАЭ and тАЬI
BelieveтАЭтАФlean too close to
generic modern rock.
Ultimately, the albumтАЩs
best point is that it speaks
deeply of redemption.
Several band membersтАЩ
stories include bouts with
drug addiction and the
pain of a broken home, and
in that context songs of
finding God amid the fires
of life resonate strongly. A
solid effort.
File under:
Grade: B
Modern Worship/Pop-electronica
A тАЬmust haveтАЭ for those who... want
to experience an ultramodern
approach to CrowderтАЩs music.
Sunsets & Sushi:
Experiments and
Spectral Deconstruction
This sushi is some tasty
Modern worship purveyors the
David Crowder Band bring 21st
century technology to the
forefront on this
unconventional, eight-song
remix project. Sunsets and
Sushi dismantles tracks from
the sextetтАЩs 2003 Illuminate
album and reassembles the
material into something Joy
Electric or New Order might
The current disc
showcases newly interpreted,
electronica-driven versions of
previous standouts including
vertically oriented songs тАЬO
Praise Him (All This for a
King)тАЭ and тАЬRevolutionary
Love.тАЭ Continuing to siphon
from M-Audio/Propellerhead
Reason software, Crowder
further extrapolates on the
electronic sequencing and
sampling techniques used to
record Illuminate.
By and large, the
retooling experiment
succeeds, especially when it
comes to the mesmeric
intonations of synth-heavy
numbers like тАЬNo One Like
You тАЬ and тАЬOpen Skies. тАЬ
A few moments surface
when listeners may wonder
what chemicals got spilled
in the process. To wit, the
droning beats of
тАЬIntoxicatingтАЭ sound like the
Human League on Paxil.
Then thereтАЩs mid-tempo cut
тАЬDeliver Me, тАЬ which
possesses abundant
spiritual depth yet lacks
sonic intensity.
Those searching for an
aural experience that
pushes the boundaries of
contemporary praise should
find enough to satisfy here,
as will readers of CrowderтАЩs
first book, Praise Habit:
Finding God in Sunsets and
Sushi (NavPress), releasing
concurrently with the CD.
ItтАЩs hard to put a stylistic
label on what the band
Subseven is all about. Just
when you think youтАЩve
pegged it as yet another
assembly line, emo/poppunk combo, the noteworthy
track тАЬFamily SecretsтАЭ
comes along to stir up the
pot. Introduced by a wiry,
almost new wave-ish electric
lead guitar intro, vocalist
Wesley Fite sings it with a
sarcastic snarl worthy of the
garage band renderings of
The Hives. ItтАЩs obvious that
Subseven has no intentions
of getting stuck on any
assembly line.
In his role of vocalist, Fite
also has his share of vocal
screaming fits here. They all
do, it seems, these days. But
he also sings melodically in
places, too, which reveals
how Subseven is daring
enough to experiment with a
few basic formulas now and
again. Although the group is
unabashedly Christian,
these tracks donтАЩt always fit
into nice, neat, spiritual
lyrical categories. тАЬMaydayтАЭ
is a desperate cry for GodтАЩs
help, whereas тАЬFree to
ConquerтАЭ offers big guitars
and big encouragement. The
quiet тАЬBreathe,тАЭ which
speaks about GodтАЩs
assuring love, is also a
standout. But тАЬGame of
LoveтАЭ is something much
more difficult to pigeonhole.
It alternates between being
a fast screamer and a fast
1:04 PM
smoothie, and seemingly
addresses the oftentimescruel game of love.
Being hard to categorize
can sometimes be a good
thing. As so many new
bands are obviously jumping
Page 67
the latest stylistic musical
trains these days, itтАЩs always
refreshing to find a group
with the guts to ride its own
unique rails. These
musicians have created a CD
that will speak to both
believers and non-believers
alike and in a manner that
demands listeners be just as
adventurous as the band
that created it.
Now is the Time
Kent Bottenfield
Take Me Back
(Sony/Integrity Gospel)
Kristin Chenoweth
As I Am
Donnie McClurkin
Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs
The Wedding
The Wedding
Wow #1s
Wow #1s (DVD)
Mighty Clouds of Joy
In the House of the Lord: Live in Houston
Gospel Instrumental, Vol. 2
(EMI Gospel)
(New Day)
16 Great Praise & Worship Instrumentals,
Vol. 2
(New Day)
16 Great Gospel Classics, Vol. 4
(New Day)
Passion: How Great is Our God (Live)
The Lads
The Lads
The Soul Seekers
The Soul Seekers
The Tonic
The Dash
(Gospo Centric)
(Cross Movement/Provident)
Greater Vision,
Legacy Five &
The Perrys
(New Day)
Singing News Favorites
House of Heroes
House of Heroes
The Kry
God of Infinite Worth
Shawn McDonald
Live in Seattle
Julian Road
Julian Road
(New Day)
Jason Upton
Great River Road
april 05 ccm 67
12:20 PM
Page 69
CCM is pleased to present our special annual spotlight on some of todayтАЩs finest
independent artists. Read on as our guest columnist (and bleeding heart for the indie
artist), Keith Mohr, gets things started with an inside look at his company, IndieHeaven.
IndieHeaven is a Web-based community
dedicated to bringing together independent
Christian artists from around the globe to
enable, equip, affirm and empower them
to fulfill GodтАЩs call on their lives.
The Web site also provides independent
artists with an advanced set of tools to
promote, market and distribute their
music. IndieHeaven offers artists ample
server space for music files, pictures and
a calendar. We also fulfill orders for their
CDs from our Nashville-based office.
Artists can easily add and manage
their content and create and send e-mail
campaigns to their fans via
IndieHeavenтАЩs exclusive тАЬFan FinderтАЭ
tool. IndieHeaven also has an
exclusive online radio servicing
program where stations log in and
preview songs submitted by the
IndieHeaven roster. Stations can rate
and comment on the songs, and if
desired, can download a high-quality
MP3 file and play the song on the air.
Promoters can also schedule
artists for concerts through a special
тАЬBook This ArtistтАЭ form found on
each artistтАЩs page. IndieHeaven
provides a thorough and up-to-date
listing of nationwide venues. In fact,
IndieHeavenтАЩs online community is
one of its best features, with artists
sharing information on a wide
range of topics on the forums.
Most importantly, however,
IndieHeaven emphasizes
interdependency with its roster,
providing artists with opportunities
to help one another succeed. This
component makes IndieHeaven
different from other music Web
sites. IndieHeaven is the vehicle to
take on your path to success. launched in 1997
under the name
and sur vived the dot-com era
boom and subsequent bust when
other indie music sites launched
with tremendous financial backing
but disappeared quickly. In 2002, evolved into
IndieHeaven, which better
reflected the organizationтАЩs core
mission. In just two years, IndieHeaven
has more than 315 active members and
remains truly independent.
Visit IndieHeaven today and learn more
about its roster. You can listen to music,
purchase CDs and leave comments,
ratings and more at
P.S. Look for our double-page ad in this
issue of CCM.
Keith Mohr is the founder and president of, a co-operative marketing,
promotions and distribution community serving
over 315 artists. Online non-stop since 1997,
Keith has worked with thousands of indie artists,
and has also produced many custom independent
recording projects. Based in Nashville, Tenn.,
Keith also operates, and
founded the upcoming тАЬWill Play for ChangeтАЭ
summer tour.
by Keith Mohr
april 05 ccm 69
12:20 PM
Page 70
CHANGE, the leading Christian independent artist organization, and
Mission of Mercy (, a Christian relief agency, announce a
strategic partnership offering child sponsorship opportunities to independent
artists. IndieHeaven and Mission of Mercy also announce sponsorship of an indie
tour called тАЬWill Play for Change 2005тАЭ due to hit the road June 1 тАУ June 25 in
locales to be announced.
тАЬWeтАЩll tap the roster of artists on IndieHeaven to sponsor concerts and festivals
in their hometowns. WeтАЩll invite other IndieHeaven artists in the area to participate
as well,тАЭ states IndieHeaven founder, Keith Mohr. тАЬItтАЩs common in the indie scene
for artists to wait for events to find them. Instead of this passive approach, weтАЩll
teach them how to create their own events and how to have an impact on their
local communities.тАЭ
тАЬThe purposes of the tour are to raise awareness for Mission of Mercy, make
available child sponsorships to attendees, bring IndieHeaven artists together to
share their talents and see lives changed,тАЭ says Mohr.
Mission of Mercy has relief teams in areas affected by the recent Tsunami
disaster, and also has an excellent child sponsorship program meeting the needs
of children in developing nations. тАЬI personally believe in Mission of Mercy and
their much needed efforts. I will do whatever I can to marry Mission of Mercy with
proactive indie artists,тАЭ comments Mohr.
The anchor artist for the tour is Iowa-based group Bread of Stone
( тАЬThese guys have a real heart for countries hard hit by the
Tsunami disaster, and have ministry teams on the ground in IndonesiaтАЭ elaborates
Mohr. тАЬGod has equipped the group with a tour bus, excellent sound system and
everything needed to take out a tour of this size. We are grateful for their generous
participation,тАЭ adds Mohr.
тАЬWeтАЩre excited to launch our partnership with Mission of Mercy and Will Play for
Change. WeтАЩll see how these three weeks go and in 2006, weтАЩll take the tour
nationwide,тАЭ states Mohr. тАЬItтАЩs amazing how God provides if we are willing to make
ourselves available.тАЭ
Visit the tour site at:
Mission of Mercy is a Christian relief and development agency helping to meet
the physical and spiritual needs of hurting children in poverty-stricken areas of the
world. Through emergency and support roles, children receive food, education,
medical aid and hope in Jesus Christ. Mission of MercyтАЩs headquarters are located
in Colorado Springs, Colo.
70 ccm april 05
Artist Name: Ryan Neely
Homebase: Louisville, KY (currently
stationed in Iraq)
Web site:
In A Nutshell: Ryan Neely is a Christian
rapper from Louisville, KY. He has been
doing Christian rap music for more than
four years, and continues to make an
impact throughout his surroundings.
Sounds like: A Christian version of Nas
or Tupac
Seen & Heard: Gospel radio, college
radio, churches, coffee houses,
scholastic extracurricular club events,
high school basketball games, house
parties, and parking lots in the
Louisville area. Also the South Speicher
Chapel and the Oasis Coffee House
located on FOB Speicher in Iraq.
Kudos: Opened for Barlow Girl in 2004.
WhatтАЩs Unique: Ryan is currently serving
his country overseas in Operation Iraqi
Freedom, where he is able to use his gift
to bless the troops. HeтАЩs also just
become the CEO of his own company, In
The House Records, LLC.
Discography: Look Into My Heart
(2004), WakemтАЩ Up (2000)
Get It Now!: The Look Into My Heart
album can be purchased from,, or
downloaded from Apple iTunes, Napster,
Rhapsody, and many other digital music
distribution web sites.
Contact: [email protected]
Booking: Jeff Wood (502) 741-3119 or
[email protected]
12:20 PM
introducing our CCM
cover artist line
Page 74
Artist Name: Shofar
Homebase: Minneapolis, MN
In A Nutshell: Shofar melds together a unique
ensemble of rock and roll past with the present
melodic sound of alternative rock to form the new
sound we call Modern Pop Rock, all with a strong
Christian message! This music appeals to all ages
and denominations.
Sounds like: Pop/rock alternative with a twist.
Somewhere in-between Switchfoot and The Beatles.
Seen and Heard: Club 3 Degrees, MN State Fair,
colleges, public schools, churches and
coffeehouses throughout the Midwest, including opening for Grammy Award winner
Joel Hanson of PFR.
Kudos: Participated in the new CD Unsung Heroes, a compilation of the best bands
in the Midwest.
WhatтАЩs Unique: Shofar is a blend of the best Minnesota has to offer in musicianship
and ministry. No two songs sound alike! The new CD Turn accentuates various forms
of unique lyrical and melodic writing, forming a variety of relational songs that appeal
to all people, young and old. Everyone can relate to the music of Shofar!
Discography: Turn (2005) and Countdown to Eternity (2003)
Get it Now:
Contact: [email protected] or call (612) 518-9550
Artist Name: Crossway Worship Band
Jeremy Camp T-1
Jeremy Camp T-2
Jeremy Camp T-3
Go to
to get these great deals! Available at
The CCM Store for a limited time only!
Homebase: Memphis, TN
In A Nutshell: CWB has a way of connecting
common people with the uncomplicated presence
of God. Crossway Worship Music is made of
memorable melodies and fun grooves. The
straightforward lyrics without all the
тАЬChristianeseтАЭ help the unchurched masses
approach God on a level they identify with while
helping churchgoers stop taking themselves so
seriously and just love God with genuine passion.
Sounds like: Gospel Rock Praise & Worship Jam
Seen & Heard: Churches, festivals, and community events throughout the Midsouth
region (TN, AR, MS) and live Sunday Mornings at
Kudos: Five band members nominated for Regional Grammy Awards 2003. Led
worship at CIA Summit in Franklin, TN 2004; PowerSource Music Fest in Nashville
2003; and ChicagoтАЩs famous Cubby Bear Club 2002. Pastor Doug has taught
numerous worship conferences across the U.S.
WhatтАЩs Unique: Six piece multi-cultural band with nine vocalists bringing rich
harmonies to various styles of all original music. Vocalists alternate leads bringing
the diversity of a compilation CD with the consistency and unity of one band.
Discography: Crossway Worship Volume 4 (2005), On Bended Knee (2002), Amazed
(2002), All Day Long (1999)
Get It Now!:,,,,,
Rhapsody, Audio Lunchbox, Mperia,,, and locally at Family
Christian Store, SpinStreet, CatтАЩs Music and Pop Tunes in Memphis and Collierville.
Contact: (901) 388-8515 or [email protected] for booking and wholesale
distribution information.
74 ccm april 05
12:20 PM
Page 76
Biblical Principles of Worship
By Patsy Fralich Keith
тАЬIt will reshape the way you worship and look at church. Your
eyes will open to a whole other realm, and youтАЩll say, тАШHow did I
miss that?тАЩтАЭ says Doug Simmers, Pastor of Crossway Church in
Memphis, Tennessee. Simmers, on a search to discover real
worship, discovered a fresh way to see what is often overlooked.
In his soon-to-be-published Biblical Principles of Worship,
Simmers compiles what he shared in a six-month sermon
series in 1997. In the eight years since publishing these
transcribed sermons to their website, thousands of readers
have studied them from as far away as New Zealand and
Africa. Other authors have referenced it, too. тАЬWeтАЩve seen
people repeating DougтАЩs words, even down to his folksy
examples,тАЭ says Holly Simmers, DougтАЩs sister-in-law. Doug
Simmers doesnтАЩt mind. He wants churches everywhere set
free to worship God with boldness as He commands.
The title may sound daunting, but Biblical Principles of Worship
is actually a fun read for people who enjoy words and discovering
their origins. тАЬThe book is a word study,тАЭ says Simmers. тАЬThere
are 840 verses on praise, worship and thanksgiving. This study
compares the Greek and Hebrew words for тАШpraiseтАЩ and тАШworshipтАЩ
throughout the Old and New Testaments with English
translations.тАЭ Simmers holds readersтАЩ interest with plenty of
examples from his own life.
Simmers says we donтАЩt always
grasp the complete meanings of
the words for praise and worship.
That lack of understanding keeps
us from living in the brightness of
the original words. For example,
the word hallal from hallelujah
means тАЬto rave; to clamorously and
foolishly celebrate the Lord.тАЭ
Doug Simmers
тАЬMost of us donтАЩt know to
worship like that,тАЭ Simmers adds. тАЬWeтАЩre like movie goers. We
just observe. In the Hebrew language, they all participated.тАЭ
Simmers gets excited about these discoveries and passes that
enthusiasm along to anyone he can.
тАЬIn Zephaniah 3:17 where it says тАШGod rejoices over you with
songs,тАЩ that means God тАШspinsтАЩ around as He rejoices,тАЭ
Simmers enthuses. тАЬThose kinds of things get to me. I just say
тАШMan! So thatтАЩs what that means!тАЭ
Simmers identifies with Matthew 12:20. тАЬIтАЩm like that bruised
reed. I felt I would be broken off. Because of all IтАЩd done I thought
God could never use me. But God uses broken people.тАЭ Crossway
Church uses Worship Outreach to restore them. тАЬI love this
city,тАЭ says Doug. тАЬAnd I will continue to fight for the outcast.тАЭ
12:08 PM
Page 78
Reading: The Apple of My Eye
by Margaret Becker
This past summer my next-door neighbor Whitney ran to my front door
with book in hand. Wheezing from the jaunt, she whispered, тАЬYou gotta
read this!тАЭ While shaking fresh grass clippings from her furry slippers,
she continued, тАЬYouтАЩre gonna love it! ThereтАЩs a dog in it!тАЭ
My neighbor is 12. Her book was Because of Winn Dixie, a
childrenтАЩs novel by Kate DiCamillo. I read it and loved it.
My last vacation, I stopped by the essay section in the Davis-Kidd
bookstore and bought a book by a well-known left-wing cultural commentator. While IтАЩm not going to plug the title in this column, letтАЩs just say
that my mind was stretched by the time I finished.
And I loved it.
Then there are the classics offered up in high school that IтАЩve revisited as an adult, Catcher in the Rye, Old Man and the Sea, and next, if
I am on a transatlantic flight or in line at the DMV, War and Peace.
Why spend time reading this stuff?
Oh, for so many good reasons.
Winn Dixie was like getting lost at a
matinee with a bunch of kids. There,
tucked away in the back, humor
becomes simple. Life falls into two
categories: good or bad. Good
triumphs eventually, and just like
Winn Dixie, youтАЩre a little reluctant to
close the book at the endтАФyou try to
take a little of the simplicity with you
into real life.
My тАШessayтАЩ book was like having a
non-hostile debate with an intelligent
adversary. I found new ways to support my own values, and more surprisingly, I found that I had some common ground with the author. I was
better for it, sharpened by it.
And the classics? They are like music. A great writer has a rhythm, a
liltтАФboth emotionally and literally. Reading his/her finely crafted sentences is like listening to a moving song. The lines contain drama, unexpected revelations and multiple levels of understanding for those who
would care to uncover them. Reading them made me a better thinker, a
better communicator.
Reading a wide range of literature is, at the very least, good for you
the way an apple is. It keeps you healthyтАФin your imagination and in
your growth as a human being. It keeps you reaching for intelligence. It
helps you solidify what you stand for, and against.
But perhaps best of all, in a culture where it is all about тАЬease of
use,тАЭ reading actually requires something of usтАФour full attention and
intellectual engagement, all without a remote control and surround
How refreshingly retro.
Margaret Becker is an award-winning
author, speaker, producer, songwriter and
recording artist. Her latest work includes
her third book, Braving the Elements, which
is set for a Fall 2005 release and the recent
worship recording, Faithfully Yours. For
more information visit
On the Personal Side
Inside of Me: Lessons of Lust, Love and Redemption
By Shellie R. Warren (Relevant)
More people than you thinkтАФand more people close to youтАФ
fall prey to sexual misuse, or any sexual relationship outside
of marriage. Driven to help others who share a similar experience and knowing that it affects everything about you as well
as a future spouse and children, author Shellie R. Warren
shares her own raw and sometimes shocking memoir of the
path that led to sexual misuse.
Why Men Hate Going to Church
By David Murrow (Nelson)
Neither a pastor nor a theologian, Murrow offers a lay
тАЬchurchgoerтАЩsтАЭ perspective on why statistics show 13 million
more women than men attend AmericaтАЩs churches. Divided
into six parts, MurrowтАЩs book offers his thoughts on topics
from the gender gaps present in congregations to meeting
menтАЩs spiritual needs and restoring masculinity in the church.
Meet Me in the Meadow: Finding God in the Wilderness
By Deborah Hedstrom-Page (Revell)
This unique devotional hits the shelves at the perfect timeтАФ
spring. Confessed lover of flowers, Hedstrom-Page pairs her
vast knowledge of the growth region and a wide array of
blooms with Scripture and a devotional section that allows
readers to experience GodтАЩs love through His creation.
From the Fiction Files
Worlds Collide
By Allison Strobel (Waterbrook)
Releasing this month, Worlds Collide offers a story about a
Hollywood couple and the biographer writing its story. When
Jack Harrington and Grace Winslow share their life with writer
Jada Eastman, Jada is forced to reckon with her own spiritual beliefs in light of the coupleтАЩs. Their story reveals how
choices can carry lasting consquences.
The Whitney Chronicles: Life, Faith and Getting it Right
By Judy Baer (Steeple Hill)
In the same vein as the тАЬBridget JonesтАЩ DiaryтАЭ series, Baer
presents heroine Whitney Blake, a 30-year-old, overweight,
single young woman whoтАЩs looking for тАЬMr. Right.тАЭ Though Ms.
Blake and Ms. Jones may share similar characteristics, the
point that sets the two apart is that Whitney approaches her
life from a biblical perspective.
ArtistтАЩs Corner
Praise Habit: Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi
By David Crowder (Navpress)
Releasing alongside his remix of favorites and radio hits
Sunsets and SushiтАФExperiments in Spectral Deconstruction is
David CrowderтАЩs first book, Praise Habit. The popular worship
leader devotes 156 pages, filled with personal stories and
quirky observations, to explore ways to make praising God a
Books profiled by Anneka Morgan
78 ccm april 05
12:13 PM
Page 80
by Richard Farley
The Man, The Myth, The Crowdster
David Crowder Band
Tom AndersonтАЩs electric guitars have been played by such music icons as Mick
Jagger and Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), Don Felder (Eagles), Steve Miller and
many others, including Christian musicтАЩs very own David Crowder Band guitarist
Jack Parker. Parker received his Anderson electric guitar as a college graduation
gift and was the one who first brought the Los Angeles-based company to
CrowderтАЩs attention. Amazed at the sound and ease of play, Crowder e-mailed
Tom and asked, тАЬWhy are you sharing all your love with the electric players?тАЭ
As a fan of CrowderтАЩs music, Anderson took the e-mail as a challenge and, in
collaboration with the singer/
songwriter, developed a prototype
known simply as the тАЬCrowdster.тАЭ
Designed to produce superlative,
amplified, acoustic guitar tones in
front of large crowds without any
feedback, the guitar has been played
by Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora.
Says Crowder, тАЬIt has a Buzz Feiten Tuning System that helps with the
intonation and tuning of the guitar. Somehow it resonates more, and I donтАЩt have
to meddle with the EQ. When picking up other guitars you are reminded of your
limitations. The necks [of Anderson guitars] make you sound and feel like a much
better player than you are. To play an Anderson transcends the earthly.тАЭ These
are lofty words coming from a man who plays more than 250 shows a year.
An ever-growing alternative to standard tuning, DADGAD simply involves
dropping the 1st, 2nd and 6th string down a whole step. Follow these three easy
steps and see what all the hype is about.
1.) Match the note on the 7th fret of the 6th string with an open 5th string
2.) Match your open 2nd string with the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
3.) Match your 1st string with the 5th fret of the 2nd string
80 ccm april 05
The legendary SM57 instrument/vocal
mic from Shure is one of the most
trusted and popular mics available.
Perfect for road travel, this tested,
dynamic mic constantly delivers the
same warm, natural sound night after
night. In addition, the SM57тАЩs wide
frequency response (40Hz-15kHz) has
helped make it a perfect choice in the
studio. Durability and versatility are the hallmarks of the SM57; and,
although it can be used for vocals, the mic is most commonly utilized for
close-in micing of amps and speakers. тАЬI find the SM57 to accommodate the
reproduction of tone,тАЭ remarks Crowder in regard to capturing the perfect
guitar sound. For the price, durability and history, I believe this is the best
instrument/vocal mic on the market.
With the release of its highly
acclaimed album Illuminate, the
David Crowder Band (DCB)
became the first Christian artist
Reason 2.5 software on each CD.
This lauded, stand-alone music
station software is a complete,
virtual studio rack with built-in
synthesizers, samples, drum
machines, recycle-based loop
players, a mixer, effects, pattern sequences and more. In short, Reason 2.5
allows you to create and re-create just about anything in the live setting that
your heart desires. The DCB used the software for almost all of the
programming featured on the album, and the members continue to use it.
тАЬWe use Reason with practically every song we do. It has changed the very
way weтАЩve made music in the past couple of years, and the depth of this
software is ridiculous,тАЭ says Crowder. When asked what gear advice he
would give an artist, Crowder responds, тАЬGet Reason software. It is fairly
affordable and a bargain for what it can do.тАЭ Any questions? Be sure to
check out the updated 3.0 version which released in March.
During one of his concerts, Crowder
actually popped a string from his guitar
that, in turn, went directly through his
cheek. When talking about this traumatic
experience, Crowder commented, тАЬIt hurt
and was painful on both an emotional
and physical level.тАЭ No word yet if the
тАЬCrowdsterтАЭ was involved.
2:05 PM
Page 82
your guide to concerts
by Andy Argyrakis
A dress rehearsal is always essential before
hitting the road, but what happens prior to
ironing out all those pre-opening night wrinkles?
Point of GraceтАЩs Shelley Breen shares a
timeline of setting and shaping up:
First things first: Usually the biggest question
All photos by Andy Argyrakis
before a tour is, тАЬWho do we want to take with
us?тАЭ A lot of artists send over press packages
and pitch us to bring them along, so we do a lot
of wading through that. Our goal is to get a
variety of artists who can appeal to a wide age
group since our fan base is often parents, their
kids and sometimes the grandparents.
Flex those vocal chords: As the sets are
L-R: Point of GraceтАЩs Denise Jones, Scott Krippayne, Charity Von
Getting ready for a tour can be just as tedious as putting
on a perfect performance night after night and then
traveling to the next city on time. Just about any
established artist puts in plenty of preparation to get a
show down pat, and veteran girl group Point of Grace is
no exception. POG has been featured in virtually every
type of concert setting over the years, including tiny
venues with sparse crowds, worship conferences at
churches and package line-ups in major arenas. But the
foursomeтАЩs latest jaunt comes on the heels of several
changes, including last yearтАЩs addition of member Leigh
Cappillino, a greater grasp of acoustic pop progressiveness on its latest album, I Choose You and signing with
a new management company.
Though the official tour opening wouldnтАЩt be until two
days later in Virginia, the crew, band and performers all
set up shop like it was the real deal, arriving at the
venue extra early to tweak lighting, stage rigging and
other concert logistics. Headliners POG, along with
tourmates Scott Krippayne and Charity Von, also arrived
ahead of time, testing microphones, finalizing song
arrangements and confirming the dialogue theyтАЩd later
use during the show. The lucky friends, family and press
who were invited first faced the outingтАЩs sound check,
which was an exhaustively detailed, incredibly intricate
undertaking in the tourтАЩs inaugural stage. Besides
perfecting melody lines and making last-minute set list
changes, final touches were also added to the
choreography and order of onstage introductions. After
a prayer asking for lives to be touched on the tour and
a disclaimer from POG figurehead Shelley Breen that
the kinks were still being kicked out, the house lights
faded and the extravaganza entered full swing.
For the next two hours each artist would rotate
through a tightly timed event, which, for the first time in
POG history, featured collaborative, family-style billing.
Rather than a traditional opening, middle and closing
act, Krippayne performed originals and played piano
82 ccm april 05
with the band; and Von unveiled meaty chops from her
self-titled solo debut while backing POG (who also
returned the favor at various points in the pacing).
Future attendees can look forward to highlights
including KrippayneтАЩs Maroon 5-meets-Billy Joel piano
pop off his stellar Gentle Revolution album and VonтАЩs
powerhouse pipes akin to Janis Joplin on cuts such
as тАЬWeight of the WorldтАЭ and тАЬYou Make It Fine.тАЭ POG
also lent mighty melodies to earthy new selections
like тАЬDownтАЭ and тАЬMake It Real,тАЭ plus faith affirming
classics such as тАЬThe Great DivideтАЭ and тАЬKeep the
Candle Burning.тАЭ
Catching up with all of the aforementioned parties
backstage after the show indicated overall satisfaction
with the first take. All breathed a further collective sigh
of relief when those gathered passed on pleasing
feedback and many promises theyтАЩd visit a future date.
Fans will have the opportunity to do just that as the
tourтАЩs current leg runs through the end of this month.
Dates are available at
being designed and all the proper people are
being hired, the group spends most of its time
shaping up the membersтАЩ voices. Our
bandleader usually makes work tapes that have
a lot of the new songs and refreshes us on the
old ones as well.
Time to try it out: About three weeks before
[the tour starts] we get on a schedule so
everybody meets a few times a week; and we
discuss arrangements, harmony parts and
where everyone will be onstage. We also go over
pacing and stories we want to share with the
audience. All of those days are really intensive,
and from then until opening night, we donтАЩt
mess around!
Are you within a dayтАЩs
drive? Here are a
couple concert dates
you wonтАЩt want to miss!
4/2 Jaci Velasquez
at Club 3 Degrees in
Minneapolis, MN
4/22 Rebecca St.
James at First Baptist
Jaci Velasquez
L-R: POG bass player Tommy Magee, Shelley Breen (POG), Leigh Capillino
(POG), Scott Krippayne, Denise Jones (POG)
in Naples, FL
For the latest concert listings, check out
CCMmagazine.comтАЩs searchable tour database to find
out when your favorite artists will play in a city near you.
10:57 PM
Page 84
by Gregory Rumburg
Conventional sports wisdom posits, тАЬDonтАЩt mess with a streak.тАЭ ThatтАЩs what
Kutless aims to do in 2005, extending its rock rampage that dates back to 2002.
This year started in the studio with the band wrapping its first worship record
and starting its next studio project. Recently replacing Kyle Mitchell and Kyle
Zeigler, new members Jeffrey Gilbert (drums) and Dave Luetkenhoelter (bass),
both from Seven Places, now join singer Jon-Micah Sumrall and guitarists James
Mead and Ryan Shrout as Kutless gears up for tobyMacтАЩs тАЬWelcome to Diverse
CityтАЭ tour this spring, also featuring Audio Adrenaline and Hawk Nelson.
58 105-110
Weeks the debut Kutless spent in the Top 50 Christian album sales chartтАФa
feat typically reserved for the most seasoned artist. тАЬWe worked our tails off
to make sure the record was really good,тАЭ Sumrall says of the bandтАЩs followup project. тАЬWe felt a lot of pressure to put out a record that was better than
the first.тАЭ
Average decibel range for a Kutless concert. Sumrall enjoys recalling one
show during which the sound engineer pushed the technology, and the band
peaked at 125 dB. тАЬThatтАЩs a little too loudтАФeven for us,тАЭ he laughs.
Miles driven in the bandтАЩs 15-passenger van during KutlessтАЩ first year touring,
covering the country from Portland to Montana to Ohio and into the South.
GMA Music Award nominations. This month the Portland, Ore.,-based band
vies for тАЬRock Album of the YearтАЭ with Sea of Faces. тАЬIt would be rad if we
won, but I donтАЩt want to get my hopes upтАФif that makes sense,тАЭ Sumrall says.
тАЬWeтАЩve been nominated before, and we lost to Audio Adrenaline, which I think
was fine. We were opening for them on tour at the time.тАЭ Yep, awkward.
Average days the band spends away from home per year, Jon-Micah
estimates. тАЬItтАЩs one of those deals where you really look forward to getting
home whenever you can,тАЭ he says. тАЬPretty much all the guys in the band were
тАШhomelessтАЩ for those first two years. When we got home we stayed with family
and friends. We were nomads.тАЭ
The year Sonicflood released, eventually inspiring the formation of Kutless
and, recently, its worship project, Strong Tower. тАЬI think back to the first
Sonicflood record. Everyone was like, тАШWow, IтАЩve never heard worship this
heavy,тАЩтАЭ Sumrall recalls. тАЬIn hindsight, it wasnтАЩt that heavy of a record; but at
the time it was really revolutionary. I remember hearing it for the first time
and loving it.тАЭ
Tracks that made the final cut of Strong Tower. тАЬWe wanted an upbeat,
Kutless-sounding style of worship,тАЭ he says. тАЬWorship CDs kind of have a
certain sound to them, so we decided weтАЩd make this record fresh.тАЭ
Describing the project as heavy and edgy for worship, Sumrall says,
тАЬHopefully when people listen to this CD theyтАЩll think, тАШMan, IтАЩve never heard
worship done like this before.тАЩтАЭ
DVD movies, jointly, that save the band from boredom when the guys travel in
an old Eagle tour bus without satellite television. Movies remain a popular
activity when the guys arenтАЩt gaming or when their wives travel with them.
Typical selections include comedies and action flicksтАФfrom тАЬBondтАЭ to The
Bourne Identity. But the Kutless membersтАЩ top choice remains The Count of
Monte Cristo. тАЬWe watch that at least once a month,тАЭ Jon-Micah says. Dumb
and Dumber stands as the groupтАЩs most quotable title.
Encounter with a Count, that is, Cristo star Jim Caviezel. тАЬHe was a very nice
man,тАЭ Sumrall says of the meeting, which took place while Kutless screened
The Passion of The Christ at Mel GibsonтАЩs Icon Studios. тАЬHeтАЩs probably one of
our favorite actors. HeтАЩs very nice, very polite, very kind.тАЭ
84 ccm april 05
12:46 AM
Page 86
Photo by Rick Diamond
C Magnificent
When it comes to Christian music, youтАЩd be hard pressed to
find a band with as many fans as INO recording artist
MercyMe. And when it comes to the platinum-selling bandтАЩs
own lead singer, Bart Millard, youтАЩd be even more hard
pressed to find a bigger Christian music fanтАФanywhere.
With that in mind, we asked this self-described тАЬChristian
music nerdтАЭ to spill the beans.
When it comes right down to it, I am a product
of the system! What I mean is, I grew up on
Christian music. I was that kid who, while
singing in front of the mirror playing a mean
tennis racket, imagined singing with my favorite
Christian artist rather than some big rock star.
Now, some could say that was just the beginning
of what would be a major calling in my life. I
tend to think I just needed to play outside more
and have fewer imaginary friends. Regardless of
how you choose to see it, this is who I am.
The first album I ever bought with my own
money was PetraтАЩs More Power to Ya. Actually I
bought it twice because I literally wore the first
one out. Because of that record, I became
consumed with Christian music. Growing up, I
would spend every penny of my allowance on
whatever music the local Christian bookstore
carried. From One Bad Pig to Larnelle Harris, you
name it, I owned it. It is safe to say that Christian
music has played a huge role in my life, and when
86 ccm april 05
I was asked to write for CCM, I thought I would
take a stroll down memory lane and see if there
are any other тАЬChristian music nerdsтАЭ like myself.
Just a warning: These are not in any kind of order.
I'm just typing whatever comes to mind.
Remember the days when you could buy four
albums, save those little coupons and get the fifth
one free? I really thought I was beating the system
(no Petra pun intended) until I grew up and found
out how much cassettes really cost to
make. Ouch.
Did anyone else own every Steven Curtis
Chapman and Wayne Watson accompaniment
tape and sing every chance the church doors were
open, or was that just me? I also had a mullet and
wore a sweater vest so that I would be
taken seriously.
I remember hearing Amy GrantтАЩs Lead Me On
and knowing my life would never be the same.
I remember my youth group learning how to do
sign language to Michael W. SmithтАЩs тАЬFriends.тАЭ We
performed it whenever our youth pastor moved to
another church. We later changed that ritual to
тАЬThank YouтАЭ by Ray Boltz.
I remember listening to тАЬHiding PlaceтАЭ by
Steven Curtis Chapman all day at church camp
and asking Christ into my heart that night.
I remember trying to sing Sandi PattyтАЩs тАЬLove in
Any LanguageтАЭ in a Spanish club competition
by bart millard
because it had тАЬte amoтАЭ in it. I lost. Apparently the
whole song had to be in Spanish. ThatтАЩs nitpicking
if you ask me.
I remember hearing WhiteheartтАЩs Freedom and
also knowing my life would never be the same.
I remember figuring out what was said at the
beginning of PetraтАЩs тАЬJudas KissтАЭ and flipping
out as if I had just made a major medical
I remember watching my girlfriend in 7th grade
sing some First Call tune and knowing I was in
loveтАжwell, as in love as you can be for a 7th
grader. She is now my wife, by the way.
I remember freaking out when I found the 77sтАЩ
Sticks and Stones CD in the mainstream section at
the local record store. Christian music had arrived!
Then it departed back to the Christian bookstores
for many more years.
I remember hearing Michael W. SmithтАЩs i2(eye)
and yet again, knowing my life would never be
the same.
I remember actually wanting to be Russ Taff.
No wait, thatтАЩs me now.
I remember trying to rap like dc talk at a youth
rally. I think I actually pulled a muscle. Huh huh
I remember pre-ordering Jars of ClayтАЩs first
album when the band opened for PFR and
rejoicing the day it came in the mail.
I remember hearing dc talkтАЩs Jesus Freak and
knowingтАФwithout a doubtтАФmy life would never
be the same.
I remember buying the Chagall Guevara album
and thinking Steve Taylor could be the coolest
human alive. I later heard Squint and knew he was
the coolest human alive.
I remember seeing Charlie Peacock, Vince Ebo
and Jimmy A. performing acoustically and
actually wanting to learn how to play guitar. After
one lesson, my ADD kicked in, and I moved on.
I remember listening to тАЬHeavenтАЭ by Michael
English over and over after my father passed away.
I remember joining my first praise band. I
remember playing my first church camp. I
remember when we started MercyMe. I remember
making our first independent album. I remember
the first time I led a kid to Christ at one of our
concerts. I remember the first time I heard one of
our songs on the radio. I criedтАФnot because it was
on the radio but because my dad believed it would
happen one day. I remember writing "I Can Only
Imagine" at 3 in the morning. I remember my wife
waking up, reading the lyrics and telling me it was
going to be something special. I remember
Delirious playing on the radio when my first son
was born. I remember hoping to never forget
those moments in your life that define you.
I am a product of the system. Christain music
has played an enormous role in who I am today,
and for that I am forever grateful.
Bart Millard is set to release his solo debut, Hymned,
on July 26.
10:57 PM
Page 88
t is entirely fitting that the mainstream record
company known for signing Christian glam
metal rockers Stryper in the mid тАШ80s was called
Enigma, a word defined as тАЬsomebody or something
that is not easily explained or understood.тАЭ There has
arguably never been a Christian artist more deserving of
such a description than Stryper, a four-piece, тАЬheavenly
metalтАЭ band that exemplifies the old show-biz saying,
тАЬControversy breeds success.тАЭ
Formed as Roxx Regime in 1983 in Orange County,
Calif., by brothers Michael (vocals, guitar) and Robert
Sweet (drums) and friend Oz Fox (guitars), the group
changed its name to Stryper when the members
rededicated their lives to Christ. The new band name
was taken from Isaiah 53:5тАЩs тАЬby His stripes we are
healed.тАЭ (The name is also an acronym
for Salvation Through Redemption
Yielding Peace, Encouragement and
Righteousness.) With the addition of
fellow believer Tim Gaines (bass), the
foursome soon signed a deal with
Enigma andтАФmanaged by Janice
Sweet, mom to Michael and RobertтАФ
began spreading the good news in the
unlikeliest of places: the debauched
heavy metal world.
The combination struck a nerve in
both Christian and mainstream circles.
Many rock fans embraced the band
because of its tight harmonies, hookladen songs and fine showmanship,
while others didnтАЩt know what to
make of a born again metal band that
praised the Lord rather than the
common тАШ80s rock gods of sex, drugs
and the occult.
In addition to landing videos for
hits such as тАЬHonestlyтАЭ and тАЬCalling
on YouтАЭ on MTV, the foursome was a
staple of the thriving metal press of
the day, appearing regularly in such
rags as Metal Edge, Metal Blade, Hit
Parader and Kerrang!, as well as in
more mainstream press such as TIME,
People and Rolling Stone. The bandтАЩs
sold-out concerts became the frequent
target of picketers and protesters who
were upset both by the тАЬworldlyтАЭ
bandтАШs touring with such mainstream
rockers as Motley Cr├╝e and Ratt and
the groupтАЩs practice of tossing Bibles
from stage.
In 1990, Stryper released Against the
Law, an album showcasing a rougherlooking group and containing very
little of its usual overtly faith-based message. The
ensuing media frenzy (on both sides of the fence) and
the collapse of the groupтАЩs record label caused the
album to tank, and in 1992 Michael Sweet left the band
to pursue a solo career with Benson Records, effectively
ending StryperтАЩs career.
In 2003, on the 20th anniversary of StryperтАЩs
formation, the group reunited for a nationwide tour that
was so enthusiastically received that a new Stryper
album is in the works for this summer, with an extensive
tour planned to support the release.
Michael Sweet recently told CCM, тАЬWe are all
honored, yet at the same time, very humbled to have
been chosen and inducted into the CCM Hall of Fame.
WeтАЩre proud to have been part of such a unique and
powerful ministry, and weтАЩre grateful for the support
that all our fans have given to Stryper throughout the
years. We look forward to the future, and we are excited
to once again work with CCM to spread the message of
Christ.тАЭ M I C H A E L C I A N I
For more information, check out
The Yellow and Black Attack (1984)
Soldiers Under Command (1985)
To Hell with the Devil* (1986)
In God We Trust (1988)
Against the Law (Enigma, 1990)
*#99 in CCM presents The 100 Greatest Albums in
Christian Music (2001)
All releases on Benson/Enigma unless otherwise noted
тАЬAlways There for
тАЬCalling on YouтАЭ
тАЬI Believe in YouтАЭ
тАЬIn God We TrustтАЭ
тАЬMakes Me Wanna
тАЬReach OutтАЭ
тАЬShining StarтАЭ
тАЬSing-Along SongтАЭ
тАЬSoldiers Under
тАЬTo Hell with the
тАЬTogether as OneтАЭ
тАЬYou Know What to
тАЬYou WonтАЩt Be
Two gold records
One platinum record
One gold video
One platinum video
One Grammy nomination
Two Dove Awards
No. 1 тАЬMost RequestedтАЭ video on MTV
December 1986
August 1988
88 ccm april 05
For a complete list of past Hall of Fame inductees, visit
1:16 PM
Page 89
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Lecture Tapes from Seminar in the Rockies.
Years 1999 and Earlier.
Paul Cunningham will pay $20 for tapes
in good condition. [email protected]
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