Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

Last month's Jonny Lang concert was cancelled at the last minute due to illness. A representative from the Kentucky Center for the Arts told me the show was virtually "sold out" with maybe a handful of tickets left. The show has been rescheduled for January 20. You can call the Center at 584-7777 to see if any tickets are left.

Tickets just went on sale for Winter Jam Tour 2007 Spectacular. It comes to Broadbent Arena on January 13. With more than 14 million albums sold among them, the Winter Jam 2007 Tour Spectacular will be hosted for the 12th straight year by NewSong and feature headliners Steven Curtis Chapman and Jeremy Camp.

Joining the 34-city tour will be special guests Hawk Nelson, Sanctus Real, new artist Britt Nicole, speaker Tony Nolan, Presidential impersonator and comedian John Morgan and the fire-breathing Andre the Hollywood Cowboy. Winter Jam 2007 Tour Spectacular launches on January 12, 2007 in Tri-Cities, Tennessee and runs through March 13 in Charlotte, North Carolina, stopping in seventeen states along the tour route.

"Winter Jam will be the ultimate jam session, with amazing artists like Steven Curtis Chapman and Jeremy Camp headlining the show," says Eddie Carswell, founding member of NewSong. "I can think of no more rewarding way to kick-off 2007 than being part of such a phenomenal, entertaining and inspiring concert experience. It is exciting to have a roster of artists that share in the big spiritual vision we have for this tour."

At press time, tickets were still available, though this show is expected to sell out (last year's edition did). Tickets are only $10, which is good for this solid a line-up. The tickets are available at Ticketmaster outlets.

Major Concert Announcement: Newsboys has just announced a 40-plus-city tour in Spring 2007 that includes Louisville. The "Go" tour will also see special guest artists Kutless and Stellar Kart as support. This full-production tour will be the band's first national tour since its "Adoration" tour in 2003.

Kicking off February 16, the "Go" tour will visit more than forty cities nationwide. In addition to Louisville, the tour will visit Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Dallas, among others. Venues will be mostly arenas and theaters. As precedent dictates, fans can expect an all-out musical experience.

"Newsboys have always been known for their live performances," comments newsboys manager Wes Campbell. "From landing on stage in space ships and light shows encased in massive 50-foot microphones, dueling drum solos on spinning drum risers that go upside down to giant inflatable 3500-seat air domes, Newsboys tours have always been 'can't- miss events.' The rumors are that this tour will far exceed any of those past ones."

The band has returned to the rock genre with an impressive 23,246 units its first week, the band's biggest street week since Adoration was released in 2003. Newsboys' 14th album, Go, was released October 31 and has been applauded by some for its return to the group's signature pop/rock sound.

Christian SoundScan's Overall Contemporary Christian Albums Chart placed newsboys' Go at No. 4 with total retail scans of 17,948. Direct and internet sales of Go contributed an additional 5,298 units for combined sales exceeding 23,000 units. The album also debuted at No. 51 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.

"It's a great time to be involved in Inpop and Newsboys," comments Dale Bray, president of Inpop Records. "This is Inpop's biggest first-week sales number in its eight-year history, surpassing our previous record with Superchick's Beauty From Pain. We are very proud to have partnered with Newsboys on this project."

"Newsboys are excited about the overwhelmingly positive response to Go," says Newsboys manager, Wes Campbell. "We appreciate all the hard work from everyone involved in this record, producer Tedd T, Christian radio and retail, EMI CMG and the many people that have supported the band for so many years."

I'll have more info on the show for you as it's available!

Kentucky's Brian Littrell will be a co-host at this year's GMA awards. The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced that the 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards will take place on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 (8-10 p.m. CST) at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee. The ceremony will be hosted by Dove-winning artists Natalie Grant, Littrell andDonnie McClurkin and broadcast in national syndication during the month of May.

Tickets just went on sale at Ticketmaster outlets. Nominations for the awards will be announced on February 20, 2007.

"Six months out, everything is already falling into place for a fantastic Dove Awards show in 2007. Natalie, Brian and Donnie make a striking trio of hosts who will be engaging, smart and entertaining and we are excited each accepted our invitation to host the show," said John W. Styll, president of the GMA. "Also, our television syndication plan is well underway and in terms of broadcast confirmations, we are already well ahead of last year. There's a building enthusiasm for the GMA Dove Awards just as the national spotlight on Christian and gospel music's positive impact on our country and culture continues to radiate."

ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox broadcast affiliates in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Cleveland, New Orleans and Nashville are among the more than 50 television stations that have already cleared the GMA Dove Awards for the 2007 broadcast.

Honored in 2006 with his first Dove Award (Inspirational Recorded Song for "In Christ Alone" from WOW #1's), Brian Littrell is widely known as a thirteen-year member of the legendary pop group Backstreet Boys. He has contributed to worldwide sales in excess of 75 million records and has amassed legions of fans around the globe. Last summer, Backstreet Boys released Never Gone, the group's first studio album in five years, while at the same time Littrell released his solo debut, Welcome Home, on Reunion Records, a gospel album which has already produced the No.1 single "Welcome Home." Recording a solo project has enabled Littrell to share his source of greatest hope. Welcome Home is a straight-ahead pop record - lyrically illuminating God's unequivocal love for humanity and revealing the possibilities for life when people dedicate themselves to a higher calling.

Curb recording artist Natalie Grant is GMA's reigning Female Vocalist of the Year. Her 2005 watershed release, Awaken, which featured the compelling multi-format hit "Held," garnered widespread critical acclaim and helped Grant become Christian music's top-selling female solo artist last year. A hitmaker at both Christian and mainstream radio, Grant has been featured on FOX News, CNN and MSNBC and is slated to appear in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. She recently penned her first book, "The Real Me: Being the Girl God Sees" (W Publishing) and Grant's ministry also includes her longtime involvement with Women of Faith and the organization's "REVOLVE" tour for teen girls. One of Grant's most important accomplishments is the continued impact of her HOME Foundation in raising awareness about the atrocities of international human trafficking.

During Donnie McClurkin's fifteen-year career, the multiple award-winning gospel singer has racked up Dove, Grammy, BET, NAACP Image Award and Soul Train Awards. In January, McClurkin will be honored at the 15th Annual Trumpet Awards, which herald the accomplishments of Black Americans who have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life for all. His latest music release on Verity Records, Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs, is a mixture of contemporary, traditional hymns & praise and worship gospel exhibiting his unique ability to simultaneously entertain, inspire and teach. The CD, which has been RIAA-certified platinum, follows the gold-selling Again and double platinum, Live from London. McClurkin showed he could act and sing when he made his big-screen debut in Paramount Studios' "The Fighting Temptations," starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles in 2003, followed by a character role in Sony Pictures/Rainforest Films' "The Gospel" in 2005. McClurkin is also the Sr. Pastor of Perfecting Faith Church, in Long Island, N.Y.

Steve Gilreath Television will produce the Dove Awards. Handling first-run syndication through broadcast network affiliates and independent stations nationwide is Central City Productions of Chicago, Ill., which also produces and syndicates the Stellar Awards.

The broadcast taping of the GMA Dove Awards will begin at 8 p.m. and feature artist performances and the presentation of a number of key Dove Awards. The opening ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. and will include the announcement of most of the forty-four categories of Dove Awards. Tickets to the show include seating at both events.