This week, the world celebrates Easter. Some celebrate with chocolate bunnies and little yellow marshmallow chickens. Some celebrate with a nice new outfit. Some celebrate with family around a table full of wonderful food. Many pick this one day out of the year to attend church. For me, it’s a time to celebrate the most important event in the history of the world. God’s son Jesus was crucified on a cross but then overcame death and rose from his tomb. An event that makes it possible for us to live eternity in heaven with God. There is more to this life on earth!
Below is a video trailer for the beautiful song My Savior Lives written by Noah Cleveland and Tony Wood. I describe the song as Hauntingly Glorious and it feels me with incredible emotion every time I hear it.
The song is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and most other digital outlets.
Something I often hear in Christian circles, is a common distaste for the overall sound of Christian radio. Many in the industry listen to Christian radio in short stints as a necessity for work but their personal preference is found in mainstream music. The complaints I hear are generated from college/young adult Christians, artists, producers, songwriters, record label employees and even some who work in radio. Reasons heard from those complaining include 1) the music sounds the same as what was being played ten years ago 2) every song sounds similar 3) radio plays the same handful of artists on repeat 4) the production isn’t relevant to what is being made in the mainstream. While some of those reasons may ring true, who is serving up solutions? Who feeds the music to radio?
I would argue that the radio playlists lie in the hands of the creators. If the artists, songwriters, producers and record company A&R teams refuse to feed radio the same formulaic music, wouldn’t radio be forced to change? When something new begins to work, what if creators resisted the urge to jump on the copycat bandwagon and instead chose to lead with even newer sounds? What if record companies refused to put so much stock into what radio research is asking for and instead fed radio with nothing but innovative music? Imagine radio playlists chocked full of innovative artists like Switchfoot, For King & Country, Lecrae, Future of Forestry, John Mark McMillan, Social Club and The Brilliance. Radio might just sound a bit different.
Join the conversation, share your thoughts and stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore even more.
The Gray Havens End 2015 On High Note
CCM Magazine, JesusFreakHideout and NewReleaseToday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. January 4, 2016 —Artist Garden Entertainment artist, The Gray Havens, end 2015 on a high note with top rankings on multiple industry Top 2015 album lists. The independent, Chicago-based husband/wife duo found their way into the hearts of top Christian media with Fire & Stone, produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Mitch Dane (Brandon Heath, JJ Heller)
CCM Magazine’s Andy Argyrakis ranked The Gray Havens Fire & Stone #6 on his Top 10 Albums list for 2015 stating “this full-length debut is an enthralling and enlightening start to what’s sure to be a fruitful career.”
Fire and Stone ranked #6 on JesusFreakHideout’s Overall Staff Picks for 2015 making The Gray Havens the first independent artist to ever appear on the chart. In addition, the duo ranked #1 on several individual staff picks charts.
Christian music discovery site UnderTheRadar ranked the record #4 on their 2015 Top Gourmet Album Picks.
The husband/wife duo released a new song, At Last, The King, in December which became NewReleaseTuesday’s top downloaded Christmas song of 2015.
The Gray Havens enter the studio this week with producer Ben Shive ( Colony House, Andrew Peterson) to begin recording their next record currently scheduled for a spring release.
Have you ever heard a Christmas song begin with the story of the serpent in the Garden of Eden? Well, You’re about to! While many artists are busy releasing cover Christmas songs, The Gray Havens decided to take a new and fresh approach at writing and recording their new original Christmas song, At Last, The King. The new song, produced by Ryan Corn, is now available on iTunes. This song serves as a preview of what’s to come as The Gray Havens are busy working on their new Spring 2016 release. Below is a video of a live performance from The Gray Havens singing At Last, The King.
If you aren’t aware of The Gray Havens, then you should be! The husband/wife pop-folk duo have been quietly building a following amongst college students, hipsters and those who appreciate great music. With lyrics inspired by literary greats JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, The Gray Havens are branding a unique style of fantasy story telling with theological undercurrents.
David and Licia Radford, The Gray Havens, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a new EP which they hope to release in Spring 2016. They have been vigorously writing new songs and have lined up producer Ben Shive (Andrew Peterson, Colony House, Brandon Heath) to begin production once the funds are raised. Check out the video and join them in making the new record.
CLICK THE K IN TOP LEFT CORNER OF VIDEO
Frontman for one of Christian music’s all-time best live bands, Salvador, releases his first solo EP “My Life Is Yours” today through Lucid Artist. In typical Nic Gonzales fashion, you won’t see him attempting to grab headlines. Instead, he is quietly releasing his new collection of beautifully written songs with minimal self-promoted fanfare. Well sports fans, THE SECRET IS OUT!
This EP reminds me of the pure but powerful vocal presence that led Salvador to the top of Christian radio charts. Nic plays most of the instruments himself but is accompanied by Salvador producer/keyboardist, Chris Bevins. His brother, Art Gonzales, makes a guest drumming appearance and of course you will hear some BGVs from wife, Jaci Velasquez. Listeners will be drawn in by the vulnerability Nic expresses through his lyrics on the EP. “Good As Gold” is my favorite track as he sings about the joy of being a husband and father.
Do yourself a favor…GO BUY THIS RECORD! CLICK HERE
Artist Garden Entertainment
Brace yourself for the debut of Noah Cleveland, the new big voice in Christian music! The album, Church With No Walls, produced by Ed Cash, Scott Cash, Nathan Nockles and Pete Stewart is loaded with songs that showcase Noah’s big voice. And when I say big voice, I mean BIG VOICE!
Noah tours the country bringing the super important message, of tearing down the walls. The anthem, Church With No Walls, co-written and produced with Passion City Church’s Nathan Nockles, shows his heart for healing the division present in today’s church.
The EP also includes songs co-written with a few of Christian music’s hit songwriters Tony Wood, Scott Cash and Pete Stewart.
Church With No Walls releases digitally today on iTunes, Spotify and all other digital outlets. Physical CDs can be purchased via Noah’s website http://www.noahcleveland.com
Kevin McNeese and his team at NewReleaseToday.com have once again showed innovative marketing as they continue to build one of Christian music’s leading brands. The NewReleaseToday.com team partnered with the Creation Festivals through hosting a coffee house stage this year at Creation Northwest, Creation Northeast, Sonshine Festival and Ichthus.
While most festivals include side stages, never in the past have I seen a sponsor with such a huge marketing influence connect all the dots in the way NewReleaseToday.com did this summer.
In addition to hosting the stages, they supported the stages weekly on their website and partnered with Noisetrade to offer a sampler with participating artists. The NewReleaseToday.com sampler titled Recreation, debuted at #1 this on Noisetrade this week and featured tracks from Disciple, Ginny Owens, Remedy Drive, Shonlock, Ryan Corn, Jonathan Thulin and others.
Utilizing their 150K subscriber list, NRT has managed to turn the normal low impact festival side stage into a viable marketing vehicle for newer artists. Its encouraging to see Kevin and his team lead the industry through new creative marketing initiatives that give new and independent artists opportunities to be discovered.
Artist Garden Entertainment Signs The Gray Havens
Husband and Wife Folk-Pop Duo
NASHVILLE, Tenn. August 21, 2015 —Artist Garden Entertainment announces the signing of husband and wife folk-pop duo, The Gray Havens, to an exclusive artist management deal. Dave and Licia Radford blend fantasy story, lyric poetry, theology and song to create a sublime narrative-folk-pop. Earlier this year, The Gray Havens released their debut full-length recording Fire and Stone, produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Mitch Dane (Brandon Heath, JJ Heller).
Based in Chicago, The Gray Havens perform at colleges, churches and clubs throughout the mid-west and northeast. Their unique folk-pop artistry draws from such influences as C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Jonathan Edwards.
“We are thrilled to add The Gray Havens’ unique artistry to the Artist Garden roster. David and Licia have built quite an impressive following while stretching the boundaries of Christian music with their fresh blend of music.” states Artist Garden Entertainment President, Keith Stancil.
Dave originally stepped into performing at age 17 when he reached the Top 20 on American Idol. While continuing to write, perform and record in college, Dave met future wife Licia. The two connected with their love of literature, eventually marrying and forming The Gray Havens.