Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

Major Concert Announcement: Steven Curtis Chapman is coming to the Kentucky State Fair August 22! This will be the fair’s “free” Christian concert (free with paid admission to the fair). More details to come in the months ahead!

Also- recent Dove award winners (see below) Building 429 are coming to the area as part of the Bullitt County Youthfest. The event is on June 4th at Little Flock Ministry Center. This event is also free, but you have to pick up a ticket-I’ll have locations in next month’s LMN. I do know the event starts at 2 p.m. with all kinds of activities throughout the day. Building 429’s performance is scheduled to close out the festival sometime that evening.

I attended this year’s GMA Awards (formerly the “Dove” Awards) in Nashville and Kentucky was represented as The Crabb Family emerged among the most honored artists at the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards, presented at the Grand Ole Opry House. Joining them in receiving multiple Dove Awards were pop band Casting Crowns, gospel worship artist Israel & New Breed and singer/songwriters Jeremy Camp and Nicole C. Mullen and no-shows Switchfoot.

“I love the fact that Switchfoot and The Crabb Family share top Dove Award honors this year because it powerfully reveals the variety of cultural expressions of the Gospel through music,” said John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA) and executive producer of the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards. “These two groups could not be more different culturally and musically and yet, the message of the Gospel is evident in both of them. Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, Nicole C. Mullen and Israel & New Breed share with Switchfoot and The Crabb Family the unique ability to create music that reaches across cultural, religious and generational divides to encourage the gospel music faithful and inspire a newer generation of music fans.”

These six artists were among the nearly 40 different artists receiving Dove statuettes at the event. Yeah, I said 40. They handed them all out in a ceremony that took over 4 hours to complete! Actually though it was kind of fun to see. Thanks to Mel Gibson’s blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ” film, some unexpected names are among this year’s Dove Award recipients. Lauryn Hill, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Scott Stapp and MxPx represent the eclectic mix of rock, pop, gospel and country artists receiving Dove Awards for Special Event Album of the Year for The Passion of the Christ: Songs. The Passion of the Christ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was named Instrumental Album of the Year, giving Gibson a Dove Award for his production on the John Debney-composed project.

In the “overall” categories, Dove Awards were presented to:

Artist of the Year – Switchfoot

Male Vocalist of the Year – Jeremy Camp

Female Vocalist of the Year – Nicole C. Mullen

Group of the Year – Casting Crowns

Songwriter of the Year – Mark Hall

Song of the Year – “Who Am I” written by Mark Hall

New Artist of the Year – Building 429

Switchfoot earned a total of four Dove Awards along with one additional Dove for lead songwriter Jonathan Foreman. The band’s breakthrough hit song “Dare You to Move,” was honored for Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year (with Foreman also taking home a Dove Award as the songwriter). The video for “Dare You to Move” was named Short Form Music Video of the Year, while the concert DVD Switchfoot Live In San Diego earned the band a statuette for Long Form Music Video.

After debuting just over a year ago, Casting Crowns was honored as Group of the Year among its three Dove Awards. Other nods for the Georgia-based group are for Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song for “Who Am I” and Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year for “Voice of Truth.” Lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall, a youth pastor, received individual recognition for his songwriting. Hall was named the Songwriter of the Year and he earned the Song of the Year Dove Award for “Who Am I.” He also received Dove Awards as the songwriter of the band’s two Recorded Song winners.

Jeremy Camp won his second consecutive Dove Award for Male Vocalist of the Year and captured two additional Doves for Rock Recorded Song for both performing and writing his song “Stay.” Nicole C. Mullen remains one of the most respected singer/songwriters in gospel music and this year she received her second Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year (the first one coming in 2002). She also received Dove Awards in the Urban Album of the Year category for Everyday People as artist and producer.

The show was hosted by Houghton, Steven Curtis Chapman, Rebecca St. James, CeCe Winans, Smokie Norful and Darlene Zschech. Chapman added two more Doves to his résumé, one for co-writing “Voice of Truth” and one for his participation on Special Event Album of the Year recipient The Passion of the Christ: Songs.

The show featured performances by Casting Crowns, The Crabb Family, Kierra “Kiki” Sheard, Selah, J Moss, BarlowGirl, Bethany Dillon, Natalie Grant, Watermark, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Tonéx, Skillet and Denver & The Mile High Orchestra. Presenters included Camp, Mullen, Building 429, Day of Fire, Dr. Bobby Jones, Joy Williams, Lynda Randle, Matthew West, Mercy Me, Michael W. Smith, Out of Eden, Sandi Patty, Steve Taylor, Toby Mac and Phillips, Craig & Dean. Radio personalities Delilah and Rick & Bubba, “The Strongest Man in America” Shane Hamman; NASCAR Driver Bobby Labonte; and former bachelor from “The Bachelorette” Jason Illian also presented.

So where was Switchfoot? I don’t know. I walked past lead singer Foreman the day before in a Nashville hotel, so I figured they would be there. Oh well, they definitely don’t need the exposure! I was just glad to see Day of Fire. Go out and buy their album!

The 36th Annual GMA Music Awards will be televised in national syndication during the month of June. Central City Productions of Chicago, Ill., will handle first run syndication through network affiliates and independent stations nationwide. No word on when or where it will be shown in Louisville