Christian Retailing

Worship artists, Southern gospel’s Matthew Hagee offer new projects Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 04:47 PM America/New_York

Gaither Vocal Band harks back to classic hymns as two key members prepare to leave the popular group


ANewSeason-MatthewHageeA NEW SEASON, Matthew Hagee, Difference Media (Capitol Christian Distribution), 819113010222, March 18

Hagee, pastor, author and tenor in the Southern gospel group Canton Junction, releases his debut solo project, A New Season, this month. Produced by GRAMMY-nominated Michael Sykes, the project features songs co-written by Hagee along with contributions from Randy Travis, Aaron Wilburn and Matthew’s father, John Hagee.

Songs include the country-tinged first single “I Don’t Want to Get Adjusted,” the worshipful classic “Sweet Spirit/He Is Here,” the down-home feel of “This Ain’t Nothin” and the tender ballad “He Still Speaks.” On “The Day He Wore My Crown,” Hagee is joined by Larry Stewart and David Innis of country group Restless Heart. 

Hagee’s popularity as a pastor should garner plenty of attention for his solo debut.


EndlessPraise-PlanetShakersENDLESS PRAISE, PlanetShakers, Integrity Music (Provident Distribution), 000768565926, March 11

Originating from the fastest-growing church in Australia, PlanetShakers is making a name in the praise and worship world. Endless Praise, the long-awaited follow up to the group’s recent project, Limitless, is available March 11. Songs include the title track, “Turn It Up,” “Dance” and “Set Me Ablaze.”

In 2014, PlanetShakers will host Awakening Conferences in Malaysia; San Diego; Melbourne (Australia); and Dallas, showcasing the songs to new audiences. 


Hymns-GaitherVocalBandHYMNS, Gaither Vocal Band, Gaither Music Group (Capitol Christian), 617884877729, March 4

The Gaither Vocal Band—comprised of Bill Gaither, David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Mark Lowry and Michael English—visits the classic songs of the church on Hymns. The group has sold more than 3 million DVDs and CDs, and the new project, the last featuring departing members English and Lowry, is poised to be a fan favorite. 

Highlights include the upbeat “Love Lifted Me,” the soaring harmonies on “Amazing Grace” and new arrangements on familiar classics. Other tracks include “God Leads Us Along,” “Coming Home,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “My Faith Still Holds” and “More Of You.”


Love-JasonGrayLOVE WILL HAVE THE FINAL WORD, Jason Gray, Centricity Music (Capitol Christian) 829619119923, March 4

Singer-songwriter Gray releases another album of thoughtfully penned tracks with Love Will Have the Final Word. Produced by Jason Ingram (Chris Tomlin, Sanctus Real, Tenth Avenue North) and Cason Cooley (Derek Webb, Andrew Peterson), the album features an acoustic pop sound.

Gray co-wrote all 11 songs with songwriters such as Ingram, Andy Gullahorn, Ben Glover, Josh Wilson and Nichole Nordeman. Tracks include “Love’s Not Done With You, “I Don’t Know How,” “If You Want To Love Someone,” “Even This Will Be Made Beautiful” and “The Best Days of My Life.”


TheArtofCelebration-RendCollectiveTHE ART OF CELEBRATION, Rend Collective, Integrity Music (Provident) 000768526620, March 18

Rend Collective’s The Art of Celebration aims to deliver joy to listeners with a new experience building on the success of past projects Campfire and Homemade Worship by Handmade People. Originating from Northern Ireland, the group blends experimental, folk and rock sounds with worshipful lyrics. 

Featuring guest vocalist Audrey Assaud, the self-produced project includes “My Lighthouse,” “More Than Conquerers,” “All That I Am,” “Simplicity” and “Immeasurably More,” co-written with Chris Tomlin.

Although there are six members of the band who record and tour, Rend Collective is comprised of a total of 15 who are there to encourage the band spiritually, musically and missionally.

New duo City Harbor makes debut on Sparrow Records Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 11:15 AM America/New_York

February titles include Gaither Homecoming favorite and popular ‘WOW’ series release

AsSureAsTheSun-EllieHolcombAs Sure As the Sun

Ellie Holcomb

Full Heart Music


Feb. 18

On the heels of a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $108,000 with 1,756 backers, As Sure As the Sun releases Feb. 18. A singer-songwriter with an impressive musical pedigree, Holcomb is married to Drew Holcomb of Drew and the Neighbors and is daughter of legendary producer Brown Bannister, who lent his talents to this project. She makes her own mark with this collection of tender songs of encouragement derived from scriptures. Songs on this full-length debut include the title-track piano ballad, the acoustic pop of “Night Song” and a bouncy take on 1 Cor. 13 in “Love Never Fails.” Holcomb will be a fresh new voice in Christian music comparable to singer-songwriters Sara Groves, Kari Jobe or Joy Williams. To order, contact It’s Good Time at 615-483-9613.


CityHarbor-CityHarborCity Harbor

City Harbor

Sparrow Records (Capitol Christian Distribution)


Feb. 4

Singer-songwriters Molly Reed and Robby Earle team up as the new group City Harbor, releasing its debut project Feb. 4. Prior to the project, the group was introduced to listeners on two recent WOW projects; WOW 2014 and WOW Christmas 2013 Deluxe EditionProduced by Ben Glover (Britt Nicole), David Garcia (Mandisa, TobyMac) and Matt Bronleewee (Jars of Clay, Chris Tomlin), the project includes the tracks “Like I Am,” “I Still Believe” and “Leave It Here.” First single “Come However You Are” was released to Christian radio in December. To order, call 800-877-4443 or visit


OhWhatASavior-ErnieHaaseOh, What a Savior

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Gaither Music Group (Capitol Christian)


Feb. 4

Gaither Homecoming staple Ernie Haase & Signature Sound delivers Oh, What a Savior on Feb. 4. Recorded live in Paducah, Ky., the project includes “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,”  and “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord.” Also included is a new version of the group’s popular song and title track, “Oh, What a Savior.” Order at 800-877-4443 or through 


WOWGospel2014WOW Gospel 2014

Various artists

Provident Music Group (Provident Distribution)


Feb. 4

The “WOW Gospel” series returns with a 2014 double-disc edition and songs from artists such as Hezekiah Walker, Tye Tribbett and Marvin Sapp. Songs include “Every Praise” by Walker, “Here in Our Praise” by United Tenors, “You Reign” by William Murphy, “The Gift” by Donald Lawrence, “Have Your Way” by Deitrick Haddon, “A Little More Jesus” by Erica Campbell, “Go Get It” by Mary Mary, “Greatest Man” by VaShawn Mitchell, “Our God” by Micah Stampley, “Tell The World” by Lecrae (featuring Mali Music) and “Draw Me Close” by Marvin Winans.  To order, call Provident at 800-333-9000 or visit

Rap, worship and Southern gospel among start-of-year music releases Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 08:38 AM America/New_York

Baritone Doug Anderson returns with ‘Drive’ while fast-growing church’s worship band sings praise

Thrive-DougAndersonDrive - Doug Anderson, StowTown Records, (Provident Distribution), 643157427827, Jan. 21

A Dove Award-winning baritone vocalist in Ernie Haase & Signature Sound,  Anderson sees the release of his second solo project, Drive, on Jan. 21. Once again using the talents of producer-songwriter Wayne Haun (Jason Crabb, Ernie Haase ), the project features a cover of Dolly Parton’s “The Seeker” and tracks such as “I’ll Be There With You”  and “Sundays Are Made for Times Like These.”


OnlyKingForever-ElevationWorshipOnly King Forever - Elevation Worship, Essential Worship, (Provident), 083061098728, Jan. 14

Elevation Worship returns with its third release on the Essential Worship label. Based in Charlotte, N.C., Elevation Church is one of the fastest-growing churches in America with more than 12,000 in weekly attendance, and Elevation Worship’s songs are being sung in churches worldwide. The theme of the album is who God is as King and who His people are as children of the King. Key songs on the album include “Only King Forever,” “Grace So Glorious,” “Raised to Life” and “Last Word.” Guest artist Darlene Zschech leads the song “The Love of Jesus.” The project will be supported through appearances at major worship conferences. 

Stereotypes-HeeSunLeeStereotypes - HeeSun Lee, In My City Records, 859711574122, Jan. 21

As with the lead single from Korean rapper HeeSun Lee, “I Break Stereotypes,” the artist arrives with a new sound. Delivering her lyrics in rapid-fire fashion, she has been compared to mainstream counterparts such as Nicki Minaj. Songs include “Skin Deep” and “Changed Me.”

New Jamie Grace album attracts top production team Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 08:34 AM America/New_York

GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning artist ‘Ready to Fly’ with sophomore project

ReadyToFly-JamieGraceJamie Grace, GRAMMY Award nominee and GMA Dove Award winner for Best New Artist, is back with her sophomore album, Ready to Fly, on Jan. 28. The new studio record from Gotee Records follows her breakout album, One Song at a Time, also from Gotee. The new release reunites her with producers Christopher Stevens (TobyMac) and David Garcia (Britt Nicole), and adds Chuck Butler (Royal Tailor) to the production mix.

 “The entire concept of Ready to Fly is being ready even when you don’t know what the Lord has planned for your future,” Grace said. “I wrote the title track the night before I turned 18. I was crying out, wondering what God’s plan for me was. I started to doubt so many things, but as I randomly began singing the lyrics to ‘Ready to Fly,’ I realized I don’t have to have my whole life figured out to start my journey. This record is about being in the waiting with God, yet while you’re waiting being ready to move—ready to fly—when the timing is right.” 

 The album features appearances from Manwell of Group 1 Crew on “Just a Friend”; Grace’s sister, Morgan Harper Nichols on “White Boots”; and Jason Crabb on the digital-only bonus-track version of “Fighter,” a song inspired by Grace’s childhood struggle with Tourette Syndrome. Other tracks include “My First Love,” “To Love You Back,” “Every Bit of Lovely” and “The Waiting.” 

 This summer, Grace released first single “Beautiful Day,” which rose to the Top five on the Christian Hot AC/CHR and Christian AC Indicator radio charts. She also released a lyric video for the song to social media networks.  

 In the fall, Grace previewed songs from the project on TobyMac’s HITS Deep Tour 2013 and will continue touring on The Roadshow 2014 with a number of artists, including Skillet, Third Day and Royal Tailor. She also made her big-screen debut in the motion picture Grace Unplugged, which released to theaters in September.

To order, call Provident Distribution at 800-333-900 or visit

Switchfoot’s ‘Fading West’ tries to ‘find peace in dangerous places’ Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 08:32 AM America/New_York

New songs inspired through relaxed creative process

FadingWest-SwitchfootSwitchfoot, the San Diego-based rock band that’s proven to be one of Christian music’s most successful crossover acts, returns to the spotlight with the group’s ninth studio project, Fading West (075678683824, $13.99), releasing Jan. 14 from Atlantic Records (Word Distribution). 

Approaching the record after the band’s 17 years together, including double-Platinum success from breakthrough release The Beautiful Letdown, frontman Jon Foreman said the challenge was to do something fresh and new while still maintaining the group’s identity.

“The point became, ‘What are we going to do to push ourselves?’ “ he said. “Could we take ourselves somewhere we’d never been before, yet achieve a feeling of comfort at the same time? How do we go to a new place that feels like home?”

To find inspiration, band members took to their surfboards while touring in support of their previous release Vice Verses. According to co-founder and bassist Tim Foreman, “the idea was to surf, write songs, play music and see what ideas came.”

Songs birthed during that creative process include “Worth the Fight,” “All or Nothing,” “Slipping Away” and debut single “Love Alone Is Worth the Fight,” which broke records when released on Christian Hit Radio (CHR) charts in the fall. The album closes with songs distinctly inspired by water, “Salt Water” and “Back to the Beginning.” The comfort of the water and the potential danger served as a fitting metaphor for the album’s theme. 

“You’re comfortable out there, but it’s the unknown,” Foreman said. “You can paddle out in South Africa, and it’s exactly like home and nothing like home all at once. That’s what I’m hoping our record feels like—trying to find peace in dangerous places.”

A film, also titled Fading West, coincides with the new release. The film was screened on the band’s tour as well as on demand and through digital outlets. It is described as “pock documentary, part surf film and part travelogue.” 

To order Fading West, call Word Distribution at 800-876-WORD (9673).

Gospel favorite The Cathedrals celebrate their legacy Print Email
Written by Production   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:57 AM America/New_York

November musical offerings run the gamut from history to heavy metal

FamilyReunion-CathedralsFamily Reunion

The Cathedrals

StowTown Records (Provident Distribution)


Nov. 12

As one of the pioneering groups in Southern gospel music, the Cathedrals have had a rich legacy of songs and voices, including some late legendary singers. Family Reunion is a tribute to the group and features not only some of the group’s most popular alumni, including Ernie Haase, Danny Funderburk, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell and Scott Fowler, but also the voices of George Younce, Glen Payne and Roger Bennett digitally mixed into new studio songs. 

Songs on the project include “Can He, Could He, Would He,” featuring Mark Trammell; “Search Me, O God,” featuring George Younce and Glen Payne; “Champion of Love,” featuring Gerald Wolfe; and new radio single “We’ll Work.” The project will debut at a two-day Cathedrals event in Fort Worth, Texas. 

To order, call 800-333-900 or visit


NoMoreHellToPay-StryperNo More Hell To Pay


Frontiers Records

Capitol Christian Music Group (Capitol Christian Distribution)


Nov. 5

Christian heavy metal band Stryper returns with a new project of original songs, No More Hell To Pay. Dubbed by producer and frontman Michael Sweet as the “heaviest record,” the album is a sequel to the group’s popular breakout album, To Hell With the Devil, which released in 1986. That album provided the group’s first video to hit MTV, “Calling on You.”

Songs on the new release include “Saved by Love,” “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “Water Into Wine,” “Marching Into Battle” and the title track. 

“Every song has a hooky guitar riff,” Sweet said. “Everything is in minor keys, so it’s a little darker sounding and a little tougher.”

Along with Sweet, the group comprises Oz Fox, Tim Gaines and Robert Sweet. Stryper has sold more than 10 million units and was the first band to have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously. 

To order No More Hell To Pay, contact Capitol Christian Music Distribution at 800-251-3052 or visit


NothingIsImpossible-ShoutPraisesKidsNothing Is Impossible

Shout Praises Kids

Integrity Music (Provident)


Nov. 19

The newest release in Integrity Music’s Shout Praises Kids line, Nothing Is Impossible features Australia’s Planetshakers Kids performing high-energy yet age-appropriate worship for children.

The album features Planetshakers songs such as “You Are Good,” “Healer,” “Put Your Hands Up,” “I Call You Jesus,” ”Great Is Your Love,” “Get Up,” The Anthem (Full Song),” “Limitless” and the title track. 

To order Nothing Is Impossible, call 800-333-900 or visit


WithholdingNothing-WilliamMcDowellWithholding Nothing

William McDowell

eOne Music (eOne Distribution) 


Nov. 5

Worship artist William McDowell, ASCAP Award winner and Dove and Stellar Award nominee, releases Withholding Nothing, a live double-disc praise celebration, this month. Known for hits such as “I Won’t Go Back” and  “I Give Myself Away,” McDowell enlists the help of friends such as Steve Crawford and Da’dra Greathouse, Danny Gokey and Nicole Binion for a two-hour worship experience with more than 30 tracks.     Songs include “Expecting,” “Through Christ,”  “We Will Prevail,” “I Surrender All” and “I Wanna Go Deeper (Show Me Your Face).”

To order, visit