CCM08.05_FinalCover 7/1/05 7:46 PM Page 1 + M XPX тАв Mary Mary MercyMeтАЩs Bart Millard CCM_08.05_Contents.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:47 PM Page 4 contents August 2005 26 Return of the Dynamic Duo Forget Batman and Robin. TheyтАЩd be hard-pressed to match the soulful sounds and funky urban flavor of those legendary Campbell sisters ("Shackles," anyone?). Now catch up with Mary Mary as they tell us about life as new moms and give us a tour of their new self-titled project. B Y A N T H O N Y B A R R J E F F R E Y cover story in review 20 The Girl Next Door 41 In the grand tradition of Amy Grant, Rebecca St. James, Rachael Lampa and Stacie Orrico, 16-year-old Bethany Dillon wonтАЩt be worrying about high-school career dayтАФsheтАЩs been in the musical working world for a while. On the eve of her second major-label release, Imagination, we visit BethanyтАЩs hometown and discover how family and the simple life shape who she is both personally and professionally. BY CHRISTA FARRIS Music: MXPXтАЩs latest punk rock assault, the rave-worthy sounds of the new Choir CD and more 48 Books: Margaret Becker on the proper soundtrack for reading 61 Tour: Michael W. SmithтАЩs "Healing Rain" tour invades Chicago, plus the scoop on SelahтАЩs new singer features 30 Blessed Assurance LetтАЩs get one thing straight: Bart Millard is not leaving MercyMe. With that out of the way, discover why he wanted to pay tribute to his тАЬMawMawтАЭ with a solo collection of finely crafted hymns. B Y D E B O RA H E VA N S P R I C E 32 36 The Rap Sheet departments 06 From the Editor: Are you one? 11 The Insider: Michael W. Smith reviews his own тАЬmusical makeover,тАЭ good news for Stryper fans and much more Think youтАЩve got the Christian rap and hip-hop scene all figured out? Think again. DA V I D J E N I S O N goes beyond the bling to find plenty of rhymes worth a listen. 62 A Personal Perspective by Peter Furler Listening In 64 By the Numbers: Relient K Ready for some intense discussion on the nature of American Christianity? Or how about poverty and political strife? ItтАЩs all here in this fascinating conversation between Jars of ClayтАЩs S T E V E M A S O N and best-selling author J I M W A L L I S . 66 CCM Hall of Fame: Steve Taylor CCM_08.05_Editorial.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:48 PM Page 6 fromtheeditor by Jay Swartzendruber "What worries you the most?" If weтАЩre honest, few inquiries cut to the chase as much as that one. Think about it. And can you imagine being asked that question on live national television? Well, thatтАЩs just what happened to the Rev. Billy Graham in mid-June as his CNN interview with Larry King neared its conclusion. And how did the 86-year-old preacherтАФthe worldтАЩs most respected evangelicalтАФrespond? "Poverty in the world." Graham had just finished affirming his pro-life convictions about abortion and stating his belief that "marriage is for one man and one woman"тАФtwo passions the general public knows evangelicals care deeply about. But poverty? As ironic as it may beтАФwith the Bible containing more than 2,100 verses pertaining to the poorтАФAmerican Christians havenтАЩt really been known for raising a ruckus on behalf of those living in povertyтАж that is, until now. A few years ago Christian artists and missionaries initiated the first wave of poverty and AIDS activism to ripple through the evangelical church. And since then, influencers such as Rick Warren, Max Lucado, Luci Swindoll, Pat Robertson, John Stott and many others have turned that ripple into a surge. Their rallying cry? The ONE Campaign to make extreme poverty history. The ONE Campaign is already a household term to most Christian music fans, thanks to long-term efforts by Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Out of Eden, Switchfoot, Third Day, Sara Groves, tobyMac, Newsboys and more than 20 other artists of faith. But for a vast segment of the church, it was a June 3rd email blast by Rick Warren that put ONE, and frankly, global poverty, in the spotlight. In his e-letter to more than 150,000 pastors, the author of The Purpose Driven Life wrote, "I deeply believe that if we as evangelicals remain silent and do not speak up in defense of the poor, we lose our credibility and our right to witness about God's love for the worldтАж" Warren went on to urge church leaders nationwide to sign a ONE Campaign letter to President Bush, which implores him to slightly adjust our governmentтАЩs budget on behalf of the worldтАЩs poor and sick. For every dollar our government spends, it currently commits less than a penny to fight global poverty and AIDS combined. The ONE Campaign calls for one penny more per dollar, which would more than double the focus. In addition, ONE encourages accountability from the worldтАЩs poorest governments, while seeking debt cancellation on their behalf and insisting on reformed trade rules so these nations are on a fair playing field with the rest of the world. CCM MAGAZINE Your Christian Music Magazine Since 1978 volume 28 issue 2 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 Jim Cumbee Associate Publisher & Editor in Chief Roberta Croteau Editor Jay Swartzendruber Departments & Creative Ventures Editor Christa Farris Editorial Assistant Andrea Bailey 6 ccm august 05 Jars of Clay, Bono and Michael W. Smith at last yearтАЩs launch of The ONE Campaign. President Bush has already done more to fight poverty and sickness in Africa than any president in history, and ONE intends to show him the American people support continued strong leadership on behalf of those who have no voice. Since the beginning, we at CCM have been compelled to join Relient K, Steven Curtis Chapman, Nichole Nordeman, GRITS, Margaret Becker, Amy Grant, Bill and Gloria Gaither and the many other ONE Campaign artists lending influence to this vital effort. In light of this magazineтАЩs commitment, I recently received an invitation to attend the G8 gathering in Edinburgh, Scotland as a ONE Campaign delegate. Simultaneously, The ONE Campaign partners organizing the Live 8 concerts honored Jars of ClayтАЩs artful advocacy by inviting the band to perform at their Philadelphia eventтАФthe most high profile appearance of JarsтАЩ career. At press time I was preparing for the flight to Scotland and looking forward to giving you a behind-the-scenes look at my G8 experience in next monthтАЩs issue. Now, I wouldnтАЩt be a good ONE delegate if I didnтАЩt take this opportunity to ask you the fundamental questionтАж Have you signed The ONE Declaration? If not, what are you waiting forтАФ electricity? Join your favorite artists in changing millions of lives by going to ONE.org and making your voice heard with just a few mouse clicks. After youтАЩve signed, be sure to turn to page 36 in this issue to eavesdrop on the compelling "Listening In" conversation between two popular ONE advocatesтАФJars of ClayтАЩs Steve Mason and author/cable news favorite Jim Wallis. And the brilliantly talented and delightful young woman on the cover this month? Yeah, sheтАЩs a ONE artist also. Enjoy! [email protected] Designers Jeff Amstutz, Mary Sergent Production Director Ross E. Cluver Contributing Editors Andy Argyrakis, Margaret Becker, Michael Card, Paul Colman, Russ Long, Gregory Rumburg, Chris Well Contributors Will Banister, Anthony Barr Jeffrey, Lou Carlozo, Deborah Evans-Price, David Jenison, Dan MacIntosh, David Mackle, David McCreary, Brian Quincy Newcomb, Michael W. Smith 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 Account Executive Lindy Mason Advertising Coordinator Carol Jones Marketing Coordinator Shana Bauman 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, 800/527-5226 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 photo: Robert Deutchman Cover design: Jeff Amstutz NASDAQ SYMBOL: SALM ccmmagazine.com Photo: Rick Diamond One From the Heart CCM_08.05_Feedback.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:49 PM Page 8 feedback youтАЩve done for the past 26 years. And thank you, CCM Magazine, for helping me remove the plank from my own eye and restoring a right mindset regarding one of Christian musicтАЩs greatest treasuresтАФAmy Grant. Lead me on! Jennifer Chester, Seminole, FL AMY GRANT PRESENTS CCM MAGAZINE Thank you for the excellent issue featuring Amy Grant as the cover artist and guest editor [тАЬThe Amy Issue,тАЭ June]. I have been a big fan for many years, but will admit that I was very troubled over her divorce and remarriage (not that it was any of my business). But as I read every word of this issue and found that she readily acknowledges this as a failure, I realized that she was not arrogantly bailing out on her first marriage (as I had thought), but she was just a human being that goofed up like the rest of us. Her This is actually the first time I have responded to an article in a magazine. I must tell you though, as I sat down to read the Personal Perspective [тАЬThe Arms of God,тАЭ June] that Amy Grant wrote in CCM, I wept. What a beautiful and moving story. I have never read a sweeter conversation. The longing and the restoration was so powerfully and simply shared. When I read the last paragraph where she looked to her friend and husband, I sobbed. I know that you lose precious privacy and open yourself to critiquing from others when you are in the public eye for a living. I also know that people are tough on others when they are struggling. I have never understood that, but I know it is a tiring and hard place to live. I am so moved by AmyтАЩs humbleness and her continued willingness to share her struggles and joys. I am about to send my firstborn daughter off to college, and I am sure Hit Parade Amy GrantтАЩs albums through the years 19 77~2 005 b y G r e g o r y ith more than 25 million records sold, singer/songwriter secures a place for herself as one of musicтАЩs all-time best-selling artists. Christian musicтАЩs pop trailblazer and many of her artist-peers contribute to this close look at each projectтАЩs role in the journey. ccmmagazine.com That realization on my part brought to mind a story Amy told at a concert I attended over 12 years ago in Lakeland, Florida. She detailed a time of intimate conversation with her then youngest daughter, and while Amy thought her words of wisdom were having a profound effect, all her little girl noticed was AmyтАЩs bad breath. So forgive me, Amy, for focusing on the small negative hiccup instead of remembering all the incredible things 8 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com monthly music spot. I love your CD reviews, and I think that, in general, you do an excellent job in creating a worthwhile magazine. However, I have one major complaint. Amy Grant is in your magazine too much! Yes, she had an impact on Christian music, but she is not a chart-topper anymore. Unless she or her husband has purchased your magazine, it is not necessary to do a feature on her every month! The June issue of CCM was completely outrageous. Ms. Grant was an inspiring force but is not the leader of Christian music any longer and should not be allowed to dominate Christian media based on her past glories. She has also done several things which do not merit the wholehearted respect of the Christian community. I would appreciate any shift in focus away from former leaders and toward new leaders who are doing more for Christian music and for society as a whole. I respect Amy GrantтАЩs past accomplishments and continuing inspiration, but I think it is time for her, and her obsessive fans, to move on. Karrin Randle, Marshfield, MA R u m b u r g Amy Grant W Ronnie Martin june 05 ccm 41 that has made me a bit more emotional than usual. Whatever the reason, AmyтАЩs Personal Perspective was powerful. Please pass on to her that this mother and wife was moved and touched by her story. Cheryl Barber, Co-host, Goodnews! TV, Atlanta, GA I would just like to let you know that IтАЩve been an avid reader of CCM for quite some time, and I truly enjoy my These three тАЬAmyтАЭ letters are a mere sampling of the numerous responses we received. As soon as тАЬThe Amy IssueтАЭ hit newsstands, your letters started pouring in. While the vast majority celebrated Amy along with us, there were indeed some dissenters in the mix. In follow-up, weтАЩd like to congratulate Amy on a couple recent developments. First, for her return to the #1 spot on the Christian album sales chart with the release of her new CD, Rock of AgesтАжHymns & Faith (Word). And remember that television pilot she filmed this past spring? Well, beginning this fall she will enjoy the biggest exposure of her career when millions tune in every Friday night as she stars in NBCтАЩs redemptive new reality series, тАЬThree Wishes.тАЭ Amy...you go, girl! JOY ECSTATIC Thanks a million for the Joy Electric/Starflyer 59 article [тАЬBands of Brothers,тАЭ June]. Joy Electric is really a remarkable band. However, I think that Ronnie Martin [founder/frontman] should get more recognition for his amazing talent. His music is truly art. Where would the Christian music industry be without its own synth-pop band? Maybe you could do an article for the bandтАЩs 15th anniversary? Also, I wanted to thank you for including the handy [Joy Electric/Starflyer 59] discographies and for also featuring тАЬJohn ReubenтАЩs 5 Favorite SandwichesтАЭ [тАЬList-O-RamaтАЭ]тАФIтАЩd always wondered about that. Elissa den Hoed, Kitchener, Ontario, CANADA SCRIPTURALLY INCORRECT? I am becoming increasingly distressed by the tendency of Christian artists to feel they have to state their political affiliations, as if there is a connection between their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as King over all, and what we as people cause to happen in this secular world today. Because, I think, no man has ever stood up to the fearless searching of GodтАЩs Holy Law, it is pointless to promote one over the other. Therefore, these artists getting behind a certain political party often shows the opposite of what they intend, when that party makes a choice some would deem not having to do with godliness. My point being, if Christian artists sing praises to our Lord, I will keep buying their albums. When they consider themselves so important as to influence political CCM_08.05_Feedback.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:49 PM Page 9 your magazine for those who enjoy this type of music. Thank you so much for opening that door a little wider for those of us looking for something just a little different. Diona L. Rodgers, via email choice, they have fallen victim to the enemyтАЩs tactics, and I will not even listen to their music. David Young, Good Hope, IL VIVA CCM! As I flipped through the current issue of CCM, the Spanish Christian music article [тАЬEscuchas Musica Cristiana En Espanol?,тАЭ June] caught my eye. I have been listening to Spanish Christian music for a little over a year now. I started off listening to Spanish CDs that had various artists singing different styles of Spanish music: salsa, merengue, bachata, etc. Though I am not fluent in Spanish, from what little I do know, I get the meaning of each song. I look at the words of the songs inside the CD cover. Then I translate from there. I was further impressed by the seven artists that you published along with some Web sites to get more information. I am happy that you didn't just talk about the music but gave some good resources and examples. I believe that if others are willing to give it a try, they won't be disappointed. I would hope that in the future you could feature more of these artists in 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. TRUTH BE TOLD Dear CCM, I noticed that Third Day is endorsed by Chevrolet. IтАЩm in a band, and I was wondering how exactly does an artist go about getting an endorsement deal? тАФRockinтАЩ in Rhode Island We went to artist manager Mike Jay (Casting Crowns) with this very question. тАЬPossibly the best way for an artist to pursue an endorsement deal is if thereтАЩs a product that the artist is already using, whether microphone or guitars or stringsтАж and [he takes] the initiative to make a phone call to the organization,тАЭ Jay says. If the artist has been using the product, he/she is probably already familiar with it, but Jay suggests also checking online to find out information about the companyтАФ some will have an endorsement form to download. The most important thing is actually placing the call, and companies usually have an artist liaison who deals with artist endorsements. тАЬSay тАШIтАЩm so and so, and IтАЩm with this band, and weтАЩre using your microphones. We really like them. WeтАЩd like to talk about an artist endorsement,тАЩтАЭ Jay advises. тАЬItтАЩs about staying in touch with those folksтАжbuilding relationships.тАЭ If the company doesnтАЩt know who the artist is already, theyтАЩre going to want to check up on the band to see if itтАЩs legitimate and a worthwhile investment. The artist should provide the company with a press kit, including a band bio, and talk about what kind of crowds they play in front of and how many records theyтАЩre selling. An artist doesnтАЩt necessarily have to be selling a lot of records to get an endorsement, but the company will want to know who they are and what theyтАЩre about. тАЬItтАЩs a lot more about the relationship to them than anything,тАЭ says Jay. тАЬSometimes youтАЩll have a company that might contact you, but I do think those are pretty rare, and if thatтАЩs the case, theyтАЩve seen you somewhere and want to be associated with you.тАЭ An optimal endorsement deal will reap benefits for both parties. Jim Houser, Creative TrustтАЩs Senior Brand Manager, says, тАЬWhen Steven Curtis Chapman partnered with Prison Fellowship, I had never heard of Angel Tree before that, and Steven was able to lend a voice to the really cool thing they were doing and bring awareness to that organizationтАж In the win-win, which is the biggest key, Prison Fellowship lent Steven their little world that was aware of them and not necessarily aware of him.тАЭ When a company makes a decision to endorse an artist, it will usually send a one-page contract detailing a one or two year agreement. The artist may be required to list the company on album credits, use the products at every performance and talk about the relationship. In addition, the company might ask the band to do a press release or put a company link on its Web site. Houser has a final word of advice for artists thinking about pursuing an endorsement relationship. тАЬFor us, itтАЩs always important that it be a product, cause or mission that you really want to be aligned with. Take, for instance, Third DayтАЩs work with Habitat For Humanity. That was something the guys came up with. They bumped into Habitat along the way and were really impressed with what they did and wanted to be involved and lined up with that. On the Chevrolet [deal], which is the more commercial side of aligning yourself with someone, those are nice vehicles. ItтАЩs something theyтАЩre proud to be associated with.тАЭ ANDREA BAILEY ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 9 CCM_08.05_Insider_vFINAL.qxd 7/5/05 4:11 PM Page 11 insider StryperтАЩs back with a vengeance, and your favorite artists summon the sweet sounds of Narnia by Christa Farris StryperтАЩs Michael Sweet isnтАЩt the only one surprised by the recent resurgence of the yellow and black. But for the band and its faithful fans, the groupтАЩs new opportunities bring a lot of joy in the process as Stryper forges forward. Catching up with StryperтАЩs lead singer Michael Sweet The Sweetest Thing photo by Stephen Stickler >>> makes for some pretty sticky scheduling these days. He and the band have been on an absolute whirlwind since releasing the greatest hits collection Seven two years ago, hitting the road hard the following year and recording 7 Weeks: Live In America 2003. That momentum led to brand new studio album Reborn on Big3 Records (Cheap Trick, Rick Derringer), and as of the day Sweet caught up with CCM, he and the boys had just returned home from Spain to play a major mainstream festival with Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. тАЬItтАЩs been a pleasant surprise to see God still doing so much with this band,тАЭ the jet-lagged traveler relates. тАЬWhen youтАЩre on the go so much and people keep saying, тАШYouтАЩre great,тАЩ it can be easy to fall into the trap of having your head swell. But weтАЩre just following GodтАЩs lead and seeking to stay humble.тАЭ Indeed, the recent turn of events is somewhat out of the ordinary for a group whose last official studio album (Against the Law) bowed in 1990. However, despite that extreme absence, the overwhelming fanfare has served as a testament to the bandтАЩs colorful legacy. In fact, it was the overwhelming demand from faithful followers that coaxed the guys into this latest release, which features three of the four original members (Sweet, lead guitarist Oz Fox and drummer Robert Sweet, plus the new addition of bassist Tracy Ferrie, formerly of Whitecross). тАЬ[Original bassist] Tim [Gaines] wasnтАЩt really happy with the heavier style the band was going with, so we all agreed to part ways,тАЭ says Sweet. тАЬTracey was the perfect replacement because he did two of my solo tours, plus tours with Rebecca St. James and Plumb. HeтАЩs a seasoned pro and a very grounded Christian.тАЭ As for the sound itself, expect the classic to collide with the current. According to Sweet, Reborn isnтАЩt merely a retread of retro, but rather an attempt to reach out to an additional audience without alienating die-hards. тАЬItтАЩs very tricky for a band from that time period to make a new record and be taken seriously by the masses while still having your old fans buy it,тАЭ he admits. тАЬBut weтАЩve tried very hard to achieve that balance with harmonies, melodic vocals and some edgier guitar stuff meeting more modern production that doesnтАЩt have an тАЩ80s stamp on it. And by the grace of God, weтАЩve accomplished what we feel like is the perfect combo of old and new flavors.тАЭ ANDY ARGYRAKIS Holla! Want to Go Behind the Scenes With Kirk Franklin and Hear About His Upcoming Album? Then Check ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 11 >>> CCM_08.05_Insider_vFINAL.qxd 7/5/05 4:11 PM Page 12 insider Sightings Narnia: The New Lord of the Rings? In whatтАЩs bound to be the buzzworthy movie of the holiday season, NarniaтАЩs upcoming soundtracks will feature some of Christian musicтАЩs finest acts. First off: If you havenтАЩt seen the trailer for Narnia yet, open a Web browser and watch one immediately. ItтАЩs quite possible that Narnia could be the new Lord of the Rings in terms of stellar moviemaking from a revered literary storyline. And since any good moviemaker knows the power of music, it comes as no surprise that an impressive line-up of artists was assembled for one of the accompanying Narnia soundtracks. For the inspirational disc slated to release on September 27, Steven Curtis Chapman leads the way with the projectтАЩs debut single and video, тАЬRemembering You,тАЭ which will release to Christian radio formats this month. Keeping things diverse, the discтАЩs other contributors include Jars of Clay, Jeremy Camp, tobyMac, Nichole Nordeman, Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Kutless, Bethany Dillon, Chris Tomlin and David Crowder Band. Hear it & Weep * ? You Hear I Hear Do What Hawk Nelson at a Theater Near You? After a stellar acting debut portraying rockers The Who on NBCтАЩs now defunct series тАЬAmerican Dreams,тАЭ Hawk Nelson recently had another opportunity to hone its chops as a fictional band for the upcoming remake of the 1968 comedy, Yours, Mine and Ours. During its scene in the movie starring Dennis Quaid (In Good Company, The Rookie) and Rene Russo (The Thomas Crown Affair, Tin Cup), Hawk Nelson performs a new song at a party that they wrote with Nickelodeon star Drake Bell (тАЬThe Drake and Josh ShowтАЭ). On the experience, Hawk vocalist Jason Dunn says, тАЬBeing a part of this film is such an honor in itself. We were literally not worthy to be in the same room as any of those people who work so hard to make movies successful! Everyone was so friendly and so approachable. I would take a bullet for all of those people!тАЭ You donтАЩt have to listen to Top-40 radio for very long to hear some downright depressing tunes. But who knew that the CтАЩmon, admit it: ItтАЩs still a little surreal when you hear saddest song of all belonged to one of Switchfoot on Top-40 radio or while youтАЩre picking up some Christian musicтАЩs own? snacks at your local grocery storeтАФeven if Christian music Metallica? Check. Evanescence? Sure. is showing up in more places than ever before. But how Celine Dion? OK, what single person about this one? Did you happen to hear the cover of Amy hasnтАЩt felt a little down after listening to GrantтАЩs early тАЩ90s chart smash тАЬBaby BabyтАЭ during a key тАЬAll By MyselfтАЭ? scene in the summer blockbuster Mr. and Mrs. Smith? But when thinkWhile most moviegoers were wondering if Mr. Pitt and Ms. ing of the Jolie really are dating, I couldnтАЩt help but wonder why the saddest songs song was chosen as the musical reflection for a dull, suburban life. Baby, baby, thereтАЩs just something ever recorded, funny about thatтАФespecially when they opted for a cover many would be rather than the real thing. Hmmm... hard-pressed to think of NewSong at the top of said list. But thatтАЩs exactly what author Tom Reynolds did when he compiled his list of 25 miserable tracks for internationally renowned British Web site, The Guardian (guardian.co.uk/arts). Naming NewSongтАЩs chart-topper тАЬThe Christmas ShoesтАЭ as something тАЬmore depressing than the CureтАЩs entire career,тАЭ Reynolds advises readers to тАЬdownload at your own perilтАЭ as he recounts the story of the disgruntled shopper who encounters a little boy trying to buy a pair of shoes for his dying mother. A Little Something for Everyone: Shaun GrovesтАЩ DVD Picks 1. Napoleon Dynamite. I donтАЩt know if this movie is the worst thing IтАЩve ever seen or the most brilliant. And, gosh, I guess thatтАЩs why I keep coming backтАФto figure it out. That and I like a leading man who has skills. 2. Spinal Tap. I live this movie and watch it on every tour just to help me laugh at myself instead of cry. And itтАЩs chock full of timeless wisdom, like тАЬThereтАЩs a fine line between stupid and clever.тАЭ And great production tips, like тАЬDonтАЩt incorporate a miniature Stonehenge into any live show, especially if there are dwarves about.тАЭ 3. The Breakfast Club. The тАЩ80s are back, so why not celebrate with some classic John Hughes-created stereotypical teens locked up in a library with nothing to do but stick bologna to statues, rearrange the card catalog and have the occasional deep conversation about the evils of cliques? The perfect movie for everyone: the punk, the prep, the jock, the nerd and the outcast in black. >>> out His Blog and other cyber goodies at KirkFranklin.com тАв CanтАЩt Wait to Hear the Latest From Switchfoot? 12 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com >>> >>> > CCM_08.05_Insider_vFINAL.qxd 7/5/05 4:11 PM Page 13 >> pop/rock Made For What? Find out how hurricanes, writerтАЩs block and falling in love led to Big Daddy WeaveтАЩs third record. Extreme Makeover Michael W. Smith Edition No, Michael W. Smith hasnтАЩt slated a sequel to Healing Rain just yet. But to satiate fansтАЩ appetites for all things Smitty, his peers have served up a satisfying selection of covers on Ultimate Music Makeover: Songs of Michael W. Smith. Find out what Michael thinks of the new renditions as he (gasp!) reviews his own CD. ItтАЩs a strange, strange world. CCM Magazine has asked me to review this new album that features other artists covering my own songs, tracks that, for the most part, were first recorded in the 1980sтАФa decade when I tried a perm and other now-regrettable fashion statements. When the staff at Rocketown, a label I started in 1996, first mentioned to me they wanted to do an тАЬultimate music makeoverтАЭ of my songs, I wasnтАЩt sure what to think, but I decided that it could be a fun concept, so I gave my blessing. IтАЩm really happy I did. To me, itтАЩs amazing to hear these old songs given surprising new life by artists that IтАЩm listening to today. ItтАЩs a little embarrassing to find out how young artists like Sarah Kelly and Taylor Sorensen were when they first heard these songs, but itтАЩs great to see how everyone on the project made the song they cut their own. And itтАЩs both humbling and exciting to hear music that I wrote so many years ago, with my wife Debbie and friends like Amy Grant, Wayne Kirkpatrick and others, get another shot at being heard by new audiences. All Star United signed with Reunion Records, my home label, years ago, so IтАЩve known frontman Ian Eskelin for quite a while, and his fingerprints are all over this record. In fact, he partnered with Rocketown President Don Donahue to executive produce, bringing along the flair that only Ian can. All Star opens the disc with тАЬGo West Young Man,тАЭ a guitar-drenched track that brings the energy of the original to a new millennium. The second track blew me away the first time I heard it, and I canтАЩt keep it out of my car stereo. Sarah Kelly takes тАЬYou Need a SaviorтАЭ in a direction I could never have imagined with screaminтАЩ vocals and a тАЬManiacтАЭ-like drum track. In a word, WOW! Of course, another huge surprise on the record was PlumbтАЩs techno-dance version of тАЬPray for MeтАЭтАФway too much fun. Two of my crew from Rocketown offer up their versions of my songs as well. Shaun Groves covers the track that birthed the name of the label and the youth club I started in Nashville. IтАЩd heard that Shaun sometimes uses this song to soundcheck with his band on tour dates, and I can tell the practice has paid off. Co-producing the track with Dan Strain, Shaun took the progressive sounds of The Big Picture album and made тАЬRocketownтАЭ into modern radio rock perfection. And Taylor Sorensen? The kidтАЩs a rock star. I didnтАЩt even recognize the first 20 seconds of his cover of тАЬLamu,тАЭ a song I wrote with Wayne and Amy about a vacation island off the coast of Kenya. IтАЩm confident TaylorтАЩs voice is one to reach todayтАЩs generation in a fresh new way. тАЬSecret AmbitionтАЭ was such a special song in my career, and David Crowder Band treats it with great respect while giving it a unique identity. And Tree63 (тАЬMissing PersonтАЭ) and Todd Agnew (тАЬOn the Other SideтАЭ) each show their distinctive talents on songs from two different decades. How long have I been doing this again? But IтАЩve got to be a proud dad and spend a little time telling you about тАЬThe Race Is On.тАЭ My oldest son Ryan took on that track, recording it in a way that shows heтАЩs making his own unique mark in the world. Borrowing from the more acoustic/emo-side of things, influenced by artists like Elliot Smith, тАЬThe Race Is OnтАЭ is a definite highlight, and itтАЩs honestly surreal for me to see the depth and width of RyanтАЩs talents. As I write this, IтАЩm about to head off on vacation with Debbie to Greece, and thereтАЩs one track thatтАЩs still to come in for this project: StryperтАЩs version of тАЬFriends.тАЭ IтАЩm sure itтАЩll be another great moment, one none of us could ever expect. Like I said in the beginning, itтАЩs really bizarre to try to review songs that IтАЩve writtenтАжbut this project makes it incredibly easy. This Ultimate Music Makeover takes everything I love about these songs and their timeless message and makes them relevant again. Hope you all enjoy this CD as much as I am. MICHAEL W. SMITH >> >> >>> Lesson #1 : You canтАЩt make a record without songs. тАЬIтАЩd been talking with Susan Riley, whoтАЩs the president of [our label] Fervent Records,тАЭ says Mike Weaver, lead singer and primary songwriter of Big Daddy Weave. тАЬтАжAnd sheтАЩs talking to me about [our] new record coming upтАФshe hasnтАЩt heard a single demo, a single anythingтАФand sheтАЩs like, тАШWhat about songs?тАЩ and IтАЩm like, тАШMan, theyтАЩre not doneтАж If you guys want us to record the record, we just need to find some songs.тАЩтАЭ Although this scenario would likely give any label exec a giant headache, after Mike and Susan had looked through other peopleтАЩs songs and even received songwriting pitches, she said, тАЬYou know, I believe the songs are in there. WeтАЩre just going to wait until they come out.тАЭ The band was shocked at her willingness to wait until God brought the songs. And He did, right in the nick of time. тАЬIt was really unbelievable. Because of that, IтАЩm really connected with this batch of songs,тАЭ Mike says. тАЬYou could go, I wonder whatтАЩs been going on with Big Daddy Weave, and you look in [this record] and go, тАШWell, thereтАЩs their last year.тАЩ Kind of a cross-section into our lives.тАЭ The events and struggles in the personal lives of Mike, Joe Shirk (keyboards), Jeremy Redman (guitar, vocals), Jeff Jones (drums) and Jay Weaver (bass, vocals) compose the fabric of What I Was Made For. тАЬThe Lord gave us lots to write about because it was like, life change for this record,тАЭ Mike reports. Case in point: In September, just as the group was supposed to be finishing the project, Hurricane Ivan destroyed their office located in MikeтАЩs parentsтАЩ Florida home, leaving their lives in disarray. Shortly thereafter, Mike fell in love with a girl at his record label, moved to Nashville without a car or a place to live and got engaged in December. In the meantime, his bandmates were busy becoming [conтАЩt on pg.14] Surf Over to Switchfoot.com For a Sneak Peek At "Stars" тАв In the studio: Project 86 Will Unveil The ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 13 >>> CCM_08.05_Insider_vFINAL.qxd 7/5/05 4:11 PM Page 14 >> insider fan fare Seeking Justice While worship leader/Floodgate recording artist Rita Springer had a burning heart for Africa, encouraging others to join her involvement in THE ONE campaign, she never guessed she would adopt a baby from Zimbabwe! The story unfolded when the babyтАЩs mother Patience, came to the U.S. from Africa to attend school, bringing her boyfriend and two-year-old son. When Patience became pregnant again, her boyfriend bailed and left her with no means to support herself and the babies. Patience then visited a Christian adoption center, and upon seeing pictures of Rita visiting Africa and reading her information packet, she simply said, тАЬShe is to have my baby.тАЭ Rita had the unusual privilege of meeting the birth mother and being present for babyтАЩs birth. Although they were both expecting a girl, the тАЬmomsтАЭ got a real surprise when Justice Zane Anesu Springer turned out to be a boy! (Rita asked Patience to pray for an African name for the baby, and Anesu is what she choseтАФit means тАЬGod with us.тАЭ) Simply Sarah Steve Taylor and his wife Debbie are delighted to announce the newest member of their family: seven-year-old Sarah Namubiru. The Taylors met Sarah in June of 2004 while visiting the Agape ChildrenтАЩs Village outside of Kampala, Uganda. (Agape is a home for orphans that is primarily funded by Compassion International.) On February 23rd, the Ugandan High Court granted them guardianship (with intent to adopt) of Sarah, and they arrived home in Nashville on Easter Sunday. Big Daddy Weave [conтАЩt on pg.14] 08.05 Birthdays 01 Mark Harris (4Him) 02 Paul Wright Brittany Hargest (Jump5) 04 Taylor Sorensen 12 Matt Theissen (Relient K) 13 Gretchen Wolaver (Annie Moses Band) 17 Andrea Kimmey-Baca (Out of Eden) Kevin Max 19 Jeremy Diebler (FFH) 20 Rob Beckley (Pillar) Brad Avery (Third Day) 21 Michael тАЬKalelтАЭ Wittig (Pillar) 26 Cliff Young (CaedmonтАЩs Call) 27 Megan Garrett (Casting Crowns) 31 Wayne Kirkpatrick >>> new dads, learning to drive 18-wheelers and coming up with entrepreneurial ventures. тАЬThereтАЩs not a lot of things I feel like we could really take credit for,тАЭ Mike says of the album. тАЬIt happened in such a way that we felt like we were flying by the seat of our pants the entire time. This whole record has been so last minute but so God.тАЭ And if that wasnтАЩt enough to keep things interesting, look for a couple of duets to add to the musical mix. Girl group of the moment, BarlowGirl, joined BDW on тАЬYouтАЩre Worthy of My Praise,тАЭ the groupтАЩs fastest-rising single ever. Writer, producer and player Fred Hammond, one of the bandтАЩs musical heroes, sang with them on a cut from their indie record called тАЬKilling Me Again,тАЭ which deals with habitual sin. The result, according to Mike, is quite possibly the funkiest track theyтАЩve ever put down. So how does the finished product stack up to previous outings? Mike and Jeremy produced it, first of all. And this record was easier to make because Christian radio has embraced a more modern sound than ever before. тАЬYou can play stuff that is a little rockier now. This is still a pop record, but thereтАЩs more of a rock element than thereтАЩs ever been for BDW,тАЭ says Mike. BDW will head out on the road this fall, performing its own dates at this point but looking at shared billing for spring dates. Since all the guys are daddies now, with the exception of Jeremy, who is currently in high demand to produce other projects, and Mike, who recently tied the knot, the band predicts some restructuring over the next few years to accommodate family life. And how are the newlyweds adjusting to married life? тАЬIn a person embodied is the unconditional love of ChristтАжand I am overwhelmed by it,тАЭ Mike says of his bride, Kandice. ANDREA BAILEY IN MEMORY: Ronald тАЬRonтАЭ Winans As part of one of Christian musicтАЩs most legendary families, The Winans, Ron couldnтАЩt help but have music in his blood. Performing alongside brothers Marvin, Carvin and Michael, the quartet was discovered by Andra├й Crouch and released 10 projects during a tenure that garnered plenty of critical and commercial praise, not to mention Grammy recognition. In addition to performing with his family, Ron also carved out his musical niche with the тАЬFamily and FriendsтАЭ musical series that included the Grammy-winning track, тАЬAbundant Life,тАЭ recorded by his brother BeBe. Earlier this year, WinansтАЩ final CD/DVD project was recorded live, titled Ron Winans Family & Friends V: A Celebration. Sadly, his life came to an end on Friday, June 17 in Detroit when he died after experiencing pneumonia-related complications at the age of 48. After hearing the news of his passing, fellow artist Kirk Franklin remembers, тАЬWhen my first album was released, Ron Winans flew to Dallas to be part of a special event that I had. I had a chance to see his heart, his talent and his ability to reach so many people for the glory of God. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with such greatness.тАЭ The Winans family stated in a recent press release how much they appreciate the support people are offering through prayer. Rest Will Follow on Sept. 27 тАв Mary Mary Goes to Washington: The Campbell Sisters Recently Joined Donnie>>> 14 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM_08.05_GetReal.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:50 PM getreal by Andrea Bailey Page 15 5 questions with Jason Roy of Building 429 and a spotlight on Brooklyn Tabernacle ChoirтАЩs inner city ministry Songs of Hope 5 Questions with JASON ROY 3. Venice, Italy. I've been all over America, and I've never seen a place that was even remotely close to how romantic Venice "seems" from a distance. 4. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? 2. WhatтАЩs your most embarrassing moment onstage? Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC...in 2002. Back in those days I was kind of known for what people called "the Matrix kick.тАЭ That night the moment came for my mammoth leap into the air, but I didn't notice that the landing zone was a pile of cables, and before I could even think about it, I had landed on my back. >>> As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? All I ever wanted to do was play basketball. WhatтАЩs one goal you have as an artist? To become a mentor to all of the bands that are following us in the pursuit of their dreams. 5. fellowship halls, a youth center, a computer lab, two libraries and eight classrooms, opened in late 2003 to provide the surrounding communityтАФof which many are immigrants or coming from lower economic backgrounds with minimal educationтАФwith tangible assistance. To fight the areaтАЩs problems with drugs, alcohol, gangs and homelessness, the Learning Center conducts five free programs, funded in part by the total profits from Pastor CymbalaтАЩs books. In the adult literacy program, people can learn to read, obtain a high school equivalency diploma or improve their ability to speak English. In the KingтАЩs Kids ministry, the But aside from the impressive statistics, what is this church/choir combination all about? The answer is simple: reaching out to the streets of New York City through a community service organization called The Downtown Learning Center. "The Downtown Learning Center is an oasis in the inner city extending hope and opportunity to people who are facing lifeтАЩs challenges," says Pastor Cymbala. "The DLC gives us the ability to bring healing and to introduce the love of God." In 1996, as God began to send increasing numbers of needy people to the church, the directors began to search for a larger Brooklyn facility. Through congregational offerings, the church converted the fourth largest theatrical auditorium in New York City into a worship center and acquired a 100,000-foot commercial condominium building, the space that now houses the DLC. The facility, with four multi-purpose Social Services Department of New York City sends the worst emotionally, physically and sexually abused children in its system to be nurtured by the church on a regular basis, including a week of summer camp. Seniors-InAction helps the elderly to stay active in ministry, The New Hope Ministry brings inner-city kids in from homeless shelters and provides them with a refuge and wholesome activities, and "The Summit" reaches out to young adults through after-school tutoring, recreational activities and training in resume writing and job interviews. But how do the Tabernacle Choir and the frontline ministry of the DLC work together? The choir is preparing to release a new live recording called IтАЩm Amazed, which spotlights special guest performances by Donnie McClurkin, Jason Crabb and Luther Barnes, and all the royalties from the record will be used for funding the Learning Center. A DVD will be released alongside the project, featuring stories of the impact the work of the Learning Center has made in many lives. (BUILDING 429) As the Gospel Music AssociationтАЩs much-talked about New Artist of the Year, it would be hard for Building 429 not to notice all the buzz! YouтАЩll recall the bandтАЩs first single and title track from the Glory Defined EP (Word) was a multi-format success: "Glory Defined" reached #1 on a combined eight AC and CHR charts and climbed to the top of Christian Radio WeeklyтАЩs AC chart faster than any song in the chartтАЩs historyтАФstaying there for 10 consecutive weeks. Jason Roy (vocals/lead guitar), Scotty Beshears (bass), Michael Anderson (drums) and Paul Bowden (guitars) also have their widelyacclaimed 2004 full-length debut, Space In Between Us (which has sold more than 110,000 copies and was nominated as the GMAтАЩs "Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year"), and a recent tour billing with Jeremy Camp and Todd Agnew to prove theyтАЩre no Johnny Come Latelys. 1. Even if you havenтАЩt heard the groupтАЩs dynamic vocals, youтАЩve probably heard of the world-renowned, 275-member Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. In its 30-year tenure, this group has been called AmericaтАЩs most-loved choir, won multiple Grammy, Stellar and Dove Awards, performed at venues such as Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall and recorded more than 20 albums. You may also be familiar with its home, the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a 6,000-member, ethnically diverse congregation pastored by Jim Cymbala, author of books such as Fresh Power and The Life God Blesses. His wife, Carol, founded the Tabernacle Choir in 1973 and has served as its director ever since. WhatтАЩs one question youтАЩd like to ask God when you get to heaven? How many times did I make you smile? McClurkin and Smokie Norful For a Celebration of Black Music Month With President Bush тАв тАЬThank you 15 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com >>> CCM_08.05_O2W.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:52 PM Page 17 paulcolmanтАЩs onestowatch >> * Bobby Bishop Leaving the тАЩBurbs Behind Beatmart recording artist Bobby Bishop is a rapper/youth pastor from inner city Boston who has shared the stage with everyone from KJ-52 to Sev Static to GRITS. BobbyтАЩs new record, Government Name, is an eclectic mix of serious and fun songs all delivered with authenticity and passion. PAUL: Do you think itтАЩs possible for a kid from the streets of the inner city and a soccer mom to enjoy the same record/artist? BOBBY: I hope so! My history is both, although my mom was a тАЬbaseballтАЭ mom and not a soccer mom. I grew up in the suburbs, so IтАЩm familiar with them, but IтАЩve ministered in the city for 10 years, and I live in the city, so this is also more than familiar territory. Rap is as diverse a genre as there is, and its audience reflects that. PAUL: Tell us the story behind тАЬAmyтАЩs Song,тАЭ one of your CDтАЩs key tracks. BOBBY: Amy was one of my favorite youth in our ministry. In 1999, she approached my wife Jessica and me and disclosed that she had been raped at school on numerous occasions but hadnтАЩt told this to anyone. We took several steps to assure she was getting the help she needed. In the process, I wrote the song, and she helped. Since that time, the song has been my most unique ministry tool. At each concert I have the opportunity to pray with the crowd for healing, that we can all embrace the truth that even in the midst of hardship, God will never leave our side (Hebrews 13:5). PAUL: What is a lyric on Government Name that you love the most? BOBBY: My favorite lyrics are in the song тАЬWar Cry.тАЭ It tells tell the story of a stubborn young man, enamored by his rap dreams. Throughout the song, his fatherтАЩs asking him to hand over the dream, a request to which he finally submits after selfishly holding on: тАЬ..then please hand over your rap, and not just a song, I want it all, do you think you can do that for me, son?тАЭ The young man is blessed by his father exponentially more after he relents. His father, of course, is our heavenly Father. This song was inspired by The Prayer of Jabez and his request for GodтАЩs blessing as His follower. * subseven Keeping It Loud subseven, comprised of drummer Clint McManaman, lead singer Wesley Fite, guitarist Jake Sullivan, bassist Reed Curbin and guitarist Caleb Wilkerson, is a seriously hard rocking band from the western plains of Oklahoma. Its Flicker Records debut, Free to Conquer, is hardcore and edgy yet contains plenty of catchy and singable melodiesтАФa combination that earned the band dates on this yearтАЩs тАЬVans Warped Tour.тАЭ ItтАЩs impossible to miss the sense of hope and yearning for surrender to Christ in subsevenтАЩs lyrics, and the group thankfully chose to avoid the standard clich├йs. PAUL: WhatтАЩs behind your name? CLINT: тАШsubsevenтАЩ comes from two words put together. тАШsubтАЩ is short for submitted and тАШsevenтАЩ for GodтАЩs number, the number of perfection as stated in the Bible. Our name means submitted to God, and thatтАЩs the basis of what our band has done thus far. Everything we do, we hold it committed to God. PAUL: You have said that itтАЩs the bandтАЩs lyrics even more than the art that will stick with people. Give us a lyric from Free to Conquer that you hope will stick with people. CLINT: тАЬWe Will Prosper.тАЭ During our shows, we encourage people to give everything over to God. In their doing so, He will prosper them in all kinds of ways. Most people think weтАЩre just talking financially, but itтАЩs really everything, every aspect of your life, emotionally, physically, mentally, spirituallyтАФeverything. PAUL: YouтАЩve been described as edgy and hard to categorize, and most of the тАШGodтАЩ references on your album are subtle. But in your interviews, you speak openly and specifically about your faith. Apart from the lyrics, how do you get your message across in your live shows? CLINT: We usually segue into an instrumental/worship/jam session during our set which Wes will sometimes use as a way to share with the audience what God has given him, or one of us, to say that day. PAUL: What is your ideal performance space? CLINT: Small room, tight stage, lots of people, LOUD! Singer/songwriter/author Paul Colman is the former frontman for Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning act, Paul Colman Trio. His first solo project in seven years, Let It Go (Inpop), recently released to critical acclaim with its тАЬGloriaтАЭ single going No. 1 at Christian radio in his home country of Australia for more than 16 weeks. Colman currently tours, speaks and performs internationally. For more information visit PaulColman.com. ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 17 CCM_08.05_Bible.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:52 PM Page 18 livingthemessage by Michael Card Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?.тАФJOHN 4:29 AS PARAPHRASED IN THE MESSAGE The Need to be Known Study Consider these two related passages from the fourth chapter of John. тАжJesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, тАЬPlease give me a drink.тАЭ 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, тАЬYou are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?...тАЭ 25 The woman said, тАЬI know the Messiah is comingтАФthe one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.тАЭ 26 Then Jesus told her, тАЬI Am the Messiah!тАЭ 27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, тАЬWhat do you want with her?тАЭ or тАЬWhy are you talking to her?тАЭ 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 тАЬCome and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?тАЭ 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him. 18 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com It was noon, and we are told that Jesus, exhausted from the long journey from Judea back to Galilee, had stopped at a well outside the village of Sychar. His disciples had gone into town to find something to eat. She came alone to draw water from How was it that Jesus could the same well, knowing none of the break through the barriers of other women from the village would be there in the hottest part race, gender and woundedof the day. John tells us she was ness and find His way to the surprised that Jesus even spoke to heart of the woman? her. (Jews did not speak to Samaritans, and rabbis did not speak to women in public. When the disciples return, they will be surprised as well to find Him engaged in conversation with a female.) We will never know the womanтАЩs name. It is hot, and He is thirsty but has no bucket. The tired tone of His simple request sounds almost childlike: тАЬPlease, give me a drink.тАЭ Jesus is neither afraid nor ashamed to expose His need. CCM_08.05_Bible.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:52 PM Page 19 He asks for so little and gets nothing, yet still He responds by offering everything. It is simply who He is. She only sees a collection of labels: a man, a Jew, a rabbi, a prophet. He sees a wounded soul that hungers to be known. She is so numb to the spiritual by now that she confuses well water for living water. She has had five broken marriages, was five times abandoned by men who had pledged to care for her. And now she lives with a man who does not love her enough to even pretend to make the pledge. Jesus knows every unspeakable detail, and yet, He speaks to her. Her painful and embarrassing story is common knowledge in a small village where everyone knows everyone elseтАЩs business. The townspeople of Sychar have judged and excluded her. But while Jesus knows, there is an openness about Him that surprises and disarms her. He seems to know the worst and yet is fully and lovingly present to her. Six men, pretending to know, had enslaved and abandoned her. JesusтАЩ knowing somehow sets her free. Questions to Ponder How was it that Jesus could break through the barriers of race, gender and woundedness and find His way to the heart of the woman? Did the woman even know that she was thirsty for the тАЬliving waterтАЭ Jesus offered? In John 4:25 she reveals something of her Samaritan background. They had a unique name for the Messiah, тАЬTahav,тАЭ the тАЬrevealer.тАЭ тАЬI am the Messiah,тАЭ Jesus responds. He has revealed the shame of her past as well as her hope for the future, a time when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth, a time when we will fully know each other even as we are fully known. What was the effect of JesusтАЩ words on her? How would you describe the change? Only a few moments ago she had appeared as a thirsty woman with an empty bucket. Who is she now? In what way is she a different person? Jesus was thirsty. She apparently was thirsty as well, since she had come to draw from the well. No one drinks any water, yet by the end of the story everyone seems satisfied. What does your imagination tell you has happened? Commit If, this very moment, you find yourself in a dry place, recognize that even as Jesus was waiting at the well for the woman, so too He is already present in your thirst for Him. He is waiting for you there. I can relate to this passage well because IтАЩve spent a lot of my life trying to hide who I really am from peopleтАФas I try and fail time and time again to make myself better. We all go to the well for water that will satisfy our pain, never realizing that the pain we feel doesnтАЩt stem from an injury that heals in time...but from a disease that we canтАЩt heal at all. Jesus knows the real you. When I realized that for the first time, it really freaked me out because, well, the game was over, and I was caught red handed... тАЬSINNERтАЭ might as well have been written across my forehead for all to see. Then you look at this passage again and notice that this woman isnтАЩt freaking out over being revealed, because everything bad sheтАЩs done in her entire life has just been eclipsed by the cure for her disease. Jesus in all His splendor and glory knows you and loves you right where you are. I met Jesus at the well carrying an empty bucket with the hopes of numbing the pain one more time... but Jesus healed me. He can do the same for you.тАФJason Roy (Building 429) If, this very moment, you feel as if no one knows who you really are, realize that Jesus knows you better than you know yourself, and whatтАЩs more, He loves you more than you love yourself. He is ready to tell you everything youтАЩve ever done. Pray that you might meet Him in your thirst and never be thirsty again. Pray that you might be set free by coming to know the One who knows everything youтАЩve ever done. Ask Him to meet you at the point of your deepest need to be known. 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 provoked these men into a unique song of worship. Visit MichaelCard.com for more information. ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 19 'ODS7ORD HASALLTHEELEMENTS OF A GREATSTORYnGOODGUYS BADGUYSEPICBATTLESDEVOTED SIDEKICKSROMANCEBETRAYALAN ETERNAL3AVIOR)TS EVERYTHING WENEEDTOSTAYALIVE 3OMETIMES THETRUTHISBETTERTHANFICTION CCM_08.05_IndBeat.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:30 PM Page 20 K industrybeat A conversation with Flicker RecordsтАЩ general manager Troy Vest by Jay Swartzendruber around 11 to 12% of the radio market shareтАФTooth & Nail being 20 to 25%. But it can also be a negative for us because now everybody is getting into the businessтАФand not just Christian labels. Every major company is starting or has started its own indie-feel rock label which is in direct competition with us. At the end of the day, we just have to position ourselves better to the artists and prove to them that we can do the right thing for them. Would it be correct to say that Flicker is planning on T-BoneтАЩs new album, Bone-A-Fide, being your biggest release of 2005? Definitely. Bone-A-Fide releases August 30. T-Bone is an integral part of who we areтАФheтАЩs an extremely talented artist. He is probably the most talented rapper in inspirational hip-hop. That drew us to him. He and Mark Stuart are very tightтАФ best friends. And we have a very unique relationship with him because all of his records are not just Flicker Records, theyтАЩre truly joint ventures between Flicker and T-BoneтАЩs company, Boneyard Records. What else should we expect from you guys over the next year тАФany surprises? Getting Close to the Vest As Flicker RecordsтАЩ general manager, Troy Vest oversees all sales, marketing, operations and infrastructure to equip a roster which includes Pillar, T-Bone, Staple, Mortal Treason, Everyday Sunday, Kids in the Way, The Swift, Monk and Neagle and subseven. Shortly after taking FlickerтАЩs helm, Troy launched its childrenтАЩs labelтАФBig House KidsтАФand led the imprint to instant success. Its first project, The Praise Baby Collection, became the #1 new childrenтАЩs brand at Christian retail in 2004. For Troy, the 10-year road to becoming FlickerтАЩs general manager started when Star Song Distribution hired him as a field sales and marketing representative in 1993. After Star Song merged with what would later become EMI CMG Distribution, Troy spent most of the next decade sequentially filling a number of positions for the parent company, including road rep, marketing for mainstream distribution, marketing director for half of Sparrow Label Group, director of sales for Sparrow, managing distributionтАЩs entire field sales and marketing team and, finally, heading sales for distributionтАЩs major Christian accounts. Exactly 10 years to the day from when he started with Star Song, he left EMI CMG to join his friends at Flicker Records, which was formed by three of Audio AdrenalineтАЩs founding membersтАФMark Stuart, Bob Herdman and Will McGuiness. How did hard music evolve into being a staple of what you guys do? Because we had success on the rock side, it attracted artists to us. ThereтАЩs no doubt if it werenтАЩt for Pillar [whose career sales exceed half a million albums], we wouldnтАЩt have artists like Kids in the Way or Staple or even on the metal side, Mortal Treason. And at the end of the day, while itтАЩs not 100% of our focus, those are the types of artists that we want to be involved with. You know Audio Adrenaline has been doing this for almost 15 years nowтАФtheir desire from the beginning with Flicker has been to develop a label that is artist-friendly that can help mentor other artists to, hopefully, take their place one day. And the increasing popularity of rock the past two years is really working in your favor? Oh sure, and thatтАЩs a good thing and a bad thing. If you look at radio in 2004, we were the No. 2 Christian rock label out there behind Tooth & Nail/BEC with >>> Billy Our goal is to always work with artists that we like, no matter what genre of music they are. Trent Monk and Michael Neagle (Monk & Neagle) are a perfect example. We wanted to work with those guys because we love who they are. We loved their artistry. We loved them as men. We loved their families. Everything about who we are is aligning ourselves with artists we trust that are making great music and are following their passions. There are a couple of artists that weтАЩre in the middle of signing right now that sit in the modern rock/progressive rock genre. But if the right artist comes along, and itтАЩs a singer/songwriter duo like Monk & Neagle, then if theyтАЩre interested in us, and we feel like we can do something for them, weтАЩll go after it. Looking back over your career so far, what have been your most fulfilling experiences? I would say three things. Marrying Amy, who was my bossтАЩ assistant. Working with Nick Barr├й, EMI CMGтАЩs Vice President of Artist Development, during DeliriousтАЩ launch back in late тАЩ90'sтАФbeing at the front end of the modern worship music movement in the U.S. and seeing what Delirious was doing at the time. Working with Pillar has been a very, very fulfilling part of my career and very important to itтАФseeing the ins and outs. IтАЩve never been more fulfilled. A Day Behind the Scenes with Troy 7:30 Arrive at the office and begin responding to e-mail 9:00 Meet with Hawthorne Heights and Evergreen TerraceтАЩs former manager to discuss new artist opportunities. 10:00 Listen to final mixes of StapleтАЩs new record, Of Truth and Reconciliation. 10:30 Work on a video producer contract for the third installment of The Praise Baby Collection. 11:30 Review/Edit new contract summaries I had written for each Flicker artist 11:45 Meet with interns extraordinaireтАФMeghan and ZachтАФabout work on the new Flicker Myspace page (myspace.com/flickerrecords) 12:15 Lunch 1:00 Kids In The Way stop by to hang and talk shop 1:45 More e-mail 2:00 Meet with AJ, head of radio promotions, to discuss T-BoneтАЩs 3:15 3:45 4:15 5:00 5:30 6:15 8:30 10:45 1:00 radio single(s) plans, listen to several Staple songs as potential radio singles and video, discuss current singles by Monk & Neagle, The Swift, Pillar, Kids In The Way and others Conference call with our video promoter to discuss progress with Kids In The WayтАЩs "Apparitions of Melody" video Finish reviewing contract summaries Make and return several calls Meet with JoAnna, head of sales and marketing, to discuss budgets, approve several print marketing elements and more More e-mail Leave the office for some much-needed family time Attend Kids In The Way show at Rocketown Kids In The Way finally go on after several delays Finally make it to bed GrahamтАЭ: Pat Boone and Bono collaborate on tribute song and video for BooneтАЩs Glory Train album тАв 20 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM_08.05_Bethany_vFINAL 7/5/05 3:30 PM Page 20 WHOтАЩS THAT GIRL?┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗ CCM_08.05_Bethany_vFINAL 7/5/05 3:30 PM Page 21 In just over a yearтАЩs time, Bethany Dillon has managed to turn quite a few heads with the critical and commercial success of her self-titled debut and a maturity far beyond her years. Now with the release of her stellar sophomore record, Imagination (Sparrow), an opening slot on Jeremy CampтАЩs next tour and a song on the upcoming тАЬNarniaтАЭ soundtrack, her momentum continues to build. So how does an тАЬIt GirlтАЭ stay grounded in the midst of all these recent accomplishments? CCMтАЩs Christa Farris travels the nearly 800 miles from Music City to BethanyтАЩs hometown of Bellefontaine, Ohio to find out. ┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗ ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 21 CCM_08.05_Bethany_vFINAL 7/5/05 3:30 PM Page 22 тАЬThe first time I met you/My heart swang out to you/The first time I saw you/My heart did a lullabydo/ my groom/And on our wedding day/I said тАШI doтАЩ/WeтАЩre married now/I wish I hadnтАЩt said it to you.тАЭ OK, so itтАЩs not exactly the kind of romantic masterpiece thatтАЩll be covered by someone like Celine Dion and sung at weddings for years to come. But 16-yearold Bethany Dillon remembers her first stab at songwriting, in all its puppy-love, made-up word glory (lullabydo, anyone?) like it was yesterday.тАЭ тАЬOne day I was in my room, and Mom was vacuuming. I wanted to write this love song, so I did. ItтАЩs actually very jazzy,тАЭ Bethany recalls. тАЬI was six and thought it was very, very cool.тАЭ Did she really say she was only six? тАЬOh yeahтАФI was writing purely from experience at that age,тАЭ she jokes. тАЬActually I was such a drama queen. I had older siblings, so I felt so immersed in the adult world already. I just felt like I could write that song with honesty for some reason.тАЭ Apparently, this lyrical instinct was foreshadowingтАФor at least the first signтАФof a promising future for this burgeoning songwriter. Even at a young age, Bethany was pretty secure in her identity. One thing she knew for sure was that she wasnтАЩt going to be a Britney Spears, popstar prot├йg├й. Anything even remotely artificial just didnтАЩt fit. And only moments after meeting her at her parentsтАЩ house in the quiet, corn-lined countryside of Bellefontaine, Ohio, it becomes even more apparent why that is. Nearly make-up free and naturally pretty, sheтАЩs the kind of girl who prefers flip flops, shorts and a simple t-shirt to anything fussy. You wonтАЩt see her lugging around the latest designer bag or sporting extraneous jewelry, either. Flashy is just not her style, which is something that also probably had a lot to do with growing up in a small town with a house full of brothers (three to be exact), in addition to her older sister, Kate. It was also this close-knit kinship with her brothers that caused Bethany to pick up a guitar rather than take the requisite piano lessons. тАЬMy brothers Ben and Matt were my age growing up, so I loved being the tomboy,тАЭ Bethany says. тАЬThe only people I knew who played guitar were boys. So I was like, тАШThatтАЩs the ultimate tomboy thing to do.тАЩтАЭ Bethany picked up her first guitar, a gift from her aunt Deb, when she was 11. It was a bright blue Yamaha that she affectionately named Esther. тАЬI remember when I walked in the house and saw it. IтАЩm a bit of an overreactor, so I threw myself on the floor in the hall and was just screaming,тАЭ Bethany recalls. тАЬI ran to my aunt and hugged her. It was this $20 guitar, but it was just really special to have as my first.тАЭ While тАЬEstherтАЭ is now long gone in favor of her dadтАЩs guitar (which she wasnтАЩt allowed to play until recently), Bethany says that тАЬshe was the beginningтАЭ of her journey as a musician. As it turns out, another important female was also quite instrumental early on. THE ROAD TO KANSAS тАЬтАЬA friend of mine had a tape of Jennifer KnappтАЩs, Kansas. I was over at her house spending the night, and she put it on,тАЭ Bethany remembers. тАЬI was just floored. I was 10 then, and I was so inspired. It was definitely a major point in my faithтАФand in my life. God did a lot through that record in me. And because Jennifer was this rocker chick with attitude and a singer/songwriter, I was like, тАШMan, I need to be cool and play guitar like that.тАЩтАЭ While hearing JenniferтАЩs work reinforced what approach Bethany wanted to take as she dabbled in music, it was seeing JenniferтАЩs live show that ┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗ 22 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM_08.05_Bethany_vFINAL 7/5/05 3:30 PM Page 23 You swept me off my feet/ You could have been my broom/You were so charming/IтАЩd like for you to be solidified her fandom and desire to actually pursue music on a more serious level. With a giddy level of enthusiasmтАФas she chows down on Chinese food at her favorite downtown lunch spotтАФBethany tells the story of her first concert experience at almost breakneck pace. After slow traffic nearly caused her and her sister to be late for the show (something Bethany was determined not to be) following the hour-long trek, she remembers trying to find her seat and exactly how happy she was to discover it was in the center of the second row. тАЬI stood there the whole time and just belted out her songs,тАЭ Bethany recalls. тАЬIn the middle of тАШInto YouтАЩ during the guitar solo, [Jennifer] kept making eye contact with me throughout the show, then threw her [guitar] pick out. Then she leaned over and was like, тАШI like your shirt.тАЩ I had this Bohemian shirt on, and I was just like, тАШYeah!тАЩ Every concert after that, I rushed up in front of the first row and sat on the floor. SheтАЩs just meant a lot.тАЭ While she never stuck around to meet Jennifer following a show, sheтАЩs someone Bethany would тАЬmost definitelyтАЭ love to meet in the future. THE MOMENT OF TRUTH For most people, a concert experience is just thatтАФan experience, enjoyable, exciting, but quickly forgotten. But for Bethany, that first concert changed the course of her lifeтАЩs direction. тАЬI had been messing around with the guitar, just learning her stuff and writing silly songs,тАЭ Bethany says. тАЬBut when I went home that night, and I know it probably sounds silly because I was only 11, but God was doing something in my heart at the time. After I came home, my sister was telling my mom all about the show. тАЬтАЬI went back in my room and cried for a couple of hours because my heart was just aching. It was unbearable. I prayed about it. I said, тАШGod, I would do anythingтАФwhatever this longing is in me, if it could just be satisfied somehow or fulfilled, I would do anything.тАЩтАЭ While she wasnтАЩt exactly sure what a music career would look like for her, whether it would be in the church where she helped lead worship for the youth group, or with a more national platform, she was determined to use her gift for something. So Bethany continued to sing in area churches and eventually made an independent disc in a living room studio in Maryville, Ohio. тАЬWe got a great offer for recording, so we recorded that whole year,тАЭ Bethany recalls. тАЬI recorded 12 songs that I had writtenтАФjust to be able to remember them. He [Mark, at the recording studio] knew some people in Nashville who worked at Gibson Guitars and told them about what we All in the Family While the road has become something of a second home after a recent string of tour dates, thereтАЩs no place like home for Bethany Dillon. And when it comes to hanging with her family, thereтАЩs no need for elaborate vacations or weekly game nights, as Bethany says they just like to talk to each otherтАФ and maybe even watch the occasional movie. Now, she tells us more about the people she rarely goes even five minutes without talking about. On her dad, Bill: тАЬHe loves people. HeтАЩs in social work, and he cares for people who would never be able to pay him back or do anything with him. HeтАЩs just a character, too. On FatherтАЩs Day, he was so mad at us for getting him what we did because he said it was too much. I love that about Dad.тАЭ On her Mom, Tina: тАЬMy mom is probably my best friend. This morning we sat on our front porch and just talked. SheтАЩs also really sarcastic, which I love. SheтАЩs just very honest, too.тАЭ On her older sister, Kate: тАЬIтАЩm missing her like nobodyтАЩs business right now as she just got married. So I should probably throw Shawn [Kate is married to singer/songwriter Shawn McDonald] in because heтАЩs my brother now. I love her and really couldnтАЩt say enough about her. SheтАЩs a good friend.тАЭ On her older brother, Aaron: тАЬI love him. HeтАЩs actually going to be on the road with me this year. ItтАЩs so cool to have been friends with him since we were little because weтАЩre a lot alike.тАЭ On her older brother Matt and her younger brother Ben, who were adopted into BethanyтАЩs family 12 years ago: тАЬTheir character is just amazing. I can speak for all of us in our family; they are probably the most tender-hearted people in our family. At 14 and 17, they have a deep understanding of what it is to really love people, to be thankful and to serve. So itтАЩs awesome. Matt is the clown, and Ben is the fixer-upper kind of guy. He can do anything around the house.тАЭ ┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗ ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 23 CCM_08.05_Bethany_vFINAL 7/5/05 3:30 PM Page 24 were doing. тАЬMy parents actually told him, тАШPlease, please do not pursue anything like this. SheтАЩs so young. We donтАЩt want her to get her hopes up.тАЩ They were really discouraging Mark. But he was like, тАШLet me send it to them. I just want them to enjoy it.тАЩ So Mark sent it down. I guess a lady from Gibson didnтАЩt just listen; she shopped it around, showed it to labels and stuff.тАЭ One of those places where the demo ended up was in the hands of the execs over at Sparrow Records. But even when a meeting was arranged with Bethany and her family, no one was really sure about her chances. тАЬThe whole drive down to Nashville, the six or seven hours, I was just beside myself. My parents were like, тАШBeth, donтАЩt get your hopes up. TheyтАЩll probably just say that youтАЩre a nice little girl and that you should stick to what youтАЩre doing.тАЩ Yet, I was so excited that I didnтАЩt care if IтАЩd be playing for the janitors at Sparrow.тАЭ And of course, the 13-year-old garnered a whole lot more than just the janitorsтАЩ attention that day as Peter York, president of EMI CMG Label Group, president of publishing for EMI CMG Eddie DeGarmo, and EMI-CMG Label Group Vice President of A&R Brad OтАЩDonnell, were all in attendance. THE FUTUREтАЩS SO BRIGHTтАж Now, more than a year after the release of her acclaimed self-titled Sparrow debut, which has sold more than 110,000 copies and landed several Dove Award nominationsтАФincluding Female Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year, a No.1 hit with тАЬAll I Need,тАЭ two top-10 hits тАЬBeautifulтАЭ (which she wrote at age 13) and her cover of the Amy Grant classic, тАЬLead Me OnтАЭтАФ Bethany has once again teamed up with producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Bebo Norman) to record her sophomore effort. Ed and Bethany have an easy camaraderie, something that was quickly discernable when they recently unveiled several songs from the new Confessions of a тАЬLord of the RingsтАЭ Geek One of the first things Bethany told me during our interview was that she was almost 17, and that sheтАЩs been so busy she hasnтАЩt had time to renew her learnerтАЩs permit. тАЬMy mom thinks itтАЩs the Lord keeping me from it,тАЭ she jokes. тАЬItтАЩs what she keeps saying.тАЭ So naturally, my follow-up question was тАЬWhen is your birthday?тАЭ which led to an interesting look into one of BethanyтАЩs self-described тАЬgeekyтАЭ obsessions. CCM: When is your birthday? Bethany: ItтАЩs September 22, the same birthday as Bilbo and Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings. I have the same birthday as them! CCM: The fictional characters? Bethany: Yeah, fictional. My brothers think itтАЩs cool, so thatтАЩs why I bring it up. CCM: Well, thatтАЩs all that matters then. Bethany: Exactly. When I read the first chapter of the first Lord of the Rings book, thatтАЩs when my fanhood began. I was just like тАЬOh, this is meant to be.тАЭ CCM: So youтАЩre a bit of a geek then? Bethany: Geek, geek, geek. CCM: So letтАЩs get this straight here: Viggo (who plays Aragon) or Orlando (who plays Legolas)? Bethany: Oh, Viggo. Orlando, heтАЩs kind of wussy. I mean, heтАЩs cute, but Viggo is just a real man. Yeah. album for CCMтАЩs editors at EdтАЩs Franklin, Tenn., home studio. The two first met during the search for producers for BethanyтАЩs debut. тАЬSparrow had never worked with Ed Cash before; all he had done at the time was work with Bebo [Norman]. So they were like тАШWell, I guess she can meet him,тАЩтАЭ she recalls. тАЬI remember when we were waiting for him at the restaurant. I see this guy walking down the sidewalk with holes in his jeans and stains on his shirtтАФlike heтАЩd just rolled out of bed. I was like тАШThatтАЩs him. ThatтАЩs a kindred spirit.тАЩ It was pretty obvious; God made it really clear.тАЭ When looking back at the making of Imagination, which hits stores August 16, one of the things that stands out most this time for Bethany is how she was being challenged as a songwriter. тАЬEd definitely stretches me with that. IтАЩll bring him a song, and heтАЩll think a certain line is unclearтАФor he just doesnтАЩt think itтАЩs my best. And my ego is so bruised by that,тАЭ Bethany says. тАЬWeтАЩve gotten to the point in our friendship where I can say, тАШI donтАЩt think so. I love that line. What are you talking about?тАЩ He just laughsтАФitтАЩs what I call the mule factor. HeтАЩs like тАШGet over it. Get over yourself.тАЩ IтАЩm trying to learn how to be more open. ItтАЩs the only way to grow.тАЭ Based on the artistic growth evident on Imagination, it's clear Bethany's commitment to being open is paying off. Simply put, this second album is a sophomore jump. From the soulful depth of Bethany's engaging lyrics to the addictive musicality of the songs to the very vocal performance Ed captured on tape, Imagination reveals Bethany DillonтАФthe young woman. On working with Bethany, Ed says, тАЬShe is just a remarkable girl. Her age comes up here and there... But IтАЩm confident that if she were 35, weтАЩd all still be in awe of the gift God has given her. I attribute it to two things: FirstтАФthe favor of God... We saw it in King David at a young age, and we see it in Bethany. But she would agree that it would be a tragedy if we saw it all as her instead of Him. The A Day in Bellefontaine With a population of just under 13,000, BethanyтАЩs hometown of Bellefontaine, Ohio is the kind of place where everybody knows your name, something thatтАЩs quickly evident as we made our interview rounds. But even though sheтАЩs made quite a name for herself in Christian music circles, Bethany is simply тАЬBethтАЭ in Bellefontaine, whether she runs into her youth group friends at MarieтАЩs Candy (her and her momтАЩs favorite haunt) or the Chinese buffet downtown where she caught up with several church friends. Also worth checking out in Bellefontaine? Besides the great banana bread at Bob Evans, there are also some pretty nifty castles on the outskirts of town where Bethany and I got the historical rundown of their origins. other reason I think she is so advanced is because of the remarkable family [see тАЬAll in the FamilyтАЭ sidebar] in which she was raised. Bill and Tina are amazing parents and amazing people. Her siblings are equally wonderful folks. When you grow as the recipient of that kind of loveтАФit comes out in whatever you do, which in BethтАЩs case is through her music and the way she loves people.тАЭ And fellow artist Sara Groves canтАЩt help but agree. тАЬBethany turns everyday observation into beautiful art, and sings about it with great sincerity. When I first heard her sing, I was so moved by her voice and genuine heart. I look forward to hearing her life put to music.тАЭ ccm ┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗┬╗ 24 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM_08.05_MaryMary_v.FINAL 7/1/05 7:58 PM Page 26 MaryMary тАЩs STEP R O G R A M BY ANTHONY BARR-JEFFREY 26 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM_08.05_MaryMary_v.FINAL 7/1/05 7:58 PM Page 27 1) START CAREER WITH FAMOUS TOURING GOSPEL MUSICAL AND SINGING BACKUP FOR BIG TIME R&B ACTS. Check. 2) WRITE SONGS USED ON THE SOUNDTRACKS FOR DR. DOLITTLE AND THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. Check. 3) SIGN TO A MAJOR LABEL AND RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM. WATCH тАЬSHACKLESтАЭ TOP 40 SMASH HIT. Check. BECOME A GLOBAL 4) WIN SOME DOVE AWARDS, SOME STELLAR AWARDS, A SOUL TRAIN AWARD AND A GRAMMY FOR GOOD MEASURE. Check. 5) RELEASE GREAT SECOND ALBUM, INCREDIBLE, AND ) 7 REMEMBER ALL GOD HAS DONE IN ORDER TO KEEP PERSPECTIVE ON CAREER AND LIFE. Check. Maternal humility aside, it is clear to anyone paying attention that Erica and Tina were blessed with their motherтАЩs strength, work ethic and ability to stay the course through thick and thin. Tina notes, тАЬComing into this [recording career], we didnтАЩt fully understand the magnitude of the platform weтАЩd been given to bring musicтАжto be ambassadors for Christ to the world.тАЭ She continues, тАЬNow that we understand the responsibility of the ministry, the responsibility to bring great music to the world that will draw people closer to Christ, we donтАЩt want to let things affect the process of our writing.тАЭ And although they are focused on their part of the process, these hard-working women point to God as the One who set their course and kept them safe on their journey. Long before they ever saw an accolade or award, the Campbell sisters experienced their share of incredibly humbling events that continue to give them perspective and fodder for their music. On their new self-titled release, Mary Mary, the ladies open with the thunderously funky тАЬBeliever,тАЭ a song of gratitude that recalls remarkable personal stories of survival. Erica recalls the life-altering family experience that helped to define their teen years. тАЬWe had a fireplace, and we always wanted to turn on the fireplace, but we didnтАЩt know what we were doing. We would turn it on, and it would smoke, and weтАЩd turn it off and leave. This time my mother had a sense that something wasnтАЩt right.тАЭ AVOID THE VAUNTED SOPHOMORE SLUMP. Check. ) 6 GO ON HIATUS. Check. At this point, some artists might decide theyтАЩve seen the mountaintop, move to the Bahamas and call it a successful career; but apparently Mary Mary isnтАЩt that type of artist. With that said, the Campbell sisters decided that, instead of starting their own clothing lines or running their own record label like so many successful artists, they would do something truly daunting: Start families. Erica puts it into perspective, тАЬWeтАЩre still at the beginning of our careers, and we didnтАЩt want to wait until we did a million albums before we started having kidsтАФyou gotta take time for family.тАЭ And while they admit to being a bit more tired, Tina, a country music lover, notes that other successful female artists such as the Dixie Chicks have already paved the way for working artists and mothers. The country divas may represent a surprising source of encouragement, but Tina and Erica ultimately look to their mother, who juggled nine kids and a position as choir director, as inspiration for making family work. тАЬBoth of us have asked my mom several times, тАШHow did you do it?тАЩ and I am completely convinced that God donтАЩt make them like he used to,тАЭ Tina says in absolute awe. тАЬI mean, maybe He does, but I guess IтАЩm not one of the ones.тАЭ to Success ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 27 CCM_08.05_MaryMary_v.FINAL 7/1/05 7:58 PM Page 28 At their motherтАЩs urging, the seven girls went to sleep at their auntтАЩs house that night, only to be phoned by the police to inform them of a terrible house fire. Erica adds, тАЬI now know that it was the Holy Spirit leading her to have us stay somewhere else for the night.тАЭ In addition to surviving that fire, Tina also has a lot to sing about, having walked away from a car accident that flipped her car over. She now jokes, тАЬThat was my own little personal experience; God wanted to show me that he could save my life even if my mother and my sisters werenтАЩt around.тАЭ 8) T RY SOMETHING UNEXPECTEDLY NEW AND WONDERFUL FOR NEW RECORD . Check. Although some songs on their latest release are textbook тАЬMary MaryтАЭ tracks, complete with ultra-polished urban radio beats and gospel-laced harmonies, they also prove that motherhood can mean new energy for new things. Tina is quick to respond to the idea that having a family means losing your creative spark. тАЬI think the consensus is that you are supposed to become a lot more conservative, a lot more boring overall when you have children. A lot of your time is consumed with children, but for the most part, it seems to me that you are the same person. Maybe your personality even deepens.тАЭ Tina may have become even more detailed-oriented than before and Erica more free spirited, but these two still balance and complement each other creatively. Ultimately, the tie breaker may have been their long-time collaborator, super producer and EricaтАЩs husband, Warryn Campbell (Brandy, Luther Vandross, Sisqo). Suddenly, the ladiesтАЩ smooth sound is injected with touches of тАШ60s soul, 1930тАЩs big band swing, Andrew Sisters-esque harmonies and even gritty blues gospel. Although these turns were admittedly a stretch, EricaтАЩs excitement about their musical growth is obvious. тАЬWhen we first started writing, it was very important for us to not write what had been written in the same way that it had been written before. Being unique, original and not predictable is important to who we are.тАЭ 9) MAKE SURE TRITE LYRICS DONтАЩT STYMIE GOOD MUSIC. Check. Regarding their growth as lyricists, Tina explains how they avoided stagnation and kept their eyes on reaching those unfamiliar with churchy language. тАЬWe had teams of people not necessarily from the Christian world, and they would push us....they would question some of the things we would put into the songs that we initially wrote. They would say, тАШI donтАЩt really understand what you are talking about, but I guess it sounds good; I donтАЩt really get it but I like it.тАЩтАЭ She continues, тАЬYou want people to understand what you are talking about; you want to push people to think and to paint a picture, not just to make something that sounds good.тАЭ And lest anyone get the idea that the sisters sit around tweaking their lyrics to be interesting and clever, Erica is quick to note that sometimes she was struck with a song while heating a bottle of milk. She says plainly, тАЬItтАЩs not always such a deep process, but if itтАЩs already been said, itтАЩs like тАШNope, no clich├йs, sorry, good-bye.тАЩтАЭ Faves &Raves Favorite comfort food when on the road? Erica: тАЬBurgers and friesтАЭ Tina: тАЬSour yellow apple (Erica thinks itтАЩs pineapple.) Now & LatersтАЭ Last good book youтАЩve read? Erica: тАЬThe BibleтАЭ Tina: тАЬThe Rising by Tim LaHayeтАЭ Favorite recipe to have your husband cook you when you get off the road? Erica: тАЬMy husband doesnтАЩt cook....but he can make scrambled eggsтАФthatтАЩs about it.тАЭ Tina: тАЬMy husband makes a great breakfast, so whatever breakfast he makes is fine!тАЭ What do you admire most about each other? Erica: тАЬSheтАЩs taught me how to really go after what I want in life.тАЭ Tina: тАЬI love the way Erica never lets anything ruffle her feathers.тАЭ Best movie youтАЩve seen recently? Erica: тАЬMonster-in-LawтАЭ Tina: тАЬMadagascar. I love that guy that sings тАШI like to move it, move itтАЩ with the accent; that cracks me up every time.тАЭ Favorite episode of The Cosby Show? Both start laughing and agree: тАЬ...It was the one where they were singing the Ray Charles song to their grandparents. That was cool.тАЭ What are you listening to right now? Erica: тАЬJ. Moss, the Mississippi Mass Choir, the Soul Seekers (a quartet with Erica and TinaтАЩs husbands) and Beres Hammond. HeтАЩs the closest thing youтАЩre going to find to Bob Marley. His music is pure, itтАЩs positive and you could play it at any family reunion.тАЭ Tina: тАЬMercyMe, Rascal Flatts and the Soul SeekersтАЭ Favorite kids song or artist? Erica: тАЬProbably the song I sing to my little girl.тАЭ (Tina chimes in, тАЬOh Lord, please donтАЩt sing that song. That song just drives me crazy!тАЭ) Tina: тАЬтАШIf YouтАЩre Happy and You Know ItтАЩ by Veggie TalesтАЭ 10) PRAYERFULLY SEEK GODтАЩS WILL FOR NEW ALBUM AND UPCOMING TOUR. Check. Ultimately neither public nor family expectation set the bar for their new release. For Tina and Erica, their existence as Mary Mary seems boiled down to a mantra-like prayer they recalled throughout this new project: тАЬGod, if youтАЩre not speaking, we donтАЩt want to pick up the pen and write. If youтАЩre not a part of this creativity, because weтАЩre just trying to get the job done or meet the standards of the record company or whoever, would you please make us aware of that so we can put the pencil down and go home? What we want to do is your will, and what we want to say is what you would have us say.тАЭ Hobby or class that youтАЩve always wanted to take up but havenтАЩt yet? Tina: тАЬA vocabulary class. I hate when I canтАЩt remember words I want. I hate not being able to understand people when they speak.тАЭ Erica: тАЬMy (current) hobby is doing hair, and I really love it, but because I have so many sisters and they force me to do it....they made me not like my hobby anymore!тАЭ 11) DRESS AND FEED, DANCE AND SING WITH THE BABIES. Check. 12) CONTINUE GREAT MUSICAL CAREER. Check. ccm 28 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com Erica Tina ccm08_bartmillard.vFINAL 7/1/05 7:54 PM Page 30 тАЬMy grandparents started a little bitty church outside of Greenville, Texas called Ardis Heights Baptist Church,тАЭ begins Bart Millard, recalling that extremely difficult and pivotal chapter in his family history. тАЬMy grandfather was a preacher, and my grandmother was a treasurer. My mom and her twin sister were the piano and organ players. My dad and my uncle were deacons. Back before I was born, my grandfather left my grandmother for another woman in the church, took off and kind of turned his back on faith and everything.тАЭ What? That was the first domino to fall in the series of events that would eventually inspire BartтАЩs solo debut, Hymned? тАЬMy grandmother stayed in that church up until the day she died. She had so many reasons to be bitter, but I never saw her say a mean word. She always would say that her prodigal would come home. She really believed that PawPaw would come home. He never did, unfortunately.тАЭ Who could have known this manтАЩs tragic life choices would set the stage for one womanтАЩs profound legacy of faithтАФa legacy that would leave its indelible mark on the young boy who would become one of the Christian communityтАЩs most prolific and influential singer/songwriters? Numerous factors fuel an artistтАЩs creativity, with family relationships often a chief stimulant. Such is the case with the MercyMe frontman, who was compelled to record an album of his favorite hymns as a tribute to his beloved grandmother and as a sacred heirloom for his children Sam and Gracie. тАЬSheтАЩs a huge influence on the project,тАЭ Bart says of his maternal grandmother, Ruby B. Lindsey, who left this world in December 1999. тАЬ[In deciding] which hymns I was going to use, it really came down to the ones that I had the most vivid memories of her singing. A lot of the decisions we made were based on if MawMaw would like it.тАЭ Hymned features BartтАЩs take on such classics as тАЬSweetest Name I Know,тАЭ тАЬHave a Little Talk With Jesus,тАЭ тАЬPower in the Blood,тАЭ тАЬThe Old Rugged CrossтАЭ and тАЬSoftly and Tenderly.тАЭ тАЬI listened to a lot of music growing up, country and jazz and blues,тАЭ says Bart, who made his debut singing in church at age five. тАЬIt all kind of shows up in the record. ItтАЩs a very, very organic sound. We wanted it to feel like we were sitting in a circle playing.тАЭ Bart has fond memories of his Texas childhood and the lessons learned from his grandmother. тАЬMy relationship with Christ, you can pretty much blame her for it,тАЭ he says with a warm laugh. тАЬShe loved the Lord with all of her heart, and she just didnтАЩt preach it, she lived it.тАЭ His grandmotherтАЩs faith was tested, obviously, and remained strong. When BartтАЩs grandfather e sions w i c e d e th A lot of d on if e s a b ere t. made w d like i l u o w w MawMa тАЬ 30 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com тАЭ passed away, a cousin went to his grandma to tell her. тАЬShe told him: тАШThere are only two men IтАЩve ever loved in my life, the first one is Jesus and the second one is your PawPaw, and IтАЩm much better off with the second one leaving me than the first one.тАЩ And thatтАЩs all she ever said about it. ThatтАЩs when I realized there was probably not a godlier woman on earth than Ruby Lindsey. She wasnтАЩt one to preach. She lived life by example.тАЭ Though she may have been a godly woman, Ruby was far from a talented singer. Bart recalls being next to her on Sunday mornings in the third pew. тАЬShe couldnтАЩt sing very well, but she loved making a joyful noise,тАЭ he remembers. тАЬShe was always the loudest person in the church. I was too short to see, so I would stand in the pew so I would be eye level with her. IтАЩd be holding my hands over both my ears, and she would sing at the top of her voice. It was unbelievable, but now looking back, I have to laugh because I canтАЩt imagine life without it.тАЭ Bart pays tribute to his grandmother on the first single from the album, тАЬMawMawтАЩs Song (In the Sweet By and By).тАЭ тАЬIt seems like every time I think of her singing in the choir, it was always тАШSweet By and By,тАЩтАЭ he says. тАЬSo thatтАЩs where that song came from.тАЭ According to Bart, the two biggest тАЬdriving factorsтАЭ in doing Hymned were his grandmother and his children. тАЬThese are the songs I grew up onтАФmy wife and I,тАЭ Bart says. тАЬWe both grew up in the same church, and we have all these memories of these old hymns.тАЭ M w a M ccm08_bartmillard.vFINAL w 7/1/05 7:54 PM Page 31 After their son Sam was born, Bart says he and his wife were talking about the changes in church music programs and how hymns were being neglected as most churches began utilizing modern worship songs. тАЬThere was a good chance that Sam might never hear any of these songs growing up because they arenтАЩt played in the church as much as they used to be,тАЭ says Bart. тАЬWhen Gracie was born last November, that settled it. I really wanted to do this.тАЭ Bart had promised his grandmother he would record an album of her favorite hymns but unfortunately never had a chance to do so before she passed away. Since signing with INO, MercyMeтАЩs career has rapidly accelerated, its momentum especially propelled by the multiformat success of hits such as тАЬI Can Only Imagine,тАЭ тАЬHere With MeтАЭ and тАЬHomesick.тАЭ This year the only new recorded product from the band will be an upcoming Christmas album, so Bart felt the time was right for him to release a solo project. BartтАЩs MercyMe bandmates have been very supportive of the effort. тАЬThe band has been really cool about it,тАЭ he says. тАЬWhen they found out what the style was, they knew it couldnтАЩt be a MercyMe record, and they knew how special it was to me. TheyтАЩve known for years that IтАЩve wanted to do this.тАЭ There was a risk people might see the solo album as a sign of an impending break up. тАЬWhen they hear the record, theyтАЩll know why itтАЩs a solo record, and theyтАЩll never think IтАЩm leaving the band,тАЭ Bart says of such speculation. тАЬIтАЩve got the greatest job in the world. I can do this and MercyMe all in the same day.тАЭ Bart says initially he didnтАЩt plan to pursue tour opportunities. тАЬThe original idea was to do the record and not tour it or anything, just put it out there, and if it sells, so be it. If it doesnтАЩt, thatтАЩs fineтАФitтАЩs something IтАЩve always wanted to do,тАЭ he says, тАЬbut while making the record, a lot of the studio musicians were like, тАШMan, if you take this on the road, take me with you.тАЩтАЭ At press time, tour plans were still uncertain, but Bart hopes there may be time available to do some concert dates. HeтАЩd also like to return to his hometown, Greeneville, and shoot a performance DVD. In addition to performing songs heтАЩs loved for years, recording the new album gave Bart a chance to work with some of his heroes and friends, among them Russ Taff, Vince Gill, Robert Randolph and INO labelmate Derek Webb. Gill stopped by the studio immediately after an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. Producer Brown Bannister called to tell Bart that Vince was there singing on his record. тАЬI was flipping out,тАЭ says Bart. тАЬI was ecstatic. I got on the phone with him and told him how much I appreciated it, and that was a treat.тАЭ Having Taff join him on тАЬPrecious Lord, Take My HandтАЭ was a dream come true. тАЬIтАЩve been a huge Russ Taff fan my whole life,тАЭ says Bart, a trace of awe creeping into his voice. тАЬHe just epitomized what I wanted to be in life, his voice, everything. IтАЩm still a huge, huge Russ Taff fan. We got together at a [Bill] Gaither event a few years ago and became friends. I asked him thenтАФif I ever do a hymns recordтАФwould he sing on it? He said, тАШAbsolutely!тАЩ тАЬIt was an awesome time. Every once in a while you meet somebody who is as genuine on the inside as they are on the outside.тАЭ With Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Out of Eden, Ashley Cleveland and other artists releasing hymns albums this year, Bart admits he thought the label might think it was a bad time. тАЬI was guilty of second guessing the label,тАЭ he says, but instead of nixing the idea, INO president Jeff Moseley felt it R A H O B D E was good timing. тАЬHe said, тАШThereтАЩs nothing greater for your record and the rest of the hymns records than to come out the way they are, because itтАЩs creating awareness for the audience. ItтАЩs great timing.тАЭ Bart loves seeing the resurgence of hymns, and heтАЩs been enjoying the other albums that have been released. In fact, he didnтАЩt record тАЬIтАЩll Fly AwayтАЭ because тАЬJars have done such an amazing rendition of that song, I wouldnтАЩt even touch it with a 10-foot pole.тАЭ HeтАЩs hoping that more contemporary church services will once again incorporate hymns into their repertoire. тАЬTaking hymns out of the worship service is like kicking the elders out of the church,тАЭ he says. тАЬItтАЩs like taking all the older people out of the church that have so much wisdom and experience and knowledge. [The hymns represent] a vital part of where we came from, and when we forget where we come from, Lord knows where we are heading. ThereтАЩs no question these songs are vital to the church. They are who we are, who we will be, and I just hope that people get into them again.тАЭ One of the most gratifying things is how much his relatives are enjoying the record. тАЬThey are wearing it out,тАЭ he says. тАЬThey think I ought to be a country singer from now on.тАЭ ccm N S E V A C E P R I y o B s тАЩ w a M B Y is h m o r f e pag a s k. e o k o a b t n d r m a тАЩs hy r e r t Mill h t a o B m s тАЩ d e M ran y g c r e M , t debu o l o s s i h For ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 31 WhiteRappers.vFINAL.qxd 7/1/05 8:01 PM Page 32 BY DAVID JENISON 32 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com BENJIMAN WhiteRappers.vFINAL.qxd 7/1/05 8:01 PM Page 33 T to represent and keep their priorities straight. Says T-Bone, тАЬ[I want] to revolutionize Christian hip-hop/conscious rap and make my music so undeniably excellent that the world has to recognize it and provide a platform for it to be distributed everywhere.тАЭ While African-American rappers such as GRITS and The Cross Movement still lead the way for the faith-based industry, Caucasian rappers are finally getting respect as well. Whatever one might think of his values, Eminem certainly helped give white emcees credibility, while indie rappers like Sage Francis and Aesop Rock do the same at a street level. In the Christian market, no Caucasian rapper can claim the impact of dc talk's tobyMac. While his group later moved in a different direction, Toby has emphasized his hip-hop roots as a genre-bending solo artist. oday's mainstream rappers sometimes seem to think they need a bullet scar on their body to get a bullet mark on the charts. Still, a few rotten rappers aren't spoiling the whole bunch. Hip-hop's skyrocketing growth, which includes a new wave of socially aware rappers, continues to knock down racial lines and allow other cultures to express their talent. For so long, African-American emcees were the only ones with street cred. In recent years, however, the entire music industryтАФChristian and otherwiseтАФ benefited from individuals of various backgrounds using rap to express their culture and beliefs. In 2004, fans even saw the first major label Asian rapper, Jin. The dividing lines cannot withstand hip-hop's momentum, which has truly become overwhelming. TOBYMAC HOW HIP-HOP WENT FROM COUNTER CULTURE TO KJ-52 T-BONE тАЬHip-hop is continually growing in mainstream exposure,тАЭ says Flynn of L.A. Symphony, a group that's shared stages with the likes of X-zibit and Ice Cube. тАЬI read somewhere that hip-hop culture consumes about 20-25 percent of the marketing force/influence.тАЭ Last year, rap album sales growth outpaced rock and alternative by nearly two to one, while rap discs topped the Billboard 200 chart four times as often. Remarkably, it was just 25 years ago that Kurtis Blow released the first major label rap album, yet today it's rap artists setting the new sales benchmarks. Of course, with some questionable characters in the game, rap's image often gets tarnished. Still, one shouldn't ignore the way in which hip-hop is bringing people together as more talent emerges from different cultures. As most any hip-hop head could attest, Latin rappers are hotter than ever. From the new record labels Bad Boy Latin and Wu-Tang Latin to stars like Fat Joe and reggaeton sensation Daddy Yankee, the Latin culture is making its voice known. In Christian circles, the late D-Boy was an early rap pioneer, while modern artists Urban D and seminal rap veteran T-Bone continue BOBBY BISHOP тАЬdc talk always had this golden thread of hiphop running through it, but that slowed down towards the end,тАЭ Toby says. тАЬJesus Freak still felt that way, then Supernatural felt like it was just gone. I wanted to start over with the hip-hop roots, this time letting everything evolve from that base, and see how it evolves differently as a solo artist.тАЭ While tobyMac already claims two big solo releases, Momentum and Welcome to Diverse City (Forefront), he certainly isn't the only credible Caucasian rapper in the game these days. Artists such as KJ-52, John Reuben, Mars Ill, Benjiman, Bobby Bishop and the multi-ethnic L.A. Symphony are now some of the most buzzedabout names in Christian hip-hop. These rappers, who all take their craft very seriously, continue to help reverse years of gimmicky white emcees in both markets. While different cultures are making a name in hip-hop once again, Christian hip-hop actually started with lots of Caucasian and Latin emcees, like Dave Guzman (JC & the Boyz), members of JC Crew, D-Boy, MC Ge Gee, the Plain White Rapper and of course, tobyMac. Even Mark Salomon of Stavesacre (then with The Crucified) ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 33 WhiteRappers.vFINAL.qxd 7/1/05 8:01 PM Page 34 released a hip-hop album under the name Native Son. With due credit to Michael Peace for helping launch Christian rap, African-American groups took off a bit later with such pivotal acts as S.F.C. (a.k.a. Sup the Chemist), P.I.D., the Dynamic Twins, Freedom of Soul, I.D.O.L. King, D.O.C. and the Gospel Gangstas. Ironically, Caucasian artists often had a promotions edge because they could cross over to other radio formats more easily, a phenomenon that's not isolated to the Christian music industry. Back in the '80s, did LL Cool J or Run DMC become the first rap act to top the album charts? Nope, it was the Beastie Boys' License to Ill that became the fastest-selling debut in Columbia Records' history, the best-selling rap album of the decade and, yes, the first rap record ever to go No. 1. What about the first rap song to top the pop charts? In 1990, MC Hammer scored an historic bestseller with his ridiculously titled Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em, but it was Vanilla Ice later that year who became the first rapper to land a No. 1 single with тАЬIce Ice Baby.тАЭ Run DMC even L.A. Symphony's Flynn, who also boasts a pair of solo discs, notes, тАЬI think there still is a very definite line drawn between the majority of 'white' Christian music and 'black' Christian music. To me, it's definitely contemporary Christian and black gospel. There are hip-hop artists that are generally marketed and applicable to either market, but it's very seldom that you find an artist or group that crosses both borders successfully. That being said, I think that's why there is a greater number of 'white' hip-hop artists in the contemporary Christian market and 'black' artists for the gospel market.тАЭ Until this barrier breaks completely, artists on both sides will struggle for a larger market. Adds KJ-52, тАЬI've gotten label deals, radio play and tours all because of my skin color, and I've also not gotten label deals, radio play and tours all because of my skin color. It goes both ways.тАЭ Another division that Christian rappers hope to overcome is one of class and social status. Across the country, many churches get divided between middle class suburbia and poor inner JOHN REUBEN L.A. SYMPHONY had to collaborate with Aerosmith on тАЬWalk This WayтАЭ to become the first African-American rap act truly embraced by the mainstream and MTV. Why the racial disparity? Among other things, the number of rap radio stations hadn't grown to the point where they could make the necessary national impact on their own. The Beastie Boys easily crossed over to suburban rock radio and Vanilla Ice to Top 40 pop, so their outlets for exposure were more numerous. Despite countless advances in the Christian market, a similar disparity still exists today with the limited amount of Christian hip-hop radio. тАЬI think the biggest challenge in reaching success in this industry is breaking through the invisible barrier the radio industry has placed in front of us,тАЭ notes Benjiman, an Oregon-based rapper on Uprok/BEC. тАЬWe can only go as far as open doors allow us.тАЭ тАЬIt's probably a big reason why we can't get past 100-150,000 units sold,тАЭ adds Sunshine State native KJ-52, also on Uprok/BEC. тАЬLack of opportunities at radio tends to make things hard for established artists and harder for new ones.тАЭ In addition to limited outlets, Christian radio is still struggling to become more inclusive. Different cultures are finding more opportunities for expression, but there are still some lines that divide artists when it comes to radio, promotions, touring and the like. 34 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com MARS ILL city, and this likewise limits opportunities. Many of the ethnic rappers come from harder, meaner, tougher backgrounds that are reflected in their style and persona, and oftentimes they make the BMW-driving crowd uncomfortable. тАЬI think it is easier for a Caucasian artist to get a deal before an African-American or Latino artist because they pose no threat to the establishment,тАЭ says T-Bone, who made his label debut in 1991. тАЬIt appears the Christian music industry is intimidated by or scared of artists who come from the street, which is essentially where rap music was born.тАЭ тАЬAs far as solving the problem, rapper John Reuben remarks, тАЬOur community needs to stop having the same clich├й conversations on this subject. There is obviously a problem, and we need to figure out a different way to start looking at it. That doesn't mean pointing the finger. It's a question of how we look at ourselves, human nature, and how we perceive one another and our differences.тАЭ While the mainstream rap market already made large strides in breaking down barriers (consider the recent Linkin Park/Jay-Z collaboration), Christian rap isn't far behind. Divisions still exist, but with rising talent and a growing pool of cultural diversity, the scene can only move forward. In fact, as socially aware rappers such as Common, Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West continue to excel in the mainstream, many see the superficial, image-centered, bling-bling age coming to an end. тАЬIn the mainstream it's gotten more and more decadent, and you never know what's next,тАЭ notes Manchild of Mars Ill. тАЬI think there are guys doing it who are really trying to set the bar higher and take the risks, but it's gotten to feel like glam-rock before Nirvana. I feel like someone's gonna come along and knock the glam-rap out, artists like Common who are really saying something important. The public wants more than what they're getting.тАЭ тАЬThe wave of the future in hip-hop is conscious rap,тАЭ adds T-Bone. тАЬWe are coming out of a phase in hip-hop where we are not only recognizing the problems and struggles of the ghetto and life in general, but we are beginning to address the solutions as well.тАЭ In an interview last year, Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am said, тАЬA lady came up to me in Portland and asked if we were a Christian group. I said, тАШNo,тАЩ and she said God was speaking through us in the lyrics. She told me to look up Luke 4:18, which says that God would speak through people and use people. It's cool. We're not a Christian group, but I believe in whatever stories are in the Bible. My friend and I sit down, and we have building sessions. We are a life group. We talk about things that happen in life.тАЭ Should all these artists be right, rap music is heading in a direction that will only open more doors and break down more barriers for Christian rappers. Indeed, despite all the work that still needs to be done, faith-based hip-hop is tapping into the same market-and-culture-crossing momentum as the mainstream. тАЬChristian hip-hop has come very, very far the last four years in the quality aspect,тАЭ claims Benjiman. тАЬWhen we were all coming up, the production was a little shaky, but the heart and intent was always there. We are really headed in a positive direction as far as growing the genre of hip-hop in the Christian market by just relating to the fans, so I really think we have nowhere to go but up and forward.тАЭ тАЬ[Christian hip-hop's] grown in all aspectsтАФ retail, touring, consumers, quality, distribution, opportunities, etc.,тАЭ adds KJ-52. тАЬI'm finding myself getting into areas that I've never been able to get into, and my sales are at the highest they've ever been. I'm also seeing the biggest responses ministry-wise. I think it has to do with the industry's growth, meaning doors are opening that haven't been opened before. However, I can definitely say we aren't totally there yet. I think the [industry] will continue to mirror the mainstream industry as far as wider acceptance and growth, but I think it's going to take a little while longer to get there.тАЭ ccm CCM_08.05_Listening_vFINAL 7/5/05 4:02 PM Page 36 listening in... Imagine being someone who had to follow Jars of Clay, Ashley Cleveland and Buddy Miller in a concert lineup. Intimidated much? Well, thatтАЩs just what headliner Jim Wallis did recently when these artists of faith performed at NashvilleтАЩs Belcourt Theater. In doing so, Wallis wisely didnтАЩt pick up a guitar, attempt to sing, or even perform a тАЬspoken wordтАЭ piece. He simply talked. Wallis wasnтАЩt just delivering a speech to the packed audience anxious to hear the evangelical author discuss his New York Times best seller, GodтАЩs Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left DoesnтАЩt Get It (Harper Collins), he was the headliner for the special gatheringтАФa call to unity across political lines. Having founded the organization called SojournersтАФ Christians for justice and peaceтАФmore than 30 years ago, Wallis serves as the editor of Sojourners Magazine, speaks at more than 200 events a year and writes columns for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and others. He has appeared on NBCтАЩs тАЬMeet the PressтАЭ with Tim Russert, Comedy CentralтАЩs тАЬDaily ShowтАЭ with Jon Stewart and MSNBCтАЩs тАЬScarborough Country,тАЭ among other national television programs. Wallis also teaches a course at Harvard University on тАЬFaith, Politics and Society.тАЭ Jars of Clay, meanwhile, made what is arguably the most high-profile performance of the bandтАЩs career. As a founding supporter of The ONE Campaign to make extreme poverty history, Jars of Clay was included in the lineup of July 2тАЩs LIVE 8 concert in PhiladelphiaтАФamong the dayтАЩs series of performances broadcast live world-wide. Shortly before the concert, Jars of Clay guitarist Steve Mason and Jim Wallis reconnected and now graciously invite you to eavesdrop on their personal discussion about poverty, revival and loving people well. Steve: Honestly, the things youтАЩve been talking about go with my own story. I grew up in the Midwest. I was given the talking pointsтАФabortion and gay rights. ThatтАЩs essentially what weтАЩre fighting against here in America. We need to support the rights of the unborn and make sure the family unit stays intact. And I subscribed to that for quite a long time. It seemed pretty easy to be right about those things and not have to engage in conversationтАжor a lot of the radical things that Jesus 36 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com P H OTO G R A P H S B Y S T E V E LO W RY Jars of ClayтАЩs Steve Mason & Jim Wallis said about compassion, loving God, loving others and the huge implications of such a life. Just to speak really specificallyтАФthe idea that Jesus talked about the homeless thousands more times than he did about these other issues that people are consumed with just blew my mind. Jim: What IтАЩm hearing around the country is that word revival. Revival for justice. ItтАЩs amazingтАФIтАЩm pro-life too, but so many people see abortion as their only concern. ItтАЩs like theyтАЩre for unborn lives until theyтАЩre born. 30,000 children die every single day because of a lack of clean drinking water and lack of food. You guys are doing this thing with Blood:Water Mission in Africa. In Matthew 25 Jesus says, тАЬI was hungry. I was thirsty. I was naked. I was a stranger. I was sick. I was in prison.тАЭ They say, тАЬLord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, a stranger, sick and in prison?тАЭ They try to sayтАж тАЬTrust usтАФwe would have formed a social action committee at least, you know.тАЭ He says, тАЬAs youтАЩve done it to the least of these, youтАЩve done it unto me.тАЭ He didnтАЩt ask them what their stance was on the virgin birth or gay marriageтАж The sanctity of life is important to meтАФso is helping families. ThatтАЩs whatтАЩs changing. I think weтАЩre at the beginning of a revival where people are going to take JesusтАЩ mission statement in Luke 4тАФhis Nazareth manifestoтАФas their own mission statement. He said, тАЬThe Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.тАЭ Which means, whatever else our gospel is, if it isnтАЩt good news to poor people, it certainly isnтАЩt the gospel of Jesus Christ. Steve: That seems to be the rumbling of people who have gotten onboard with us and Blood:Water Mission. Seeing thatтАФit was Dan [Haseltine], our lead singer, who came up with the idea. It was also the outward signs of ChristтАЩs sacrifice when blood and water flowed. And at the same point, thatтАЩs what is going to undermine poverty and disease in Africa. People have come to concerts, and Dan has given them the opportunity, saying, тАЬOne dollar equals clean water for one CCM_08.05_Listening_vFINAL 7/5/05 4:02 PM Page 37 African for one year. What about this is not doable for an American that has been given so much?тАЭ Amazing the opportunities that we have here. I think the stirring that youтАЩre talking about with these revivalsтАФpeople are no longer content with the safety of a westernized Christianity. It doesnтАЩt cost anything radical. By and large, it doesnтАЩt change our hearts. ThatтАЩs what was so encouraging about your time in Nashville with us and the responses that weтАЩve been hearing from people that have wrestled through politicsтАФhave wrestled with what it really means to be someone that discerns the truth through the filter of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Jim: What you said before struck me. You said, тАЬItтАЩs almost like the Christians who live in the richest, most powerful nation in history need a kind of Christianity that is mostly meant to make them feel right and righteous as opposed to needing a gospel that calls them to be transformed, to be changedтАжour hearts, our lives, our priorities and the direction of our nation.тАЭ You do Redemption SongsтАФthe new CD. Do we think that we need redemption in this country, or do we just want to tell the world that weтАЩre right? Steve: You struck a chord with what weтАЩre about, what weтАЩre being defined byтАФour identity. Where does it lie? Does it lie in a political party? Does it even lie in being right? But Jesus is so radical when he calls us to community and to leaning on each other and joining hands and fighting against injusticeтАж WeтАЩre past the law, and weтАЩre freed up through grace to do amazing things and not worry about being right in some peopleтАЩs eyes. Really taking risks and abandoning ourselves to love people well. My identity for a long time was in being right. It seems like Jesus was less about that and more about being compassionate and, as you said, serving the least of these. Jim: When I was a student, I had been kicked out of my little church over the issue of race when I was about 14. They said, тАЬChristianity has nothing to do with racism. ThatтАЩs political. And our faith is personal.тАЭ I left that night because I couldnтАЩt push down the questions anymore. I came back to look at Jesus after years of organizing in the student movementтАж Then I began to read the New Testament once again. IтАЩd never gotten rid of Jesus. I had left the churchтАФor they had kicked me outтАФbut IтАЩd never gotten rid of Jesus. I got to the Sermon on the Mount. IтАЩd never read anything more radical in my life than that. Everything was turned upside down. It changed everything and us with itтАФeverything personal, social, spiritual, economic, political. Blessed are the poor, the poor in spirit. Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice. тАжI think a whole generation of young people want something that radical. TheyтАЩre tired of the halfway Christianity, of feeling right all the time and better than other people. WeтАЩre kind of the blessed nation of God, and everybody would love to be in America and be a white, suburban, right-wing Republican. IтАЩm not quite sure thatтАЩs the position Jesus had in mind. But the liberals are so lame. My book says, тАЬThe right gets it wrong, and the left doesnтАЩt get it.тАЭ And they seriously donтАЩt get it. IтАЩve been attacked by the left, too, because theyтАЩre afraid of spirituality. TheyтАЩre afraid of a transforming kind of faith. TheyтАЩre afraid of something that critiques both left and right, where God is not in anybodyтАЩs pocketтАФany party. So how do we really talk about a radical vision for a new order that changes everything, starting with our own lives? Steve: I can ultimately only speak to my own lifeтАФit began and continues to proceed with repentance. I think itтАЩs what you spoke to, just the idol of тАЬsafetyтАЭ that has existed in the United States, to even conceive that a government can take away our vulnerability and extend our days. ItтАЩs just one thing of many in my heart that supplants the work of Jesus and says, тАЬJesus, youтАЩre not quite enough. I need a little more here.тАЭ I need a little more of what I like to call тАЬSteve righteousness,тАЭ too. I need to be right. I need to do the things that make me feel like IтАЩm worthy. All those things undermine Jesus. I think really understandingтАФtaking 10 steps backward and saying тАЬWhat Jesus did was enoughтАЭтАФthat frees me up. That frees me up in amazing ways. That frees us up to care about the people of AfricaтАж Jim: His mission should be ours. His priority should be ours. You know, it was Charles Finney, the 19th century evangelist, who invented the altar callтАж The reason why he created the altar call was that he wanted to get the names and addresses of the converts to sign them up for the anti-slavery campaign. I think that poverty is going to become the new altar call like in Charles FinneyтАЩs time. ItтАЩs going to be what brings us together to the altar. We become converted and then demonstrate that by showing our concern for those Jesus talked about the mostтАж Steve: Dan speaks to the idea of when Jesus was walking and came upon the blind man, and his disciples said, тАЬIs this man blind because of his sin or his fatherтАЩs sin?тАЭ And we do that subtly in our culture, I think. We attribute things to an acquired sense of justice that certain people are getting things becauseтАФwe do that with HIV and AIDS. But Jesus again undermines everythingтАФflips everythingтАФ pulls the rug out and says, тАЬNo, actually heтАЩs blind so you can see him be healed. Your faith will be shaken, and your life will grow as a result of this.тАЭ ThatтАЩs the opportunity in Africa, and I think thatтАЩs our opportunity politically to be involved and to be thinkers and those who wonтАЩt be co-opted by a political party but will see Jesus in these opportunities to serve and to radically change the course of our country. Jim: Gordon Brown, the [United KingdomтАЩs] chancellor, once said to me, тАЬWe now for the first time in history have the information, the technology, the knowledge and the resources to end extreme poverty. What we donтАЩt have is the moral and the political will.тАЭ He then looked across the table and said, тАЬThatтАЩs your job in the churches. ThatтАЩs your job to create the moral and the political will.тАЭ That was, for me, a call to action because weтАЩre the ones who have to change the winds, the climate, the environment in which this conversation takes place. Steve: We really want to be those that use our opportunities toтАжfight against injusticeтАж The more I read about Jesus and the more I see about His time on earth, every moment can matter to the end that we can love people well and change hearts and even see our hearts changed to be more like His. There is a lot of life to be found in this freedom. Jim: I think itтАЩs going to be a new generation thatтАЩs going to say, тАЬAll your charityтАФall your things you do to help the needy is fine. But what about justice here? What about some solutions here? Do we want poor families to spend their lives shopping in food banks and food pantries and church basements? Or should people make enough to be able to feed their families?тАЭ тАжSo I think the question of justice is finally a religious one. ItтАЩs a gospel question. The God of the Bible is not just a God of charity. He is a God of justice. And I think it may be our kids who, as we get involved in this stuff, are going to be asking the hard questions. Steve: The new worship that God talks about is no longer burning sacrifices. ItтАЩs caring for the widows and the orphans. As weтАЩre endeavoring a conversation of worshipтАФas we released the hymn record and as others have been focusing on what they call тАЬworship musicтАЭтАФthe new worship, first of all, is life. ItтАЩs living. ItтАЩs a response to God. ItтАЩs caring for the widows and the orphans as it says in Scripture. Jim: I see a whole generation converted by all this. So a lot of us, Steve, have had the light go on. And when the light goes on in our hearts and our heads, thatтАЩs when things can really change. ccm More of this Listening In is available at ccmmagazine.com ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 37 CCM_08.05_List.vFINAL.qxd 7/1/05 8:06 PM Page 38 6 4 10181 19 11 7 12 9 8 17 RAP IT UP! 13 16 ! 1 235 15 * archedтАЭ musings. A compendium of arguably useless and тАЬrese 20 -O-Rama Chris WellтАЩs NEW JACK CCM List 4 Before They Put The тАЬHIPтАЭ in Hip-Hop WAYS VULCANS WOULD BE DIFFERENT IF THEY READ CCM (1) Debates about тАЬemotion vs. logicтАЭ replaced by anxious discussions about whether dc Talk will ever do another record. (2) Circulation department would get a lot of calls from subscribers on the planet Vulcan about why every issue seems to take like 20 years to get there. (3) Ceremonial robes replaced by nifty Hip-hop has become so ingrained in our pop culture, itтАЩs hard to remember a time when it was all тАЬooh, new and different.тАЭ Today, legitimate rappers are making a stand in Christian musicтАФbut there was once a time when NON-RAPPER CCM ARTISTS put a toe in the waters to try this nu thang for themselves (with decidedly mixed results). Here are five historic examples. 1. Steve Taylor, тАЬBad RapтАЭ ( 1 9 8 2 ) CCM Hall-of-Famer Steve Taylor burst onto the Christian rock scene with his new wave EP I Want To Be A Clone (Sparrow), and was ahead of the curve in oh-so-many ways. Of course, his tongue-firmly-in-cheek тАЬBad RapтАЭ sounds dated now, but still contains more satirical jabs per-square-inch than most Christian songs. 2. Bryan Duncan, тАЬDonтАЩt Ya Wanna Rap?тАЭ ( 1 9 8 9 ) A story song of sorts from Strong Medicine (Myrrh), in which Duncan tries to connect with a man in an airportтАФresorting to an unsuccessful rap to try to be тАЬrelevant.тАЭ Dig beneath the surface, though, and itтАЩs actually about looking past our surface differences to find our common need for Jesus. Starflyer 59 shirts. (4) Instead of that weird salute they do with their fingers, theyтАЩd do that pointing thing Larry Norman does. (5) Mr. Spock would understand the logic of putting Amy Grant on the cover of CCM after selling 25 million records. And getting her own prime-time NBC television show. And since she was the issueтАЩs guest editor. CCM ARTISTS WHO REMIND US ITтАЩS TIME TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL 1. Pillar (i.e., тАЬof educationтАЭ) 2. Natalie Grant (i.e., тАЬcashтАЭ) 3. Seventh Day Slumber (i.e., тАЬsleepingтАЭ) 4. Staple (i.e., тАЬschool suppliesтАЭ) 5. Mark Hall (i.e., тАЬhallтАЭ) 3. Michael W. Smith, тАЬLove CrusadeтАЭ ( 1 9 9 0 ) Michael W. Smith has written some of the finest classics in the history of contemporary Christian music, including gems on his crossover pop smash Go West Young Man (Reunion). And then there was that rap he did on тАЬLove Crusade.тАЭ Coincidence? You be the judge. 4. Audio Adrenaline, тАЬDC-10тАЭ ( 1 9 9 2 ) This early recording of a, shall we say, тАЬpunkierтАЭ Audio Adrenaline was a demo included on their more pop-friendly, self-titled debut on ForeFront Records. (As if one trendy version were not enough, it was re-made for the swing craze a few years later, for 1999тАЩs Underdog.) 5. Steven Curtis Chapman, тАЬGot 2 B TruтАЭ ( 1 9 9 2 ) This kooky number, from The Great Adventure (Sparrow), finds Mr. Chapman trading raps with guest tobyMac. ItтАЩs a clever object lesson in being true to your own self (as Chapman himself explains in his rap), and not grasping at whatever style happens to be fashionable at the moment. Chris Well once rapped a karaoke rendition of тАЬJesus FreakтАЭ in the office, a feat from which his co-workers have yet to recover. His debut novel, the crime thriller Forgiving Solomon Long (Harvest House Publishers), is in stores now. 38 ccm august may 0505 ccmmagazine.com ccmmagazine.com CCM_08.05_Music.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:08 PM Page 41 inreview music Panic Attack With its latest offering, MXPX reinvents its initial fury to show that some good things can come back around. MXPX Panic SideOneDummy The bandтАЩs older and wiser with punk attitude still in check. By design, punk music, in purest form, has its limits. As it rages against the pop culture du jour, it does so in its simple form as much as in its lyrics and posturing. Consequently, a File under: Grade: B+ band can only wallow in the form for so long Pop/punk before it either burns out into a heap of ashes or grows and matures into something else (and, some might argue, become the very thing it once raged against). Somehow, however, punk-pop band MXPX has changed the rules. All of 13 years after the band formed, 11 years after the Tooth & Nail debut Pokinatcha, seven years after the A&M crossover Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo, the members of MXPXтАФMike Herrera (vocals, bass), Tom Wisniewski (guitar) and Yuri Ruley (drums)тАФhave circled back to the youthful energy and exuberance of their beginnings with Panic, the bandтАЩs first offering from SideOneDummy Records. Determined to reinvent themselves as, well, themselves, the guys recruited producer Gavin MacKillop (Goo Goo Dolls, Toad the Wet Sprocket) and went into their hometown studio in Bremerton, Wash., taking a mere 22 days to record the 14-track opus. Granted, these are not the same kids who started out in high school; musically, the fire is still there, but the perspective is seasoned with hard-fought wisdom earned from mistakes made and lessons learned. In the process, Panic covers a gamut of emotions and tempos. Despite the occasional awkward rhyme, many of the tracks are worthwhile. The confessional rocker тАЬThe StoryтАЭ struggles with the big questions of life and meaning before pleading, тАЬCan I get a new soul?/The one I gotтАЩs been trampled on/тАжCan I get a new heart?/Cause the one I got works way too hard.тАЭ тАЬThe Darkest PlacesтАЭ shows a firm resolve to make an impact (тАЬIтАЩm shining the light on the darkest places/You know and I know we have to face this nowтАЭ). The sweet and romantic (if employmentally irresponsible) тАЬCall In SickтАЭ finds the men asking their wives to skip work and join them on tour. The blistering rave-up тАЬLate Again,тАЭ which almost sounds like a quartet number rebuilt as a PoMo anthem, declares that they will make it through the Pearly GatesтАФbut they might be a little behind schedule. Despite the bandтАЩs beginnings on a faith-based label, one would be hardpressed to label its work as тАЬChristianтАЭ in the narrow market sense. (This is not a qualitative statement, by the way, but simple statement of fact.) However, there is a life behind the eyes here and enough positive energy to make Panic a healthy alternative to what many other popular bands are spouting. Besides, MXPX proves you can go home again. That they can still rock with the best of тАШem is all the more rewarding. CHRIS WELL ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 41 CCM_08.05_Music.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:08 PM Page 42 MARK HARRIS File under: Piano Pop/Rock Grade: A- SHAUN GROVES White Flag Rocketown The Beatitudes get their own soundtrack. In a rock & roll world that is often swagger over substance, Shaun Groves chooses to spotlight a sermonтАФnuggets from the BeatitudesтАФon his latest release White Flag. The result is ShaunтАЩs best record to dateтАФsure to plant a few seeds and spawn a few hits. From the get-go, Shaun comes out swinging with тАЬWhatтАЩs Wrong With This World,тАЭ an explosive number with Jimmy Eat World written all over itтАФwhich would have set the tone for the whole record, were it not for the second тАЬSad SongтАЭтАФa slower ditty that sounds like he took a nap on his piano (a sequencing mishap). ThatтАЩs OK, though. тАЬAmenтАЭ kick-starts the party again while тАЬWhite FlagтАЭ and тАЬCraveтАЭ help the record find its grooveтАФupbeat, up-tempo guitar-driven songs that are radio friendly and wellproduced, yet not overly so. 42 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com This is ShaunтАЩs first outing as skipperтАФand it suits him. The lionтАЩs share of these songs are goodтАФyet the lyrics are better, suggesting a gift for teaching on ShaunтАЩs part. The liner notes can function as a crutch for some of these songs, which are not easily digested on a first listen. ThereтАЩs no spoon-feeding here. And maybe thatтАЩs good. The record ends on an acoustic note and adds a sensitive touch to an uncompromising message. In short, White Flag is more of a debut than a renaissance. And regardless of how well it does on the charts, ShaunтАЩs career as a Bible teacher seems to be on the upswing. effort. Much like his counterpart Andy Chrisman, who delivered a dynamic solo debut late last year, Harris unveils a respectable, wellproduced set that departs somewhat from the standard 4Him sonic template. While Harris doesnтАЩt cultivate much new substance musically or thematically, he does offer several memorable, radiofriendly cuts. To wit, soaring ballad тАЬWish You Were HereтАЭ and string-imbued jewel тАЬFind Your Wings,тАЭ written for his children, resonate with personal vitality and finesse. DAVID McCREARY WILL BANISTER File under: Rock Grade: A THE CHOIR File under: Pop/Adult Contemporary Grade: B- O How the Mighty Have Fallen Galaxy Music MARK HARRIS A disc youтАЩll fall for The Line Between the Two INO Finding his groove in a new line of direction After spending more than 15 years as principal songwriter and distinctive tenor member of prominent Christian AC group 4Him, Mark Harris steps out with his first solo ItтАЩs been 20 years since a band called Youth ChoirтАФlater known simply as The ChoirтАФ first landed on Southern CaliforniaтАЩs Christian music scene. And without them, itтАЩs possible there would be no Switchfoot, no O.C. SupertonesтАФand beyond SoCal, no sense of how to CCM_08.05_Music.vFINAL 7/1/05 do Christian rock right. For if Steve Hindalong, Derry Daugherty and Co. have taught us anything, itтАЩs that Christian musicians need not ape mainstream trends, but can be passionate innovators. What was true in the 1980s is still true today, as O How The Mighty Have Fallen, the first new Choir disc in five years, fiercely demonstrates. Put this record on any radio station playlist, and it wouldnтАЩt be out of place next to the latest U2, Coldplay or WallflowersтАФ though it displays a sound all its own. From the nitroburning тАЬNobody Gets A Smooth RideтАЭ to the lovely, melodic chorus that anchors тАЬSheтАЩs Alright,тАЭ Fallen is a record built on simple but effective pop strengths, including DaughertyтАЩs whispery-yet-focused tenor. Choir mainstays Dan Michaels (sax, lyricon) and Tim Chandler (bass) are also solid, joined by Common Children guitarist Marc Byrd (who produces). So many Christian albums fail to embrace struggles that mark authentic faith, and on this score, Fallen also succeeds. тАЬMercy Will Prevail,тАЭ with HindalongтАЩs pulsating toms (think U2тАЩs тАЬWith Or Without YouтАЭ) and starry-sky guitar, delivers this cold-sweat meditation: тАЬLove never fails/Mercy will prevail/I wanna swear itтАЩs true, but itтАЩs hard to defend it.тАЭ On its own merits, The ChoirтАЩs latest is a joy, solid in its musical, lyrical and thematic executionтАФthe album dawns with a plaintive whistle and electric guitar and exits in the chill of a suspended drone. And as part of this distinguished groupтАЩs discography, тАЬFallenтАЭ offers persuasive proof that not all musical reunions need be cynical or selfindulgent. Oh, how the Choir has risenтАФand then some. LOUIS R. CARLOZO 8:08 PM Page 43 DJ MAJ File under: Hip-hop Grade: A DJ MAJ BoogieRoot Gotee Records Get down and boogie! Even a few years ago, it was hard to find artisans in the Christian hip-hop community who had a voice in the culture. ItтАЩs not that the talent wasnтАЩt thereтАФthe machinery to get the music to the masses was shaky and unproven. But progress has been made these past few years, thanks in large part to people like DJ Maj, who has made a career not as merely an artist himself, but as a facilitator for others to shine. And with his fourth album, a hip-hop confection titled BoogieRoot, we find DJ Maj still serving as host for a variety of special guest rappers and vocalists and still building bridgesтАФlyrically, musically and spiritually. Maj sets the stage nicely with the lively тАЬRated R,тАЭ celebrating the growing influence of rap as an art form but making a specific point that itтАЩs all about Jesus (тАЬthe secret of the BoogieRoot is the grave emptyтАЭ). From there, BoogieRoot sports a variety of tones and styles. The funky тАЬuAppealтАЭ tips the hat to the pioneers of rap. The guitar rocker тАЬH.A.N.D.S.тАЭ encourages listeners to lift their hands to the Lord. The eerie тАЬCanтАЩt Take It All AwayтАЭ is a poignant realization that God is involved in the world even when we choose not to see Him. Artists who make guest appearances on the project include Michael Tait, L.A. Symphony, KJ-52 and tobyMac. The highlight of the album is the sweet and moody тАЬSoul Window.тАЭ Joined by the silky voice of Bermudian gospel singer Ayiesha Woods and the smooth MC stylings of M.O.C. (Mind of Christ), DJ Maj extols the peace that comes from having Christ inside. In all, BoogieRoot excellently bridges the gap between the hip-hop underground and the rap stylings co-opted by the pop culture at large. On whichever side of the divide you live, thereтАЩs something tasty for you here. CHRIS WELL ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 43 CCM_08.05_Music.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:08 PM Page 44 HASTE THE DAY File under: Hard Rock/Metalcore Grade: B+ HASTE THE DAY the heavy handed foundation for a message of moving on from past mistakes, while тАЬFor a LifetimeтАЭ bellows with back and forth screams from Ryan and harmonies by Chaulk. Though a less intense cover of the Goo Goo Dolls тАЬLong Way DownтАЭ couldтАЩve been omitted, that finale doesnтАЩt diminish from the otherwise heartfelt huskiness of Haste the Day. ANDY ARGYRAKIS When Everything Falls Solid State A hearty, not hasty follow-up Between the respectable 2004 debut Burning Bridges and tour time with As I Lay Dying, Zao and Strung Out, IndianapolisтАЩ Haste the Day is a hot shot prospect in the current metalcore myriad. Sure, the scene is getting cluttered, but this band bends beyond the predictable rage, thanks to the dueling vocals of Brennan Chaulk and James Ryan, a ruthless rhythm section and hammering percussion. Several assertive instances can be traced throughout the sophomore CD When Everything Falls, which is thematically based upon standing firm in oneтАЩs beliefs. The title cut perhaps best embodies this concept, along with searing and strident sonic qualities. The furious instrumental approach to тАЬWalk OnтАЭ lays 44 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com File under: Folk Rock Grade: A ANDREW PETERSON The Far Country Fervent This country is definitely worth exploring. Fans have always mentioned Andrew Peterson as the heir apparent to Rich MullinsтАЩ musical legacy, and not just because heтАЩs willing to use a hammered dulcimer every once in a while. Go to any of his concerts, and youтАЩll see that the guy really just loves to serve his listeners through song. His newest album, The Far Country, exudes a prideswallowing intimacy that begs you to bend your ear its way and then pushes you toward hope. Death is one of the discтАЩs obvious plotlines, but so is heaven. тАЬLay Me DownтАЭ bridges the inseparable topics perfectly: тАЬWe are not alone/We are more than flesh and bone/What is seen will pass away/What is not is going home.тАЭ Also planted in the middle of the album are two epic tunes of adventure (тАЬLittle Boy Heart AliveтАЭ and тАЬThe HavenтАЩs GreyтАЭ) and the life that grows out of our ache for heaven. These two songs are the pinnacle of the 10-track project produced by PetersonтАЩs genius instrumentalist Ben Shive (Bethany Dillon, Monk & Neagle). Musically, Peterson employs a fullband sound with electric guitar, drums and bass. Though somewhat new territory for him, this new sound adds plenty of punch to songs like the aforementioned тАЬLay Me Down,тАЭ тАЬMystery of MercyтАЭ and the Mullins-influenced title track which sets the pace for the album musically and lyrically. However, Mullins comparisons aside, Peterson is writing his own legacy, and you need to hear it. DAVID MACKLE CCM_08.05_Music.vFINAL File under: R&B 7/1/05 Grade: A PEE WEE CALLINS Street Soul Beatmart 8:08 PM The groove-filled tracks on Street Soul play like a classic Motown record, with Callins offering redemptive themes of hope, love and joy. Standouts тАЬKeep Hope AliveтАЭ and тАЬBetter LifeтАЭ resonate with thumping bass lines, double-octave riffs and silky vocalizations reminiscent of Marvin Gaye and Peabo Bryson. WhatтАЩs more, Callins courageously addresses problems such as abandonment, spiritual apathy and suicide. A stellar first effort. DAVID McCREARY No shortcomings found here While his name may suggest a diminutive stature, Pee Wee Callins possesses bigtime talent. In fact, after hearing his debut release Street Soul, one gets the feeling that Callins is a seasoned performer. Perhaps thatтАЩs because his musical roots trace back to age three when he began playing drums in church. Since then, Callins grew up singing gospel tunes and has shared the stage with Kirk Franklin and Shirley Caesar. This time around he wraps his velvet-smooth vocals and lyrical diversity in an R&B package that includes stylish infusions of hip-hop, rock, pop, soul and gospel. Page 45 File under: Pop/Rock Grade: B+ THE ROCKET SUMMER Hello Good Friend The Militia Group Blasting off with summertime sounds The Rocket Summer may have found mainstream acceptance through tours with Something Corporate, newreleases AUGUST 2 Eogan Heaslip Robin Mark Various Various Deeper Still This City, These Streets Ultimate Kids Collection 1 & 2 Ultimate Music Makeover: Songs of Michael W. Smith (Vital) (Vital) (Vital) (Rocketown) AUGUST 16 Bethany Dillon Robbie Seay Band Bart Millard Casting Pearls Various Mark Trammell Trio Marshall Hall Imagination Better Days Hymned Casting Pearls Spread the Word 2005 Mark Trammell Trio Boundless (Sparrow) (EMI CMG) (INO) (Inpop) (Daywind) (Daywind) (Discovery House) AUGUST 23 Chris Rice Amusing (eb+flo) AUGUST 30 Casting Crowns Staple T-Bone Monday Morning Audio Adrenaline tobyMac Liquid Lifesong Of Truth and Reconciliation Bonafide Fools Paradise Until My Heart Caves In Renovating Diverse City (remix) Tales From the Badlands (Beach Street) (Flicker) (Flicker) (Selectric) (Forefront) (Forefront) (Gotee) CCM_08.05_Music.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:09 PM Page 46 Ash and Copeland, but that doesnтАЩt mean wunderkind Bryce Avary squelches his spiritual foundation. Instead the 22-year-old singer/ multi-instrumentalist combines worldly wit with mature faith assessments across jovial piano pop akin to a younger, higher-pitched Ben Folds. Cuts such as тАЬAround the ClockтАЭ and тАЬIтАЩm Doing Everything (For You)тАЭ radiate with summertime sparks, while a more meditative glow permeates тАЬTreasuresтАЭ and тАЬDestiny.тАЭ Avary gives a snippet testimony of his salvation on the jubilant тАЬI Was So AloneтАЭ and pays tribute to his new bride on тАЬChristmas Present,тАЭ demonstrating depth well beyond his years. ANDY ARGYRAKIS THE ROCKET SUMMER SERVING MUSICIANS SINCE 1924! File under: Hip-hop/Rock ALL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Grade: B PAUL WRIGHT Sunrise To Sunset Gotee Around.тАЭ In some places, such as on тАЬWalk On Water,тАЭ WrightтАЩs pop and hip-hop personalities naturally walk side by side. And for a little more of an international vibe, тАЬSpirit MoveтАЭ and тАЬResurrectionтАЭ give WrightтАЩs music a distinct reggae flavor. He tiptoes along a daring tightrope here, in that he avoids becoming too saccharine sweet on his quieter tunes, yet he never acts overly tough with his hiphop excursions. Lyrically, Wright pens a lot of worshipful songs, even though this is not strictly a worship album. Instead, tracks such as тАЬI Can Feel Your LoveтАЭ and тАЬFrom Sunrise To SunsetтАЭ focus on how God can saturate our everyday lives, if weтАЩd only let Him. The beauty of contemporary pop music is how it mixes and matches seemingly mutually exclusive styles into oddly compatible forms. However, Wright spreads himself too thinly here and ought to have concentrated on the production a little more and just a few of his favorite musical styles. Nevertheless, Sunrise To Sunset is filled with many fine grooves and is well suited for both daytime and nighttime listening. DAN MacINTOSH A surprising, colorful musical journey Over 45 Stores NATIONWIDE! MADISON 1647 GALLATIN PIKE NORTH (615) 860-7475 www.samashmusic.com 46 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com In todayтАЩs constantly changing musical environment, it helps to be a performer with the chameleon-like ability to flow and evolve right along with it. And Paul Wright is just that kind of an adaptable artist. His skills are evidenced by this Sunrise To Sunset release, which shows off a wide variety of the manтАЩs admirable artistic colorations. One moment, Wright exhibits the comfort level to fit right into the beach-ready, acoustic breeziness of тАЬFrom Sunrise To Sunset,тАЭ before transforming himself into the urban-outfitted tour-de-force of the hip-hop-ish тАЬCome File under: Hip-hop Grade: A- JOHN REUBEN The Boy vs the Cynic Gotee Cynics beware! John Reuben sounds like he just doesnтАЩt care anymore. This is still the John Reuben fans know and love, but on his fourth Gotee release heтАЩs decided to throw some artistic caution to the wind. Where he used to spike his hip-hop with a little alt-rock, Reuben now pushes the envelope of hip-hop until it tears. Songs are dominated by live alt-rock riffs, acoustic guitars, electronic flairs and ReubenтАЩs spoken word/rap style delivery. The disc starts out in somewhat classic Reuben form, joyfully sloughing off popular opinion on тАЬOut of Control.тАЭ He continues to pull new listeners into his world with the clap-happy, lite punk-rock swing of the тАЬNuisanceтАЭ (featuring Matt Thiessen of Relient K). Once they are in, Reuben then hits listeners with some of the most unflinching, emotionally charged, socially incisive title tracks heard on a Christian label. тАЬFollow Your LeaderтАЭ drops a refreshing verbal smackdown on both media wonks who pigeonhole all Christians as wackos and the hardline conservatives that fit the description. The standout track, тАЬSales Pitch,тАЭ cuts even further, exposing the human tendency toward emotional dishonesty, amidst Radiohead-like blips and swirls. In a time when American Christians are starting to respond with conviction to global geopolitics, Reuben bares his thoughts and his fangs on the wake-up call тАЬWhat About Them?тАЭ And lest he be dismissed as simply an adolescent rabble-rouser, тАЬThereтАЩs Only ForgivenessтАЭ and тАЬAll I HaveтАЭ display a level of honesty and a godly heart that only comes with experience and maturity. At times too tame, at times too тАЬout there,тАЭ The Boy vs. the Cynic does have some style and delivery kinks. Reuben will probably gain and lose fans on this one, but he doesnтАЩt seem too concerned. These are just the things that happen when an artist makes one of the most interesting and provocative releases of the year. ANTHONY BARR-JEFFREY CCM_08.05_Books.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:10 PM inreview Page 48 books MUSIC TO READ BY by Margaret Becker I have come to the conclusion that I am filet mignon to most biting insects. I cannot step out the door in warm weather without being assaulted by everything from large black flies to the ever-elusive тАЬnosee-ums.тАЭ ItтАЩs the reason I hole up in my house starting in June. Normally, I sit outside and read every morning to the backdrop of my favorite (and some not so favorite) sounds like the birds, the wind in the leaves and the muffled bass thump of a passing Cadillac. Somehow all these sounds together seem to cancel each other out and create the perfect environment for concentrating. But come that first mosquito assault, IтАЩm in the living room, missing the interplay of sub-woofer and blue jay. The search for creating the perfect indoor aural backdrop always leads me back to the same old, time-honed method: my CD collection. DonтАЩt misunderstand, I donтАЩt put on Bebel Gilberto, Tony Bennett or even Rita Springer. All of that distracts me. It has words, and by chosen profession, I am obligated to listen. But rather, I listen to anything that doesnтАЩt remind me of my тАЬworkтАЭ life. Some of my favorites are ambient, like a double CD I bought last year called Windham Hill Chill. It is perfect, non-distracting, great reading music. I asked a few friends what they listen to when reading. Shaun Groves said this: тАЬ...If itтАЩs music, itтАЩs classical. I use the classical to romantic period discs the most. I love Mozart, Bach, Schumann, Vivaldi, etc. ItтАЩs music too complex for my brain to analyze while reading, so it gives up and lets the music easily become furniture, background. ItтАЩs very soothing for me, no guitars, nothing like what I write, and it takes me to another time. Plus, it makes me feel smart and distinguished and, I think, helps me sound out those big words.тАЭ And Janna Long of Avalon had this to say: тАЬReading? With my infant daughter, IтАЩve had hardly time to do anything. The only books I get to read have titles like The Animals at the Zoo. But when I am able to find the time, I listen to classical musicтАФ anything in that category.тАЭ If you need a push indoors for a decadent afternoon of reading, let me entice you with a few more titles you might enjoy: Aria 2 (Windham Hill), Mozart for Relaxation (Various Artists: Windham Hill) and my longtime favorite, Surf and Spray (New World Music). Margaret Becker is an award-winning author, speaker, producer, songwriter and recording artist. Her latest work includes her third book, Bringing the Elements, set to release this fall, and the recent worship recording, Faithfully Yours: Psalms. For more information visit maggieb.com. 48 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com More Than A Song Blessed Be Your Name: Worshipping God on the Road Marked With Suffering By Matt and Beth Redman (Regal) Based on RedmanтАЩs Dove Award-winning song тАЬBlessed Be Your Name,тАЭ this book delivers a message that seems foreign to us as emotionally driven creatures: Worship is a choice. Just as the Psalms are songs birthed from DavidтАЩs struggles, we can choose to worship God in the face of hardship as well as in times of peace because He is sovereign. This is a difficult act of devotion, but in every season of life, worshipers will learn to cry, тАЬBlessed be Your name.тАЭ The book is a companion to RedmanтАЩs CD of the same name on sixstepsrecords. The MartyrтАЩs Song By Ted Dekker (WestBow) Written by best-selling author Dekker (Obsessed, The Circle Trilogy) this novella tells the story of a teenage outcast named Marci who has a chance encounter with an old woman. Marci longs to be physically beautiful, but a strange tale about persecution in 1940s Bosnia helps her discover a new reality. Song is a unique collaboration with international relief organization World Vision and Todd Agnew, who recorded an exclusive single also titled тАЬThe MartyrтАЩs SongтАЭ that accompanies the book. Agnew debuted the song on World VisionтАЩs тАЬIn the Name of Love TourтАЭ with BarlowGirl and Warren Barfield. The Gospel Unplugged: Turning Up the Volume on Songs That Rock Your Soul By Rich Wagner (Baker) A great Christian song teaches us truth, expresses who we are or reveals part of GodтАЩs nature to us, says Wagner, as he unveils a study of 25 of the most popular songs in contemporary Christian music. Citing how people are shaped by the lyrics of their favorite songs, Wagner delves into the meaning behind the words and examines the theological influence of artists such as Switchfoot, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jars of Clay, Nichole Nordeman and others. This book helps readers listen to and practically apply the truths found in their personal soundtracks. Life and Times Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life By Keri Wyatt Kent (Revell) Life doesnтАЩt stop, and itтАЩs easy to get caught up in finding our value in what we do, not in who we are. Although this book is geared toward moms who juggle kids, errands, jobs, relationships and church activities, anyone in a hurry will eagerly grasp JesusтАЩ message of тАЬCome to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.тАЭ Breathe teaches chronic overachievers to slow down and find rest in their relationship with Christ. Out of the QuestionтАжInto the Mystery: Getting Lost in the GodLife Relationship By Leonard Sweet (Waterbrook) тАЬI just want to figure it out!тАЭ Instead of treasuring the mysteries of our faith, we simply want to get the Christian life nailed down. But Sweet points out that the give-and-take relationship God designed us for is much different than just studying Him as a doctrine. ItтАЩs following a living Jesus every day and opening our lives to an honest, all-access relationship that leads to untold mystery and adventure. Profiles by Andrea Bailey CCM_08.05_Gear.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:15 PM Page 49 russlongтАЩs guidetogear >> HOT SKILLET Want to know how Skillet fires up its anthemic rock sound? HereтАЩs the lowdown... ESSENTIAL TOOLS: SKILLETтАЩS SHINY NEW SOUNDS I have been impressed with the unique sound of Memphis-based alternative act Skillet since hearing the bandтАЩs debut album back in 1996. Collide, the rockersтАЩ current release, features John Cooper on lead vocals and bass, his wife Korey Cooper on guitar and keys, Ben Kasica on guitar and Lori Peters on drums. BEN BenтАЩs guitar rig is built around a couple of GMP Roxy Guitars, one is tuned to drop D, the other to Drop B. Known for their customization options, GMP guitars are used by everyone from FuelтАЩs Carl Bell to PillarтАЩs Noah Henson to PoisonтАЩs CC Deville (yep, itтАЩs 20 years later, and these guys still havenтАЩt given BenтАЩs guitar up). For amplification Ben uses a Vox AC30 loaded with Celestion Blue speakers. The AC30 was originally made visible by QueenтАЩs Brian May and The Beatles, and more recently, by superstars such as R.E.M., Radiohead, and of course, U2тАЩs The Edge. Ben also uses a Mesa Engineering Dual Rectifier head and a Hughes and Vox AC30 Amp Kettner head (both with Mesa cabinets). BenтАЩs pedal-board is loaded with a wide variety of audio gems. He has a Real McCoy Custom Wah, the rock & roll standard Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Tech 21 XXL, which incorporates the ultra-cool Warp control that lets you vary a guitarтАЩs sound from a scooped-out, heavy fuzz to a mid-rangy overdrive. States Ben, тАЬThe Real Tech 21 XXL McCoy is my favorite pedal; there is just something about it that none of my other pedals can touch.тАЭ Ben also has a MXR Dynacomp, a VooDoo Lab Sparkle Drive, a Boss SD-2 and a Line 6 Delay modeler which perfectly reproduces the sound of the classic delays while remaining road-worthy. KOREY Korey also plays a GMP guitar and uses a Mesa single rectifier head with a Mesa 4-12 cabinet. To cover all of the bandтАЩs keyboard parts, she uses a combination of the Korg Triton Studio, the Korg Trinity and the E-Mu Proteus Extreme Lead. Korey does all of her keyboard programming with MOTUтАЩs Digital Performer. LORI JOHN JohnтАЩs GMP Roxy bass As the frontman of such a powerful rock band, I was surprised when John shared that, тАЬI guess my first piece of gear ever was my trombone that I received when I was in the sixth grade. I was actually in marching band back then.тАЭ Besides singing (and reminiscing of those wonderful days in marching band), he plays a five string GMP Roxy bass with GHS strings through a Mesa Impulse bass amp. He also uses a Mesa V Twin pre amp which is an extremely cool tube preamp/distortion unit. ENGINEER I think JohnтАЩs vocals sound killer on Collide, so I just had to chat with studio engineer Skidd Mills (Sister Hazel, Audio Adrenaline, Spacehog) and see exactly how he went about capturing the vocal performance. Skidd recorded and mixed the album along with producer/engineer Paul Ebersold (Third Day, Sonia Dada, 3 Doors Down). Skidd explained, тАЬThe primary vocal mic that we used to track JohnтАЩs vocals was the M249, made by Neumann (ed. note: a successor Neumann M49 mic to the classic Neumann M49). I typically donтАЩt hit the compressor very hard during tracking so I have more flexibility during the mix.тАЭ In regards to mic preamps, Skidd stated, тАЬThe mic pre we've used on the last three or four Skillet records was a Pultec that the tech at Ardent made for me from a Pultec MAVEQ.тАЭ Skidd went on to say that most of the vocal compression was done with the Valley People 440 compressor. This cool gadget is a single channel device that provides a peak limiter, a compressor/expander and a de-esser in a single rack space box. ItтАЩs worth keeping your eyes open for this one since it can often be found in the $250 ballpark, and it sounds like a million bucks. KoreyтАЩs GMP guitar Lori has come a long way since her first kit, which she described as тАЬa blue sparkly kit that was really two sets put together with a double bass drum, snare and three toms.тАЭ She now plays a maple five-piece DW drum kit which includes a 22тАЭ kick GEAR LINKS: drum, a 12тАЭ rack tom, and 16тАЭ and 18тАЭ floor toms. Her primary snare drum is a 6.5тАЭ x 14тАЭ Craviato solid shell maple drum. She also uses a 5тАЭ x 14тАЭ Pork Pie maple snare drum and a 6.5тАЭ x 14тАЭ Ludwig Black Beauty Snare. She plays Zildjian cymbals, and her setup includes a 20тАЭ medium LoriтАЩs DW drum kit ride, 17тАЭ and 18тАЭ crashes and a pair of 14тАЭ Quick Beat hi-hats. Lori also has an electronic setup for triggering sampled sounds. It includes a Roland PD-7, a Roland trigger brain and a Roland sampler. When we discussed her favorite piece of gear, Lori explained, тАЬEven with all the drums and cymbals, my favorite piece of gear is my DW9000 double kick pedal.тАЭ To check out some of the gear mentioned on this page, visit: gmpguitars.com, mesaboogie.com, korg.com, dwdrums.com, ludwig-drums.com, zildjian.com, voxamps.co.uk, rolandus.com, ghsstrings.com and nuemann.com Russ Long is an award winning recording engineer who has helmed gold and platinum albums by Sixpence None the Richer and Newsboys as well as recordings by Relient K, Wilco, Phil Keaggy, Over the Rhine and others. Russ recently created an educational DVD on studio engineering tailored for singers, songwriters and home studio enthusiasts. For more information visit audioinstruction.com. ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 49 CCM_MYOM_v.FINAL.qxd 7/5/05 3:50 PM Page 51 by Will Banister Design by Dustin Ledo тАЬConfessions of an тАШIndieтАЩ ArtistтАЭ L ike it or notтАФwe like to be liked. Some of us have to be liked for a living. It pays our bills. It sells records. It adds muscle to our message. WeтАЩre in the business of being liked. Welcome to the world of the тАЬindieтАЭ artistтАФa strange limbo between somewhere and nowhere and maybe getting signed. ItтАЩs a world where networking is our bread and butter, and тАЬbuzzтАЭ is our best friend. And itтАЩs all on a shoestring. Yet thatтАЩs just navel gazing. What about the larger issues? How do we share Scripture with a society thatтАЩs been whipped by the Bible Belt? How do we produce good art without being overly avant garde ? And how do we make our music marketable without it becoming milquetoast? In short, how do we as artists (not to mention the church) display compassion without compromiseтАФ confidence without conceit? Tough questions? Yep. If we didnтАЩt have Jesus, weтАЩd probably need a shrink. Luckily, though, we donтАЩt need one at all. ThatтАЩs because Jesus is the answer. And as silly sheep (even unsigned sheep), all we have to do is tell people this truth as best we can. ThatтАЩs all. Enter two musicians who will help us navigate through this beautiful messтАФMichael Olson and Ed Cash. One is a young-buck singer/songwriter who recently signed with Rocketown, while the other is a whip-smart producer with a few doves on his shoulder. I talked with both of these men about stuff du jour and all things тАЬindie.тАЭ Better listen up... Special Advertising Section ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 51 CCM_MYOM_v.FINAL.qxd 7/5/05 3:50 PM Page 52 Making Your Own Music Michael Olson: Yes, but IтАЩd say more so by others. On the Mary/Martha spectrum, IтАЩd be more on the Martha side of things, where IтАЩd be busy about doing the taskтАФespecially in this process. I found myself being busy, working at it. And I felt that the whole experience of my life as a kidтАФstudying musicтАФall of that was prayer. All of that was prayer and preparation. And so, by the time I stepped into that position, I felt really prepared, spiritually, to perform this task. Michael Olson: Oh yeah. I think there are many things about this journey that, ironically, so many musicians want to be on. There are so many inconsistencies about what it means to be a true follower of Christ. I ask myself at timesтАФwhy would anybody want to do this? ItтАЩs difficult, and itтАЩs not easy to reconcile the two. But IтАЩve got this thing in me that I know this is what IтАЩm supposed to do. I feel called to do this. тАЬWhat I would encourage any artist to do is to make sure you work on the substance part first. Allow the Lord to speak to you.тАЭ A graduate of North Central University, Michael Olson is in many ways the poster boy for тАЬindieтАЭ success. Just three months after his first тАЬindieтАЭ project, he landed a deal with Rocketown Records. His debut album, The Long Arm of Love hit stores in July. Currently on tour with Shaun Groves, I caught up with Michael in Nashville for a cup of joe and the skinny on his storyтАФas well as some advice for the тАЬindieтАЭ artist. CCM: How does one go from being a Lone Ranger with a guitar to becoming a тАЬstudтАЭ with a record deal? Michael Olson: What I would encourage any artist to do is to make sure you work on the substance part first. Allow the Lord to speak to you. Allow Him to work in your life and really communicate to you the message that you should be sharing. And hone your craft as best you can. CCM: How important is prayer in the process? Was this project (and your ministry) bathed in prayer at all? CCM: What are the advantages to being a signed artist? Michael Olson: National distribution. Radio promotion. Marketing team. A team of people behind you that believe in what youтАЩre doing and have connections to see that stuff gets done. Now what are the drawbacks? You give up some controlтАУsome creative control. CCM: How do you reconcile the tension between the spotlightтАФ with the applause and allтАФand the cross, where people were spitting upon Jesus? How do you deal with that paradoxтАФis that something that you struggle with? Special Advertising Section 52 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM: Does one have to have 100% pure motives to do Christian music? Or is there such a thing? Michael Olson: I canтАЩt speak for othersтАФbut IтАЩm a human being. And I question my motivation all the time. And I can do that and lock myself up in a little box and never get anything done. CCM: In other words, donтАЩt beat yourself up? Michael Olson: Yes. IтАЩve gotta be doing something. I canтАЩt sit in my house in a little room and just question all the time. IтАЩve gotta put one foot in front of the other. CCM_MYOM_v.FINAL.qxd 7/5/05 3:50 PM Page 54 Making Your Own Music A Conversation with Ed Cash U pon first glance, Ed Cash comes across as someone you wouldnтАЩt want to pick a fight with. HeтАЩs tough and unshaven. Yet after spending some quality time with him, he seems more like a posh redneck or a sensitive mountain man than anything elseтАФa teddy bear with a spiritual cause (although youтАЩd still probably be wise not to mess with him in a brawl). Ed was kind enough to welcome me into his Franklin home studio, where we talked about a host of issues relating to music and faith. Special Advertising Section 54 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM_MYOM_v.FINAL.qxd 7/5/05 3:50 PM Page 56 Making Your Own Music CCM: We have a lot of readers out there who are interested in what happens in the studio of a professional producer. When you produce a projectтАФ"indie" or otherwiseтАФwhat happens? Ed Cash: First, you write, gather and arrange a balanced album of amazing songs. Without the songs itтАЩs useless. ThereтАЩs a lot that goes into an albumтАЩs work of great songs. It must be balanced in that youтАЩve got hits and artistic journeys that all create a marketable yet creative and artful listening experience. ItтАЩs a tremendous challenge to bridge the gap between commerce and art. Without compromising the integrity of the artist, the label needs to be motivated to back-up an album. It doesnтАЩt matter how great a record isтАФif a label isnтАЩt willing to support it, then no one hears it. Next, you choose skilled musicians. And then you capture believable vocals that engage the heart of the listener. And finally, you add overdubs to communicate the heart of the song or artistтАФand then you mix it well. тАЬI work with artists with whom God calls me to work. I go before the Lord and pray with my wife about every record.тАЭ CCM: What types of artists do you like to work with? Ed Cash: I work with artists with whom God calls me to work. I go before the Lord and pray with my wife about every record. It's such a huge commitment to record that I want to be sure it's God's desire. It's important to me that the artists with whom I work are relational because Jesus made us for that. I'm drawn to artists that connect on and off stage. But, I love great music, so it's equally important that there be some serious talent in the artists I work with. CCM: Talk to us about creative tension in the studio. Is it good, bad, or ugly? CCM: You mentioned earlier that there are two extreme types of artistsтАФone is the eccentric who is monstrously creative, and then you just mentioned the relational type with whom you connect on a personal level. Are those two тАЬtypesтАЭ mutually exclusive? In other words, do you ever work with artists who embody both of those extremes? You've worked with some artists multiple timesтАФBebo Norman comes to mindтАФand you guys obviously make an amazing team. Does that familiarity ever squelch creativity? How do you keep your best friend on his toes? Ed Cash: The ultimate is when you have both in the same artist. That's why I love Bethany Dillon and Chris TomlinтАФthey are incredible songwriters and performers, but what makes them extra special is the deep, down-to-earth connection they have with people they meet. They make people whom they've never met feel cared for in a profound way. Ed Cash: I think it's a great thing . . . Iron sharpens iron. If you just go for the easy thing, and nothing is ever challenged, then the music suffers. I can tell when albums have really been sweat overтАФall the difference. Ed Cash: Again, iron sharpens iron. If "best friend" means being unable to tell each other the truth no matter what, then I don't want a best friend. I believe that for instance, Bebo and I could become too comfortable with certain things. But I choose to believe that the deep love we have supercedes any negative effects of being friends or business associates. Special Advertising Section 56 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com CCM_MYOM_v.FINAL.qxd 7/5/05 3:50 PM Page 58 Making Your Own Music CCM: How important is it for you to bathe a project in prayer? Ed Cash: Critical. I have tried to do records on my own strength in the pastтАФthey go nowhere. For me, Jesus must be the star. If He's not getting the glory ultimately, then I haven't done my job. CCM: What advice do you have for the "indie" artist who's operating on a shoestring budget? Ed Cash: Songs, songs, songs, and songs. Did I say songs? This is what separates the wheat from the chaff. If you craft the songs well, and they have a style that is unique, artistic and marketable, you will stand above the others. Get opinions of people who really know songs. How do crowds connect with certain songs? I'd much rather hear a CD of great songs with a guitar or piano and a vocal than some weak songs with a half-million dollar production. CCM: And now for the тАЬhardballтАЭ question: How do you balance the paradox between the spotlightтАФa yummy place where there are Dove Awards and applauseтАФand the cross, a not-so-nice place where Jesus was mocked and spit upon. Do you ever struggle with that tension? Ed Cash: If thereтАЩs anything great about me, itтАЩs that I have been crucified with Christ so that I no longer live, but He lives in me. Any true power to what I do is not of me. IтАЩve been to the bottom. When the Lord saved me, I was in the pit. I proved where I would be without HimтАФso when awards and compliments come, sure my flesh may be tempted to take credit, but I quickly cast that down because I know itтАЩs Jesus and nothing of myself. Praise Hymn Soundtracks Are you a diamond in the rough? An up-and-coming 'indie' artist? A novice who wants to record? If so, Praise Hymn Soundtracks wants to help. They want to dream with you. That's right. As the bestselling soundtrack company in the world, Praise Hymn has created a recording program just for youтАФthe aspiring artist who has a surplus of talent and a shortage of connections. With multiple recording packages that run the gamut from production to manufacturing (not to mention mixing and mastering), Praise Hymn offers quality studio time for the singer who is not afraid of dreaming big dreams. From inception to fruition, Praise Hymn streamlines the process of productionтАФthey eliminate the learning curve as well as the headache of the studio. They give you the tools to hit the ground running. And they save you time and are easy on the wallet. Praise Hymn packages vary from тАЬdemosтАЭ to EPs to full-fledged CDs. And they do the manufacturing and packaging as well. All ages and skill levels welcome. Dream with us, and we'll dream with you. Check out praisehymn.com for more information. We would like to thank the following section sponsors: Ibanez Guitars has some exciting stuff on the shelves: new acoustic guitars made out of 3maple, ash and zebra-exotic lumber ready to be picked up by the gigging musician, as well as the sensitive singer-songwriter. Located in the heart of Minneapolis, North Central University couples child-like faith with academic rigor and the result is this: They spawn passionate, spiritual leaders who have a colossal impact on the world, and for Christ. RAD-360 Audix microphones are the tools of choice for the laterally mobile. They're used by everyone from Casting Crowns to Avalon to Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. If your "concrete shoes" aren't your cup of tea, then check out these wireless mics. Shure Microphones are quite sure of who they are. Their top-of-the-line wireless mics and digital signal processors are anathema to fuzzy feedback, and they're used by everyone from the Crabb Family to Switchfoot. Aaron Sands of Jars of Clay" uses Carvin guitarsтАФin part because of their kiln-dried tone woods, hand-wire electonics and custom-wound pickups. And Special Advertising Section 58 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com they're all finished by hand, giving them an earthy, campfire feel in a mammoth arena. Praise hymn soundtracks provides tools for the aspiring musician by actually making the process easier. By using this streamlined service, the nightmare of studio hassles can be eliminated. Now thatтАЩs some good news! CCM_08.05_SRO.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:16 PM Page 61 t standingroomonly your guide to concerts All photos by Andy Argyrakis by Andy Argryakis L-R Michael W. Smith tickles the ivories, SelahтАЩs new singer Melodie Crittenden belts it out (top), SelahтАЩs Todd Smith (bottom), WatermarkтАЩs Christy Nockels and her husband Nathan тАЬHealing Rain TourтАЭ MICHAEL W. SMITH, SELAH AND WATERMARK ROSEMONT THEATER | CHICAGO, ILтАФ 2005 The last two times legendary piano pop-rocker Michael W. Smith hit the road, he was supporting specialty projects such as the Worship series and The Second Decade career retrospective. But on his current trip around America, heтАЩs debuting songs from his latest studio release Healing Rain (Provident), his first effort of all-original material since 1999тАЩs This Is Your Time. ItтАЩs hard to believe six years have gone by since this type of undertaking occurred. And translated to the tour circuit, Healing Rain offers a somewhat different set-list approach to what many have experienced since Smitty entered the new millenium. WELCOME TO SELAH When Selah regulars Todd Smith and Allan Hall first took the stage with brand-new member Melodie Crittenden, there was some mild rumbling amongst the faithful. Where was the beloved Nicol (Smith) Sponberg? Who was this unfamiliar face and how would she match up to the previously instated female vocalist? Well, all of those questions were answered with onstage conversation and some amazing singing by Crittenden throughout SelahтАЩs middle billing. And Nicol? She and her husband Greg are currently pursuing ministry opportunities related to his recent Master of Divinity degree from Moody Bible Institute. Crittenden, who first made waves in country music, is a longtime friend and former Belmont University classmate of Smith and Hall. Fans may recall CrittendenтАЩs 1998 self-titled Elektra debut and the follow-up childrenтАЩs collection Dream With Me Tonight: Lullabies For All Ages. Though her voice had an ever so slight twang to it, Crittenden was thunderously accepted by SelahтАЩs audience, while confidently stepping into already tough shoes to fill. Considering her background, genuine faith (as gleaned from a short testimony) and ability to hit the highest of high notes, Selah remains intact and as promising as ever. Unlike the incredibly intimate, mostly solo acoustic outing behind the тАЬTime Tour,тАЭ Smith brought a six-piece band, jumbo screens and lights galore to the Chicago show to further amplify material from the new disc and a vast array of classic gems. "Here I Am" was a fitting opener, mirroring the sequencing of the current album and entering the live setting to a shimmering triple threat of piano, violin and rolling percussion. It provided the perfect segue into the тАЩ80s staple "Secret Ambition," which took the singer from behind the ivories to running all around the stage just like the old days. However, instead of being driven by what could be considered a dated guitar solo, a more modern rearrangement kept the focus on the backbeats. The remainder continued bridging songs of yesteryear ("Rocketown," "Friends") with crisply picked crops ("Hang On," "We CanтАЩt Wait Any Longer"), further closing up the generation gap amongst fans. Yet no matter what the ages of the audience, all could relate to SmithтАЩs staple worship segment, which featured "I See You," "Breathe," "Above All," "Healing Rain" and "How Great Is Our God." Although not as vertically focused, equally stirring surprises included the mandolin-slanted ballad "IтАЩm Waiting For You" (a rarely performed cut from IтАЩll Lead You Home) and the burly pop of "Reach Out To Me" (a previously unplayed 1999 track). The combination made SmithтАЩs venture back to his basics that much more appreciated, while indicating thereтАЩs still loads of steam left in his sails. Claiming the opening spotlight was inspirational vocal trio Selah, who shone with a series of reinterpreted hymns and originals. Mainstay members Allan Hall and Todd Smith were joined by new addition Melodie Crittenden, who contributed to the groupтАЩs outstanding harmonies. Takes on the traditionally-tipped "There Is Power in the Blood" and тАЬJust a Little Closer Walk With Thee" met the more contemporary leanings of "You Raise Me Up." Though the Paul Simon-flavored "Bika Mono Ve" (translated "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior") seemed slightly cheesy in presentation, it connected amazingly well as the crowd comically attempted to recreate the African flavor. Also along for the ride was Rocketown recording act Watermark, whose shorter-than-ideal-but-stillsatisfying 15-minute slot previewed new offering The Purest Place. The subsequent selections (such as "Glory of Your Name") showed continued synthesis, growth and cohesion between husband and wife duo Nathan and Christy Nockels. Even more enjoyable was when Nathan left his spot behind the piano to accompany Christy on acoustic guitar and background vocals during the coupleтАЩs celebrated "More Than YouтАЩll Ever Know." Like the тАЬHealing Rain TourтАЭ as a whole, WatermarkтАЩs reflections evoked peace, solace, excitement and praise. HERE AND THERE Are you within a dayтАЩs drive? Here is a concert date you wonтАЩt want to miss! 8/13 Skillet with BarlowGirl at the тАЬRevelation GenerationтАЭ festival in Frenchtown, NJ 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. ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 61 CCM_08.05_perspective.vFINAL 7/5/05 3:35 PM Page 62 apersonalperspective by Peter Furler KINGDOM SEEKER When a high-profile artist such as Peter Furler is humbled by a deepening faith, it can change not only how he views his past, but the very way he communicates about it publicly. This month CCM is pleased to bring you this candid autobiographic sketch from the NewsboysтАЩ band leader. (Semi-private note to Peter: Mate, if you get the inkling to write a full-on biography, come see us. This is good stuff!...and CCM publishes the occasional book, you know.) When I was 10 years old, I ran away from home. It was afternoon recess at Noarlunga primary school in Southern Australia, and as soon as the bell rang for all the students to return to class, my aboriginal friend Peter Teller and I bolted for the nearby foothills to live out our days catching fish and sleeping under the Southern Cross. Funny enough, though not at the time, my father knew those foothills like the back of his hand. After his conversations with my headmaster, the local authorities and leading a very successful, one-man search party, I got to know the front of his hand. My father was the pastor of a local church, so I grew up with many of the тАЬbenefitsтАЭ this entails, like the Sunday morning front-row seat between those тАШтАЩlawless ribbon tambourineтАЩтАЩ players, or the Thursday night prayer meetings at our house, bringing in all the folks (with hair coming out of their nostrils) who chased me around the coffee table trying to lay hands on me. About eight years later, I saw what seemed to be a good opportunity for my next chance of escape. Coincidently enough, the name of the group was Exodus, a mainstream band that played other peopleтАЩs hits in any pub or club that would have them; and I guess my father let me go thinking that with a biblical name like Exodus, they must be good boysтАФ though he never could figure out the spiritual meaning behind the тАЬLock Up Your Daughters Tour.тАЭ It wasnтАЩt long before I was back at home in our garage jamming with some friends who, like me, hoped there would be more to music than тАШтАЩbeer for nothing and chicks for free.тАЭ We began sweating it out in the garage, writing our songs with the amps on stun (loud). In fact, the first time we knew we could affect the masses was when, out of sheer frustration, one of our neighbors poured sugar in the gas tank of my dadтАЩs car, ruining its motorтАФit was clear we were ready to go public. We were тАШтАЩon to something.тАЭ So off we went, playing our first shows as the тАЬNewsboys.тАЭ (It was easy to spell, and who knew there would be boy bands in the future?) We never passed up a chance to playтАФwhile most people were out looking for a party to crash, we were out looking for a gig to crash. We would drive around town with our guitars and drumsticks in the trunk of the car, stopping at all the rock venues to see if the band that was booked to perform would let us play while it was making the most of the free beer...and other stuff. We played everywhere from pubs, clubs and coffeehouses, to тАШтАЩbattles of the bandsтАЩтАЩ (They were rigged!!!), birthday parties and outreach events. Meanwhile, we had been going along to a local churchтАФit wasnтАЩt my fatherтАЩs church, but I think he was just glad we were going somewhere. (He and my mother were focusing more on mission work in the South PacificтАФas they still do today.) The church was one of the largest in the area, full of youth, and had a great music program in which we were heavily involved. It was the mid тАШ80s, and at that time, there was a lot of 62 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com debate about rock music and its place (if any) in the body of Christ. KidsтАФin what seemed like every youth groupтАФwere being encouraged to bring all their rock albums (sometimes Christian too) and burn them on corporate, ceremonial bonfires. This became a very confusing time for us as a young bandтАФit seemed like people cared more about the devil and rock music than leading the next generation to somewhere/something worth following. As the debates grew, this led to certain church members, including some of the leaders, starting to question rock music and the role it played in our lives as the Newsboys. Like I said, we were young and rough around the edges, and I am sure the straw that broke the camelтАЩs back was the night we played a pub in the local area in which a lot of the youth group showed up to support us. The show was going great until a couple of clowns from the group decided to show everyone how much they used to be able to drink before they were saved. (One tequila, two tequila, three tequila...floor.) I remember having to stand before the youth group (and a few others) and apologize for what had happened. We were sorry for any grief that was caused, but I guess some folks took this as a тАШтАЩsignтАЩтАЩ and thought it best we shouldnтАЩt be involved in either the youth group or the worship band for a while....a long while if you know what I mean. I donтАЩt remember us being offended at the decision, just confused, and, as the saying goes, discipline without relationship breeds rebellionтАФso off we went. For the next 15 years or so, we made records and continued to play anywhere people would listen, and as the band grew more popular, the pubs turned into arenas and the coffee shops into festivals. By early 2000, we had accomplished far more than we ever dreamed we would have; but strangely enough, at the same time I began to feel a deep sense of hopelessness. I didnтАЩt know the cause of it, but it started to affect every area of my life. Relationships began to suffer, and much damage was done. You gain so much when, by the grace of God, you are able to step out of a wreckage in your life and start to figure out the causes of it, as opposed to lying upside down blaming the road behind you. I began to look back on my early years and the situations that had formed my thoughts and opinions about life and the purpose of Jesus. Remember, it was the 1980s, and the message from the pulpit was, тАЬRock music is from the devil, the end times are near, come down to the altar and give your life to Jesus before itтАЩs too late.тАЭ Believing Jesus was the way, yet feeling lost, I had questions without answers. тАЬWhat should life look like after the altar call?тАЭ тАЬDid Jesus die solely for the purpose of keeping us out of hell?тАЭ тАЬWas I to live with the mindset of packed bags waiting on the rooftop for Him to come back?тАЭ CCM_08.05_perspective.vFINAL 7/5/05 3:36 PM Page 63 тАЬWhy was the majority of the youth group that I grew up in not in church anymore?тАЭ тАЬWhy is it that after youth group, most move on to college, checking their faith at the door of the first fraternity party?тАЭ тАЬWhy were thousands responding to the salvation message in cities, and yet the cities remained much the same?тАЭ тАЬWith Christian music and literature exploding and its events filled to capacity, why were we losing a generation?тАЭ тАЬWhat on earth is the church for?тАЭтАФif I could answer this last question, I believed it might shed some light on the previous questions I was challenged with. Now, I was surrounded by church-goers at concerts and festivals, and I had even warmed a back-row pew once or twice during those years, but God was calling me closer so I could know Him and be healed. The only way I could truly know was to stop running like I had from such an early age and ask Him to bring men into my life who could show me what His church looked like. Now God is faithful, and I have found that when we ask Him for the things that please Him, He delivers. So, over the last few years, a great hope has replaced my despair, and I have seen that God has a plan for the earth, and we, the church, are it! So what has the church come to mean in my life? These are just a few thoughts that come to mind in no particular order. The church is Christians who realize that this is their watch in history, and they have a charge to keep. They realize that within their spheres of influence (no matter how great or small) are the next leaders of the world, and they as the next generation are looking for lives worth emulating. They are disciple makers, laying down a solid biblical foundation in the lives of others, then teaching them to do the same. They are believers who walk under the covering of leadership, and their leaders know how to lead because they know what it is to be ledтАФleaders who have authority because they are under authority themselves.They are people who have seen the churchтАЩs flaws and may have even been hurt or offended by it, but by faith, refuse to give up on it. They are seekers, seeking an intimate relationship with God daily through His Word, prayer and worship. They are givers of their time, talents, resources and finances to the glory of GodтАЩs Kingdom, because they see it and trust it. They are Christians who walk in the light and in fellowship with one another, encouraging one another, surrounding themselves with the strong. They are spiritual fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. They are justice seekers, defending those who canтАЩt defend themselves, believing that God wants to use his church to bring restoration. They know that the walls of racism will only be knocked down by the church. They are lovers, loving others out of reverence for ChristтАФregardless. They are doers of His Word, not just hearers, and they see the earthтАЩs hurts such as poverty, AIDS and slavery as a mandate to be a light to the world. God is building His churchтАФthatтАЩs His promise. And if this generation wonтАЩt do it, God is patient; He will wait for the next. If you believe Jesus, but lack hope, then I encourage you to see whatтАЩs beyond just a weekly service and ask God to bring you into a spiritual family so you can be occupied by His purpose and find hope. Peter FurlerтАЩs band, Newsboys, is set to release its first album for the Inpop label this fall. The album will be a double-disc set featuring a new studio-recorded rock CD and a new studiorecorded worship album. ccmmagazine.com august 05 ccm 63 CCM_08.05_Numbers.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:24 PM Page 62 BYTHENUMBERS 9273RelientK01845791 by Gregory Rumburg The title of Relient KтАЩs latest recordтАФMMHMMтАФspells n-i-g-h-t-m-a-r-e to marketers, but America says the bandтАЩs fourth project is тАЬMmmmm good!тАЭ After recording the album, the band welcomed new members John Warne, the former Ace Troubleshooter vocalist/guitarist, and Jon Schneck who played guitar for Audio Adrenaline. Following up on the breakthrough success of Two Lefts DonтАЩt Make a RightтАж But Three Do, Relient K ripped through a spring headlining tour, watched its "Be My Escape" video begin its MTV run in June, enjoyed major summer Christian festivals and this month wraps the тАЬVans Warped Tour тАЩ05.тАЭ Set to perform at next monthтАЩs тАЬRock the UniverseтАЭ at Universal Studios in Orlando, Relient KтАЩs road warrior and frontman Matt Thiessen reflects here on the numbers from notorietyтАЩs five short years. 30,124 1.5 MILLION Copies of Two Lefts DonтАЩt Make a RightтАж But Three Do sold during its first week out in March 2003. It was the first time a Gotee Records artist broke the 30,000 unit mark in one week. Relient K dwarfed its own record a year and half later when MMHMM hit storesтАФthe album sold 51,472 copies its first week. Records sold since Relient K debuted with its 2000 self-titled album. Informed Gotee was interested in its music, Thiessen recalls, "We were like, тАШDude, how crazy would it be if we sold like 10,000 records and got to tour with bands we really like, like Five Iron Frenzy? WouldnтАЩt that be insane?тАЩ" 500,000 80,806 Copies sold of Two Lefts DonтАЩt Make a RightтАж But Three Do, making it Relient KтАЩs first RIAA gold-certified record. And the fat lady hasnтАЩt sung on that number yet. Population of Relient KтАЩs birthplace, Canton, OhioтАФhome to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Famous Cantonites include pop singer Macy Gray, the late Yankee catcher Thurman Munson and goth rocker Marilyn Manson. 1 1 18 40,000 12 10 Grammy nomination, received for Two Lefts. Years of friendship between Thiessen and Relient K guitarist Matt Hoopes. The duo have known each other since second grade and became close friends as high school sophomores. "MattтАЩs one of the easiest people in the world to be friends with," Thiessen says. "HeтАЩs just very mellow, very laid back. Spiritually, heтАЩs way on target. He keeps me in line a lot." Inch double-vinyl release of MMHMM, now available at Relient K shows and online. The collectorтАЩs edition includes one new song, a B-side titled "Apathetic Way to Be." 50 Records in ThiessenтАЩs own discriminating vinyl collection. "IтАЩve picked my top 15-20 records of all time, and IтАЩm hunting around the country trying to buy them on vinyl," he explains. The bandтАЩs general market label, Capitol, provided Thiessen with his No. 1 pick: The Beach BoyтАЩs Pet Sounds. Somewhere Brian Wilson smiles. 62 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com Billboard Music Video Award nomination for "My Girlfriend," from Relient K, which leveled the metaphorical accusation "Marilyn Manson ate my girlfriend." Number of tickets sold on the 35-city "Everybody Wants to Rule the World Tour," the bandтАЩs second headlining road show. As in Relient KтАЩs June appearance on MTVтАЩs "10 Spot Drop," the pop culture outletтАЩs effort to introduce new bands to the networkтАЩs audience. Praising MTVтАЩs support, Thiessen says, "My reaction was that I was really excitedтАж I was just kinda sitting there smiling going, тАШI canтАЩt believe they did that.тАЩ It was cool." CCM_08.05_Classifieds.v2 7/1/05 8:25 PM Page 65 CLASSIFIEDS MUSICIANS WEтАЩRE LISTENING! SING LOUD! Are you a singer wanting to be heard by music industry executives? Send in your CD for a complete evaluation and receive a FREE t-shirt! Details at SINGLOUD.com ATTENTION ARTISTS! Interested in the international music markets? We have distribution in Europe & Asia. irlmusic.com 949/766-7979 MUSICIANS, SINGERS, SONGWRITERS: If youтАЩre interested in tours or recordings, send contact and promotional information to: LAMPSTAND, P.O. Box 601, Owensound, Ontario N4K 5RA Canada PERFORMERS PERFORMERS WANTED! Singing and dancing required. Must be willing to travel. Serve the Lord through music! Audition information at newdawnsingers.com DOWNLOADS BIBLE-BASED MUSIC. Choruses everyone can sing. Download instrumental tracks (MP3s) and sheet music with lyrics (PDFs). Visit mroark.com INTERNET FAITHROCK RADIO: TodayтАЩs Internet Home for the Best Mix of Christian Music! Powerful! Positive! Uplifting! faithrock.org MINISTRY TRAVEL THE COUNTRY and get paid! Now hiring young adults for a unique ministry opportunity. Call 800/359-6922 SINGERS SINGERS CONTACT ME for Voice Help Herbs FREE [email protected] Quality Vitamins and Herbs. Memberships are a $40 order for wholesale prices. www.mynsp.com/caroltreasures Subscription/Customer Service Information: Write CCM, 104 Woodmont Blvd. Ste 300, Nashville, TN 37205 or call 800/527-5226. In the U.S., $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). 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ISSUE TOTAL NAME S&H TN RESIDENTS ADD 9.25% SALES TAX ADDRESS $3.00 ORDER TOTAL CITY/STATE/ZIP тАв Shipping & Handling $3 тАв TN Residents Add 9.25% Sales Tax тАв Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery тАв Available in the US and Canada тАв Quantities are limited and orders will be filled subject to availability. PHONE Mail this form and payment to: CCM Back Issues 104 Woodmont Blvd., Suite 300 Nashville, TN 37205 FAX your credit card order to: 615/312-4277 or CALL 1-800-527-5226 and CHARGE IT! Visa MC Discover AMEX / CARD NUMBER SIGNATURE EXP DATE CCM_08.05_HallofFame.vFINAL 7/1/05 8:27 PM Page 66 halloffame DISCOGRAPHY Steve Taylor O ver the past two decades, Steve Taylor has been an extremely influential figure in contemporary Christian musicтАФfrom his early days as a pioneering new waver to his long-term tour of duty as record producer and video director to his relatively short stint as a groundbreaking label exec. Today, he is putting the finishing touches on his first major motion picture. Studying music and film in college in the late 1970s, TaylorтАЩs imagination was captured when he discovered The Clash. Enamored with the passion with which the band articulated the problems of the world, Taylor felt a burden to articulate some answers. Consequently, he began writing a new kind of Christian music, a brash new wave matched to acerbic lyrics that challenged listeners to think about their faith and the world in a different way. Fresh out of college, TaylorтАФa youth pastorтАФtook his music around to the Christian record labels of the day, but execs were skittish. Then a key appearance in 1982 at the famed annual Christian Artists Conference in Estes Park, ColoradoтАФhis first live set, in factтАФled to a deal with Sparrow Records. The label tested the waters with the six-song EP I Want To Be A Clone. Christian music fans snapped it up, paving the way for a series of acclaimed full-length albums chock-full of the irrepressable energy, conviction and humor that Taylor fans came to expect. (And donтАЩt get us 66 ccm august 05 ccmmagazine.com started about those live shows, aerobic events that inevitably led to a broken ankle at TaylorтАЩs mainstage performance during the very first Cornerstone Festival, leading to the famous t-shirt slogan, тАЬDid he jump or was he pushed?тАЭ). While Taylor became the first Christian modern rocker to surpass 150,000 copies in sales per album, his satirical style often went over the heads of stuffy legalists. Following 1987тАЩs I Predict 1990, Taylor temporarily retired from Christian music for a brief period with the band Chagall Guevara, comprised of Christian music veterans, and signed to MCA Records. Despite strong reviews and national college radio airplay, the band fell victim to modest sales and restructuring at MCA and was short-lived. Returning to the Christian music industry, Taylor made a triumphant comeback with a new solo album, Squint, which landed his second Grammy nomination. He also began to apply his talents to the aid of others, working as producer, songwriter and/or music video director for the likes of Newsboys, Twila Paris, Rich Mullins, Margaret Becker and Guardian. As his work became more elaborate and more creative, inflating his Dove Award collection, it soon became clear he had bigger aspirations. In 1997, Taylor launched Squint Entertainment, a new label under Word Entertainment. He also produced the first release, Sixpence None The RicherтАЩs self-titled album; the multi-platinum-seller included the international No. 1 pop hit, тАЬKiss Me,тАЭ which Taylor had to convince the band to include on the album. As Squint spread its creative reach, the label signed such artists as Chevelle, Burlap to Cashmere and L.A. Symphony. Alas, Squint was eventually caught up in label politics, as parent label Word changed hands. The dream that was Squint Entertainment no longer had a place for Steve Taylor or his hand-picked staff (which included CCM editor Jay Swartzendruber). Taylor took the time on his hands as an opportunity for a career changeтАФfor years, he had made it clear he had his eye on working in film. Today, he is on the verge of his big screen directorial debut. The Second Chance, a major motion picture starring Michael W. Smith, is slated for nation-wide theatrical release September 9. I Want To Be A Clone (1983) Meltdown (1984) On The Fritz (1985) Limelight (1986) I Predict 1990 (1987) The Best We Could Find (+3 That Never Escaped) (1988) Squint (1993) Now The Truth Can Be Told (1994) Liver (1995) Chagall Guevara (1991) CCM COVERS June 1984 February 1986 January 1988 February 1994 May 2000 CHRIS WELL For a complete list of past Hall of Fame inductees, visit CCMmagazine.com.