Artist News April 17, 2014

Just in time for Easter, the Christian music web site New Release Tuesday sat down to talk with Paul Baloche about his song “He is Risen”. He says the goal was to write a resurrection song by taking the accounts in the various Gospels, and using some key phrases to re-tell the story. Paul says Verse one begins painting the picture. Verse two then focus’ on how this affect us now. Read more about the resurrection song He Is Risen by clicking on the link at

The latest CD from NEEDTOBREATHE, Rivers in the Wasteland, released this week. And New Release Tuesday sat down with lead singer Bear Rinehart to talk about the new project and the first release called Difference Maker. Bear says the song came out of a time when the entire band felt God asking them “What are you doing this for? Are you doing it for Me?” He said they had let their ambition take to much priority and the whole band had to go through a time of surrender to God. Read the entire article by clicking on the link at

Rend Collective member Gareth Gilkeson recently sat down with the worship web site We Are Worship to discuss the formula for happiness. And he said there really is formula. Gareth said it’s that more stuff equals more happiness. To stay happy we constantly have to keep getting more stuff because the happiness always wears off. But the member of the Irish based band said Joy is something else, something deeper. Joy is a spiritual discipline, and it takes work and practice to learn to notice, experience and nurture it in our lives. Read more on joy verses happiness by clicking on the link at

Jenny Simmons is asking for your help in publishing her first book. The former lead singer of Addison Road has written a book called “The Road to Becoming”. Jenny says it’s a spiritual memoir and laugh-out-loud journey through seasons of change, waiting and finding new life. She says this book is for anyone who needs to be reminded that our roads to becoming are holy seasons that lead to new life. Jenny is hoping to raise $20,000 over the next month to edit and print 1,000 copies of the book. Find out more about the kickstarter project by clicking on the link at

A bit of trivia about Casting Crowns singer and violinist Melodee Devevo. She struggles with severe arthritis, resulting in major surgeries on her wrist on one arm and elbow on the other a couple of years ago. But Melodee mentioned on twitter this week that she still requires monthly IV treatment to keep the arthritis under control.

The new project from Mercyme is off to a great start. Welcome to the New came out on April 8th. And the eight project from Mercyme has landed them their highest debut, reaching number four on the Billboard Top 200 and number 3 on iTunes overall album chart. The music video for Shake has already had nearly two-million views. Mercyme will perform Shake on NBC’s The Today Show on April 22.

The members of Hawk Nelson are in Australia this week. The members of the band are in the country to perform at Easterfest.

Meredith Andrews, her husband Jacob, and their sons Eli and Maverick had a delay while on their trip home this week from the Son of God Tour. Jacob tweeted: We are spending the night on I-65 due to a Nitric Acid spill. Meredith confirmed that it was a rough trip. She said they finally arrived home at 5:30am after a 13 hour drive that included five hours of grid locked due to the acid spill and driving through a blizzard.

Jason Gray spent the last month touring with fellow artists as part of the Son of God Tour. The tour that wrapped up this week also included Meredith Andrews, Natalie Grant, The Sidewalk Prophets and more. And while it was a worshipful experience, the tour had it’s funny moments as well, like when Jason had to stop the band mid song because he had come out with the wrong guitar. Watch the video by clicking on the link at

Corn hole seems to be the game of choice for Christian bands. The game was first introduced by Tobymac as part of the his tour. But it has spread and the members of Big Daddy Weave were recently tweeting pictures of their efforts at the game. The game is somewhat like horse shoes. But instead of trying to get a horse shoe around a stake, the goal is to get a bag filled with corn in a small hole.

Artist News April 16, 2014

Mandisa says she hopes her future husband can sing. That’s because she has already picked the song she would like him to sing to her at their wedding. It’s the Jonny Diaz song Thank God I got Her.

Worship leader Jaime Jamgochian recently talked with the Boundless magazine about everything from coming to Christ in her 20s to how music helped her overcome a diagnosis of severe learning disabilities. Learn more about how a relationship with God changed her from a party girl to a servant of the King. Read the entire article at

Jars of Clay front man Dan Hasseltine thinks he may have just found a tax loop hole. He tweeted on Tax day, April 15: If you’re out of country on tax day, it’s like the tree falling in the forest thing, right? Dan was tweeting from an airport in Singapore. Jars of Clay has just completed a concert swing through Asia and are now on their way to Australia.

Fans of the American Idol competition are being asked to choose their favorite American Idol contestant of all time. Officials say they have already narrowed the list of possible artists to 20 and round two is underway, dropping the number to 15. Colton Dixonis one of the artists in the running as second round voting gets underway. Check out more by clicking on the link at

Australian Worship Leader Darlene Zschech is out with a blog update as she continues her fight against cancer. Darlene was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2013. And she says she it getting close to the end of her chemo treatments. Read the entire update by clicking on the link at

Tuesday was a big day for Jenny Simmons. The former lead singer of Addison Road said that her husband Ryan had surgery to remove a benign tumor, their daughter Annie celebrated her 5th birthday, and Jenny, herself, launched a kickstarter project to help fund a book she is in the process of writing.

Worship leader Carlos Whittaker led a White House crowd in “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” during Easter Prayer service this week. According to a report in the Christian music web site New Release Tuesday, Whittaker was among 150 Christian leaders invited by President Obama to the event. Whittaker was the event’s sole musician.

Building 429 is kicking of a Press On Lyric Image contest. They are asking you to choose your favorite lyric from the song and then turn it into an image. The winning image will be printed and signed by the members of Building 429 and your image will also be posted on their social media platforms. Find out more by clicking on the link at

Britt Nicole is back in the studio this week. Britt traveled to California early this week to begin the recording process. And she tweeted: We are here with passion, purpose, vision, and to make a sweet record.

Phil Wickham has just released a deluxe edition of his CD The Ascension. The updated project includes both the full studio version as well as acoustic tracks of each song. The deluxe version of The Ascension is available by clicking on the link at

After a decade off, the group Plus One has announced plans to return. According to a report in Members Nathan Walters, Gabriel Combs, and Jason Perry say there are more stories to tell so they have decided to restart the group. The first release from Plus One is the song My All. You can watch a special announcement about the restart of the group and download a free copy of the song by clicking on the link at

Did you miss out on the Easter worship starter kit from the web site We Are Worship? The He Is Risen service starter kits went out last Saturday but they web site officials say copies are still available. To find out more click on the link at

The Newsboys currently have two songs on the Christian and Gospel iTunes chart. The song God’s Not Dead has seen a resurgence with the release of the movie by the same name. It is currently at number one. But the Newsboys song We Believe is close behind. It’s currently at number 3.

The new album from Francesca Battistelli will be available on April 22. But between now and it’s release day, you can steam “If We’re Honest” for free on iTunes. Check out the entire project by clicking on the link at

The latest CD from NEEDTOBREATHE came out this week. And the project called Rivers in the Wasteland quickly climbed to number one on the iTunes overall albums chart. Rivers in the Wasteland released on Tuesday.

The Sidewalk Prophets are saying goodbye to their lighting and merchandise guy. And he is leaving them for an interesting job. Band members tweeted earlier this week that Ryan Burton had just finished his last show with the band. They say that, instead of touring, he’s opening a ice cream business.

Chris Tomlin is inviting you to join the Passion City family for their Easter celebration this weekend. The Rise: An Easter Celebration service will be held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta at 10:30AM on April 20. Chris says no ticket is needed.

The couple that makes up the group Love and the Outcome say it’s good to be home after a busy weekend. Their concert swing included 8 flights…6 shows…4 days…300 cups of coffee

Artist News April 15, 2014

Colton Dixon must have really wanted a snow cone this week. He tweeted: just longboarded 9 miles round trip for a snow cone. a snow cone. I should’ve just bought the machine!!! However, Colton did add that it was Cotton candy flavor. By the way, for those of you that don’t know, a longboard is a longer variant of a skateboard.

Jamie Grace confesses that she has clumsy problems. Jamie tweeted that her phone was out of commission. She says she actually dropped it on concrete, the same way she broke her last two iPhones.

First people confused the Newsboys song Live with Abandon with the words Live with A Bandit. But now Building 429 member Jesse Garcia says another misunderstood lyric has come to the forefront. A fan said that, when she heard the Building 429 song We Won’t Be Shaken, she thought they said We Won’t Be Chicken.

The members of the Sidewalk Prophets threw a party on Bubba the bus Sunday night. Their touring bus is named after Christian golfer Bubba Watson. So they were especially excited when Bubba, the golfer, not the bus, won the Masters Golf Tournament over the weekend.

The Afters are helping the NHL Hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers, as they enter into the playoffs. The Afters song “Moments Like This” has been selected as the Flyers playoff song.

A bit of trivia from Kutless member James Mead: I drink coffee to fall asleep. It always works for me on early morning flights.

The book club formed by Josh Wilson is focusing on fasting this week. They are into week four of the discussion of the book Celebration of Discipline. This weeks chapter is about fasting and Josh says it’s never to late to join the group. Find out more by clicking on the link at

Kerrie Roberts is encouraging her fans to check out a new recipe she just tried and really enjoyed. It’s for Jumbo Stuffed Shells. You can find the recipe shared by Kerrie Roberts by clicking on the link at

Passion is giving you a sneak peak into the first track of their new CD Take It All. It’s the song Don’t Ever Stop, from the CD recorded live at Passion 2014 in Atlanta and Houston. Check out the clip by clicking on the link at

In preparation for Easter, Brandon Heath recorded a video teaching through his song “He Paid It All” on the guitar. Check out the tutorial video and also access free resources for the song and a download of the song in preparation for Easter. Click on the link at

The members of the We Won’t Be Shaken tour were playing in a different type of venue this past weekend. Members of Building 429 and Hawk Nelson both tweeted that they were playing at the Rattlesnake Rodeo in Opp, Alabama. The night included tasting rattlesnake, which Hawk Nelson lead singer Jon Steingard described as chewy but still amazing, and taking pictures with a live rattlesnake. Band members say they had a great time.

The members of Mercyme were back in Texas over the weekend to cheer on the Texas Rangers. Bart Millard kicked things off by singing the National Anthem. And the band played a concert after the game. And it sounds like Mercyme had a lot to cheer about. They say the Rangers also pulled out the win.

The Son of God tour might soon be changed to the mothers of preschoolers tour. Francesca Battistelli tweeted a picture of her son along with the children of fellow artists Natalie Grant and Meredith Andrews prior to one of their shows.

Jonny Diaz put it all in perspective before one of his concerts over the weekend. He tweeted: I pray people didn’t just hear these words tonight. I pray they can start living this truth!

Something new just in time for prom. KFC has introduced a chicken drumstick prom corsage. According to Relevant Magazine, The fried chicken maker announced that they are only making 100 of the “limited edition” products for just $20 each. Watch a promo video made just for the occasion by clicking on the link at

Artist News April 14, 2014

In late March the Christian music magazine CCM kicked off their Music Madness Bracket Challenge with 64 artists. More than 25-thousand votes later, a winner has been named. Voters selected Skillet as the top Christian artist late last week and magazine officials say it wasn’t even close. Skillet defeated Tobymac in the finally round, garnering more than 80-percent of the votes.

The Christian music web site Hear It will be talking with the lead singer of Mikeschair, Mike Grayson, this week. The live question and answer time will take place at 4:00PM CT on April 16. And in advance of the Q and A, you can send in your questions. Find out more by clicking on the link at

Steven Curtis Chapman understands that not everyone is called to adopt. But the longtime Christian artist and founder of the orphan ministry Show Hope say everyone can do something. Steven says you can now become a LifeHope Sponsor with Show Hope. LifeHope Sponsors provide one orphan with a forever family every year by fully funding an entire Adoption Aid grant. Steven adds that every LifeHope Sponsor will receive the name and country of the specific child they helped.

Christian hip hop artist Lecrae was recently the featured guest on Focus on the Family. Lecrae talked about the importance of breaking down the wall between “sacred” and “secular,” and being a living representations of Christ in every aspect of culture. Listen to the entire broadcast by clicking on the link at

Laura Story is no stranger to hardship. Her song Blessing was born out of the struggles she and her husband went through as they together walked through his battle with brain cancer. And recently Laura sat down to talk about that time in her life as well as balancing motherhood with life on the road and her recent announcement that she is expecting twins. Read the entire article with Laura Story by clicking on the link at

The Gospel Music Association will induct Rich Mullins into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame at their inaugural GMA Honors Ceremony. According to the web site, the award will be given on Tuesday, April 29th. Mullins is the writer of the song “Awesome God” and was a pioneer of Christian contemporary and worship music. He was killed in a car accident in the late 90s at the age of 41. The induction into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame comes on the heels of the release of a movie detailing Rich’s life and ministry called Ragamuffin.

Kerrie Roberts has released the music video for her song “Come Back to Life.” Kerrie said the heart of the song is a calling out to everyone going through the trials of everyday life and also to those dealing with depression, living in a dark place or even battling with thoughts of suicide. The plea of the song is that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is still available to us! We can all, “Come Back to Life!” Check out the video by clicking on the link at

Kari Jobe is out with a behind the scenes video for her new CD Majestic. The video shares more about the making of Kari’s recently release. Watch more about the hard work that went into creating Majestic by clicking on the link at

The latest song from the new band City Harbor is titled Heartbeat. And group members Molly, who is married to Mikeschair lead singer Mike Grayson, and Robby recently recorded a video telling the story behind the song. Watch the video by clicking on the link at

Have eight hours to kill? Then you have just enough time to watch the latest video from Tenth Avenue North. On April 10th the members of the band broadcast a live stream of their time in the studio working on their latest CD. And the live stream was archived on-line. So if you weren’t able to tune in live, you can still see what goes into creating new music. Watch the in the studio video by clicking on the link at

Mercyme will be introducing music from their new CD Welcome to the New on the Today Show next week. They will be featured on the shows April 22nd broadcast, performing their song Shake.

Phil Wickham can’t sing but that hasn’t stopped his ability to minister. His brother Evan, a worship leader in California, has been leading the conference on Phil’s schedule while Phil is on doctor mandated vocal rest. But Phil is still on stage. He says he is helping out where he can with his guitar.

It was a rough weekend for Francesca Battistelli. The Christian artist and mother tweeted Friday night: In the last hour I almost passed out, a door fell on my 3-year-old, and the alarm went off at our house. And it all occurred during a meet and greet with those attending that nights concert.

Technology is allowing Aaron Shust to keep up with his kids activities while on the road. Aaron is out on the Morning Rises Tour every weekend. But he was still able to watch his son Nicky score two goals in his first ever soccer game by using a program FaceTime

Jimmy Needham is on a concert swing through Asia right now. And he had an amazing experience during his recent stop in Hong Kong. Jimmy says 20 people were baptized during the service.

Jamie Grace will be joining Mercyme and Citizenway for a series of concerts in late April and early May. The three groups recently announced plans for a series of concerts from Alabama to New Mexico April 24th through May 3rd.

Artist News April 11, 2014

Jamie Grace was reaching out this week. She performed a last minute concert in her home church put together to raise money for the family of two year old Caleb Lindsey. The little boy was killed in a hit and run accident as he, his mother, and his sister stood on the curb waiting to cross the street. Jamie said that, in his memory, they had a time of music, worship, and prayer.

Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith were both in the studio this week working on separate special radio programs. Both will be on the Keep the Faith radio program, a program that provides words of hope, comfort, and encouragement.

Mac Powell recently made his acting debut as part of the movie Rumors of War. And the movie will be coming to select theaters April 25 and May 2. Watch the trailer for the movie and find out more by clicking on the link at

Mercyme was part of a New Release Tuesday music hangout this week. The band talked about the release of their new CD Welcome to the New and what release week looked like. Check out a recording of the 30 minute live interview by clicking on the link at

The members of the Rhett Walker band are working to help Chris, one of their band members, find that special someone. So this week they went to their fans and asked if Chris should trim his hair and beard, shave the beard completely, or stay with his current look. You can add your opinion to the mix by clicking on the link at
#singlechrisShould he cut his hair or beard?Here's your options-1- Cut hair & Beard2- Cut hair & save beard3- Don't change

New Release Tuesday is giving away music from both Jonny Diaz and Rush of Fools. The free songs include the song Whole World from Jonny’s new project Let it Fly and Undo from the Rush of Fools latest CD Carry Us Now. Download your free songs by clicking on the link at

Although the release was limited, the Hymns CD from Michael W. Smith is receiving a good response. The CD was only available online and at Cracker Barrel stores. But it still is number one this week on at least one Christian Music Chart. Michael says they are struggling to keep up with the demand and many stores have already sold out of their inventory of the CD. But he promised that more copies are on the way.

Leading up to the release of their new CD Rivers in the Wasteland, NEEDTOBREATHE has released the audio for another song on the project. The song “More Heart, Less Attack” is now available by clicking on the link at

The latest CD from Jonny Diaz released this week. And Jonny Diaz announced Thursday that, in addition to being available for download on iTunes, the CD Let it Fly is now also available as a physical copy. You can order a copy by clicking on the link at

The band Tenth Avenue North is back in the studio starting work on a new album. And the members of the band celebrated the 10th day of April by giving their fans a chance to see the recording process in action. They used multiple cameras to show what studio work looks like in real time

One of the best known recent songs from Hawk Nelson is the song they recorded with Bart Millard titled Words. And the band is encouraging you to check out one youth group’s experiment with putting the words of the song into practice. Check out the video by clicking on the link at

Paul Baloche has released another Lyric video from his recently released live worship CD. The focus this time is the song Jesus Be My Savior. It’s described as a great song for worship during lent or communion. Watch the lyric video by clicking on the link at

Mike Grayson was one of a number of artists who recently sat down to talk about what they are Passionate about. The lead singer of the group Mikeschair was helping UPtv promote their showing of the movie The Passion of the Christ. And he recorded a two minute video talking about how his faith has impacted his life. Watch the video by clicking on the link at

A new music video from Darlene Zschech is now available. The video is of her song Heaven In Me and is featured in the upcoming movie Heaven is for Real. Watch the new music video from Darlene Zschech, an artist who is fighting her own battle against cancer, by clicking on the link at

Christian Comedian Tim Hawkins is the feature of a new article in the Christian Post. Check out the article as Tim points out the double message of praying over junk food. Read the article and watch the video by clicking on the link at

Jason Gray has special driver during his concert stop in Pennsylvania this week. He tweeted that he was delighted and surprised to find Aaron Schust pulling up to the curb to pick him up from the airport in Pittsburgh. Jason added: Grateful for some unexpected hang time.

The members of Building 429 are reminding you to stop by the Liberty University table if you attend one of their We Won’t Be Shaken Tour stops. The band said that Liberty is giving away four prizes. They include: a $50 iTunes gift card, two tickets to Winterfest 2014, a FREE GUITAR and a $16,500 scholarship to Liberty University.

TobyMac will be touring with Skillet and LeCrae during a limited number of stops early this summer. The three bands will be joining forces for the Summer Shed Tour May 1 through 10.

Hillsong United has announced plans for an Asian tour in June. The band says they’ll make stops in Manila, Seoul, and Hong Kong in mid June.

A confession from Kutless member Nick Departee: I don’t make my bed on tour.

The members of The Son of God Tour were in ministry mode during this weeks stop in Pennsylvania. Their concert was just miles away from the site of the school stabbing earlier in the day. And both the Sidewalk Prophets and Natalie Grant were hoping to minister to the community as they dealt with the tragedy.

Artist News April 10, 2014

The latest Mercyme CD, Welcome to the New, released this week. And New Release Tuesday sat down with lead singer Bart Millard to talk about the project and especially the song Greater. Bart says the song is about who you are inside, the person God made you to be. Read more by clicking on the link at christianartistnews.info
Jason Roy is out with a new blog. And this time the lead singer of Building 429 is talking about his kids. Their family recently traveled together to Guatemala on a missions trip and Jason says the response of his children shocked him. On that trip he saw his children step up and become the hands and feet of Jesus. Jason says that, as a result of his families experience, he is encouraging every family go to a place where they can see the depths of despair face to face. Read more by clicking on the link at
Dara Maclean was talking this week about the supernatural hope of Jesus. That subject is the inspiration behind her latest song Our Only Hope. The song is from Dara’s latest release called Wanted. Dara says the song is based on Hebrews 6:19 – “the hope that God gives us is the anchor of the soul.”
Erica Campbell is continuing to spread her wing. According to, The member of the duo Mary Mary officially started her solo career at the end of last year. And she’s already received a Grammy nomination. But Erica and her husband are also in the process of starting a Church out of a Bible study in their California home. And Campbell says she has an agent and is currently scouting for acting roles. Read more by clicking on the link at
And then there were two. The final round of voting in the CCM Music Madness bracket is underway and the final two artists are Tobymac and Skillet. The bracket challenge began in late March with 64 Christian artists. Officials say the winner in the final round will be announced this Friday. Cast your vote by clicking on the link at
The 2014 Billboard Music Award Nominees have been announced. And those in the running for the top Christian Album award include Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Skillet, Alan Jackson, and the WOW Hits CD. Up for top Christian artist are Mandisa, Skillet, Tobymac, Chris Tomlin, and Matthew West. And the Top Christian song nominees are We Won’t Be Shaken by Building 429, Overcomer by Mandisa, Help Me Find It by the Sidewalk Prophets, Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin, and Hello, My Name Is by Matthew West. The Winners will be announced live on ABC on May 18.
Two weeks ago Tenth Avenue North sold their 1 millionth album. A fan named Cody made the purchase and received the surprise of his life. His purchase was greeted by confetti, music, and an appearance by the band members themselves. And Cody clearly didn’t know what to do with his new found fame. Watch the video of the sale by clicking on the link at
Jimmy Needham says he experienced an unbelievable night in The Philippines this week. The Christian artist kicked off his Asian tour this week with a concert in front of what he called one of the biggest, most excited crowds ever. Jimmy added: Thanks for the opportunity to share my songs & heart.
Natalie Grant is the latest artist with vocal problems. She sent out a tweet this week asking for prayer. Natalie said I have strep throat, a cold and the flu and I have shows every night for the next 5 days
7eventh Time Down is kicking off the We Believe Tour with the Newsboys this weekend. The band joined the Newsboys for the first weekend of the tour, kicking off in Mississippi and Florida. The We Believe Tour will run for one month and cover venues from Texas to Maine.

Artist News April 9, 2014

The members of Mikeschair were back where it all started this week. The members of the group first met while students at Belmont University. And they were back on campus this week for an interview with One One 7 TV.

Kutless member James Mead says his job rules. The groups guitarist said that’s because: “I get to lift up praise to Jesus with His children all over the world!”

Shane and Shane recently funded a new web site for worship leaders call The Worship Initiative through a kickstarter fund raiser. But they say that, even if you weren’t able to join them during the kickstarter, you can still get on board. Check out more about the Worship Initiative by clicking on the link at

Kerrie Roberts was in a car wreck in 2012. And she says she has noticed a change in her sleeping habits since the accident took place. Kerrie says: Before the car wreck, I was ALWAYS awake past 2am. Now she says she’s seen 2am two days in a row and she wants to sleep so bad.

A seven day Bible reading devotional from Building 429 is now available. In the devotional, lead singer Jason Roy discusses the scriptural origins and personal experiences that inspired the lyrics from several songs on their new album, “We Won’t Be Shaken”. You can check out the YouVersion devotional from Building 429 by clicking on the link at

Tiffany Lee is writing a book. The artist who goes by the stage name Plumb tweeted this week that she is in the process of writing a book about her story of reconciliation and hope.

The votes are in and the number one Tenth Avenue North song is By Your Side. The band started with a bracket containing 64 songs from their CDs and asked their fans to choose the best song. More than 114,000 votes later By Your Side narrowly defeated Worn in the final two bracket to take the victory as the top Tenth Avenue North song. Check out the entire bracket and watch the official music video for By Your Side by clicking on the link at

Jenny Simmons is writing a book and she says the first round of edits have just come in. Jenny says her editor made more than 1,500 changes or comments in the first review of The Road to Becoming. She says the next step is a kickstarter project to help fund the book. It is scheduled to start later this week.

Jonny Diaz this week released a brand new CD titled Let it Fly. The baseball player turned Christian artist talked with Free CCM recently about his decision to leave baseball behind and pursue music instead and his latest project. Read the interview and download a free song from Let it Fly by clicking on the link at

The worship web site We Are Worship is giving away a song from the new live Paul Baloche CD. Access the new live version of MY HOPE by clicking on the link at

A fan of Francesca Battistelli says it’s only fitting that Francesca’s new project released on earth day. Because they say that the world is a better place because of her music. The latest project from Francesca is titled If We’re Honest.

The brand new CD from Mercyme is out and the members of the band are working hard to support its release. According to a release from The Media Collective, Promotion of Welcome to the New actually kicked off last Friday with a Mercyme performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and an appearance on the cover of CCM Magazine. From there is was on to a series of live interviews and appearances throughout the weekend and into release week. Mercyme made stops supporting a local Salvation Army group that included playing basketball and an acoustic show for staff and area kids, as well as visiting Lurie Children’s hospital where they performed for patients and their families. Following its release on Tuesday, Welcome to the New climbed to number 3 on the iTunes Overall Albums Chart.

The Winter Jam tour, featuring the Newsboys and Lecrae, is once again at number one. The tour played in front of more people than any other tour in any genre during the first quarter of 2014. More than 557-thousand people attended Winter Jam concerts during it’s run from January through March, nearly 150-thousand more than the second place tour.

Rend Collective will be kicking off The Art Of Celebration tour in the UK and Ireland in May. They will be joined by Tenth Avenue North.

The group NEEDTOBREATHE is gearing up for the release of their new album Rivers in the Wasteland. According to the Media Collective Report, the CD will release next Tuesday, April 15. And in support, the band will make an appearance on the Ellen show on April 18 and will return to the Late Show with David Letterman on April 23.

April 8, 2014

It’s down to the final four in the CCM Music Madness Bracket challenge. The brackets started with 64 Christian artists. And those making it to the final four in the head to head competition include Tobymac, Francesca Battistelli, the Newboys and Skillet. The top 2 Christian artists will be named on Wednesday, April 9. But right now you can vote for your favorite artists to make the cut. Click on the link at

Josh Wilson is into week two of his book club study of the book Celebration of Discipline. Access the discussion by clicking on the link at

Downloads of Phil Stacey’s song I Will Go With You are raising money for a good cause. 100% of proceeds from the download go to missionaries!

Phil Wickham is dealing with silence. Phil has been silent since last weekend when he was put on vocal rest due to what doctors called a vocal cord irregularity. And he says he is being told not to talk or sing until next Monday. He will then return to the doctors office for an update on his vocal cords.

Jason Roy was doing a little test marketing for his daughter over the weekend. The lead singer of Building 429 says his daughter is starting a non-profit benefiting children around the world. He tweeted a picture of the bracelet she is making. Jason asked the fans of Building 429 if they would buy one, and based on the response, his daughter is going to be busy producing the bracelets for some time to come.

Mike Grayson struck gold over the weekend. The lead singer of Mikeschair was helping his parents move and says he found his baseball card collection from his childhood.

Mark Hall is continuing to teach through the songs on Thrive, the latest Casting Crowns CD. The latest teaching session is based on the song called Heroes. Watch the first two training videos by clicking on the link at

The Passion Worship Leader training program is just one month away. The Worship Leader Collective will be held May 8 and 9 in Atlanta. According to Chris Tomlin, the gathering will include focused teaching and spiritual challenge, hopefully resulting in a new sense of purpose, power and clarity for worship leaders. It will be hosted by the Passion City Church Team that includes Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Nathan & Christy Nockels, Crowder, and other leaders from the Passion Band. Find out more by clicking on the link at

Mac Powell was watching the Academy of Christian Music Awards over the weekend. And the lead singer of Third Day took the time to announce that he will be starting a second Country record this week. He promised that it will be quite different from what he saw on the screen during the ACM broadcast.

Prior to the making of “Welcome to the New,” MercyMe frontman Bart Millard was burned out. In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Bart said that, since 1994, he had poured tremendous energy into the band and his perfectionism was making him want to call it quits. However, he spoke to an old friend — a youth pastor from the first church camp MercyMe played 20 years prior — who convinced him to put his perfectionism aside, accept that God was already impressed. and press on. What resulted was a brand new album, MercyMe’s eighth studio effort to date. And Welcome to the New is available today. Preview the entire new project by clicking on the link at

The Mark Schultz and Selah tour is impacting a lot of kids. Selah members say more than 400 Compassion Kids have been sponsored during the You Amaze Tour. And group members say a lot of that response can be attributed to Samuel Orlando. The Christian artist who was sponsored as a 9 year old has been traveling with Mark Schultz and Selah and telling his story.

Steven Curtis Chapman is on a tour of the Holy Land. The long time Christian artist was tweeting pictures of he and his family in the land where Jesus walked and says it is an unforgettable experience. Steven is on a trip with pastor and author Max Lucado. And he says one of his most memorable experiences was singing the song For the Sake of the Call on the Sea of Galilee with his boys.

Jimmy Needham is on his way to the Philippines. Jimmy will be performing at a show in Manila. And he says: Always crazy to me to share songs I wrote in my bedroom with folks around the world.

Artist News April 7, 2014

Jason Gray was presented with a special cake over the weekend. It was decorated to look just like the front of Jason’s new CD Love Will Have the Final Word, with a man holding a broken pot containing a flower in full bloom. Check out pictures of the cake by clicking on the link at
My dear, dear friends the Schlafleys made this AMAZING CAKE FOR ME WOW! #lovewillhavethefinalword #bestcakeever #bestfriendsever #gratefultobeloved #soexcitedthatIammakingtoomanyhashtags

Amy Grant was part of an Artists For Others event over the weekend. The fund raising event benefited the organization AIM, a group formed to help end human slavery.

A DC Talk reunion will take place at the end of this month but, before you get to excited, the three former members of the band won’t be singing together. Toby Mac, Michael Tait, and Kevin Max will join together to present an award at the inaugural GMA Honors celebration and Hall of Fame induction on April 29. But Tobymac said on twitter that they’ll only do the presentation and no performance is planned.

Singer and songwriter Audrey Assad has released a unique independent film titled O Happy Fault. Audrey put the movie together with funds from her latest album Kickstarter campaign. She says “O Happy Fault” is a visual meditation, story, and song woven together into one short film. Live concert footage from Audrey Assad and fictional narratives alternate in a prayerful rhythm.

Jamie Grace says her hair dryer has met it’s match. She tweeted: I just want everyone to know that MY FRIZZY HAIR BROKE MY HAIR DRYER THIS MORNING.

Integrity music is giving away an Epiphone Guitar in honor of the new CD from Paul Baloche. Register for your chance to win by clicking on the link at

After a 10 year hiatus, Carmen is set to release a new studio album, ‘No Plan B,’ on May 27. Carman’s latest release comes after his well documented struggle, and recovery, from cancer. A kickstarter program by Carmen helped to fund the latest CD. According to a report in, The ‘No Plan B’ presale will launch on May 13 and will include an instant download track. In support of the new release, Carman will also hit the road May 29 on his ‘Live Across America Presents: No Plan B Tour’.

A recent release by the group Rush of Fools was inspired by C. H. Spurgeon. Lead singer Kevin Huguley says their song Held in Your Hands is based on Spurgeon’s teaching on Colossians 2. Watch the official lyric video for the song by clicking on the link at

Tenth Avenue North will be back in the studio this week starting work on their latest CD. And Mike Donehey says the hardest part will be saying goodbye to some of the songs they have written but won’t be able to include on the new project. Keep Tenth Avenue North in your prayers as they make those decisions and begin recording their next project.

The Christian music web site New Release Tuesday is giving away music. The site has five new songs available for free download right now. Access your free music by clicking on the link at

Mercyme was on stage at the famed Grand Ole Opry over the weekend and they had a special guest. Bart Millard tweeted that country artist Ricky Skaggs sat in on the bands performance of I Can Only Imagine.

Aaron Shust was in a familiar location over the weekend. He played a concert at Toccoa Falls College, his alma mater, as part of their campus preview weekend.

Citizenway was part of the annual Orphan Banquet put on by In His Hands orphans ministry over the weekend. Funds raised through the banquet will go to help the children of Haiti.

Jars of Clay will be out of the country over the next several weeks. They will be visiting Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Australia between now and the end of April.

Mikeschair had to cancel a show in Florida over the weekend. Band members tweeted that lead singer Mike Grayson completely lost his voice due to allergies. Mikeschair members are asking that you pray for complete healing.

Hawk Nelson lead singer Jon Steingard is attempting to recover from strep throat while Hawk Nelson continues their tour with Building 429. He tweeted over the weekend that he was on something called Prednisone and it was having an interesting side affect. John tweeted: Is it normal to feel like Superman?

Recording artist and worship leader Phil Wickham had to cancel his performance at Catalyst West and additional concerts over the weekend. According to an article in the Christian Post, the cancellations were necessary because of a vocal cord irregularity most likely caused from overuse. Wickham did appear on stage while Catalyst leaders and those in attendance prayed for him but his performance was canceled. In a letter from Wickham read to those attending, he wrote, “Thankfully, they believe we caught this early on enough that it can most likely be reversed without surgery. The only way to reverse it is total silence. No singing. No talking. The silence could be two weeks, two months, or longer.” Read the entire article about Phil Wickham by clicking on the link at

Artist News April 4, 2014

The organization Christian Women in Media will be presenting Christian artist Babbie Mason with their Excellence in Communication Award at their annual Awards Gala this weekend in Dallas. Babbie will also be the featured artist for the evening.

The new Mercyme CD Welcome to the New will release next Tuesday. And leading up to the release lead singer Bart Millard sat down for an in depth interview with about the reinvention of Mercyme’s music, church legalism, gay marriage, and God’s grace. Throughout the interview Bart gives straight answers, clarifying many of the issues that have arisen since the band announced their new direction. Read the interview by clicking on the link at

After a major illness it’s the little things you normally take for granted that mean the most. Luke, from for King and Country, was sidelined by such an illness last summer. And this week he tweeted: I mowed my lawn for the first time since getting very sick. The child in me loved every moment of it!

The members of Hawk Nelson say strep throat has struck their band. Three of the four members of the band have the illness while on tour. They say prayers are appreciated.

The shooting at Fort Hood this week is hitting especially close to home for Jamie Grace. She was part of a group of young people invited to sing at a family day after the last shooting on that base.

From Natalie Grant: Some days, you just have to go back to bed. This is one of those days.

Francesca Battistelli is encouraging her fans to support the Mom’s Night Out movie. She tweeted this week that it was made by the same team that produced October Baby. The movie comes out on May 9 and Francesca says it’s the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s day.

The Worship web site We Are Worship is giving away a copy of the song The Same Love from the new Paul Baloche CD Live that just released this week. You can download your free copy and also watch a music video and tutorial for the song. Click on the link at

New music from Tenth Avenue North will be coming soon. Band members recently announced that they will be back in the studio late next week to begin recording a new record. They say prayers are appreciated!

Third Day will soon be back in the studio to work on a new project. The bands pastor, Nigel James, is asking that you commit to pray for Third Day at specific time each week in April and May as the band enters the studio to work on their new album.

Michael W Smith is celebrating the release of his new CD by giving away music. The latest project from the long time Christian artist is titled Sovereign. It comes out on May 13. And every Thursday until the release date Michael will be giving away a free download from Glory, one of his previous released. Download the first free song by clicking on the link at

Jonny Diaz is giving away a music sampler. The sampler includes three songs from Jonny’s upcoming new project Let It Fly. Down load your free songs by clicking on the link at

A new lyric video from Rush of Fools is now available. Just in time for Easter you can watch the live performance of their song “Nailed To The Cross”. Click on the link at

Big Daddy Weave’s performance of their song The Only Name was recently recorded for a live music video. Check out their live performance of the song by clicking on the link at

Chris August is currently on the Son of God Tour. And this week he released a music video featuring his song on the project Jesus, Savior. Check out the music video by clicking on the link

Kari Jobe recently released a live CD and DVD combo titled “Majestic.” And now you can check out a video giving a behind the scenes look into the making of the album. Watch the music video

Aaron Branch was not impressed by the weather during a recent stop in Omaha, Nebraska. He tweeted: did anyone tell you it’s spring time? It’s way too cold here. Meanwhile fellow Building 429 member Michael Anderson added: So it’s freezing cold and snowing the rest of this week! Where is spring? Not in the Midwest. Can’t take much more. I need warm weather.

The Brandisa tour restarted this week in Little Rock, Arkansas. And in celebration Mandisa sent out a link for a mashup of Brandon Heath and Mandisa songs. Mandisa says she counted at least seven songs in medley. Watch the video by clicking on the link at