Morning Rises, Aaron Shust’s second album for Centricity Music is scheduled to be released July 16, 2013, with God of Brilliant Lights, the first single from the project, going for adds at radio on April 26th. Acclaimed producer, Ed Cash, helped Shust deliver another very strong and focused project, delivering worship songs that glorify and lift up the name of Christ. The album marks the first time that Shust has used his touring band as the studio musicians, translating into performances that audiences will hear at his concerts across the country. The project is very uplifting, while chronicling some of the tough challenges Shust experienced over the last few months.
“This is an album about how God is faithful. God is steadfast. God is the same,” says Shust. “Whenever our life goes crazy we can say, ‘God is faithful.’ If you believe the verses that we memorized as kids or in our early Christian lives, that He has a plan for us, that He’s never going to leave us, that He’s never going to forsake us, then that rings true. You need those truths in the dark hours. That’s what this album hopefully covers. Morning Rises represents hope. Morning Rises represents promise.”
After experiencing the medical tribulations of his second son, Nicky, last year, Shust once again faced life-threatening medical situations with his son, Michael, who was born in January of this year. Facing a heart surgery shortly after he was born, being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, a second surgery for hearing issues and ongoing health issues, the experiences haven’t defeated Shust but instead renewed his passion for Christ.
Those emotions and feelings are delivered in the album’s eleven songs, with seven being co-written by Shust and the remaining four from other songwriters, which include Hillsong’s Cornerstone, the upbeat God Is For Us, and the beautiful ballad that exalts No One Higher. Shust co-wrote his first single, God of Brilliant Lights, which is a powerful song that extols God’s unconditional love that brings us out of darkness. The God of brilliant lights is shining down over us/Breaking through the darkness covering all the earth/His love is like an ocean forever overflowing/The God of brilliant light is shining over us.
Shust’s previous album, This Is What We Believe, launched one of the biggest songs of his career with My Hope Is In You. The single stayed at the top of the AC Monitor chart for 14 weeks during 2011/2012, and was listed at #8 on Billboard magazine’s year-end Christian Songs Artist category and #9 for Christian AC Songs Artist. Shust continued to have major impact on the charts in 2012 with his single Risen Today reaching #17 on the AC Indicator chart. His last song, We Are Free peaked at #21 on the AC Monitored chart and #25 on the National Audience chart.
Shust is currently on the road with Mark Schultz’s All Things Possible Tour that runs through May 5th. For more updates on Shust please visit www.aaronshust.com
The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, Texas, and meeting and falling in love with surgeon Tom Peterson is adding a rich layer to her life. She's sorting out how to introduce Tom to her family--she's the youngest of seven--and thinking about marriage.
She's falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested, and in a way she didn't expect. The results will soon transform her entire family.
We asked Dee a few questions about her new book:
Dee, you have had a lot of fans voice interest in the continuation of the O’Malley Series. With the up-coming release of Jennifer, are you excited to get feedback from your readers to this new title?
The best part of my day is reader mail, and the most popular request I get is that readers want to know more about Jennifer O’Malley. So I am very excited that Bethany House is bringing out this novella. Jennifer and Tom are engaged in the first book of the O’Malley series, and this novella lets me go back and share their personal story in the year before book one of the series, The Negotiator. They had a wonderful romance, and a significant challenge to face together. I am eager to hear feedback from readers.
How did it feel to bring back the O’Malley family?
The O’Malley stories resonate because they are about Jesus, family, and falling in love – they’ve got a timeless quality to them which made returning to this series a wonderful opportunity. I’ve had the desire to go back and revisit this series for several years. After 18 books, Marcus O’Malley is still one of my favorite characters, and Lisa and Quinn one of my favorite couples. It was a personal pleasure to write this novella. It’s my hope Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story allows another generation of readers to fall in love with this family.
Do you have a special connection to a particular character in Jennifer? If so, who and why?
Jennifer herself. Jennifer’s relationship with Jesus, her marriage to Tom, formed the core spine of the O’Malley series. Getting to now write her personal story was a wonderful joy. I admire her ability to cope with a crisis, and see it from the perspective of believing in God, to keep her faith, and her love for Tom. It’s a short and powerful story.
Have any of the characters in the O’Malley series mirrored anyone, related or non-related, that has been a part of your life, past or present?
I know a few guys like Jennifer’s choice in Tom, husbands who love their wives deeply and build a great life and marriage even through adversity. They stick when life is hard, and it’s a blessing to know them.
Would you ever like to see one of your novels made into a movie? If so which one, and who would you want to star in it?
My fans debate this question with great intensity so I will leave the choice of who should play which person to my readers. I would love to see one of my stories on the big screen, most writers would. The story most easily translated to film would be Full Disclosure, and I hope it does make it to the big screen one day soon.
Music lovers worldwide are captivated, swept up in the surging wave of modern folk as heard in the likes of Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, Neon Trees, The Civil Wars and others. Organic, acoustic and packed with live energy and freedom, it’s the unpolished imperfection and open invitation to sing along that has catapulted these artists into the spotlight and up the charts.
Unpolished. Imperfect. Freedom.
For All Sons & Daughters’ Leslie Jordan and David Leonard, these qualities are even more keenly experienced in music that connects broken people with their God. Worship leaders at Journey Church in Franklin, TN, their critically acclaimed EPs, Brokenness Aside, Reason To Sing and The Longing, along with their first full length feature album, Season One, bear witness to the power of worship by the people, for the people and of the people. In the truest sense, the mesmerizing, soul-baring lyrics and acoustic styling of this unlikely duo are beginning to make an impact...inside and outside the church.
Now, with their first-ever live recording, Jordan and Leonard give listeners a chance to experience God in the context of confession and doubt, with an open invitation to be completely transparent and human. Produced by Paul Mabury (Brandon Heath, Hillsong), All Sons & Daughters LIVE, which was recorded with a live studio congregation in one continuous take at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, captures the spirit and truth of transparent worship.
“We always begin by saying ‘This is a place of freedom,’ Jordan says of their approach to every concert and every Sunday morning service. “We want people to feel complete freedom to worship as they feel called to because Scripture says, ‘What we bring to the Lord is enough for Him.’ And we trust that the Spirit lives in that freedom.”
With a sensitivity and Scriptural grounding beyond their years, All Sons & Daughters’ Jordan—who began leading worship in high school while still wrestling with the idea of church ministry—embraces the tension between worship and real life. “When I came to Journey in 2007, we as a church were in a pretty heavy season of lament. This town is so churched, and this is an artist driven community, and yet so many people here are living with shattered dreams...”
“The demographic here, similar to the people we meet on the road, are broken people, people making their last ditch attempt at church or their first attempt at coming back,” says Leonard, who grew up in church but had never written for worship before meeting Jordan in 2009. “Most of our songs have been written with that healing season in mind. We’ve all thought, ‘Will God leave us if we leave him?’ its just that most of us were never given permission to feel and express those feelings of brokenness in church. That’s the most beautiful part of doing what we do, helping people find that freedom.”
From the opening song of confession, “Brokenness Aside,” to “Oh How I Need You” and “Reason to Sing,” songs for when life doesn’t make sense, All Sons & Daughters LIVE showcases 13 transparent invitations—including the unforgettable “All the Poor and Powerless”—to get real and accept that you are loved. Standards in the making like “Reason to Sing” and “Wake Up” give people hope to cling to when life, even among the faithful, doesn’t make sense.
Nothing hits closer to home for Leonard than “Your Glory,” a song of total surrender. “Being a new father, I’m seeing more than ever how much I need God. When the song says, ‘My life is yours/my hope is in you only, and my heart you hold ‘cause you made this sinner holy...’ it is a constant reminder that I can’t be the best father or the best husband, but there is a God who can help me be the man I need to be. It’s a vulnerable moment for me, every time we sing it.”
The album also introduces two new compositions: “God With Us” and “Great Are You Lord.”
“Both songs came out of writing sessions with Jason Ingram (Chris Tomlin, Brandon Heath),” Jordan says. “For ‘Great Are You Lord,’ Jason had this line, ‘It’s your breath in our lungs so we pour out our praise,’ and we felt such a sweetness and depth in it, we just ran with it. When the duo dropped in on Passion 2013 to hear founder Louie Giglio speak, the song received a sort of punctuation. “‘Worship is when we give God his breath back,’ Giglio said, having never heard the new song. That image has stayed front and center with the duo, a reminder that our acts of worship originate with the One we worship. It is His gift.”
“God With Us,” a song about the power and presence of God... “has an easy melody and felt singable and congregational,” Jordan continues, “which has always been important to us.”
All Sons & Daughters, who take great care to make music that meets people where they are, are equally intent on serving and resourcing musicians and worship leaders. As always, their song charts are free online, and they take advantage of any opportunity to start new conversations about what worship might look like... if approached with an open heart and mind.
“We’ve been given an atmosphere of freedom at Journey,” says Jordan of the All Sons & Daughters’ approach to the people who come to hear their music, many of whom experience something completely outside the worship norm. “We’ve been given the freedom to try new things and fail, to consider how different worship can look from what it has looked like. We really believe that the spirit of the room is based on the spirit of the people in the room, so that’s how we approach what we do, by asking ‘How can we serve that spirit?’”
Duo Appears Live Coast-To-Coast
Following the four critically acclaimed projects All Sons & Daughters release its first live, full-length recording, LIVE, today from Integrity Music. Receiving widespread critical acclaim, the CD/DVD was recorded in the chapel at Oceanway Studios in Nashville and features members Leslie Jordan and David Leonard sharing their best-loved songs, such as “All The Poor and Powerless” and “Reason to Sing,” as well as new songs, all delivered in a congregationally-friendly, organic worship setting.
Debuting the new music for the first time at a packed out DVD screening event at the historic Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN, the video for All Sons & Daughters’ new song, “Great Are You Lord,” was also premiered online by RELEVANT Magazine as its “Video of the Day.”
"Great Are You Lord" from All Sons and Daughters LIVE
Here is just the latest round of critical acclaim for the duo and LIVE:
“I don’t take it lightly in saying this, but I feel I can truly say that this is the best live worship album I’ve heard in many years. It’s an album for not only worshippers, but for music lovers who want something different to listen and worship along to than the norm…All Sons & Daughters present a gorgeous outing in Live. This talented duo continue to turn out excellent pieces of artful worship and this latest venture is their best yet.” – JesusFreakHideout.com (First 5-Star-rated album of 2013)
“This project is a potential game-changer in the area of live corporate worship. Intimate and deeply personal, it still carries the weight of a heavy-hitting worship album recorded in a packed out church or arena…On the musicianship front, David and Leslie’s vocals are near perfect the entire album, which speaks volumes to their talent as vocalists…a sparklingly rugged piece of worshipful artistry. For those seeking the perfect album for soul soaking moments of praise and seeking God, All Sons & Daughters’ LIVE is just what you’ve been looking for.” – NewReleaseTuesday.com
“With the band redefining and possibly even reinventing the worship genre...the band has taken modern worship music and stretched it, placing it on its head to remind listeners that worship music can still be fun and enjoyable, unique and different, compelling, emotive and encouraging all at once....such a hopeful and inspiring album, one of my favorite in April 2013!” – IndieVisionMusic.com
“There is something about these guys - something pure, something natural, something incredible about the way they write and deliver worship songs. This new LIVE release from All Sons & Daughters made me think two main things: 1) it is one of the most concentrated albums of great worship songs I’ve ever heard; and 2) it is a very natural live album - there is a completeness to the set.” – LouderThanTheMusic.com (5-Star review)
“Comprising of Leslie Ann Jordan (on vocals and guitar) and David Leonard (on vocals and piano), they have much to teach us about bringing an organic diversity (in incorporating elements of folk, jazz, country, Celtic and hymns) in their worship… Of all the copious worship bands out there, there is something different about All Sons & Daughters. They are a gracious duo who not only took time to enrich their worship with nuances of various stripes, but they come across as organic, embracing and so heartfelt.” – Breathecast.com
Beginning today in Cape Girardeau, MO, All Sons & Daughters will bring the music and message of LIVE to audiences across North America in cities like Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Toronto, Canada; St. Louis, MO; Rochester, NY; and numerous others. Additional tour dates will be announced soon as the duo readies its first headline tour this fall. For the latest tour detail, go to http://allsonsanddaughters.com/dates/.
The story of All Sons & Daughters begins in 2010 with artist David Leonard (Jackson Waters, NEEDTOBREATHE) wanting to spend less time traveling and more of it in real relationship with his local spiritual community at Journey Church. David connected with Leslie Jordan, part of the creative staff at the church, and the two began writing songs together, including the popular “All the Poor and Powerless.”
Quickly realizing that they shared a similar style of leadership and desire to foster authentic connections in the church through a transparent form of worship, David and Leslie adopted the name All Sons & Daughters in reference to each other and the listeners who are vital to this active fellowship process. As worship leaders at Franklin’s The Journey Church, All Sons & Daughters see their music as an extension of their church. They are known for writing songs that focus squarely on Jesus while embracing the tension of the Christian walk.
Drawing comparisons to The Civil Wars and The Swell Season for their harmonies and organic instrumentation, the duo has been named Worship Leader Magazine’s “most enchanting sound emerging in the worship genre.” They were also recently featured on tours with Chris Tomlin and Kari Jobe.
The brand new record from Josh Wilson, Carry Me, his fourth project with Sparrow Records, finds Wilson opening up his heart more than ever. Sharing about a very personal health issue dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, these new songs ultimately spread the message that through life’s difficult trials, it is only God who can carry us through it all. Released April 9th to much acclaim, numerous reviews and fan comments are pouring in, showing there’s no doubt that people love the music of this multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician and storyteller.
With comments such as "rich with truth," "authentic," and "effortless," the feedback and reviews have only been outstanding when it comes to talking about Carry Me.
"...An engaging, thought-provoking, and ultimately uplifting collection of songs that should, if there's any justice in the world, go great lengths toward earning its talented creator an evening's worth of peaceful, uninterrupted sleep." - Jesus Freak Hideout
"These songs are so rich with truth and full of life and God's grace....One of the best and well-rounded records I have heard in a long time." - Worship Leader
"In a genre where many contemporary Christian music artists recycle hooks and regurgitate lines without any plagiaristic shame, Wilson knows how to pierce through boredom with his ingenuity." - Breathecast
" Josh's poignant song writing is coupled with musical excellence...This album is sure to connect with all listeners who like catchy songs filled with truth and yearning for God. Josh invites you into his life in such an authentic and relatable way, you’ll feel like you are a lifelong friend after you hear this album. - New Release Tuesday
In the midst of writing songs for Carry Me, Wilson began experiencing severe chest and shoulder pain as well as difficulty breathing, believing he was actually having a heart attack. Yet after numerous negative tests, he tried to get back to his normal life but soon began waking up frantic in the middle of the night, even canceling scheduled performances out of fear. Reconciling these unexpected emotions with his long held beliefs defines Wilson’s intentionally joyful and honestly raw new record. Carry Me was produced by Matt Bronleewe (Chris Tomlin).
“Philippians 4 says, ‘Do not be anxious about anything . . . the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,’” Wilson shares. “I prayed for that and each day would say, ‘God, I can’t make it without you. I need you to carry me.’ And He did, and He still does. He carried me through each day even before I experienced the anxiety, but I just didn't realize it. It took these difficult moments for me to realize how much I need Jesus.”
To support the new album, Josh Wilson is currently touring with Third Day and Colton Dixon on The Miracle Tour through the spring. In the coming weeks the tour is hitting the midwest. For the most recent tour schedule and to connect with Wilson, please visit:
If you haven't heard yet, Skillet has a new album coming this June.
Rise is 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.
Sick of It
Good to be Alive
Not Gonna Die
Circus for a Psycho
Madness in Me
Fire and Fury
Hard to Find
What I Believe
The lyric video for American Noise has just become available. Watch it here.
Tour Features Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton With Special Guest BJ Putnam
World-renowned worship leader and best-selling author, Darlene Zschech, and five-time GRAMMY Award-winner, Israel Houghton, open their U.S. “Revealing Jesus Tour” in San Diego today (April 16) followed by events in Las Vegas (4/17), Phoenix (4/18), Irvine and Rancho Cucamonga, CA (4/19), Houston (4/20-21) and Dallas (4/21). In addition to new music from Zschech and Houghton, the events will feature special guest worship leader and songwriter BJ Putnam. For all the latest tour detail and ticket information, go to www.darlenezschech.com.
Christians across continents are joining in the call to worship presented through Zschech’s Revealing Jesus live CD/DVD and 365-day devotional hardcover gift book from RGM-NEW BREED Music / Integrity Music and Bethany House Publishers, respectively. Released March 19 amidst international acclaim, her long-awaited new recording was produced by Houghton and features special guest appearances and song co-writes with Michael W. Smith, Kari Jobe and Houghton. The first video from the Revealing Jesus DVD is “Victor's Crown.”
Dr. Chuck Fromm, founder and publisher of Worship Leader Magazine / Song Discovery says, “Among today’s hymnwriters and music creators, Darlene Zschech is a pioneer, mentor and vital contributor with worldwide impact.” Charisma Magazine says, “Zschech, with Houghton’s direction, has crafted one of the finest live worship projects in recent memory, which serves as a bridge for those raised on early Hillsong music who want to sing a new song.” CCM Magazine says, “In her classic fashion, worship leader Darlene Zschech brings her A-game once more in this newest release.”
In addition to the 12 new Revealing Jesus CD/DVD worship anthems, bonus tracks in custom versions of the album will include fresh takes on such internationally acclaimed songs as “Shout to the Lord,” “Hosanna” and “Worthy is the Lamb,” as well as the Houghton-penned “Jesus at the Center.” The custom versions include a “deluxe” CD/DVD combination.
The companion Revealing Jesus book was poured out from the pages of Zschech’s personal journals. Honest, raw, and beautifully written, the devotional contains meditations and Scriptures revealing the heart of Jesus. Worship Leader magazine says the book is “beneficial for those who may feel stuck in a rut in their prayer life or for those who may not know where to start, overwhelmed by the vastness of the Bible…[it] will help readers to gain a fresh perspective and renewed hope for each day, deepening their understanding of God and drawing them closer to Him.”
To listen to song samples from Darlene's newest album, click here.
Life is Beautiful even in the midst of a hectic tax week.
At least it is for The Afters who release their fourth studio album today, April 16. The chart-topping foursome delivers their much-anticipated release to a sea of high praises after more than two and a half years since their last studio album. The project plays anthem to the heartbreaks and life experiences that lead to the album’s appropriately titled affirmation – Life is Beautiful.
The band kicks-off the release of Life is Beautiful with a week-long media run in New York City with visits to Billboard Magazine, FOX News Radio, Guideposts Magazine, Liberty Treehouse, Sirius FM and Star99.1 FM, among others. In addition, The Afters will perform their infectious lead single, “Every Good Thing” on the highly acclaimed morning show, The Better Show. Their interview and performance will air on the nationally syndicated lifestyle TV program next Monday, April 22. The single is also making impressive gains at radio, breaking into the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot AC/CHR Chart and jumping to No. 7 on the Billboard Christian Audience Chart.
Check out a few of the glowing praises on Life is Beautiful:
"Four albums into its hit heavy career, The Afters are continuing to craft hook heavy material with thought-provoking lyrics, which in this particular case, seek to encourage and enrich fans’ faith journeys while giving glory to God for even the simplest blessings."
“This album challenges us to dive into our own lives and make sure that the beautiful moments aren’t forgotten. Life Is Beautiful encourages us to live our lives head on to experience the wonder and beauty set before us.”
- Indie Music Vision
“Filled with fun, encouraging and several heart-touching moments, Life Is Beautiful is easily one of the must-own albums of 2013. If there was any time to discover The Afters, it's now. “
- New Release Tuesday
"In the midst of discouragement, disappointment, and overall disarray, an album like Life Is Beautiful speaks directly to these injustices"
- Jesus Freak Hideout
"This is The Afters’ best work to date... It speaks to the being of humanity, God's greatest creation, that Life Is Beautiful."
- Christian Music Zine
The Afters are currently on the Hundred More Years tour with Francesca Battistelli, Love and the Outcome and Kyle Sherman. For more information on tour dates and tickets click here.
Hillsong UNITED's Joel Houston appeared in studio April 14th on FoxNews LIVE talking about their recent release Zion as well as their upcoming US tour. In case you missed it, watch below to view the interview.
In the interview, Joel talked about how UNITED has grown over the years in their mission, "Our music has found a voice and given us the opportunity to take the songs places we could never have imagined. Our main cause is to unite people around common causes in the name of Jesus."
And UNITED's new studio album, Zion, has done just that as the international worship band earned its highest ever Billboard 200 debut at No. 5 .
In June, Hillsong UNITED will debut their USA summer tour, "WELCOMEZION." UNITED will be appearing at 12 venues across the nation including the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver. Tickets for all dates are currently on sale here.
If you like faith-based films that inspire and encourage you, then plan to see Home Run when it opens in theaters on April 19.
About Home Run
Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control. Hoping to save her client's career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory's agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up.
Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can't wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible. As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future … and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.
Max Lucado says, "'Home Run' reminds us of the power of forgiveness, the richness of redemption, and the wisdom of trusting God to revive us."
Joyce Meyer adds, "'Home Run' portrays the church in its beauty—true life transformation through real and honest relationships with one another and with Jesus."
Tickets are available and show times are listed here for the theaters where this powerful, redemptive parable will be opening. Make plans now to bring a group to see HOME RUN on opening weekend, April 19-21.
Wondering who will be impacted by Home Run? Take a look at this DadPad blog post written by Jeff Abramovitz:
"Raise your hand if you had or know someone who had a difficult childhood. Raise your other hand if you or someone you know has struggled with some kind of addiction. Since most of us now have two raised hands put them down and get ready to buy a ticket for the opening weekend of the movie, Home Run that comes out April 19-21."
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