Essential Records rock band RED kicks off a jam-packed January, which will include celebrating its second career GRAMMY nomination at the awards show at the end of the month, by launching its 2010 “Nothing And Everything” tour. The tour also features fellow hard rock band (and labelmates) Pillar, along with special guests The Wedding and Me In Motion. The “Nothing And Everything” tour is a meeting of two rock powerhouse bands: RED, which has established itself among the upper echelon of rock bands in just three short years, and Pillar, a band that has helped to pioneer the Christian hard music movement. Touring together for the first time, both bands will bring their signature brand of rock to one stage for a riveting concert event. Randy Armstrong of RED comments, “At our shows, we always play off the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. We know how enthusiastic our fans are and imagine Pillar’s fans are just as wild. The combination is going to be explosive. This will be the rock tour of all rock tours.” “RED has a similar stage dynamic, which makes this a powerful ticket,” says Pillar frontman Rob Beckley. “We are excited they asked us to be a part of the tour and look forward to putting on a show our fans, and theirs, can be proud of.” Fans attending a “Nothing And Everything” show can also pick up a free copy of Pillar’s “Confessions” book, produced by Pillar’s frontman, Rob Beckley and American Bible Society, aptly titled “Confessions.” The “Confessions” book emerges as a resource to address some of the most salient issues affecting youth today: spiritual doubts, sexuality, brokenness and self image. Each section includes thematic confessions, a short devotional, reflection questions and Scriptures references for digging deeper. The book, an extension of Pillar’s hard-hitting Confessions album, was inspired by the band’s profound spring 2009 “Confessions Tour.” A confessional curriculum called “My Secret,” taught at the band’s local Tulsa, Ok. church, changed the way Pillar chose to engage with fans while on tour.
For the most up to date list of tour dates and to buy tickets for the “Nothing and Everything” tour, please visit:
Good News! Kekal is NOT dead, and it is proven that new songs are currently in the production. After speculations about the current status of Kekal following the departures of all band members last year, it is confirmed that a new Kekal studio album is planned for 2010. The new album will be some sort of ‘collective effort’. It means that all 3 former key members (Jeff, Azhar Levi and Leo) have contributed in making ‘the whole art-form in one package’, while not limited only on the music side. Levi is currently making the entire artwork for the album and Jeff is producing the music. 2 songs will also have Leo’s guitar works. About the album direction, Jeff told that each song displays its unique character as a balance between electronic and organic elements, rhythm and melody, aggression and atmosphere, simplicity and complexity, beauty and the beast. Confirmed instruments being used on recording are: electric & guitars, drums, samples from field-recordings, theremin, analog synths, vocals, vocoder, and TR-808. The album will redefine the term ‘experimental’ in its true sense, but yet listeners will find it accessible and digestible.
Kekal is currently looking for a potential record label to release the album on CD and digital later this year. More details including track listing and album title will be announced in the coming months. However, there is no plan for Jeff, Levi and Leo to rejoin Kekal. Kekal will stay member-less.
For more information on Kekal, go here:
Fair To Release New Album
Most associate the name Aaron Sprinkle with production credits in liner notes as an all-star producer (Anberlin, Acceptance, Copeland, The Almost, Demon Hunter, Kutless, Jeremy Camp) based in Seattle, WA. However for those that pay attention, he has also been a leader of Poor Old Lu and Rose Blossom Punch and more recently Fair, who released their debut album “The Best Worst-Case Scenario” in 2006 on Tooth & Nail Records. Sprinkle and team are back with Fair’s sophomore release, “Disappearing World,” set to release February 9, 2010. With their debut album, Fair received wide media acclaim. Absolutepunk.net stated that it was “toward the top of their list for 2006”; Jesusfreakhideout.com named the album “really impressive”; Emotionalpunk.com said it was “a perfect collection of songs”; Sputnikmusic.com touted that “Fair is much better than its name.” It is no surprise that fans are ready for the second dose of this band who is known for sophisticated songwriting and structured pop song appeal. “Musically I wanted to really tap into my influences, which are mostly ‘60s and ‘70s and lot of ‘80s too,” says Sprinkle. “And that’s really the feel of this record- a lot of very retro moments wearing those influences on our sleeve. The record’s more dynamic and exciting in some places than the last one, but it’s also more fragile and sincere in other places.” Putting himself in the spotlight as opposed to sitting in the producer seat, Sprinkle is excited about this album more than any other record. “I’ve never been this excited about something I’ve done before,” he promises. “I don’t question a single moment on this record and that’s a huge thing for me because normally I’m incredibly insecure when it comes to my own music. I’m so happy with every moment and I owe that to the guys in the band because it’s a great place for me to bounce ideas off of.” Back this second round are members Erick Newbill (guitar), Joey Sanchez (drums, percussion) Nick Barber (bass) and Aaron Sprinkle (vocals, guitar).
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Above The Golden State Shares “The Golden Rule”
Sparrow Records pop/rock trio Above The Golden State will release its sophomore album, The Golden Rule, Jan. 26, 2010. The follow-up to its critically acclaimed 2008 self-titled debut, The Golden Rule contains a collection of songs that explore the core elements of Christian faith. Living in Portland, a city where much of Christianity, like the music scene, is underground, Above The Golden State went back to the basics. Frontman Michael Watson explains, “I feel like we got a fresh, clean, unbiased start to following Christ and understanding God through his Word, and that’s why we draw from who we are and share that message musically.” The band used “The Golden Rule” as the starting point for its new songs. “The Golden Rule, to love God and your neighbor as yourself, is a commandment we’ve all been given,” says Watson. “Through these songs, we want to encourage the Church to return to that fundamental truth. We are constantly pursuing God upward, serving God within our community and going into the world to share His message.” The Golden Rule is driven by the band’s desire to love the world as Jesus did. The album aims to move listeners beyond mere words to actions that support faith and delivers the message through thought-provoking lyrics. The result is songs that are meant to inspire Christians to live out love to those around them in their own communities, neighboring cities, across the country and around the world. The band addresses authentic Christianity in “The Real You” and couples that with a practical application in “Tragedy,” where the band investigates life’s darker realities that come with divorce, cancer, lost jobs or even loss of faith. Following up the hit singles “Sound of Your Name” and “I’ll Love You So,” the band’s debut single from The Golden Rule, “I Am Loved,” is currently going for adds at Christian AC and CHR radio. The band will debut new music from The Golden Rule on tour with label mate Sanctus Real this spring.
For more information on Above The Golden State, go here:
Skillet Slams Into 2010
Atlantic/Ardent/INO rock outfit SKILLET has slammed into 2010 following an incredibly successful 2009 with their best selling project, AWAKE: Already over 300k in scans in just 20 weeks (more than double that of the GOLD selling COMATOSE), AWAKE was a critic and fan fave last year, Amazon.com’s best selling Christian CD of 2009, and now boasts the No. 4 mainstream Active Rock single in the country with “Monster,” which was also AOL Music’s No. 4 mainstream rock song of last year. “Monster” has proven to be just that for Skillet, with fans purchasing so many digital copies over the holiday, their sales increased almost 300%. In addition to all the success “Monster” is having, their No. 1 Christian rock and CHR track, “Hero,” has been creating a great buzz as well. “Hero” will be used in the upcoming trailers and promos for the new Twentieth Century Fox film, “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” which stars Pierce Brosnan and Uma Thurman and is based on the best-selling book by Rick Riordan. “Hero” has been used all season long by the NFL in their, Sunday Night Football and NFL Weekend Kickoff promos. The WWE will use the song once again as the official theme song for WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View on January 31st. “Hero” was also a featured as part of the soundtrack to the WWE’s Tribute To The Troops TV Special, which aired just before Christmas on NBC. Skillet was promoted alongside other contributing artists including Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, and Nickelback. WWE programming reaches nearly 16 million people per week in the U.S., and WWE.com currently averages 14 million unique visitors worldwide monthly, providing more than 28 million video streams. In follow up to their fall AWAKE & ALIVE tour, which, due to numerous sell out shows made Pollstar’s Concert Pulse’s Top 50 tours
for the fall, Skillet will hit the road with mainstream rockers Shinedown and Puddle of Mudd for the Sound of Madness 2010 tour beginning January 21st in Providence, RI.
Slide To Release New Album
SLIDE starts out 2010 with their new track titled Dime Store Queer. The track is available in 3 different versions. The original album version and 2 additional dance/club mixes. Re-mixer MDAVISTO is back on board and did another outstanding job re-mixing the track. All 3 versions are now available on i-Tunes, Amazon, and other digital download stores. Also, lyrics to all of SLIDE’s songs are now available on their MySpace page inside the music player. Just click where it says lyrics for each track. The story behind “Dime Store Queer” is a true story. A reluctant teenager (perceived to be different from his peers) is made to stand up for himself in the face of adversity. Its a story of strength, subtle revenge, and independence. Its a song for anyone who has ever been bullied by a “Status Quo” or institution. Its a story of overcoming learned helplessness; moving from the role of “victim” to a role of empowerment and self identity. Looking back over the past year of 2009, SLIDE met most of the goals they set out to achieve. It started with the re-release of the Sincerely Paul album, followed by an updated SlideMusicGroup website and concluding with 3 new songs mixed and mastered. And 2010 appears to be even busier for the band. SLIDE plans to release their debut album in the 4th quarter of 2010. Some live shows are also being discussed which would coincide sometime around the release of the album. They are two other news worthy items that are being kept under wraps at the moment until final confirmations are made. However, one of these items has to do with the band’s private record release party. It has been decided that a few lucky fans will be chosen to attend the release party as a guest of the band. More details to follow soon. And the filming for SLIDE’s first music video will be underway no later than the summer of 2010. The band has chosen the track Dime Store Queer for the video shoot.
Onward To Olympas Release New Video
Onward to Olympas has released their video for the single Sink or Swim from their brand new album This World Is Not My Home which hit stores on January 19. The video was shot and directed by Drew Russ (ex-Seventh Star) and Michael Dalton. Here’s what band member Justin Allman had to say about Onward to Olympas shooting their first video: “Shooting the video was an amazing experience. Drew and Michael were some of the most awesome people we could have hope to work with! From frigid water to a breezy ship deck, this video was a test of our band’s endurance. We’re extremely proud of the final product.” You can check out the video here.
Jeremy Camp Kicks Off Acoustic Tour With Adie
On the heels of the successful headline tour last fall, GRAMMY-nominated artist Jeremy Camp is kicking off 2010 to reach listeners with his music, message and ministry with another headline acoustic tour. Camp will launch his spring tour “Jeremy Camp Live Unplugged” with special guest and wife Adie on February 26th in Illinois (dates below). This tour was created with Camp’s fans in mind, providing an intimate night of worship and fellowship with Jeremy as well as Adie, who is releasing a new album in March. The tour will once again be sponsored by Compassion International and feature Speaking Louder Ministries, which involves Jeremy and team reaching out locally to a set outreach in each market. “It has been a couple of years since we have done an acoustic tour,” shares Jeremy Camp. “I love this type of tour because it is a very unique experience for everyone. The reason we are doing it, is it brings a different atmosphere all together. The night is more mellow and allows me to talk more about the songs and the purpose behind them. They are smaller shows, usually in churches, and it turns out to be an amazing night of worship. With Adrienne being out on the road with our two girls, Arie and Bella, it makes the tour a great family environment. Can’t wait to see what God has in store this year.” Last year was a highlight year for Camp with the launch of his ministry “Speaking Louder Ministries,” a fall headline tour, second American Music Award nomination and continued radio success. In addition, Camp ended the decade with Billboard recognition as the No. 3 Christian Artist of the Decade. Camp also had five songs in the Billboard Top 50 Christian Songs of the Decade (songs listed below). Rounding off the year and kick-starting 2010 was Camp’s first GRAMMY nomination for his latest studio release “Speaking Louder Than Before.” The awards will be held January 31st in Los Angeles, CA. Camp also began this year recording his next studio project, a worship-themed album with award-winning producer Brown Bannister.
2/26 – Crystal Lake, IL
2/27 – Valparaiso, IN
2/28 – Brookfield, WI
3/18 – Ocala, FL
3/20 – Lakeland, FL
3/25 – Syracuse, NY
3/26 – Barre, VT
3/27 – Lewiston, ME
3/28 – Wenham, MA
4/24 – New Bern, NC
4/25 – Franklin, NC
Like A Storm Tour With Skillet
Since first bursting onto the scene last year with their debut The End Of The Beginning, New Zealand natives LIKE A STORM have been earning fans across the United States with their haunting, powerful riffs and infectious melodies. Their adrenaline-packed music will now be prominently heard on television, where their hit single “Lie To Me”, will serve as the theme song for TNA Wrestling’s highly-anticipated upcoming Pay-Per-View event “Genesis”, scheduled to air on January 17th, 2010. LIKE A STORM will be kicking off their new TOUR on January 22nd at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, NY. 2009 proved to be a strong year for LIKE A STORM, with The End Of The Beginning reaching number 61 on the Billboard New Artists Chart from tour sales alone. Be on the lookout for future collaborations such as the upcoming video featuring an “artist one-on-one” series with actor Eric Bossick, star of the upcoming movie “Tetsuo: The Bullet Man”, and directed by cult filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto.
1/22 – Albany, NY
1/26 – Boston, MA
1/28 – Bethlehem, PA
1/29 – Atlantic City, NJ
1/30 – Lewiston, ME
2/1 – Rochester, NY
2/2 – Youngstown, OH
2/3 – University Park, PA
2/5 – Detroit, MI
2/8 – Rochester, MN
2/11 – Ft. Wayne, IN
2/12 – Des Moines, IA
2/13 – Peoria, IL
Third Day Challenges Fans To Help In Haiti
Knowing that in a disaster, time and resources are of the utmost importance, Essential Records recording artist Third Day is stepping up to speed aid to the people of the earthquake-ravaged island nation of Haiti, and members of the band are challenging its fans to do the same. Third Day has made a $20,000 donation out of its Come Together Fund to World Vision’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, established immediately following the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Tuesday, Jan. 12. In an open letter signed by all four members of the band and available on ThirdDay.com, Third Day praises the ongoing work done by World Vision, and encourages its fans to give to the charitable organization’s work in dealing with this specific humanitarian crisis. “We have seen firsthand the amazing work that World Vision does around the world,” the letter reads. “They are first call responders to these kind of disasters, and will immediately maximize our dollars to care for those suffering in this difficult time.” “We would like our donation to serve as a challenge. We invite you, as Third Day fans and a community of believers, to match our donation to help our brothers and sisters suffering in Haiti today,” the letter continues. “We hope that you will keep the people of Haiti in your prayers, but we also hope that you will be part of God’s answer to their prayers as well.” Fans interested in donating to the World Vision’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund can do so through the band’s website or through World Vision’s website.
Carlos Whittaker Debut CD About To Release
On January 26, Carlos Whittaker, the blogger, officially becomes Carlos Whittaker, recording artist, when he makes his Integrity Music debut with the release of a digital EP. (A full CD will release to both retail and digital channels on April 27.) Whittaker’s blog, Ragamuffin Soul, has gained a worldwide following and earned Whittaker a reputation as a thoughtful, creative and provocative voice in the Christian community. Ragamuffinsoul.com has become a must-stop online destination for believers around the world where Whittaker bares his soul while creating a dynamic two-way environment where thousands of people share their thoughts, ideas, and insights. And while music has always been in the picture, the EP and forthcoming CD now provide a soundtrack for the Ragamuffin community. Whittaker, who has been a songwriter and worship leader for more than a decade, has served at Sandals Church in Riverside, California and Buckhead Church in Atlanta and uses his talents with high-profile churches and conferences such as Catalyst, Story, North Point Ministries and Saddleback Church to name a few. Whittaker’s music will be an extension of both parts of his story. Whittaker’s skills as a communicator are reflected in authentic lyrics that chronicle his own spiritual journey while his work as a worship leader enables Whittaker to create music that will help move his generation to find and experience God. The Carlos Whittaker digital EP features three new songs co-written by Whittaker and Dove Award-winning songwriter and the recording’s producer Jason Ingram, including “We Will Worship.” Hillsong’s Mia Fieldes helped pen “Jesus Saves,” “Rain It Down” is co-written by Phillip Larue and has been serviced as Whittaker’s first radio single. The EP will also feature chord charts for each song. Whittaker’s EP will be available at major DSPs including iTunes, Amazon.com, Napster, Rhapsody and many more as well as at integritymusic.com.
All Star United Release The Good Album
So, how good can good really be? Well, how about All Star United good! This GRAMMY-nominated and critically acclaimed band promises a good time with their sixth project, aptly titled The Good Album. Produced and helmed by Dove Award-winning and All Star United founding member Ian Eskelin (Producer of the Year, 2008), The Good Album was originally available internationally and nationally exclusively via online and iTunes since August. This Tuesday, January 12th, The Good Album will be available for the first time to retail stores nationwide. This is the band’s first project to be released by E1 Entertainment (Avalon, Ashley Cleveland). As an added incentive to its retail release, the project offers an exclusive bonus track, “Beautiful Way,” which was not included in the initial summer release. The tune, only available in the U.S., will also be the band’s next radio single. Why the title The Good Album, you ask? Eskelin explains, “It’s called The Good Album because the word ‘good’ kept showing up in song titles, and we thought there was something funny about calling it that. But the truth is, this really feels like the best ASU album we’ve ever turned out. Not that I’m biased or anything…” As follow-up to their last release, 2006’s Love & Radiation, The Good Album seeks out the good times with songs such as “Dude…That’s Freaking Awesome,” “Good Times” as well as the frantic “Lights Out,” to the tough times, hitting head-on with profound topics such as redemption and forgiveness (”The Blame,” “Surface of the Sun.”). Other songs take on cultural tendencies toward materialism and celebrity-worship while also exploring weightier topics like guilt, original sin, and the power of forgiveness in relationships. An unique song by song discussing these topics, and coinciding with Bible references, is now available. The song by song and biblical references, created for each tune on The Good Album, can be downloaded by visiting www.AllStarUnited.com. Years ago, this five-piece hard-touring rock ensemble developed a widespread following that stretched from the U.S. and Canada, across Western Europe, down to Australia, and even into parts of Asia. The music All Star United created then still has a power that draws festival crowds, numbering in the thousands, in several countries. Yes, All Star United has lightened their performance dates in recent years due to Eskelin’s emergence as one of Nashville’s most popular songwriters and producers (Francesca Battistelli, Avalon, Krystal Meyers, Remedy Drive, Stellar Kart, Sidewalk Prophets, Starfield), but their worldwide fanbase has hung on. It’s no question The Good Album will keep that staying power alive and well. “We keep making All Star records because it keeps us sane,” Eskelin concludes. “Writing and producing for other artists is a very different thing from saying what you personally really want to say in the way you really want to say it. Making an ASU record means we don’t have to hold anything back. It means a lot of guitars and a lot of satire, and a whole lot of fun.”
1. Surface of the Sun
2. Is this the Moment?
3. The Blame
4. Lights Out
5. Once Again, with Feeling
6. Crashing Cars
7. Dude…that’s Freaking Awesome!
8. Pretty Famous
9. Good Luck with the Girls
10. I’m a Killer
11. Good Times
12. Beautiful Way
With their 1997 self-titled debut, All Star United obtained four #1 radio hits and a GRAMMY nomination (Best Rock/Gospel Album), this critically-acclaimed band has also has not only toured the world in over 20 countries but have obtained significant placement in prime time TV. Their music as appeared on both ABC and CBS networks, as well as in the movies, specifically in the film trailer for the movie “Superbad.”
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