Grace Notes
By Victoria Moon

Hello again! It's now officially spring, when not only are we getting hints of long-needed warmth in the air but concert tours are gearing up and several new musical projects are showing up on the shelves of your friendly local music stores. One brand new CCM artist garnering critical and commercial success is Becca Jackson, who seems to be yet another protagonist of modern alterna-pop. Her song "Hand Tied Behind My Back" is unusual and bears traces of the "angry young woman" vocals popularized by Alanis Morrisette. She certainly is a better contender for the "Christian Alanis" role than CCM's current choice, Rebecca St. James.

What would be REALLY cool is if CCM allowed Becca Jackson to just be Becca Jackson and develop organically as an artist . . . after all, CCM should be the first place where miracles happen, right?

Another project worth getting excited about is Out of the Grey's newest album, due out the first of this month and titled See Inside. According to Scott Dente, the frenetic guitar-playing half of this acoustic pop duo, this project will have "a more muscular sound and less of a shiny pop sound." There are also rumors that the lyrics will be a return to the themes of their first project, the self-titled Out of the Grey that first won me over several years ago. Die-hard fans of this husband and wife team have been hoping for just this sort of album from them, so this project should be well worth checking out.

Recently I was able to hear a preview of a new band called Caedmon's Call that I thought was worth mentioning as well. The band has a vocal sound not unlike Jars of Clay if Jars of Clay went acoustic and dumped the disco backbeat. The band has a strong college following and, while having Christian label distribution, is also under the auspices of secular mega-label Warner Bros.

This album, their first major-label release, is solid, well-produced modern pop. The press release information also mentioned that the band will be here in Louisville July 28 at Freedom Hall - definitely worth seeing, I think.

On the local scene, Neptune is putting the finishing touches on a release-worthy demo that shows just how far this band has come in a short time. Local Neptune shows at Jonah's Java have packed out the small coffeehouse with fans of this indie band's roots-rock, and new fans are sure to come as this band progresses.

Speaking of Jonah's Java, this happenin' little coffeehouse is featuring the following for the month of April:

April 4 - Homesick

April 11 - Death Defying Leap

April 18 - Damascus

April 25 - Sole Matter

Some of the best of the best of local indie CCM is coming out of this place, so head over there Friday nights and be able to say "I knew them when..."

Well, I think I'm off to sniff a couple daffodils and get a serious case of spring fever. Keep an eye out for the tours that are sure to be starting as these new projects come out, and I'll see you next month!