Christian Retailing

Musical offerings range from heavenly to happy Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Friday, 05 December 2014 02:12 PM America/New_York

New releases feature mountaintop worship and a Southern gospel tribute



Worth Fighting For
Brian Courtney Wilson
Motown Gospel (Capitol Christian Distribution)
602537845101 Jan. 6

With his first recording since signing with Motown Gospel, Wilson mixes mostly live recording with some studio tracks for a contemporary gospel release that will inspire and energize listeners.

Produced by the company’s vice president of A&R, Aaron Lindsey, the songs aim to encourage listeners and draw them into worship. They include the title track, “The Promise,” “Hope Saved My Life,” “I’ll Just Say Yes,” “The Medley (All I Need, Already Here)” and “Our God Is Good.”




I Am They
I Am They
Essential Records (Provident)
Jan. 27

New Essential Records group I Am They releases its self-titled debut project this month. Comprised of Adam Palmer (lead vocals and guitar), Matthew Hein (lead vocals and guitar), Stephanie Kulla (lead vocals), Justin Shinn (keys), Bobby Stiehler (bass) and Sara Palmer (drums), the modern-worship group hails from Carson City, Nevada.

Songs on the release include “We Are Yours,” “Awake My Love,” “Your Love Is Mine,” “Over & Over,” “Again,” “King of Love,” “Even Me,” “From the Day, Make a Way,” “Here’s My Heart” and “Amen.”


We Will Not Be Shaken
Bethel Music
Bethel Music (Provident)
Jan. 27

Recorded live at a mountaintop retreat near Redding, California, this release from Bethel Music presents 11 new songs from the group’s artist collective, including several debut singers.

Songs include “Ever Be,” “Who Can Compare to You,” “In Over My Head (Crash Over Me),” “You Are My One Thing,” “Jesus We Love You,” “Seas of Crimson,” “You Don’t Miss a Thing,” “Home,” “No Longer Slaves,” “Nearness” and the title track, the result of a spontaneous moment of worship.

Along with the music, a film chronicling the creation of the worship event from which the album came is also available.  




Songs in the Key of Happy
Goodman Revival
Gaither Music Group (Capitol Christian Distribution)
Jan. 20

Paying tribute to one of gospel’s classic groups, The Happy Goodmans, a newly formed trio offers Songs in the Key of Happy. Goodman Revival—with members Tanya Goodman Sykes, Michael Sykes and Happy Goodmans singer Johnny Minick—continue the Goodman gospel legacy.

Songs include Southern gospel favorites and Goodman classics such as “What a Happy Time,” “This Is Just What Heaven Means to Me” and “I Don’t Want to Get Adjusted.” The disc also features guest appearances by the Gaither Vocal Band and Russ Taff.


Bringing hymns of the church to a new generation Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 02:39 PM America/New_York

Newsboys merges traditional lyrics with modern sounds on November release

Hallelujah-NewsboysStill riding the energy of the breakout film God’s Not Dead, Christian pop group Newsboys continues to strive for fresh new ways of delivering timeless truth. For their latest album, band members found inspiration in the church hymnal.

Hallelujah for the Cross (612058638014, First Company Management/Capitol Christian Distribution), the group’s Nov. 4 release, delivers the message of traditional hymnody to the group’s younger listeners. Songs such as “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “I Surrender All,” “It Is Well” and “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” are given the Newsboys’ treatment.

“There’s something about those old songs,” lead singer Michael Tait told Christian Retailing. “There’s a salvation and a freedom and some beautiful pain in the struggle and the awesome outcome because God’s Word does not return void. My idea was to bring back the old songs for the newcomers because kids don’t know where they came from. Respect where they came from. Don’t try to make them something they’re not, but put a little Newsboys ‘sauce’ to make it special for the next generation and get the Word of God at the same time.”

On “All Hail the Power,” Tait goes a capella, complete with high and low parts and vocal instrumentation.

“It took about four days to record it,” he said. “But it’s all me. It’s all Michael Tait.”

NewsboysThe new record is the fourth to feature Tait as the group’s lead singer, and he feels really good about the place the band is in now. With a string of hit albums, recent concerts that have seen triple the crowd numbers as normal and a blockbuster movie appearance (God’s Not Dead 2 is being discussed, Tait said), “Newsboys 2.0,” as they’ve dubbed this version of the band, has become the standard, and Tait’s voice guides most of the band’s more recognizable songs.

Tait said recently he read a tweet of a young teenage boy who posted a picture of the band’s previous incarnation featuring Peter Furler as frontman.

“He said, ‘Who’s the white guy and where’s Michael Tait, the lead singer?’ ”

Tait’s lighthearted response?

“That’s when you know I am captain of this ship now.”

Learn more about Hallelujah for the Cross at

Modernized classical sounds feature worship artists Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Monday, 11 August 2014 12:01 PM America/New_York

September releases include For King & Country’s highly anticipated sophomore disc

Banner-DesperationBandDesperation Band
Integrity Music (Provident Distribution)
Sept. 30

Banner is the newest release from New Life Church’s Desperation Band, recorded live in July in Colorado Springs, Colorado, before a crowd of 6,000 students and youth workers at the Desperation youth conference. The album’s title refers to God’s name Jehovah-Nissi, which means, “The Lord is my banner,” and aims to encourage younger generations to lift up the name of the Lord.

Known for songs such as “I Am Free,” “Overcome” and “My Savior Lives,” Desperation Band led by Jon Egan introduces new worship tracks and potential church classics such as “Break Open,” “Even Though” and “You Make a Way.”


RunWildFor King & Country
Fervent Records (Word Distribution)
Sept. 16

Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, also known as For King & Country, follow their top-selling debut release, Crave, with Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. The album features the new songs “It’s Not Over Yet,” “Without You” and radio single “Fix My Eyes,” which made a strong debut on Christian AC/CHR format stations with more stations supporting the single than any song since 2007.

“This song is a true gift, and the message speaks of where we should place our focus,” the brothers said. “We wrote ‘Fix My Eyes’ in the midst of a very chaotic time in our lives so to feel the incredible embrace from Christian radio and have this song be warmly received is extremely humbling and inspiring.”

SymphonyOfWorshipAll Souls Orchestra
Integrity Music (Provident)
Sept. 16

Billed as a blending of classical and contemporary musicians, All Souls Orchestra releases its live album, Symphony of Worship. Recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the album features popular worship artists such as Paul Baloche, Martin Smith (Delirious) and Graham Kendrick along with a 400-voice choir gathered from across the United Kingdom. Together, they revisit classic worship songs such as “Majesty,” “Shine Jesus Shine,” “Above All” and “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” Also featured are renowned soprano Helen-Jane Howells and violinist Rebecca Eves.

Fair Trade Services (Provident)
Sept. 9

Contemporary vocal group Veritas—comprising Jeff Anderson, James Berrian, Andrew Goodwin, Jordan Johnson and Lucas Scott—releases its self-titled debut this month. The group uses a pop-opera style to offer listeners fresh takes on popular songs such as “I Can Only Imagine,” “10,000 Reasons,” “Dare You to Move,” “The Lord’s Prayer” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Veritas should appeal to fans of Il Divo, Josh Groban and Susan Boyle.

“The arts give us a chance to reflect the creativity of our Creator and express who He is in a way that all people can appreciate,” the group said.

Pair of ‘Oxygen’ albums hails from diverse artists Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Monday, 07 July 2014 03:39 PM America/New_York

Lincoln Brewster and Thousand Foot Krutch share different takes on same theme

MyOnlyAnswer-AustinAdemecMy Only Answer

Austin Adamec
Reunion Records
(Provident Distribution)
Aug. 19

Adamec delivers his unique brand of adult contemporary music with debut release My Only Answer. The Florida native honed his craft as a worship leader for YouthQuake and Campus Crusade for Christ (CrU).

Tracks include debut single “My Only Answer,” “Chains Break” and “I Wouldn’t Trade.”

Reflecting the style of artists Brandon Heath, Hillsong, OneRepublic and One Sonic Society, Adamec’s music should appeal to fans of worship and modern pop styles.


Lincoln Brewster

Integrity Music (Provident Distribution)
Aug. 19

Before the rock-worship genre hit its peak, Brewster was paving the way, delivering anthems like “Let the Praises Ring,” “Everlasting God” and “Today Is the Day.” Oxygen showcases a new collection of contemporary praise tracks by the California-based singer-songwriter. Songs include “Made New,” “Live to Praise You,” “Whole Again (Come Alive),”   “Oxygen.” “You Never Stop,” “Over All,” “23” and “Let It Be Known.”


OxygenInhale-TFKOxygen: Inhale

Thousand Foot Krutch
Fuel Music
(New Day Christian Distributors)
Aug. 26

Modern rock’s Thousand Foot Krutch returns with the group’s first new studio release in two years, Oxygen: Inhale. Produced by the band’s frontman, Trevor McNevan, and Aaron Sprinkle (One Republic, Anberlin, Pedro the Lion), the album features the high-energy “Let the Sparks Fly” and melodic “War of Change,” among others.

Reflecting on the album’s title, McNevan said: “Most of us spend our entire lives taking half breaths when we were created to take full breaths. To live life to its fullest, to treat every day like it might be our last, and treat other people the same way.  We can’t see it, but we need it.  It exists. It fuels everything we are.”


TimeStandStill-FamilyForce5Time Stands Still

Family Force 5
Word Entertainment
(Word Distribution)
Aug. 5

Family Force 5—comprised of Derek Mount (nicknamed “Chap Stique”), Jacob Olds (“Crouton”), Joshua Olds (“Fatty”), Nathan Currin (“Nadaddy”) and Teddy Boldt (“Hollywood”)—releases the 15-song Time Stands Still.

“BZRK,” the first video from the album, garnered more than 250,000 views and 2,400 likes on YouTube in just eight days. Songs include “Let It Be Love” and “Walk on Water,” featuring Melodie Wagner of Hillsong Young & Free.

The disc was produced by Riley Friesen (Vota, Staggerford) and Seth Mosley (Newsboys, For King & Country).

Labels introduce new artists while veterans release another album Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 10:21 AM America/New_York

Veteran group Hillsong Live employs talent of many producers as they issue album number 23

AboutAMile-SelfTitledAbout a Mile

About a Mile
Word Records (Word Distribution)
July 15

About a Mile is comprised of three brothers—Adam, Levi and Luke Klutinoty—who embraced music early in life. Hailing from Butler, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, the brothers offer a self-titled debut featuring production from Ian Eskelin (Hawk Nelson, Sidewalk Prophets, Francesca Battistelli) and Howard Benson (Skillet, Flyleaf, Daughtry).

Songs on About a Mile include first single “Satisfied,” “Who You Say You Are,” “Power of the Cross” and “S.O.S. (Hope Won’t Let Go).”

Regarding the band’s name, singer Adam Klutinoty said: “We learned from a study that Jesus carried His cross about a mile, and that’s where our band name comes from. When we felt called to play music for the rest of our life, there was never any doubt that we would do it for His glory and treat our ministry like He did when carrying the cross. He carried a cross that we deserved to be nailed to about a mile so He could die for us. We just want to serve others as best as we can and use all our strength and ability to honor God, carrying our cross as far as we possibly can.”

Order through, or call 800-876-WORD (9673).


CrystalClear-DavidDunnCrystal Clear

David Dunn
BEC Recordings (New Day Christian Distributors)
July 15

New BEC Recordings artist David Dunn honed his craft moonlighting as a singer-songwriter while studying at Texas Tech University. After releasing a full-length independent project, more than a year of humanitarian and mission work in Africa and appearing on NBC’s The Voice, Dunn releases his debut label EP, Crystal Clear, on July 15. The album features Dunn’s distinctive vocals with a backdrop of modern pop.

First single “Today Is Beautiful” released to radio in May. Additional tracks include “Have Everything” and “Waiting for Love.”

Order through or call 800-251-3633.


NoOtherName-HillsongLiveNo Other Name

Hillsong Live
Hillsong Music
(Capitol Christian Distribution)
July 1

Hillsong Live will release this month No Other Name, recorded at the Hillsong Convention  Center in Sydney, Australia. The project—the 23rd album from the group that aims to resource congregations worldwide with worship music—features 11 original songs, including “No Other Name,” “This I Believe (Creed),” “Calvary,” “My Story,” “Broken Vessels,” “Heaven and Earth” and “Thank You Jesus.”

No Other Name features the music production team of Joel Houston, Marty Sampson, Ben Fielding, Taya Smith, Reuben Morgan, Simon Kobler, Joel Hingston, Harrison Wood, David Ware, Jad Gillies and Ben Whincop, among others.

The album’s cover art shows New York City’s Times Square billboards proclaiming “No Other Name.”

Order by calling 800-877-4443 or go to

Meet the Artist: Michael W. Smith Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 02:27 PM America/New_York

Sovereign-MichaelWSmithIconic artist Michael W. Smith brings his musical gifting to Sovereign, a collection of fresh worship songs, as well as a deluxe version CD-DVD with a concert featuring Kari Jobe and Leeland Mooring. Sparrow Records (Capitol Christian Distribution) releases both titles May 13. Smith recently told Christian Retailing about the process of putting the new record together.

When did you decide Sovereign would be a collection of original songs?

The plan was to do a record of worship around the world. I’ve been literally on five continents in the past few years. The favor of God blows my mind. I said to my team, “We have to record all these shows.” We captured some stunning moments, people worshipping, people in Brazil breaking into “Agnus Dei” in Portugese. That was what I was putting together with Capitol. I was working this song called “Miracle” with Chris York and said, “Maybe the ‘Worship Around the World’ record is for another time. Maybe we do an album of new songs.” He started flipping out. It’s not live, like what I’ve done in the past, and it’s not all corporate. Half of it is kind of anthemic.

Did having a new label change how you approached this record?

I think it was much more of a team record. I’ve always wanted to work with Bill Hearn at the people at Capitol. I felt like I needed to change it up. I talked to every major label and ended up at Capitol. I remember being in the room and saying, “Guys, let’s do this together. I don’t need a bunch of ‘yes men.’ I need some pushback.” I got out of my comfort zone and started writing with all these kids. I completely went the other direction and took a lot of risks. My faith had to increase a bit. We went through almost 120 songs to listen to, and it took that many to get to 12.

Who did you collaborate with for Sovereign?

“Miracle,” I wrote with Kyle Lee and Seth Moseley. It was a great collaboration, still one of my favorite songs on the album. We let that be the bar. It’s got to hit at least there. That’s just the beginning of it. I’m a little too close to it because I’ve been listening to it over and over again in the studio. You just want to go to an island and deflate a bit. “You Won’t Let Go” is another song with Seth Moseley. We were working on “Miracle,” and I said, “Let me hear what you’re writing. You got any ideas?” He played me the track and I picked up an acoustic guitar and started writing the melody. The song reminds me of Romans 8, “Nothing can separate.” We pulled Mia Fields in who’s a great songwriter. She came in and we bashed it out, and we all got excited.

With more Christian films releasing, any chance you will get in front of the camera again soon?

I’ve read so many scripts. I feel like there’s another film for me as an actor. It’s got to be the right story. I haven’t found anything. It’ll have to be right thing for me.