Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

The "Firefall 2001 Youth Convention" comes to the Galt House later this month. On Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th, teens from Kentuckiana and beyond will meet to get "fired" up about the gospel and hear one of Christian music's hottest new solo performers, Aaron Benward. Hey, Crain, he's not new! He's Aaron from Aaron Jeoffrey! I know, but he's newly solo. Aaron released his first solo project last year and has been touring in support of it since then. You may remember that he was the opening artist at FFH's concert last fall at St. Matthews Baptist Church (Speaking of FFH, they were just here for New Year's Eve, but I was out of town and missed it!). Aaron's "new" career has been taking off, at least in terms of airplay: his first two singles were top ten hits on the Christian music charts. Former Wildcat Buddy Berry will be the main speaker and Dirk Been (from TV's Survivor) will be the guest speaker. Call 1-800-528-4973 access code 33 for ticket and other info. The same weekend, Al Denson will be in Frankfort for the "Winter Blitz Youth Conference." It takes place at the Frankfort Civic Center. Call 1-800-530-7236 for details. There are some other concerts in the works for later in the year (no I can't tell you yet!), I'll let you know more info as it is "available."

New Covenant Productions announced on December 15 that Third Day is coming to Louisville! The Atlanta-based rockers are scheduled to appear at Memorial Auditorium on March 22. Ticket and other info was yet to be announced as of press time. 2000 was an amazing year for Mac Powell and the boys - the group, which already had a large and loyal following, widened their fan base extensively with the release of the #1 album Offerings: A Worship Album. Suddenly, the band, which had been categorized as alternative rock, was being described as "praise and worship"! Call it what you want, but Third Day has become one of the most popular groups in Christian music, and fans are sure to flock to Memorial Auditorium in March. I'm planning on being there! Check back next month for ticket and other info!

Jennifer Knapp and Bebo Norman are in concert February 26 at Valley View Baptist Church, 8911 Old 3rd Street Road. This is the rescheduled date for the November 10 concert that was cancelled due to "tour exhaustion." Jennifer was on tour with Jars of Clay at the time. That tour wrapped up recently, and Jennifer is playing some solo dates early this year. She released her second album, Lay It Down, last spring. She's scheduled to release her next album in November. Tickets are available at area Christian bookstores.

Ichthus 2001 takes place April 26-29 in Wilmore, Kentucky. Here's part of the line-up so far: Newsboys, Jennifer Knapp, Salvador, Ginny Owens, Nicole C. Mullen, Andrew Peterson, Bebo Norman, Lincoln Brewster, Phil Joel, Delirious, Project 86, Switchfoot, Skillet, Relient K, Pax 217, Aurora, Julia McRoberts, The Normals, Kendall Payne, John Reuben. Speakers: Tony Campolo, Reggie Dabbs, Helen Musick. Of course the line-up is subject to change. I want Living Sacrifice to play it!! Living Sacrifice plays and I'm there!!

Well, they played in Louisville twice in 2000 ... and those concerts may have been your last chances to see Big Tent Revival live. CCM Magazine.com is reporting that Big Tent Revival is taking a break ... perhaps permanently. According the article, lead singer Steve Wiggins says: "We're not really breaking up. Everyone just feels the need to walk away." Wiggins says he wants to take a break because of heavy touring in the past. However, drummer Spence Smith says, "I don't have any plans to get back together again so if you hear any talk about, 'Yeah we're gonna get back together in a year', there's no talk about that." The article also says that the future of the other band member is "far from resolved." The group is scheduled to play a New Year's Eve gig in California before separating.

2000 was a decent year for concerts in Louisville. Michael W. Smith, Avalon, Clay Crosse, Jaci Velasquez, Rebecca St. James, Newsong, Plus One, FFH, The Katinas and others were all in town at one time or another. Who will return in 2001? Stay tuned. Plus One is teaming up with Stacie Orrico and Racheal Lampa on what many expect to be the biggest tour of the spring. Will the tour stop in Louisville? As soon as I find out you'll be the first (OK, maybe not the first, but you know what I mean) to know.

Some sad news to report. "Baptist Press" reports that Kevin Mills, a member of Newsboys and White Heart, died December 3 after a motorcycle accident in Hollywood. He was 32. Mills, of Louisville, was a singer and bass player. The Newsboys have sold nearly three-million records and earned three Grammy nominations. White Heart started in 1982. Newsboys was formed four years later. Mills also was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and appeared on TV in "An Inconvenient Woman" in 1991.