Tenth Avenue North Cover Art for The Struggle
TENTH AVENUE NORTH RELEASES
THIRD STUDIO PROJECT THE STRUGGLE AUG. 21
Album’s First Single “Losing” Impacts Radio May 25
Band Shares Nashville Chapter GRAMMY Block Party Stage
With Keb’ Mo’, Wynonna, The Mavericks and Others
Christian music breakout band Tenth Avenue North announces the unveiling of its third studio project, The Struggle (Reunion Records), on Aug. 21. The 12-track album reflects influences ranging from fan insight from the headlining artists’ past two years on the road, to the addition of two new band members and a new recording process. Produced by six-time SESAC Christian Songwriter of the Year, and two-time GRAMMY nominee, Jason Ingram (Chris Tomlin, Sanctus Real), The Struggle is a bold, creative leap forward.
The Struggle acknowledges life-challenges while pointing to the grace that ultimately delivers us from those challenges. Front man Mike Donehey shares, “The record’s theme implies permission to struggle with life’s challenges but encourages us not to remain in that place of struggle. Things are going to be hard but we have something greater to look forward to. We are free to struggle, but because of what Christ did on the cross, we don’t need to struggle to be free.”
The album’s debut single “Losing” will impact Christian radio, May 25. The song was inspired by a moving letter sent in to a WAY-FM radio station by a woman struggling with forgiveness; it sums up the idea that we actually lose more than we win when we choose not to extend forgiveness to someone. “Withholding our love doesn’t give us an upper hand in any conflict. ‘Losing’ suggests that we actually end up losing when we don’t offer forgiveness or love,” adds Donehey.
The band has always valued a direct relationship with its fans, and had the idea to bring them into the recording process. Guitarist, Jeff Owen, shares, “On several dates during our last tour we posted invitations on our facebook and twitter pages inviting our fans to show up and lend their voices to some of our songs. The result? We have songs on The Struggle featuring rich choruses made up of our fans. It’s pretty special that we got to do this.”
New members, Ruben Juarez (bass) and Brendon Shirley (keys) were instrumental in the progression of the band’s sound. “Ruben and Brendon are more technically knowledgeable than Jason, Jeff and I are,” says Donehey. “They really added to the musical structure of these songs. Plus, we all get along so well creatively. I couldn’t see doing this record without them.”
Tenth Avenue North on stage during the NARAS “GRAMMY Block Party” held in Nashville on May 8.
Photo by: Rick Diamond, WireImage
Fresh off the “Rock & Worship Roadshow” tour, which saw attendance exceeding 230,000, Tenth Avenue North made a featured appearance at the GRAMMY block party in Nashville earlier this week. Known as the event that launches the summer music season, the Block Party gives industry folks a chance to mingle while enjoying a great variety of live music. Other artists scheduled to appear include Luke Bryan, Wynonna, Elenowen, Keb’ Mo’ and The Mavericks.
About Tenth Avenue North:
Tenth Avenue North –comprising members Mike Donehey (lead vocals/acoustic guitar), Jason Jamison (drummer), Jeff Owen (electric guitar/background vocals), Ruben Juarez (bass) and Brendon Shirley (keys) –first impacted the music community as the best-selling and most played new Christian artist of 2008. In 2009, the group scored No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Christian
Songs Artist Chart, alongside “By Your Side,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart and No. 3 overall for the decade. Such acclaim earned Tenth Avenue North the new Artist of the Year title at the Gospel Music Association’s 40th Annual Dove Awards. Consequently, its debut album, Over and Underneath (May 2008), sold more than 100,000 copies in less than seven months and ranked among Billboard’s Top 10 Christian Albums of 2009. Currently, the project has surpassed 400,000 sales to date.
Tenth Avenue North saw its sophomore record, The Light Meets The Dark (May 2010), debut at No. 1 on the Nielsen Christian SoundScan chart and No. 15 on the Billboard 200 with first week scans of 21,583. The project secured the No.1 Christian Album chart position at both iTunes and AmazonMP3, reaching Top 5 on iTunes’ Overall chart. In 2010, Tenth Avenue North also received a Dove Award nomination for Group of the Year and claimed the coveted Song of the Year honor for “By Your Side.”
Additionally, the 2009-2010 season marked guest spots on the “Winter Jam” tour, Casting Crowns’ “Until the Whole World Hears” tour, a very active summer festival schedule, and Tenth Avenue North’s fall 2010 “The Light Meets the Dark” tour. The latter played to 67,000 + fans, selling out more than half its hard ticket dates and generating sponsorships for 1,700 children within Compassion International programs.
Since its last release, Tenth Avenue North Live: Inside and In Between (March 2011), a live CD/DVD experience, Tenth Avenue North has continued to move through constant streams of feature spots and major tours, most recently wrapping label mate Third Day’s fall 2010/spring
2011 “Make Your Move” tour and the fall 2011 “Rock & Worship Roadshow.” In 2011 alone, the band performed for audiences in excess of 500,000. Its memorable song “You Are More” was the No. 1 Song of the Year on Billboard’s Christian Audience Chart.
Earlier this year, Tenth Avenue North’s “By Your Side” achieved digital Gold status, according to the RIAA, signifying 500,000 singles sold. As Billboard Magazine assesses, “To say this band is going to be the ‘next big thing’ feels like an understatement.”