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Whole Notes

WN Music News: June 14, 2011

posted by Chad Bonham

CeCe Winans to host fifth annual youth conference

Award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans his holding her fifth annual Always Sisters, Forever Brothers Youth Conference in Nashville, Tenn., July 21-23 at the Curb Event Center located on the campus of Belmont University.

The conference will include peakers such as Dr. I.V. Hilliard, Judge Greg Mathis, Matt Pitt and Winans, as well as musical guests Mary Mary and Fred Hammond. Closing out the event will be a special concert featuring Lecrae, Canton Jones and Voices of Destiny, among others.

“I am so excited about having the opportunity to make a positive impact on this generation,” Winans said in a press statement. “I know they will in turn affect positive change on the generations to come.  My experience has been that young people want to be loved, heard, understood and told the truth.”

Click here more information on the Always Sisters, Forever Brothers Conference, or click here to visit CeCe Winans’ website.

Blindside breaks silence with full-length release

It’s been four years since Swedish post-hardcore band Blindside released The Black Rose EP and six years since it’s last full-length project (The Great Depression). After spending some quality time with their families, the band appears ready for another strong run with the INO Records/Sony RED project With Shivering Hearts We Wait, which released earlier this month.

The album reunited Blindside with Howard Benson who produced the band’s breakout Elektra Records projects Silence and About a Burning Fire. Benson is noted for his work with such rock acts as My Chemical Romance, Papa Roach and Flyleaf.

With Shivering Hearts We Wait is already getting solid reviews from critics and fared well with fans by debuting at #8 on iTunes mainstream rock chart. For special content, check out the album site here.

For additional information about Blindside, you can hit up the official band site here.

BEC Recordings signs Kentucky-based rock act 7eventh Time Down

With concert appearances alongside Skillet, Kutless, Pillar, Disciple, Fireflight, Stellar Kart, Family Force 5, Decyfer Down and Jars of Clay, it must have seemed inevitable that Kentucky-based foursome 7eventh Time Down would eventually score a national recording contract of its own.

BEC Recordings recently signed the rock act and it’s first single, “Alive in You,” has already been serviced to CHR and Rock radio in preparation for a September 13th album release that was produced by Grammy-nominated Scotty Wilbanks.

“I have been listening to BEC and Tooth & Nail bands for years now,” lead singer Mikey Howard said in a press release. “They put out some of my favorite records with my top bands. To now have the opportunity to be on the label is so incredibly humbling. Knowing God is allowing and enabling us to impact this world for the One to come through BEC Recordings is a dream come true.”

Fans can get the latest band information here or they can follow the band on Twitter by clicking here.

Join Whole Notes tomorrow for music news featuring 12 Stones, Brandon Heath and Cornerstone Festival.

 

WN Music News: June 13, 2011

posted by Chad Bonham

Battistelli releases fan directed music video

Fresh off her Artist of the Year honors at the 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards in late April, Word recording artist Francesca Battistelli thanked her fans by giving them the chance to help direct her new music video for “This Is The Stuff.” The video features footage shot by audience members who attended the Winter Jam Tour.

“I have the best fans and feel so blessed,” Battistelli said in a press statement. “It was so fun to have them be my directors and stand right up on the stage with me every night of Winter Jam.”

Watch “This Is The Stuff” below:

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Battistelli’s album Hundred More Years has been a huge success at radio, retail and online. In addition to her Artist of the Year award, she also won Female Vocalist of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year for “Beautiful Beautiful.”

Click here more info on Battistelli’s music and concert schedule.

The City Harmonic mobilizes praying people nationwide

Since The City Harmonic’s hit song “Manifesto” served as an anthem for National Day of Prayer early last month, the Canadian band has continued to see a ground swell of support from the church body at large. According to lead singer Elias Dummer, the song was intended to create a spirit of unity within the body of Christ and infuse a fresh desire among believers to share the Gospel.

“We went into the studio with copies of several ancient Christian creeds printed off,” Dummer said in a press statement. “Before long we had them spread all over the control room and were frantically writing things down and massaging the words, trying to find a way to capture the heart and the ideas in just a few words. We really wanted to keep it simple and universal. People sometimes make ‘the gospel’ about a hundred different little things. This is what a ‘manifesto’ usually does. But the gospel is remarkably simple. We could spend our whole lives debating ‘rightness’ – and reach the end having loved no one. So it just made sense to center on the simplicity of the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.”

Along with significant national radio play, “Manifesto” has been hear in some unusual places such as prior to a recent San Diego Padres game. Colorado Rockies outfielder Seth Smith has also been using the song as walk up music for his at bats.

You can watch the video for “Manifesto” below and check out more of the band’s music by clicking here.

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TobyMac raises funds on the run

It’s been a pretty good year so far for TobyMac. He took home his 16th GMA Dove Award back in April and was recently named BMI “Songwriter of the Year,” among other notable accomplishments.

But he’s likely prouder of Team TobyMac’s efforts to raise over $100,000 to help support New Hope Academy in Franklin, Tenn., by participating in the Country Music half marathon last month. The team was made up of 70 individuals who garnered sponsorship donations that they then earned by running the half marathon.

Running isn’t the only athletic activity TobyMac dabbles in throughout the year. He routinely organizes pickup basketball games while on tour and also plays in various golf events including the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in February with PGA golfer Kevin Streelman.

Keep up with all the latest TobyMac news by clicking here.

Upcoming album releases (June 14):
Owl City – All Things Bright And Beautiful (Universal/EMI)
Jackie Evancho – Dream With Me (Integrity Music/Provident)
Chicago Mass Choir – XV DVD (New Haven Records/Provident)
Various artists – iWorship Flexx: O The Blood DVD (iWorship)

Recent album releases (June 7):
Blindside – With Shivering Hearts We Wait (INO)
Tricia Brock – The Road (Inpop)
Deas Vail/Farewell Flight – Split EP (Mono Vs. Stereo)
Jake Hamilton – Freedom Calling (Kingsway)
Manafest – Live in Concert (BEC)
Maranatha! Praise Band – Platinum Praise 2012 (Maranatha!)
Willie “P-Dub” Moore – Young Fly & Saved (EMI Gospel)
Planetshakers – Nothing Is Impossible (Integrity)
Royal Tailor – Black & White (Reunion)
Thousand Foot Krutch – Live At The Masquerade (Tooth & Nail)
Various artists – Colours Praise Songs Vol 1 (Maranatha!)
Various artists – Hymns & Choruses Vol. 1 DVD (Maranatha!)
Various artists – iWorship Service Starters Vol 3 DVD (iWorship)
Various artists – iWorship Video Library S-V DVD (iWorship)
Various artists – Jawn Murray Presents Untapped (EMI Gospel)

Join Whole Notes tomorrow for more music news featuring CeCe Winans, Blindside and 7eventh Time Down.

Introducing Whole Notes: Inside the Christian Music Industry

posted by Chad Bonham

Welcome to the introductory installment of “Whole Notes: Inside the Christian Music Industry.” I’ve been covering Christian music for the past 21 years. I started really young. Okay, it was actually my sophomore year in college. But that’s besides the point.

What I’m trying to say is that music is one of my two favorite things to write about so when I was given the opportunity to manage this blog, I jumped at the chance. It’s always a privilege to tell as many people as possible about what’s going on in one of the most exciting sectors of the music industry. More importantly is the fact that there’s a greater purpose behind this music than just entertainment. That concept will certainly be conveyed as “Whole Notes” progresses.

Over the next several weeks, I hope you’ll come to make “Whole Notes” your first stop for all the latest Christian music news, reviews and interviews. Once things settle into a routine, here’s what you’ll generally find in this blog on a daily basis:

Monday Music News (upcoming releases, tours, appearances, etc.)

Tuesday Conversation (interviews with new artists)

Wednesday World Changers (stories about artists doing good in the world)

Thursday’s Track of the Week (album reviews)

Friday Feature (interview with major artists)

For the first couple of weeks, however, we’ll mostly have news and reviews as we tackle a long list of interviews with some of the most compelling artists currently out there making music and touring the country. Some names you can expect to read about include Switchfoot, Third Day, The Newsboys, Owl City, Peter Furler, Fireflight, Group 1 Crew, Tobymac and many others.

I’m looking forward to seeing this space become an online hub for Christian music industry news. I hope you are too. See you on Monday.

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