Contemporary Christian music legend and comedian Mark Lowry releases Unforgettable Classics. The album features pop standards from the era of Frank Sinatra and Nat “King” Cole.
“Unforgettable Classics is a collection of songs I hope young and old listeners will keep singing and remembering, because they are great and because they are an irreplaceable part of American music history,” says Lowry.
Cleveland Tells Her Story Of A Devastated Childhood, Addiction As A Young Adult
And The Life-Changing Discovery That Beauty Shines Through Brokenness
Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter Ashley Cleveland shares her personal story of pain, music and beauty that shines through brokenness in her first self-penned book, Little Black Sheep, A Memoir releasing in September from David C Cook. A true story of life on stage and on the streets from the back rooms of Nashville to the churches and clubs of the San Francisco Bay area, Little Black Sheep invites readers to see how their own deepest pain might just be a place of hope.
“Gradually and reluctantly with a great deal of hemming, hawing and complaining, I surrendered to telling my tale,” shares Cleveland. “This is the story of the groundwork that paved the way to my faith. It is not an easy story to tell.”
Sharing her deeply engaging story with an original, authentic voice that is equal parts humor and pathos, Cleveland was born into a Knoxville, TN family fraught with conflict, yet poised to keep up its seamless appearances despite alcoholism, homosexuality, divorce, displacement and a slavish devotion to performance. She took the rough road of rebellion into her own addiction and self-destruction. If there was trouble, near or far, she found it. In the midst of the chaos she discovered music, something she had a natural gift for and the one thing that engendered a positive response from others. She continued on, precariously attempting to balance a desire for a career as a recording artist with a growing and consuming addiction, increasingly catastrophic behavior and an absence of any foundation or understanding of a merciful, loving God.
Interrupted by an unplanned, unmarried and unwanted pregnancy that ultimately becomes the starting point of faith and a life of substance and value, Cleveland encounters the transforming power of the Living God who is abundantly forgiving, tenderhearted and relentlessly faithful to her. Little by little, her life is ultimately rebuilt, taking all the devastation in her wake and using it as a platform of experience to bring hope and courage to others. Along the way she finds sobriety, a long, devoted marriage and family, as well as success in her musical career.
“I have emerged from my own isolation to find that I love belonging to the body of Christ, to the program of AA, to the human community,” writes Cleveland in her book. “I have been invited in from the margins, not as a guest artist, but as a family member.”
Now that little black sheep, she ain’t nothin' but trouble
She’s not worth much and she’ll cost you double
Shepherd says he knows but he won’t sleep
He’s gonna go out and find
That little black sheep
(From the song “Little Black Sheep” by Ashley Cleveland)
BONUS: Ashley Cleveland "Ridin with the King" Live
If you haven't heard that Skillet is coming out with a new album next week, you must be living under a rock.
Riseis a gripping coming-of-age narrative that stands as Skillet's first concept album. The album tells the story of a typical American teen coming into adulthood and trying to figure out who he is in a world riddled with problems both within and outside his control.
The result is a wildly ambitious work as heady as it is visceral. Sonically, Rise sees Skillet expanding their musical palette, integrating natural, acoustic instruments like accordion, mandolin, dulcimer, harp, tympani and bells to their trademark slashing electric guitars, strings, churning synths and pummeling drums.
Check out their new lyric video for Not Going To Die here
Today marks the release of Christian Rap and Hip-Hop pioneer Mr. Del’s fourth studio album, “Faith Walka.” Released on Mr. Del’s own Dedicated Music Group (DMG) label and distributed by longtime partner Universal Music Christian Group, the album is available now.
As a former member of the hugely successful, multi-platinum hardcore rap group Three 6 Mafia, Mr. Del became a Christian and walked away from the group, money, fame and just about everything that he knew. He suddenly found himself alone, broke and homeless. He was forced to leave Memphis for a time after receiving death threats from those that were once part of his inner circle. But in the midst of his darkest days, he learned that God was sufficient, and that there was a calling on his life.
“I started to feel an emptiness living the Gangsta Rap life,” says Mr. Del. “It wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be. I started to have a conviction about my generation and the message and damage I was doing to it. So I left the Gangsta Rap life to pursue a life of walking by faith. This album is my report of what I've seen along my journey.”
As has come to be expected, “Faith Walka” features some high-profile collaborations, including appearances from Canton Jones on “Forgot to Forgive,” and Rod G. Newman on the project’s first single, “Sunglasses.”
Family Force 5 announces the June 18 release of "Reanimated," a 12-track electronic album. This will be a digital release with physical copies available on the band’s appearances at summer festivals. The album will be a perfect addition to any Family Force 5 collection, as it features three new songs and nine remixes of FF5 songs from releases "III" and "III.V" in addition to classic throwback tunes from "Business Up Front/Party In The Back."
Some of the remix artists featured on "Reanimated" include Tedashii, The Toxic Avenger, Nico Stadi, McSwagger, Riley Friesen, Smile Future, André Allen Anjos of the RAC, and others. Over 173k fans have already clamored to the recent music video "Chainsaw" (feat. Tedashii), which will be featured on this project.
Fans can catch FF5 performing many of these new remixed songs during their DJ sets at summer festivals. These parties flaunt the band’s characteristically crazy and notoriously engaging post-show experience.
Building 429 generates more groundbreaking news, as its sixth career album from Essential Records, We Won’t Be Shakendebuted at No. 1 this week on Billboard’s Christian Albums chart and No. 53 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart. This marks the first No. 1 album and No. 1 debut for the band, while first week sales nearly doubled early sales for Listen To The Sound in 2011. At the same time, the title track and current single has reached No. 5 on the Billboard AC Indicator chart, No. 7 on NCA Overall Chart and No. 2 on Hot AC/CHR chart. The song has accumulated more than 57-million impressions to date after only three months of radio airplay.
“Building 429 is one of the hardest working bands in our business and to see them reach No. 1 for the first time on the Billboard Contemporary Christian Chart is a proud moment for all of us at Provident,” says Jimmy Wheeler, Vice President of Sales, Provident Label Group. “The entire team is privileged to work with this band and we believe this is just the beginning of bigger things to come.”
Media has also embraced We Won’t Be Shakenwith Worship Leader Magazine saying, Masterfully written and produced.This album is truly a joy to listen to. About.com exclaims, This reflective album will shake you if you’re breathing because it will really cause you to look at yourself, your walk and your real level of faith. Charisma.com says, This album will encourage listeners to dream God-sized dreams, and HMMagazine.com adds, Building 429’s new release, We Won’t Be Shaken, is a heartwarming record with songs that will be stuck in your head for days to come.
Building 429 continues to establish themselves as a centerpiece within the greater Christian community. We Won't Be Shaken makes two statements to every believer - 'don't be afraid' and 'share what's in you.'
I'm not surprised by the success of We Won't Be Shaken. Building 429 continues to point to a greater Kingdom.
- Dan H., Senior Buyer of Music
Building 429 heads into a busy summer of touring including major festivals and a stop in Chicago,IL later this month for appearances on Moody’s national radio show, Chris Fabry Live!, and LeSea Broadcasting’s Harvest Show and Live From Studio B.
“‘Wanted’ is about a universal need, speaking to the child in all of us that is desperately longing just to hear somebody tell us we’re wanted. Somebody to tell us that we’re cherished and that we belong,” explained Maclean. “To not be wanted based on your performance -- We all have those relationships in life where we are loved based on how good of a friend we are or how good of a daughter or son, sister or brother we are. It’s conditional and it never seems to be enough. This song is calling out to the outcast and saying, ‘You’re not unlovable. You’re never too far gone -- in your worst moment, in your loneliest moment, you are still wanted, just as much as the person that seemingly has it all together, is loved by everyone and looks to have this perfect life.’ The baby that opens its eyes for the first time and the hardened criminal that gets sent to jail for the millionth time, does God want one more or less? We are all the same, we are all in need of Jesus and we are all desperately wanted by a Father that won’t stop until He finds every child that is lost.”
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalms 139:7-10 New King James Version)
“I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting to share with you my friends, the ones that have been such a support and on this journey with me, the heartbeat behind the song and ultimately, this record,” continues Maclean. “My prayer is that every note reveals the heart of God the Father and that His Love does what it always does. It heals, restores and makes new again.”
Powerful vocalist and songwriter Dara Maclean first sparked the music industry’s interest with her 2011 debut, You Got My Attention. The album introduced a powerful new voice in Christian pop, steeped in Motown and soul and beaming a heart for the broken and struggling. The LP reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Christian Albums chart, and album tracks "Suitcases" and "Free" each hit the Top 20 on Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. "Suitcases" appeared on the 2012 installment of WOW Hits, celebrating Christian radio's biggest songs, and You Got My Attention closer "Home" was included in The Bible: Music Inspired By The Epic Mini-Series, a companion to the smash History Channel series. The Texas-bred singer-songwriter earned a New Artist of the Year nomination in the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards, and spent nearly two years straight on the road with some of Christian music's biggest names, including Casting Crowns and Newsong, and on major tours including Winter Jam and the KLOVE Acoustic Christmas Tour. Maclean has earned high critical praise throughout, NewReleaseTuesday including her among its Top 10 New Female Christian Singers in 2012, noting that "Dara displays the strongest vocals I've heard in years." Maclean is also passionate about raising awareness and bringing an end to human trafficking and is an advocate for the International Justice Mission.
Four-time GRAMMY® nominee and recent ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner Matthew West performed at the first-ever “Sunday Morning At The River” as a part of Country Music Association’s 2013 CMA Music Festival. The event also included performances by 14-time GRAMMY® winner and country/bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, as well as country music duo Joey + Rory. Pastor Mike Glenn of Brentwood Baptist Church gave a special message.
The special performance came at an important time in Matthew West’s career, as his second single, “Hello, My Name Is,” from the 2012 album INTO THE LIGHT, recently hit No. 1 at Christian Radio. The empowering song, which is inspired by a true story of addiction and recovery as a part of over 10,000 stories sent to West, holds the No. 1 spot atop the National Christian Audience, AC Monitored and AC Indicator charts with total audience impressions reaching over 10 million.
We so often define ourselves by our failings....this song is such an important reminder of the amazing truth that we are not defined by what we do or have done, but rather by who we are in Christ Jesus. I need this reminder daily...
- Dan H., Senior Buyer of Music; Family Christian
Matthew West has also just announced his fall tour. The “Into The Light Tour” will feature special guests Sidewalk Prophets and Jason Castro, and will hit 35 cities nationwide in support of INTO THE LIGHT, the album that has been referred to by critics as “emotional,” “entertaining” and an “honest celebration of humanity.” Dates and cities will be announced at a later date.
I LOVE Group 1 Crew....they always have such amazing & positive energy. Love all the cameo appearances in the video!
- Dan H., Senior Buyer Music; Family Christian
The title and theme of this record, Fearless, arose from a turbulent period for the group. While creating the album, they faced numerous challenges including evolving from a trio to a duo, the passing of Blanca’s father and learning how to balance newlywed life with a heavy touring schedule. Blanca and Manwell confronted these tests and have emerged stronger than ever before. Fearless takes listeners on a lyrical journey through the truths that they faced over the past couple years.
In Beverly Lewis'The Confession, Katie is a young Amish woman on a life-changing journey to find her English (American) birth mother, Laura Mayfield Bennett, who is terminally ill. Katie's hopes to meet her mother are thwarted, however, by Laura's husband, whose elaborate attempt to inherit Laura's wealth conceals Katie's true identity. Despite Dylan's ongoing deception, Katie's quiet faithfulness speaks volumes to Laura, who discerns that Katie is much more than hired help.
Watch the trailer here:
Based on a beloved trilogy, this movie version of Beverly's book by the same name is available now. Starring Katie Leclerc ("Switched at Birth") and Sherry Stringfield ("ER"), The Confession is the middle story (The Shunning is the first) in Beverly Lewis' The Heritage of Lancaster County series. Once again directed by Michael Landon Jr., The Confession brings the story of Katie Lapp to life as fans experience this beautiful tale set in both the Amish and English worlds.
The Confession is a well written and directed drama that is a follow up to The Shunning. In this heartfelt story, we follow Katie as she goes into the city to search for her biological mom. This wholesome, family movie will delight fans of both Michael Landon, Jr and Beverly Lewis alike.
Alex M., Senior Buyer of DVD
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