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Music

  • Andrew Peterson returns to Grand Ole Opry

    Posted on May 20, 2013 by Family Christian

    Late summer Peterson will join Sara Groves on Bebo Norman’s final tour

    After the enormous success of his debut Grand Ole Opry appearance, Andrew Peterson will once again return to the renowned stage at the Grand Ole Opry House on Friday, May 24th, 7:00 pm.  Joining him that evening will be Vince Gill, Eric Paslay, Steve Wariner, and more, along with Peterson’s long-time bandmates Andy Gullahorn and Ben Shive. For tickets and more information please visit online at www.orpy.com.

    “I love Nashville, and this grand institution is at the heart of the city, so I couldn’t be more honored to be invited back,” says Peterson. “Now if I can just manage to keep my cool around Steve Wariner, I might survive.”

    A few weeks after Peterson’s Opry appearance, he will embark on a European tour that will include stops in Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom.  Back in the United States in late summer, Peterson will join Sara Groves for Bebo Norman’s final tour of 2013, In The Round.  Peterson and Norman have had a long friendship that started in 1998 when they both opened for Caedmon’s Call.  Since then, they have toured together numerous times with Norman being the special guest on Peterson’s highly popular Behold The Lamb Of God Christmas Tour in 2008 and 2009.

    “I can’t think of a better way to finish my touring career than performing in the round with the likes of Andrew Peterson and Sara Groves,” says Norman.  “Even though I will be sharing the stage with them, in spirit I will simply be another member of the audience hanging on every song they sing.”

    Rounding out 2013 for Peterson will be the 4rd Annual Hutchmoot, October 10-13, at Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, TN. This year’s event sold out in less than three minutes!  In December, Peterson will launch his 14th annual Behold The Lamb Of God Christmas Tour and the fifteen dates are online at www.andrew-peterson.com.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Bebo Norman, Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves, Vince Gill

  • Hillsong Set to Release New LIVE album Glorious Ruin

    Posted on May 16, 2013 by Family Christian


    Hillsong LIVE will release their 22nd live-recorded album, Glorious Ruins, on July 2. Recorded for the first time live in two locations - London, England and Sydney, Australia - Glorious Ruins is consistent with Hillsong’s passion to resource the church around the globe. The live album offers the church a new era of worship anthems that will cross multiple denominational and cultural boundaries.

    “Ruins can speak of crushing defeat or perhaps of something abandoned, but the good news today is that the ruins come to life,” explains Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church Brian Houston. “Through Jesus Christ what we look at is ruins that become glorious.”

    Let the ruins come to life, in the beauty of your name, rising up from the ashes, God forever you reign. And my heart will find refuge, in the shadow of your wings, I will love you forever, and forever I'll sing" – lyrics from "Glorious Ruins"

    “This declaration of the saving power of Christ reminds us that we can look to the cross throughout life, in times of success or failure He is there with us,” shares worship leader Reuben Morgan. “We’ve never been diverted from viewing worship as both personal and corporate, intimate and celebratory. We don’t seek to make each project ‘better’ as such, because how can one form of worship be better than another? Instead each project is a continuation of the journey, and we are thankful to God that so many people take the journey with us.”

    Glorious Ruins is an acknowledgment of humanity and a bridge to redemption. It includes 12 fresh new songs (14 songs on the Deluxe Edition) written by Hillsong team members including Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker. The album features the title track, “Man of Sorrows,” which is already being sung in churches internationally, and “Glorify Your Name,” a collaboration between Reuben Morgan and Chris Tomlin.

    Glorious Ruins follows the highly successful LIVE 2012 release Cornerstone, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian and Praise and Worship charts. The single “Cornerstone” recently had the highest debut on the CCLI chart and was sung in over 11,000 churches on Easter Sunday.

    Glorious Ruins Track List:
    1. Always Will
    2. You Never Fail
    3. Christ Is Enough
    4. Where The Spirit of the Lord Is
    5. Glorious Ruins
    6. Closer
    7. God Who Saves
    8. To Be Like You
    9. Man of Sorrows
    10. We Glorify Your Name
    11. You Crown The Year (Psalm 65:11)
    12. Anchor


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan

  • FOR KING & COUNTRY PERFORM BEFORE A SOLD-OUT CROWD

    Posted on May 15, 2013 by Family Christian


    Saturday night was a momentous occasion as critically-acclaimed duo for KING & COUNTRY played before a sold-out crowd for KSBJ’s 30th Anniversary Concert. The celebration, which also featured performances by Chris August, Francesca Battistelli, Steven Curtis Chapman, Family Force 5, Amy Grant, MercyMe and Switchfoot, took place at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Spring, TX.

    “for King and Country were C-R-A-Z-Y onstage and set the bar high opening up the show,” said KSBJ’s Assistant Programming Director and “The Morning Show” co-host, Pam Kelly. “They really gave it their all and the crowd loved it.  And such nice guys!  Joel stood out in the plaza for hours, in the Houston heat, to take pictures with everyone who wanted one.  These guys are going to be around for a long time!”

    “Middle of Your Heart” is for KING & COUNTRY’s third single from their debut album, Crave. On January 10, they made their late night debut performing “The Proof of Your Love,” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, for KING & COUNTRY were named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch and were CCM’s best-selling new artist. New Release Tuesday noted that Crave was “One of the Best Debut Projects in Years!” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwriter commented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, MercyMe, Francesca Battistelli, Switchfoot, for King & Country, Chris August, Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Family Force 5

  • Amy Grant's Latest - One of the Best Albums of the Year

    Posted on May 15, 2013 by Family Christian


    The foundation behind Amy Grant’s first full-length studio album in 10 years came from some advice given to her by her late mother – “sing something that matters.” The six-time GRAMMY® Award winner, who releases her 18th studio album today, May 14 is dedicating How Mercy Looks From Here to her mother and drawing from some of her favorite singers and songwriters in what critics are calling her most impactful release to date. The impressive array of talent includes Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Will Hoge, Carole King, Eric Paslay and James Taylor.

    To launch her first album in over a decade, Grant dives in to street week with appearances on CBS This Morning (5/17 and 5/18) and the nationally syndicated lifestyle program, The Better Show (5/17) as well as Morning Joe on MSNBC (5/14), NPR’s “Weekend Edition” (5/12), WOR Radio with Rita Cosby (5/14), ABC Radio, Keep the Faith radio and more. Grant also recently conducted an in depth interview for Lifetime TV’s “The Balancing Act,” (5/28) as well as their “Hollywood Watch” program (5/31). Additionally, Grant is also scheduled to appear on the highly acclaimed shows The View and The Chew early this summer.

    Other media highlights for How Mercy Looks From Here include a special two-part Artist to Artist interview with FUSE NEWS between Grant and Sheryl Crow, an exclusive online video interview for Entertainment Tonight online as well as their featured artist for New Music Tuesday today, exclusive song premieres with Billboard.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, and cover stories with CCM Magazine, Called Magazine, Guideposts, FIRST for Women Magazine, SOCIAL and WHOA magazines. Additional feature coverage includes Billboard, Country Weekly, People.com, SiriusXM, and more.

    The album’s lead track, "Don't Try So Hard," features legendary songwriter James Taylor and continues its rise up the AC monitored chart, jumping 4 spots to #25 this week, and up 6 spots on the National Audience chart to #27.

    Along with special mother’s day promotions with several stations across the country, additional radio promos for the record are happening with key market stations throughout the country. Grant is making personal appearances at record listening parties with WAWZ, WGTS, WCIE, and WHPZ, as well as participating in a special promotion with KSBJ, while KXOJ and K-LOVE are both promoting a flyaway to The Greek Theater in Los Angeles to meet Amy and see her live.

    Welcoming back the iconic singer-songwriter with open arms, here are just a few of the multitudes of praises on How Mercy Looks From Here:

    “[Amy’s] time away from music seems to have given [her] a renewed fervor for the job – a feeling that she doesn’t plan to extinguish any time soon.”
    - Entertainment Tonight

    "The older I get the more I appreciate the experiences of others and what they teach me. This album is about just that, experience or the journey that we are all on. It is very powerful yet simple and humbling. Great record for where you are or where you will go!"
    - Mike Bowles, AVP Ministry Initiatives, Family Christian

    “...her singing has an easy grace that's well served by these songs of love, loss, faith and resilience, which benefit from Marshall Altman's spare, glowing production.”
    - USA Today

    It is so good to once again hear from Amy Grant. Her artistry, love, and matter of fact communication style have produced an incredible new release.
    Amy is always so good at encouraging me to get my head right, and she has done it again.
    - Hank Butler, Sr. Merchandiser Manager, Family Christian

    “Grant’s most emotionally compelling release since 1988’s “Lead Me On"... proves that sincerity is not overrated and that open-hearted storytelling will outlast any musical fad.”

    - Atlanta Journal Constitution

    “The revered veteran is at another creative peak punctuated by authentic vocal delivery, understated but sophisticated production and a slew of all-star guests.”
    - CCM Magazine

    "I’ve been waiting years for new Amy Grant music…this record was worth the wait. From the first single 'Don’t Try So Hard' which delivers instant rest for this world that has gotten itself into a great big hurry, to my personal favorite 'Our Time is Now' (co-written by Jon Foreman). I love 'How Mercy Looks From Here.'"
    - Dan Hubka, Family Christian

    "...a start-to-finish true album experience... Every song on this album is heart and soul music, and Grant hits a home run in her quest to “sing something that matters.”
    - Nashville Parent

    “A collection of songs that mine the depths of both heart and soul as only Amy can. This is easily one of the best albums of the year.”
    - NewReleaseTuesday.com

    “Ultimately a profoundly encouraging record, How Mercy Looks From Here is a vibrant collection of thoughtful, reflective ruminations on life and the passage of time, from the lens of one who realizes the purpose for which she was created.”
    - Christian Musician


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Amy Grant

  • JAVEN TO RELEASE LIVE WORSHIP ALBUM

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Family Christian


    Tyscot Music + Entertainment is pleased to announce the signing of award-winning Gospel artist JAVEN. His upcoming live album, “Worship in the Now,” will be released on May 21st, features guest appearances by Damita, Marvin Winans, Jr., The Campbell Family, Jonathan Nelson and LaRue Howard.

    "Praise and Worship music is one of the cornerstones of adoring and honoring our God, a joyful celebration of congregational singing,” said Bryant S. Scott, President of Tyscot. “We signed JAVEN as we truly believe it's his time to help the nation & the world, Worship In The Now!"

    Over the past decade, JAVEN has not only gained international recognition as a recording artist, but as an actor as well. His extensive acting credits include the Off-Broadway musical “The Rock and the Rabbi” and feature films like “The Sixth,” “Abandoned” (starring Brittany Murphy), “One Night with the King” (opposite Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole) and “Preacher’s Kid” (with Clifton Powell and former Destiny's Child member LaToya Luckett). JAVEN also served as a co-host on BET’s “Paula White Show” from 2001-2002.

    “I'm excited about ‘Worship in the Now’ and what it means to those who are experiencing it,” said JAVEN. “I know as people begin to include worship more and more in their everyday lives, everything from depression to poverty, even sickness will begin to be removed from their lives. It's my belief that this new [album] will be a hit across the country with this Now Generation of Worshipers, who are people that want to get closer to God's presence.”

    JAVEN continues to tour worldwide, traveling internationally to perform and speak throughout North America and around the world.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Marvin Winans, Javen, Damita, Jonathan Nelson, LaRue Howard

  • Third Day "Miracle" Tour Review

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Todd Headen


    It is fascinating having multi-generations involved on-stage. Not only is there a variety of song styles, but there is a sense of community that can happen on-stage and in the audience that typically does not happen in a single genre setting. This very aspect was called out by Mac Powell during the concert when he stated a fact: Third Day is in their 20th year of making music and Colton Dixon is 21-years-old – just one year difference in them beginning a career and him beginning life. Throw in the guitar and lyrics of Josh Wilson to open (and close) the evening and the outcome is a fun-filled evening of community and worship.

    The family is the beginning of community, and I saw it sitting right in front of me. The teenage son was obviously a Colton Dixon fan – the Messenger t-shirt he wore was a clue, but his actions were the exclamation point. Encouraged by his mother, he ran to the stage to take pictures while Colton energized the room – and mom moved to the music (she obviously listened to what her son listened to – you cannot fake lip-syncing). And he returned the favor for mom, going to the stage multiple times while Third Day filled the air, taking pictures of one of her generation’s enduring music groups. She is obviously a fan, singing not just to the new songs but to the classics as well – raising her hand and enjoying a few moments of worship. And then it happened, the moment that showed what true community was occurring. As Mac Powell hit the chorus “Well, no matter who you are, and no matter what you’ve done…”, mom began to cry and the son put his arm around her and held on. It was obvious that somewhere in their story, God had brought a miracle in their time of need, and they were a stronger community by it.

    Did I get involved in community? Well, I had gotten tickets for my small group and we filled most of our row. I learned just how much they liked Third Day (some of those middle-agers can scream!); I enjoyed finding out how much one guy loved Colton Dixon; and it was fun seeing them pour over the lyrics of Josh Wilson, debating whether to get one or both of the CD’s available. And we were all still there for the post-concert/songfest with Josh out by the flag pole. A community event we will be remembering for a long time to come.

    Highlights from this evening of communal joy and worship:
    • Getting to shake hands and picture-take with Mac, Tai, David, and Mark before the concert; and realizing it had been a decade+ since I had last seen them live. I guess I am truly a part of that generation.
    • Seeing and hearing Josh Wilson live in concert. I had discovered his music a few years ago and had been hooked with his twist of phrase and remarkable guitar licks. For the Josh Wilson fans who go back farther than “Pushing Back The Dark” and “Carry Me”, his rendition of “Amazing Grace” was even better in person than on the album; and I am still kicking myself for not getting “Dear Money” out fast enough when he called for requests at the flagpole.
    • Beyond just hearing and seeing Colton Dixon (in the words of some of the small group: “Billy Idol!”), it was great to see him and sister Schyler perform “You Are.” They both have amazing voices.
    • Third Day started and hit me like a bomb. Yes, I tweeted that!
    • It was definitely a great playlist by Third Day, covering the multiple years and albums from “I’ve Always Loved You” to “Kicking and Screaming”. My wife was a little upset until they finally came out for the encore and did her favorite on the Miracle album: “Your Love Is Like A River.”


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Third Day, Tour, Josh Wilson, Colton Dixon

  • Skillet. The Rock Band That Doesn't Quit

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by John van der Veen


    Skillet recently made headlines when their last album, Awake, became one of just three rock albums to be certified platinum in 2012, forming an improbable triumvirate with the Black Keys’ El Camino and Mumford & Sons’ Babel. The news that Skillet had sold more than a million albums in the U.S. came as a shock to all but the band’s wildly diverse horde of fans, male and female, young and old—known as Panheads—whose still-swelling ranks now officially number in the seven-digit range. This remarkable achievement was announced just as Skillet was putting the finishing touches on their eagerly awaited follow-up album, Rise (Atlantic/Word).

    As soon as the master was turned in to the studio to finish post production on the new album, I sat down with John Cooper

    John Cooper

    (lead singer) to talk through what was behind Rise. As you will see, while reading this, John is a passionate man. He is passionate about his music. His wife. His family. About Christ.

    John: I’m wondering if you could share a little bit with us about the new record, Rise. What’s the story behind this?

    John C.: It’s a story about a typical, American teenage kid coming into adulthood and being faced with how brutal the world is. There are shocking things in the outside world, like school shootings, war and all the things you see on the news everyday.

    This album is about how those things affect the life of a teenager. And it’s not just about the big problems from outside, but also about problems from within. That is, living in a single family house with an abusive dad, fighting at home, school bullying, just not being happy with who you are as a person and about trying to find faith. The whole record is about finding faith in a dark world. Rising up out of your circumstances. It all leads to a climax of the character realizing he is never going to be good enough. He is never going to do enough, and is born to let himself down. Even if the outside world doesn’t let him down. Even if his friends don’t let him down. He is going to let himself down because he needs to be redeemed. He reaches out to God and basically just says, “I need to be saved. I need something bigger than myself. I want a change and I want to be new.” That is the climax of the album during the song “Salvation,” in which he cried out for Salvation. All of the sudden, he is safe and able to rise up out of his circumstance.

    John: John, throughout your discography, you guys have always had one or two songs that have dealt with that person who is being pressured by the elements of this world, by the things of this world. You’ve really kind of encouraged people to rise above it and move past that. This certainly has been part of your call as an artist and as a songwriter through the years. Is this a personal story in a sense, John C.? Do you know this person?

    John C.: Right, well there certainly are aspects of me in this person. It’s not a mural. It’s not every little thing that happens. But, yes, absolutely. In fact, I dare say, there are elements of all of us in this person. I think that’s why this record is coming off well.

    So far, people are experiencing it personally. I think it’s because most of us can relate to that feeling of worthlessness, or maybe we let ourselves down and we just realize that it’s amazing that someone else would love us, especially God. A holy God, for that matter! That He would like us is real shocking. There are personal things in my life, of course, that contributed to this, certainly.

    My mom died when I was young. I was 14. My dad and I didn’t get along for a long time. There were times growing up that I felt afraid and wondered if God was there. When I cried out to Him to help me through those hard times. My story is embedded within this record, definitely.

    Good to be Alive
    Written by John L. Cooper, Zach Malloy, Tom Douglas

    Verse 1
    When all you've got are broken dreams
    Just need a second chance
    And everything you want to be
    Gets taken from your hands

    We hold on to each other
    All we have is all we need
    Cause one way or another
    We always make it, you and me

    This life can almost kill you
    When you're trying to survive
    It's good to be here with you

    CHORUS
    It's good to be alive
    It’s good to be alive
    I was lost and I was gone
    I was almost dead inside
    You and me against the world
    It’s a beautiful night
    It’s good to be alive

    Verse 2
    Driving down this highway
    Soaking up the sun
    Got miles to go before we get home
    And the journey's just begun

    We hold on to each other
    You are everything I need
    You feel like forever
    You're a second chance for me

    Bridge
    It's a beautiful night
    Yeah, it's alright
    It's good to be alive

    John: Your last three records have allowed you guys to walk into various ideologies or arenas of thought where you've been able to speak a very significant message. What has that been like? How has that experience been for maybe you, your wife and for you guys as a band over the last couple of years?

    John C.: It has been thrilling, because evangelism has always been kind of what my life is about. Ever since I became a Christian when I was five, it was a natural gifting and leaning towards sharing my faith with people. That longing and zeal has never changed for me. The only thing I think that has changed is the way I do it and the way that we go about it.

    To answer that question, yeah, I think Skillet has begun to write songs, as you said, songs we could all relate to, not just Christian people. I kind of look at it like the way that Jesus told his parables. That is—and I’m just going to be honest here, but I hope nobody takes it bad—I’ve been a Christian since I was five, and still when I read Jesus’ words I still sometimes go, “Man, I just wonder why he wasn’t more clear about what he was talking about.” It’s a little elliptical you know? You have to dig in and watch it rise and see what he was pointing at. The only answer I have come up with is that the Bible said if you seek God, you will find Him. I started thinking, you know what? That’s how I’m going to write my songs. I’m going to leave them open to interpretation of things that we can all relate to, and then when people go to the website or they come to the show and they hear me doing an interview, they will begin to hear what the songs are about. I hope to point them toward Jesus in that way. The songs are kind of grouped by a message that people can relate to. That is kind of how Skillet has written our songs.

    To answer your other question, it has been thrilling because I love evangelism. They tell of people that have gotten saved from music. Could be the unreachable type, the unreachables of the world and that is where I feel I have a lot to share.

    When our last record came out, there was a guy who basically sent me an email saying he heard our song on NFL. “Hero” was playing and he liked it. He said he went to their website and found out who the band was, and bought the song. He said he loved the song and came to a show. One thing led to another, and basically this guy and his wife were both in the pornography industry. They both were filmmakers. The guy got saved and ended up leading his wife to it too. So they were saved now and got out of that industry and have gotten into church. And it was all from hearing our song on NFL. Stories like that are amazing! It’s something only God can do. And we are so honored He is using our music to do it.

    What I Believe
    Written by John L. Cooper and Korey Cooper

    Verse 1
    The world around me
    Is lost in misery
    The only good I've got in my life is you
    No meaning, no other reason
    When everything feels wrong I feel right with you
    So madly, desperate, deeply, obsessed your love is better than life to me
    Can I have this moment forever?
    Take me to the beginning

    CHORUS
    You are what I believe
    I'll live and die for you
    This is all that I need
    When nothing is real you are my truth
    In the darkness you shine
    Can you keep me safe tonight?
    When I’m down on my knees
    You are what I believe

    Verse 2
    When we started, wholehearted
    I never needed anything or anyone else
    I was broken, you made me whole again
    The only one I trusted more than myself

    So madly, desperate, deeply, I will live for you completely
    Can I have this moment forever?
    Take me to the beginning

    Bridge:
    Believe in your love
    Believe in your life
    Believe that you can put me back together on the inside
    Chase all the fear away
    Every time I speak your name

    Take me
    You are what I believe

    CHORUS
    You are what I believe
    I'll live and die for you
    This is all that I need
    When nothing is real you are my truth
    In the darkness you shine
    Can you keep me safe tonight?
    When I'm down on my knees
    You are what I believe

    John: That is absolutely amazing, John. And I appreciate you sharing that.

    Let’s shift gears now and talk a little bit about the new record. How does a concept record get played live? What is the live show going to look like for Rise?

    John C.: Well, at the moment, we are just going to keep showing our shows as we do them. The really cool thing about this record is that I think the songs live on their own outside of the concept period. It’s really cool because with concept records, sometimes individual songs aren’t as strong on their own outside of the full story. We wrote these songs not intending to make it a concept album. The songs themselves do live on their own, and yet the story seems quite clear per song.

    That’s why I think this record is kind of unique. It’s a concept record full of songs that stand alone with impact, we hope. At the moment, we are going to keep playing the songs as-is, but in the back of our minds, we hope this album garners enough excitement, respect and sales that we could go out and do a tour. The whole show is basically like theater, not a theater performance, but more like cinema rock. Like a movie all the way through. That would be really great. You can’t really plan on that kind of success. You have to hope for it and wait and see what happens.

    John: It’s all about cinema rock, isn’t it? Is there still going to be fire?

    John C.: I sure hope so. I love that. Again, going back to Skillet, in the past a lot of people have told me, “When I’m listening to your music or I see the show, it kind of feels like I’m watching a movie.” People have said that quite a lot. I like the theater aspects and the fire. We were adding some stuff this summer that we’ve never done before. I won’t give it away right now, but we’re beginning to add other effects to our show that I think are bringing even more to that sort of theater/movie experience. We’re going to keep adding surprise elements. I hope that fire is always one of them for the rest of my life.

    John: I do too, man. I keep voting for fire.

    John C.: I agree. It was my birthday [a while ago] and I got these new shoes that I’m really excited about. I put them on and I said to my son, “So, what do you think? Do you like my new shoes?” He said, “Yeah, but I think they would be cooler if there was a skeleton on the side and his skull was on fire.”

    John: I love it.

    John C., with that in mind, either in a live setting or even on your records, we will hear hints of 80s glam rock.

    John C.: Right.

    John: I know you were born in the mid 70s. Are you in love with 80s glam rock as much as I am?

    John C.: Absolutely. You definitely can hear it. In fact, it’s funny because some people ask in interviews, “Who is your biggest influence?” This is awful to say, but I think that in Skillet’s music you hear decades of influence. You definitely have that 80s glam thing. You see it in the show with the fire and the guitar solos. Everything is a little bit over the top.

    Also, I am a really big fan of 70s rock, like the stuff Journey, Kansas, Yes and Fleetwood Mac put out. You can really hear that in the music, too. Even some Meatloaf. It’s got this kind of Queen opera rock thing to it that feels a little dramatic. I think with the strings, it feels a little romantic as well. You can definitely hear all of those. But my voice, I don’t sing like an 80s guy. I sing more like a 90s guy. That is, when I started really singing in rock bands, it was 1992–93, and you had Nirvana, Pearl Jam and all those kinds of bands on the scene. So we definitely have a variety of decades of influence and skill with our music and sound.

    John: Cinema rock.

    John C.: Yeah.

    John: So you are a husband, a father, a songwriter, singer and follower of Jesus. Help the ordinary man—whether in high school, college or married—who has followed your career for the last few years. As someone who is reading this blog who struggles to follow Christ on a daily basis, how do you work that up? How do you follow Jesus on a daily basis and how could you encourage others in their walk?

    John C.: That is a great question. The problem is there is not a great answer, like click your heels together twice and take this pill. I wish there were because it would be easier. I think especially what I’m seeing with young people, young people’s attention spans are just so short these days because of the amount of information available. It is constant bombardment with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. There is so much stuff happening that I think we get drawn into fads. We go, “Man, I’m all about this new TV show, or twit picks. Or the new iPhone.” It’s constant bombardment. Within all of those things, there may be a time for a lot of Christians that they are all about Jesus but then they move onto something else because it’s just constantly moving.

    I tell people, “You have to make a decision in your life now, what your entire life is going to be about.” It’s kind of like when I chose to marry my wife. I made a decision and I knew for the rest of my life until I died or she dies, we are going to be married and that is just the way it is. Nothing is going to change that. I have a kid. Nothing is going to change it. You are going to be a father. Nothing in the world can stop that anymore. Even more importantly, that is what it means to follow Jesus. I am making the decision today that my whole life is going to be about Him, and I will do what He says and I just won’t falter from that. I think a lot of it just comes down to making a decision and sticking to it rather than jumping on and off fads.

    For me, I made that decision years ago and I surrounded myself with other people who made that decision. My pastor, my friends, and my wife. We all have made that decision together and then when things are hard and the new fad comes in, and I go, “Man, maybe I want to give working out more time than I give Jesus,” I have my wife and pastor and friends chime in, and we all pursue Him together.

    I think a lot of Christians don’t make that decision. I always tell people it’s not going to be easier to live for Jesus but you have to make the decision and it can be done. It becomes easier to live for Jesus once you have just made that commitment because that is what your life is about. Instead of finding things that seem more fun, find the most fulfilling thing and that is living for God. Knowing His love, speaking to Him every day and talking to Him. It’s absolutely more fulfilling to your soul than all of these other “fun things.” Anyway, that is what I do. Of course, I read my Bible and I pray, but a lot of it comes down to what our lives are going to be about, and it is Him.

    MY RELIGION

    Music and words: John L. Cooper and Korey Cooper

    Verse 1
    Who's gonna save my soul
    Nothing and nobody but you
    Who's gonna make me whole
    Nothing and nobody but you

    Can't change me, sway me
    Don't know what to make of me
    You've got my devotion fanatical though it may be
    I love you mind, heart, body and soul
    You're the only sanctuary that i know

    CHORUS
    I don't need to stare at stained glass and a steeple
    I don't need to dress to impress all of the people
    Don't need no priest
    Don't need no pew
    You are my religion my religion is you

    I don't need no other purpose
    You give me a reason
    Ain’t their business what I wanna believe in
    You are my priest
    You are my truth
    You are my religion, my religion is you

    Verse 2
    Who's gonna heal my pain
    Nothing makes me feel like you do
    Who can drive my demons away
    Nothing makes me heal like you do
    I love you mind, heart, body and soul
    You're the only sanctuary that I know

    CHORUS
    I don't need to stare at stained glass and a steeple
    I don't need to dress to impress all of the people
    Don't need no priest
    Don't need no pew
    You are my religion my religion is you

    I don't need no other purpose
    You give me a reason
    It ain’t their business what I wanna believe in
    You are my priest
    You are my truth
    You are my religion, my religion is you

    Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me

    Bridge
    Mind, heart, soul and strength
    Belong to you, belong to me
    Got my devotion I will follow where you lead
    I won't be told what to feel and how to show
    My love can't be stopped
    Love you any way I want

    John: I love it John, and I really appreciate your honestly there. That is really good to hear. One last question before we leave?

    John C.: Hit me.

    John: Red Bull, Mountain Dew or coffee.

    John C.: Oh gosh, you know what? I’m not in love with any of them to tell you the truth. These days I drink coffee, not a lot, but I do drink coffee. I haven’t been drinking sugar or caffeinated drinks. I got off that. I am over six months Dr. Pepper-free. Dr. Pepper was my drug of choice.

    John: That’s right, I forgot about that. I’m sorry I should not have offended you by saying Mountain Dew. I should have said Dr. Pepper, Red Bull or coffee.

    John C.: It would be Dr. Pepper but I am recovering.

    John: You are recovering.

    John C.: That is one of those things that I could never touch it again because I’m like a Dr. Pepper-a-holic. I haven’t told anybody that in interviews. You are the first person to hear me say that I’m six months Dr. Pepper-free.

    John: Can I ask why you gave it up?

    John C.: It was just bad for me. Diabetes runs in my family. I’m like, you know what? I love this drink too much and it’s not good for me so I quit it. I think even more important than that, is they refused to promote Skillet and put anything behind it. So they haven’t put me in a Dr. Pepper commercial. If they did, then I wouldn’t mind drinking it (laughs). I would give them my Dr. Pepper anonymous card, and I would take it up again if they would put me in a commercial.

    John: There you go. All right, Dr. Pepper, it’s on the line. It’s all up to them now.

    John C.: Yes.

    John: John, thank you, Man. You’ve made me laugh. You encouraged me in my walk with Christ today. I appreciate you. I appreciate your band and your ministry and your art. I’m excited about this new record.

    John C.: Well, thank you so much. I appreciate it. It was good to talk to you.


    This post was posted in Music, Interviews, John van der Veen and was tagged with Featured, Forgiveness, Marriage, Skillet, NFL

  • Matt Redman’s Receives ASCAP’s Award

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Family Christian


    The reasons to celebrate continue to add up for sixstepsrecords’ acclaimed worship leader Matt Redman. This year alone, Redman’s powerful single “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” has been certified Digital Gold by the RIAA, earned two GRAMMY® awards and is nominated for K-LOVE Fan Awards’ “Song of The Year.” The song is also up for “Top Christian Song” at the Billboard Music Awards, one of two nods for Redman for the award show. Adding to the worship anthem’s impressive honors came earlier this week when it was named ASCAP’s Christian Music Song of the Year at Monday night’s ASCAP Christian Awards at the Franklin Theatre.

    "I love watching the journey a song can go on," says Redman. "We wrote '10,000 Reasons' in a tiny little chapel in the English village I live in, and it's been a big blessing to see if fly around so many churches and radio - and then to receive an encouragement like this. Huge thanks to ASCAP for the award."

    Momentum continues for Redman as he is set to record a brand new worship album at Passion City Church’s ‘LIFT: A Worship Leader Collective’ in Atlanta, GA from May 31 – June. 1. Hosted by Louie Giglio and GRAMMY® winner Chris Tomlin, the event will bring together worship leaders from across the country. Redman's forthcoming project will be a live recording from the event, following suit with 10,000 Reasons, which was recorded at the LIFT gathering in 2011. The new album will release on Sept. 24.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Louie Giglio

  • SHINE BRIGHT BABY Debuts Dreamers

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Family Christian


    BEC Recordings is set to release the first recording from the band Shine Bright Baby. The national debut disc from the worshipful electronic rockers, titled Dreamers, is set to release July 23.

    The foursome comprising Shine Bright Baby - Emily Irene on vocals, guitarist Nathan Fertig, Joshua Fink on keys, guitars and vocals, and Karl Wendel on drums - each hail from Orrville, Ohio. Their unique band name comes from Philippians 2, which, shares Joshua, “Talks about shining brightly for the Lord, but we wanted to take what that verse said and apply it to the band’s mission and what we stood for. Emily wanted it to be more fun and playful, so she tacked ‘Baby’ on the end and it just stuck.”

    None of the members of Shine Bright Baby had the lifelong mission to be part of a band, yet when local reception grew so strong that major festivals and record labels were showing interest, they had no choice but to notice God’s plan for the band. “We all come from church backgrounds, all leading worship at church at various points of life,” says Karl. “Anytime we’re on that stage, our goal is to glorify God and worship through our instruments and voices, and hopefully in turn, help others be able to draw closer to God.”

    Emily and Nathan, who founded the band in 2007, started performing in the local scene in both mainstream club settings and amongst Christian circles, performing their inventive mixture of pop, rock, electronic and modern worship. During the time, most of the bands in town steered towards metal and Shine Bright Baby stood out from the pack, then adding Joshua and Karl to their lineup.

    Shine Bright Baby soon found themselves headlining shows as well as opening for acts like The Classic Crime, Ivoryline and Manic Drive, then quickly graduating to playing the major festivals with very little promotion. Soon after, they signed with BEC Recordings.

    “After we signed with BEC Recordings, we went into a really serious songwriting mode, coming up with 70 or 80 songs,” Emily shares. “We needed to find what we wanted and what felt right, and throughout that process, we experienced a lot of growth.” To create Dreamers, they worked with producer and songwriting collaborator Matt Arcaini, creative partners Mike “X” O’Conner and Tofer Brown, plus executive producer Pete Kipley.

    One of the band’s personal favorites from Dreamers is “Made To Glow,” a song about letting God’s love shine in everyone’s daily actions, while the piano/acoustic ballad “Love Restores” was written in the wake of a highly publicized school shooting near the band’s hometown. The group also shows its more aggressive side on “The Brave Ones,” a guitar-charged anthem centered on living a bold life of faith with a little help from Disciple front man Kevin Young.

    The first radio single from Dreamers is the redemptive tune “Beautiful Love.” After just three weeks since hitting the radio airwaves, the song is currently at No. 21 on Hot AC/CHR.

    Shine Bright Baby is on an extensive tour in support of Dreamers. They just wrapped an Acquire The Fire Tour and will soon embark on the Air1’s Club Awesome Tour, as well as numerous festival dates throughout the summer and fall.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Shine Bright Baby, The Classic Crime, Ivoryline, Manic Drive, Disciple

  • Matthew West Takes Home ASCAP’s Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year Award

    Posted on May 10, 2013 by Family Christian

     

    Matthew West wins the Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year award at the 35th annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards at the Franklin Theatre. Photo Credit: Ed Rode

    “Hello, My Name Is” continues to impact and inspire radio at No. 2 on the charts

    Announces headlining tour "The Into The Light Tour" for this fall

    Matthew West, a four-time GRAMMY® nominee heralded by the New York Times as a “vivid and compelling songwriter,” celebrates the distinguished honor of being named ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year at this past Monday night’s ASCAP Christian Music Awards. As a veteran recipient of ASCAP’s Christian Music Song of the Year, West’s career highlights boast four No. 1 hits along with songwriter credits including cuts by Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diamond Rio and more.

    The award comes off the heels of West’s nomination in the first ever K-LOVE Fan Awards. West is up for “Male Artist of the Year” and is scheduled to perform at the event on June 1.

    Adding to his recent award successes, West’s second single “Hello, My Name Is,” off his powerful project Into the Light, continues to gain momentum on charts claiming the No. 2 spot on the National Audience Chart, No. 5 at Christian AC Monitored and No. 3 at AC Indicator this week. The singled garnered over 8.5 million audience impressions this week. After a successful run pre-headlining Winter Jam, the No. 1 tour in the country, the acclaimed artist will hit the road this fall on a headlining tour with guests Sidewalk Prophets and Jason Castro as part of “The Into The Light Tour.” Cities and dates will be announced soon at www.MatthewWest.com.

    From L to R: Paul Williams (ASCAP President and Chairman), LeAnn Phelan (ASCAP), Matthew West, Michael Martin (ASCAP) and John LoFrumento (ASCAP CEO)




    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Matthew West, Jason Castro, Winter Jam, Rascal Flatts, ASCAP, Billy Ray Cyrus, K-Love, Sidewalk Prophets

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