Grace Notes

By Chris Crain

I told you last month that I would have a major concert announcement: Jars of Clay, Jennifer Knapp, and the "Fusion" Worship Band will play at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom June 15. This marks Jars' first Louisville concert appearance since playing Broadbent Arena in November 1999. Knapp performed at the Greater Louisville Billy Graham Crusade last summer.

While Third Day, which is coming to Broadbent this month, is the hottest band in Christian music right now, Essential Records labelmates Jars aren't far behind.

At press time, their new project, The Eleventh Hour, had just released. For the third time the group captured the No. 1 position SoundScan's compiled Top Christian Retail chart. The recording also landed in the top 30 of the Billboard Top 200. For what it's worth, some critics are already likening The Eleventh Hour to the self-titled 1995 debut that spawned the mainstream crossover hit "Flood."

"The set marks a return to the creative well that fueled the band's successful 1995 eponymous debut," says Billboard Magazine. "The Eleventh Hour is the album every Jars of Clay fan has been craving," notes CCM Magazine in a five-star review.

According to Essential, Jars of Clay returned to their roots, self-producing The Eleventh Hour. The band further wrote the music, designed, directed and filmed for the project, as well as built their own recording studio in Nashville, Sputnik Studios, to record the album. Essential Records president Robert Beeson says, "Jars of Clay is one of the most innovative artists in our industry. Fans consistently support them, but we believe they are connecting even more fully to this project because of the level of Jars of Clay's creative involvement. The band has pulled from their experience working with talented producers in the past, as well as writing and performing extensively since their debut, to craft a truly outstanding project."

Rendy Lovelady, the group's manager, is obviously excited about the project: "In a time when record sales trends are downward, it is exciting to see the momentum of this recording. The strength of the project combined with the effectiveness of our release campaign combined for a successful album launch. As one of the most aggressive tours of the band's career gets underway... we anticipate strong sales to continue as even more fans hear this record."

Touring in support of the album, Jars of Clay launched its 50-plus city "The Eleventh Hour Tour" last month in Nashville. The band's first tour in over a year, the concert features new stage design and a "multi-media presentation" of some kind. The tour features Jennifer Knapp and Shaun Groves on most dates, though Groves is not scheduled to appear in Louisville. The "Fusion" Worship Band, the "nameless" (members never give their names in concert) band that has played at the last couple of "Fusion" events at the Palace, is opening. Sounds like an excellent line-up. Once you buy a ticket to get into the Kingdom, there is no additional charge for the concert. If you are a fan of any of these groups, it's a great deal, one of the best of the year. More details to come on this.

As I mentioned, Third Day is coming to Broadbent Arena this month. The concert is April 17 and will also feature Bebo Norman and newcomers The Paul Colman Trio. The "Come Together" tour has sold out at least eleven dates so far. At press time tickets were still available for the Louisville date though Ticketmaster. Look for a concert review in next month's LMN.

Ichthus 2002 comes to Wilmore April 25-28. The mainstage line-up is as follows: Kirk Franklin (who is also coming to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom this summer), Caedmon's Call, Toby Mac (just added at press time), Audio Adrenaline, Fire Iron Frenzy, Bleach, The Waiting, Polarboy, Salvador, Relient K, Pillar, and Superchick. Second and "Deep End" stage groups include: Paul Colman Trio, Cadet, Lincoln Brewster, LaRue, Katy Hudson, Luna Halo, Ten Shekel Shirt, Riley Armstrong and others.

There will be several speakers this year. I've had the opportunity to hear a couple of them, and was very impressed by both. Darrell Scott is the father of Rachel Joy Scott, one of the victims at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. His son, Craig, was in the library that day as ten of his classmates were gunned down. Scott is the leading spokesperson from the Columbine tragedy, addressing the issue of violence among teens. I heard him speak in Nashville the year after the tragedy. It was an unforgettable message. If you attend Ichthus, don't miss him.

I heard another one of the speakers, Louie Giglio, talk just last year at an industry luncheon in Nashville. He had the place in stitches, and it takes a lot to get that crowd rolling. Giglio directs Choice Resources, a ministry designed to "lead others to renewed passion for God and fresh encounters of worship". He is the founder of the Passion movement, an emerging "gathering ministry" among college students. At home, Giglio speaks weekly for 7:22, a Bible study designed to reach single adults in the Atlanta area. Once again, if you get a chance, hear him speak.

Other speakers include Lori Salinero, Dennis "Tiger" McLuen, Bronwyn Schweigerdt and Rich Van Pelt.

Most people that attend Ichthus camp on the Ichthus Farm, which occupies approximately 110 acres and contains both a permanent stage and two showerhouses available for use throughout the weekend. Campers bring standard equipment and items used on a typical camping trip. According to Ichthus personnel, there are two 22-head shower buildings equipped with 14 sinks each. The showers have hot water. There is no additional cost for camping.

If camping is not your style, hotel information can be found by calling the Lexington Chamber of Commerce at 859.254.4447 or by calling the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce at 859.887.4351.

The Ichthus Farm is located just outside of Wilmore, KY on U.S. Route 68. For ticket prices and other information, check out