Contemporary Christian Music Watch
By Jim Galipeau

Can you believe there are only a few weeks to go before we start tearing into those Christmas gifts that our friends and family so thoughtfully purchased for us. Since we're so close to Christmas I thought we'd start by checking out the new Christmas music available this year. One of my personal favorite groups, BeBe & CeCe Winans, have a Christmas CD called First Christmas. It features 13 songs, including traditional like "Joy to the World" and "Little Drummer Boy," and some new songs that will stay with us for a long time. The album was produced by BeBe Winans and well-known producer David Foster.

Some others worth checking into are 4Him's A Season of Love, Home for the HolidaysBy Glen Campbell, and the big-band, swinging sound of Phil Driscoll's Heaven and Nature Swing. And taking a break from her television show, it's Kathy Lee Gifford and her holiday offering called Christmas Carols.

Finally, The Young Messiah has been re-recorded, with Sandi Patti, Greg Nelson and Norman Miller sharing the production helm. Some of the artists included on this "classic-to-be" are Sandi Patti, Steven Curtis Chapman, 4Him, Michael English, Twila Paris, First Call, Cindy Morgan, Wayne Watson and Steve Green.

Youth for Christ has been gearing up for several months for their fourth superconference on evangelism to be held next year in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. DC/LA '94 will feature top Christian artists, speakers, workshops and seminars. Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman co-wrote the theme song "Live to Tell" from Geoff's new album Evolution. You can register early and get a $20 discount ... if you register before January 15. You can call 1-800-735-DCLA for more information., By the way, LA '94 will be held August 17-21, 1994, and DC '94 happens July 27-31, 1994.

A lot of people are talking about new Benson recording artists Straight Company from Louisville. The mixed a cappella group recently had a "Celebration Party" at Family Bookstores in the Jefferson Mall in honor of their new album, So Excited A Cappella. There was such a great turnout that groups of fans were rotated through the store so the hot group could perform mini-concerts to them. Their fans also got to view their concept video on the first single "So Excited." If you want to experience Straight Company for yourself, you'll have the opportunity December 23 at the new Male High School in Louisville. Tickets are $8 and $10, available at Berean Bookstore and at Family Bookstores in the Jefferson Mall.

Our area will be treated to two more great concerts in January. Bryan Duncan comes back to Broadbent Arena to sing after the Louisville IceHawks game Jan. 7. Shively Baptist Church is host to Al Denson on January 14. Call the WJIE Concert Line, 502-966-0547 for more details.

Another Louisville artist, Larnelle Harris, is busy this holiday season touring for the fourth season in the Young Messiah. Larnelle will also be touring in an Easter production similar to the Young Messiah Tour. He and other well-known Christian artists are working on a new album called Savior. Warner Alliance will release the album early next year.

Next month I'll review the top songs of the year and what went on in Christian music. In the meantime, you have a blessed Christmas.

WJIE Picks

So Excited Straight Company

There is a Love Michael English

I'll Be Believing Point of Grace

We Believe in God Amy Grant

Hold Me Jesus Rich Mullins

Feels Like Real Life Out of the Grey

Waiting for Your Love to Come Down

Susan Ashton

Living in the Light of Your Love

Al Denson

Fingertips and Noses Newsong

Inside Out David Meece

Love Can Open the Door Sandi Patti