First of all, big thanks to our editor Paul Moffett, who allowed me to take December off. The "Grace Notes" column was absent from last month's LMN because it's hard to type with a broken collarbone.
I was visiting Portland, Oregon and decided, one hour before I was scheduled to leave for the airport and return to Louisville, that I would ride a four-wheeler. To make a short story shorter, I crashed and snapped my collarbone in two. It could have been much worse and I am thankful that it was just a broken bone.
I know, I know: ATV's are fun. Adults like me can make the choice to ride. But don't let your young kids ride them. It's too dangerous. Over one hundred people died on ATVs in Kentucky last year. Some of them were children who had no business riding in the first place. Do the right thing: make them wait.
OK, on to music!
WinterJam 2006 stops at Broadbent Arena on February 4. It's hosted by Newsong and features a pretty impressive line-up: Toby Mac, ZOEgirl, Hawk Nelson, Krystal Meyers and most significantly, Newsboys. This marks the first time the "Boys" have played here since they performed at the Palace on their "Love Liberty Disco" Tour several years back (if you know the exact date, shoot me an email, I don't have it). It must have been a while, because an up and coming band named Third Day opened for them.
This should be a pretty cool show. The only artist on the bill I haven't seen is Hawk Nelson. Actually it's that band that's been more visible than many of the others, with all kinds of media appearances, including a part in recently released film Yours Mine and Ours starring Dennis Quaid. Everyone else in the line-up, including veterans Newsong, are solid performers. Toby Mac, in particular, will have the crowd rocking with a Linkin Park meet Eminem vibe (minus the hate).
And Newsboys? Their live shows are legendary in the Christian music community. These Aussies are probably the only band in the world to prove that Tommy Lee isn't the only drummer whose kit flies. What will they have in store at WinterJam? Hard to say- it's not their tour. But chances are it won't be boring.
I saw Krystal Meyers at a festival last summer. She's been compared to Avril Lavine. I have heard very little of Avril's music, so it's hard for me to really know what that means. I just know that Meyers has a powerful, loud voice and seems to rock in a pop, WDJX kind of way. If that's your thing, you'll probably like it. Since I didn't see much of her at the festival I attended, she may "rock" harder or even less than that. We'll see!
WinterJam tickets are only $10 in advance through Ticketmaster.
Major Concert Announcement: Third Day and The David Crowder Band will play at The Louisville Palace on March 2. Tickets went on sale late last month and at press time were still available through Ticketmaster. This show will likely sellout and not just because of Third Day. The David Crowder Band are insanely popular here (Louisville was a top five sales market for their new CD A Collison). If you want to go and can still get a ticket, I would buy one now. I mean literally right this minute. You don't want to have to bid on EBay later (trust me, I did that with U2 and learned that you can spend way to much time and still come up empty handed).
With what is being called the most successful tour of the fall 2005 concert season, Casting Crowns continues to fuel a significant turnout on the road with nearly 150,000 fans attending the 38 dates of its "Lifesong Tour," including twelve sold-out nights. Keeping its sight set on more than just high attendance numbers, Casting Crowns intensified their ministry focus throughout this first leg of their headlining tour, witnessing an incredible 15,000 commitments for Christ and collecting over 5,200 World Vision child sponsorships. The tour featured Kentucky's own Josh Bates, plus Building 429 and guest speaker Tony Nolan.
Greg Maynard from A God Thing Productions, exclaimed, "Wow! Frankfort, Kentucky on November 26th and Dayton, Ohio on Nov 28th, with 1,213 souls brought into the Kingdom of God! What an honor. Casting Crowns, Building 429, Tony Nolan and Josh Bates were a delight to work with and we learned so much from them and the crew! Thanks for including us!"
Kevin Max is making his debut as a contributing writer for the newly re-launched website of Ichthus Ministries, Inc., the parent company of the Kentucky's Ichthus Festival. The website can be viewed online at www.ichthus.org.
To kick off his involvement with the site, readers were asked to submit questions to Max. Ten questions were handpicked from the hundreds submitted and those chosen now appear on the website's homepage. Those who had their question answered by Max also received an autographed copy of his latest CD, The Imposter. Max's future contributions to the website will include poetry, as well as other artistic offerings.
The new version of Ichthus Online, (IO) is geared toward the online community where teenagers, young adults and youth leaders can interact with one another. Features include a chat room, message board, Christian news and games. Readers can also sign up for a free e-newsletter.
IO is also offering readers a chance to be included in a new book venture, tentatively titled Nothing But a Seed. The project is being compiled by IO's Wendell VanValin and readers are being asked to submit stories for the book. IO plans to post a sample chapter of the book online for 20 weeks. Then, at the conclusion of 20 weeks, IO will publish the best reader-submitted material in book form.
The Imposter is the long-awaited follow-up to Max's first solo album, Stereotype Be (Forefront/EMI CMG). Musically, that project is one of the best in Christian music history! It's awesome. The new CD comes on the heels of the Between the Fence and the Universe EP that was recently made available independently. He is also the author of two poetry books - At the Foot of Heaven (Star Publishing Group) and Detritus of Dorian Grey (Blind Thief Publishing).
The Ichthus Festival was started in 1970 by seminary professor Dr. Bob Lyon and a group of concerned students at Asbury Theological Seminary as a Christian response to the 1969 Woodstock festival. Ichthus Ministries held the first Ichthus Festival, which was the first Christian music festival to take place in the nation, on May 9, 1970. The festival continues to be popular to this day and this year's event is planned for June 15-18 in Wilmore, Kentucky. Last year, a series of Ichthus tours were created, kicking off with the "Let It Rain Tour" in March, which stopped in Louisville and followed by the "Revolution Tour" in October.