Grace Notes

By Chris Crain

Louisville concert info is on the way, but first I want to remind you (or maybe inform you for the first time) that some of the biggest name artists in contemporary Christian music are rallying for a cause: to register the more than 25 million evangelical Christians who are not currently registered to vote. Their ultimate goal is a simple one: to mobilize those in the faith-based community to exercise their rights as citizens in having their voice heard in the political process. And they are succeeding.

Sunday, August 22nd, "Fox News Live," hosted by Rita Cosby, had representatives from two of the Christian industry's biggest current groups - Shelly Breen from platinum-selling group "Point Of Grace," and Jason Roy of the hot new band Building 429 - on satellite from Nashville to voice their commitment to the "Redeem The Vote" campaign. Since its beginnings earlier this year, the grassroots campaign, conducted with sign-up tables at a number of major Christian concerts this summer, has resulted in the onsite registration of more than 25,000 first-time voters. Participants are also encouraged to go online to register at redeemthevote.com.

Point Of Grace and Building 429 are only two of scores of major artists fully committed to having their voices heard. Other major names on the "Redeem The Vote" platform currently include many of the Christian industry's top names including Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, FFH, Jeremy Camp, Mark Schultz, Toby Mac, and Pillar, among others.

"Redeem the Vote" will roll into the fall concert season with increasing numbers of the biggest names in contemporary Christian music singing their praises - and encouraging concert goers to register to vote - to make sure their voices are heard on November 2.

If you are over 18 and not registered to vote, the deadline is on the 4th of this month, so you have no time to lose! Get registered now-and vote in November.

On to concert news...I have three to tell you about for this month.

#1: Just a few miles to our east in Shelbyville, Kentucky, Nate Sallie will be performing on Saturday, October 2. Sallie, along with Siler's Bald and Across The Sky will perform at First Baptist Church on Midland Trail in Shelbyville. The concert is free - an offering will be received.

#2: Modern worship sextet David Crowder Band headlines the second leg of The Illuminate Tour, beginning October 12 with debut acts Shawn McDonald and Something Like Silas. These 20 dates follow the band's summer run as special guest on the sold-out "One Nation Tour" with Michael W. Smith and MercyMe.

The Illuminate Tour, which hits Louisville October 14, caps a remarkable year for David Crowder Band, during which the act has been featured in The New York Times and on CNN, and, as part of the "One Nation Tour" alone, played to nearly 250,000 people, including a sold-out performance at Radio City Music Hall.

David Crowder Band's latest album, Illuminate, continues to gain momentum one year after its initial release and debut at #1 on the Christian Retail chart. To date, it has won two 2004 Worship Leader magazine awards (for Best Praise & Worship Song and Best Worship Project) and was Dove Award-nominated for this year's Praise & Worship Album. Produced by the band with Charlie Peacock (Switchfoot) and others, Illuminate is an innovative melding of pop, rock, and worship, and features the award-winning song, "O Praise Him," new Top 10 hit "Open Skies," and forthcoming single, "Revolutionary Love."

"We're really excited about the second leg of The Illuminate Tour this fall," says David Crowder. "We had such a great time this past spring and are really excited about having Something Like Silas and Shawn McDonald out with us this time. Both are incredibly creative in songwriting and musicianship and will be a fabulous addition to the night."

San Diego-based Something Like Silas joins The Illuminate Tour following the June release of its' debut Divine Invitation. CMCentral.com proclaims, "This is, hands down, one of the best albums of the year...Something Like Silas breaks the mold of what worship music can and should sound like...."

Seattle-based singer/songwriter Shawn McDonald released his soulfully acoustic debut album, Simply Nothing, in August. I've had a chance to hear see Shawn McDonald sing live, and I think his new fans will be impressed.

The Illuminate Tour stops at Valley View Church on Thursday, October 14. Tickets are available at area Christian bookstores.

#3: On the 29th, Avalon returns to Louisville with Mark Schultz and Matthew West. Avalon sang to over 5,000 people at the Kentucky State Fair in August and got rave reviews. I'm looking forward to see them for the fourth time in just two years in the Louisville area.

Avalon has played in Louisville numerous times and Schultz has been here as well. However, this will mark Matthew West's first official concert appearance here. It's been quite a year for West. His debut single "More" from his debut CD Happy was #1 for at least six weeks on the national radio show "20: The Countdown Magazine". West was spotlighted during the "Soul2Soul Honors: A Christian Music Celebration" held at The People's Church of Franklin, TN. Highlighting some of Christian music's most distinguished artists, Soul2Soul recognized the achievements and special contributions of honorees including Avalon, Chris Rice, 4HIM, Margaret Becker, Out of the Grey, DeGarmo & Key, Point Of Grace, Sandi Patty and Rich Mullins.

In addition to his No. 1 hit single, "More," which broke radio records earlier this year, Matthew performed "Do It Again," a song he wrote that will be featured on Point Of Grace's upcoming studio album later this year.

West recently visited the Gospel Music Association's offices in Nashville to lead the organization's morning devotional. Performing a few songs from his acclaimed 2003 release, Happy, he further shared the account of the 2002 accident that nearly shattered his budding music career and how he fully recovered with an added peace from God.

Lastly, West's third single from Happy, "You Know Where To Find Me," is releasing for radio adds on the first.

Avalon, Mark Schultz, and Matthew West will appear at Evangel World Conference Center in Louisville October 29. Tickets are available at all locations of The Wellspring Christian Book Center.

Coming to Louisville next month: Pillar, Project 86 and more! I'll have the details in the November issue of LMN.