Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

Across The Sky, featuring Louisville's Ben Kolarcik, continues to make impressive strides with their self-titled Word Records debut, including a recent Dove Award nomination as well as joining the Avalon/Mark Schultz nationwide spring tour already underway.

Across The Sky is currently on the 26-city nationwide Avalon/Mark Schultz spring tour. The pop duo, who released their first project in July 2003, also had the opportunity to tour with labelmates Downhere last fall, as well as opening dates with By The Tree and Stereo Motion. In addition, Across The Sky did extensive promotional tour dates in Brazil and Costa Rica.

The group is meriting the attention of both industry and fans alike. Earlier this month, Across The Sky was announced as one of the five nominees for a "New Artist Of The Year" Dove Award. Also notable is the duo's #5 spot in the Campus Life Magazine 2004 Reader's Choice Awards in the category of "Favorite New Artist."

On the radio front, Across the Sky heralded a Top 5 AC hit with "Found By You." Two additional singles are currently impacting radio as "Broken World" goes for adds at AC and INSP Christian radio formats and "Give It All Away" goes for adds at the CHR format. The group visited Radio Disney offices and performed for staff last week as part of their ongoing radio efforts.

Fans can anticipate two new music videos as the duo recently shot their first music video for the song "Broken World." A second music video is underway for "Everywhere She Goes."

"Ben and Justin are pros at getting things done the right way and give 100 percent all of the time," said Mark Lusk, senior vice president of marketing and artist development for Word Records. "The combination musically and personality-wise of these two makes perfect sense. We believe in Across The Sky and their far-reaching potential as artists. I look forward to seeing what 2004 holds in store for them."

One of the most popular Christian rock bands in England is coming to Louisville next month. On April 20, at 7:30 p.m., the band Delirious? will be performing in the Sanctuary of Southeast Christian Church.

The band has enjoyed much success across the pond, but less here. Their latest release, World Service, has sold moderately well here.

Delirious? was formed in 1996 as the worship band at a monthly outreach sponsored by Arun Community Church of Littlehampton, West Sussex. Later that same year their single, "Deeper," hit the top 20 charts-something unprecedented for a band that was at the time essentially a church worship band. Their astounding and immediate success led to a record deal and they have been writing, producing worship music and touring ever since. Today their worship songs are known around the world and they're sung in churches everywhere-songs such as "Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble," "My Glorious," "Rain Down," "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" and "God You Are My God."

Daniel Dabney, worship leader for The Vine (Southeast's contemporary Sunday night worship service), says, "A Delirious? concert is a unique experience. The level of musical talent and production are exceptionally high, but it's the worship of God that makes their shows stand out above others. Essentially, the concert transforms into a worship service and God becomes the focus of the evening. The passion and intensity in their music is powerful and the message they bring is the truth of God."

Tickets are available at etix.com or southeastchristian.org.

The Ichthus Ministries Mission Statement:

"The purpose of Ichthus Ministries, Inc. is to provide opportunities for life-changing experiences with Jesus Christ. We intend to accomplish this by having a youth oriented annual music festival, providing mission opportunities, developing the use of our property, partnering with like-minded organizations and individuals and creating programs to develop kingdom leadership for the next generation."

To that end, the 35th Anniversary of Ichthus features an unbelievable line-up. If you are a fan of Christian music, I won't say the festival is a "must-see," but there is no way you can say you don't get a lot for your money. The festival takes place April 22nd-25th at Ichthus Farm in Wilmore.

The main stage couldn't be much hotter: Third Day, Toby Mac, Switchfoot, Jeremy Camp, Kirk Franklin, Audio Adrenaline, David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin and many others. It must cost a fortune to pull this event off. Switchfoot is ridiculously hot right now and the guarantees (what a promoter pays a band) for Third Day and Kirk Franklin alone are huge, even by mainstream standards. I guess the math works out when you consider tickets range from $29-$80 and about 20,000 people are expected to attend.

The "Deep End" stage - as it's called - features heavier music like ZAO, Project 86, Disciple, as well as more standard rock acts like The Elms and Riley Armstrong.

Speakers include Kirk Cameron, Rob Bell, Dr. Rick Rigsby, Mike Bickle, Cameron Mills and many others.

I attended one day of last year's Ichthus and was pretty amazed to see it with my own eyes. It's probably the biggest Christian concert or festival I've ever attended. As I looked around at 20,000 mostly teenage kids raising their hands, dancing and loving the music, I kept thinking, "This is like Ozzfest-minus the heavy drug use and general drunken debauchery." And, yes, I've been to both.

One day was enough for me and camping at a concert isn't really my thing (I saw a friend after he attended Woodstock 1994 and that forever altered any notions about that), so I can't tell you about the whole four-day event. Of course, I would only want to see a few of these bands, so it wouldn't be worth it for me. If you like enough bands and you're about twenty years younger than I am, it might be worth it.

The Ichthus Farm is located just outside of Wilmore, KY on U.S. Route 68. It's located about 20-30 minutes south of Lexington. For more information check out the official website at ichthus.org.