Gospel Soundcheck

“So Deep In Love,” the first single from Joel Augé’s debut album, On The Blue, is the iTunes Single of the Week. The site is offering the song as a free download in the iTunes Store’s Discovery Download promotion.
iTunes says, “Augé’s mixture of worship music and emotional alt-rock rings makes a solid case for being one of the highlights of 2008. The album mixes up folk and pop with piano pop and Augé’s own transcendent vocals.”
“So Deep In Love” will be offered free for one week only, starting today. Click here for more info. Augé’s album On The Blue releases July 1.

Los Angeles’s Destination 7 is proving that a blatantly Christian message combined with great music can appeal to any audience at any venue.
On June 7 the band will perform at the legendary Whisky A Go Go for a night showcasing women in rock. Then on July 6 they’re back as part of a unique night dedicated just to Christian music.
Over dinner at the Spaghetti Factory in Nashville during GMA Week, lead vocalist Natasha Ponticelli talked about being a Christian band with feet in both Christian and mainstream environments. While many Christian bands eventually make the move to Nashville because it’s easier (Natasha was flying back to L.A. in the morning and then turning around a day later return to Nashville with the band for a showcase, for example), she and her band mates believe God’s called them to L.A. for a reason, and they plan to stay there unless He calls them somewhere else.
It’s not easy for a Christian band to garner the respect of a mainstream venue, but Destination 7 has done it. Celina Denkins, booking agent for Whisky a Go-Go, says in a letter of recommendation:

“Though a Christian rock band, this assembly of talented musicians has infiltrated the Sunset Strip’s rock n roll scene, with such a passionate and profound delivery, that no matter a music lover’s faith (or lack thereof), they can identify with the diverse sound. Destination 7 is not just a band delivering meaningful music; they are a movement.”

Destination 7 was named “Best Christian Artist of the Year” at the 2007 Los Angeles Music Awards, which recognizes the best in independent artists. Their latest album, Wait For The Sun, is a mix of funky rock and introspective ballads, clearly Christian lyrics wrapped up in really good music.
To learn more about Destination 7, visit them online.

It’s June, which means the Christian festival season is underway, and the summer kicks off with some of the hottest events in the country.
No matter which festival you hit this summer, you’ll see a line up of today’s biggest bands, like Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, tobyMac, Skillet, and BarlowGirl. Most festivals offer not only music but other entertainment, like a kids’ tent, skate demos, or Christian wrestling. You’ll also find band merch and a vendor area to rival any traveling sideshow.
But each festival offers some local music and flavor, and for some the chance to see top name Christian artists that might not otherwise stop in their part of the world.
Two festivals that you can’t miss in June:
The 30th celebration of Creation Festival takes place at Creation Northeast, June 25-28 in Mt. Union, PA. The west coast festival, which was added in 1998, happens in July at Creation Northwest, in George, Washington.
If you want a more “outside the box” festival experience, check out Cornerstone Festival, in Bushnell, IL, which runs from from June 30 – July 5. You’ll see some familiar who are making the rest of the festival circuit, like David Crowder Band, Hawk Nelson, Leeland and Family Force Five, but this festival is edgier, harder, and more artistically driven. It’ll stretch your notion of creativity and art and introduce you to music you won’t hear at the other festivals.
Other festivals to check out this month:
Ichthus Festival in Wilmore, KY
June 11-14
Crossover Festival
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
June 12-14
Alive Festival
Canal Fulton, OH
June 17-21
Atlanta Fest
Atlanta, GA
June 19-21
For a complete list of annual Christian festivals, visit the Christian Festival Association.

As modern rockers downhere ready for the September release of their fourth studio project, Ending is Beginning, they’ve partnered with to give away a free download of their current album, Wide-Eyed and Mystified.
Downhere is one of the bands that I stumbled upon when I started covering Christian music, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Critically acclaimed in both the U.S. and their native Canada (awards include a Dove, a Vibe, two Junos, two Covenants and two Prairies) the band has found a solid following without necessarily garnering huge radio attention.
They’ve performed at the Friendship Fest in Marrakesh, Morrocco; partnered with Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ; and toured with artists like Rebecca St. James and SonicFlood. Two of their songs, “The Invitation” and “I Can’t Lose Forever,” are included on “Party of Five: The Complete Third Season” five-disc DVD set.
If you’ve never heard of downhere, now’s your chance to check them out for free. Visit anytime in June to download their current album. To learn more about downhere, visit