I just read the latest blog from John Mark McMillan (original writer of the big hit song “How He Loves”) about one of the most interesting bands in worship today. I was thrilled that it was Gungor! (Formerly called the Michael Gungor Band.) I’ve been so into their latest project ever since it released, and to see that they’re getting some support is really nice. In fact, support is putting it gently, they’re touring with John Mark McMillan!
Here’s a video to introduce you to Gungor:
And here’s where you can find John Mark McMillan’s blog: http://johnmarkmcmillan.blogspot.com/2010/05/one-of-most-interesting-bands-in.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePromenade+%28John+Mark%2FThe+Promenade%29
I just wrapped up a live phone interview with John Reilly! (It’s at the WJTL Casts page if you want to hear it!) He’s the front man for violin rock band, Reilly. He just got married to Bonnie and they, and everyone else in the band, have been traveling the globe. But it won’t end any time soon. They have lots of shows coming up all over the place. Be sure to check out their schedule and see when you can get to a Reilly concert to see those dueling violins! Check out http://www.reillytheband.com/ And enjoy all the artwork! I had no idea (until today) that band member Matthew was responsible for all of it!
Reilly has new music on the way June 8th! Get details on the release concert on June 11th and pre-order at their website!
Today I was planning for next Sunday’s Praise & Worship Show, where the music is themed around worship leaders from all over the globe, and I saw something that caught my eye at Brooke Fraser’s website. It’s a new release! It’s called “What To Do With Daylight (Abridged).” It’s a re-release of her 2003 project of the same name, with a revised track listing (edited by Brooke herself!) and new album artwork, exclusive to this release. It’s cool! And yes, there are limited numbers available.
Check out her website for more info: http://www.brookefraser.com/
It’s been a while since Charlie Hall put anything out. In fact, I’ve been waiting since 2008, when he released “The Bright Sadness.” Today I stumbled upon a Charlie Hall song in my iPod that I had completely forgotten about, ‘Thrill.” The lyrics are so good! (“You make deserts glad, You give the voiceless songs, You sing to barren lands, You make the weak one strong.”) Charlie really has a way with joyful lyric writing. I’m not talking about happy lyrics, encouraging lyrics or even optimistic lyrics. I’m talking about real joy; filled with redemption, restoration, gratitude and praise. And if you need to be happier, be encouraged or be optimistic, his songs are a tool that will help get you there in worship!
And by the way, his tweets (at his website and on Twitter, of course) are HILARIOUS!
Here’s a video where one of the guys from Charlie’s band will help you learn how to play “Thrill!”
Jimmy Needham called today! He was doing a whole day of radio interviews to talk up his new CD “Nightlights”, which releases on May 18th. I was thrilled for my first Jimmy Needham interview! Did you know he got his start at a Talent Show? It’s true! Click below to hear him tell his story!
So let that be just one more encouragement to you to enter WJTL’s Talent Challenge! There’s still time to get your entry in! Get the details here! http://wjtl.com/pages/wjtl-talent-challenge-2010-info/
By the way, the whole interview is up at the WJTL Casts page! http://wjtl.com/listen/wjtl-casts/
Phil Wickham got bored last Thursday. He had 2 days off in Spokane, WA and didn’t know what to blog about. So, he did a contest on his blog! Actually, his wife Mallory posted it. She’s been filling in on the blog lately. The contest? The first 10 questions in the comments section would be answered by Phil in a video on Friday! And he didn’t disappoint! Here are his answers!
When I listen to Ian McIntosh, the first word that comes to mind is “exuberance.” This guy does electro-praise in an approachable way–especially on his new project, “Alive!” While living up to its name in every soul-stirring song, it also features originals, covers, and instrumentals. (The covers span from Hillsong to Misty Edwards to Brian Johnson!) It’s very cool and very sincere at the same time. Check it out now–Ian McIntosh gives you a listen at his Myspace page! (Kristi’s Suggestion: Turn your speakers ON and UP!!!)
I’ve been waiting very patiently for a new release from Brian & Jenn Johnson since their “We Believe” project back in 2006. (It’s the one with all those great songs that burst into authentic worship like “We Believe”, “Taste And See”, “Isn’t He Great” and “A Little Longer.”) It has seemed like forever! But they have finally released a gem! It’s a CD/DVD combo called “Love Came Down (Live Acoustic Worship In The Studio).”
Let me count the ways I love this project:
1. The song lineup: it has original songs and cover songs (old and new) like “Here Is Love” (which Matt Redman did on Passion’s hymns project), the Keith Green song “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful” and Anthony Skinner’s “God You’re Beautiful.”
2. The teamwork: in addition to Brian Johnson and his lovely wife Jenn, this one has Ian McIntosh and Kristene Mueller in on it–two worshippers making an impact in a fresh way in the worship community. There’s great instrumentation, too: cello and hammered dulcimer!!
3. The spirit of worship: I always look forward to those moments in worship where everything slows and boils down and we’re left singing our hearts out with an extra awareness of every lyric. These are moments I feel unified with everyone else, in one purpose of true worship (where harmony shines its brightest). For me, it’s those tender moments that stir my heart the most. This CD is 100% that kind of worship.
P.S. If you are a Bill Johnson book fan, this is his son and daughter-in-law!
If you like the House Of Prayer flavor of worship, there’s a new artist you’ll want to know about! Her name is Laura Hackett. She’s from the Kansas City International House of Prayer and has a project out with Forerunner Music. Her voice is beautiful–like the voices of Misty Edwards, Eisley and Yael Naim. Her lyrics are sweet and honest like Sara Groves, Nichole Nordeman and Bethany Dillon. And every once in a while there’s a guitar lick that reminds me of Shane & Shane.
I absolutely love her self-titled CD. It released last year but is slowly making its way into many of my friends’ CD players and iPods. In fact, there are a few fans among the WJTL Staff, too! I can hardly narrow it down to a favorite song. My top picks so far are “There’s A Gap”, “Let’s Survive This” and definitely “When I Am Afraid.”
Laura Hackett’s worship is full of heart and soul. It’s sweet, genuine, raw, confident and compelling…the kind of worship that makes me feel closer to God, more appreciative of everything He’s done for me and encouraged to the brim! Give her a listen–I highly recommend it!
Whenever I play “Open Up The Sky” by Deluge on the Praise & Worship Show, I know I’m going to get emails. Listeners always ask about that song that says “we don’t want blessings, we want YOU [God].” I know Deluge connects with worshippers’ hearts–Christianity Today Magazine even named them one of their favorite worship projects of 2008!
Today, the new project releases. It’s called “Unshakeable!” It’s passionate worship, full of heart and energy. It was recorded live at a youth conference with 5,000 in attendance. I played the song “Let’s Worship” that featured Kari Jobe today as one of my random songs of the day. It was sooo good!
If you like Deluge or would like to get to know them, check out the free download of the week at www.WJTL.com this week. It’s the title track for this new project! (And it’s rockin’!)