Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

The second "Faith Night" with the Louisville Fire takes place on the 10th at Freedom Hall. Rockers Mainstay will be performing outside in the parking lot before the show. The band has been compared to Silverchair, Goo Goo Dolls and Collective Soul among others.

According to Third Coast Booking, the band's booking agency, "for the better part of the past half-decade, members of the modern rock trio Mainstay knew they wanted to pursue a balance of artistry and ministry as their lifelong passion."

"We write and perform out of the burden we have for spelling out the gospel message," band member Justin Anderson relates. "I feel like the majority of this record comes from the New Testament, which besides covering the gospels, also traces Paul talking to believers on how they should act and live. We don'' see a lot of that in America today. We see a lot of selling out and dumbing down. The key themes are sin and repentance, but also to write a record that's a wake up call to Christians and get them to know that Christianity is not based on feelings, but rather on Biblical truth."

The band will play before the "Fire" take to the field. I've only heard a little of the band's music, but I think if you like the comparable bands listed above, you'll be interested.

"Our mission is to first of all write songs that would be pop gems with a great hook and a great line that will stick with you," Anderson summarizes. "Lyrically we want to write lyrics that challenge believers and unbelievers alike that will hopefully encourage them all to look for truth. Absolutes are everywhere and hopefully our music will allow everyone to think beyond themselves and get in touch with a Higher Purpose."

Some of the "Veggie Tales" characters will be there as well (always a hit with families). I'm planning on being there as well and will let you know how it went down if you don't make it.

Tickets are $10, which includes the concert and the game. For ticket information contact Vanessa at 615-292-2000.

The Ichthus Festival is this month in Wilmore. One of the my favorite Christian bands, Day of Fire, is on the bill again this year; their sophomore CD is out on Tuesday the 6th. According to the band's label, Essential records, Pete Thornton produced Cut and Move, with lyrics penned by lead singer Josh Brown and music written collectively by the five-member band.

When asked about Day of Fire's new project, Brown muses, "Cut and Move is about identifying with the pain and insecurity that we all feel and finding hope in the love of God. We are all in a desperate and constant need of that love. It's our intention to reach out to listeners about topics such as addiction, abuse and abandonment."

Before Day of Fire, Josh Brown was front man for Island/Def Jam band Full Devil Jacket. According to Brown, "now more than ever I want to share my story with as many souls as possible, especially those I encountered prior to running to God."

Day of Fire hit the road this spring on its headlining tour Reborn with Red (Essential Records), Fighting Instinct (Gotee Records), Decyfer Down (S/R/E Recordings) and Common Roy, followed by festival dates such as Ichthus this summer and further touring opportunities in the fall.

The ten track Cut and Move lists of the following: "Love," "Run," "Hole In My Hand," "Cut and Move," "Regret," "When the Light," "Wake Me," "Frustrating," "Far and Gone" and "Reborn."

Since its self-titled debut, Day of Fire has garnered a Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year, a Grammy nomination, two #1 singles at rock radio ("Cornerstone" and "Fade Away"), played for more than 500,000 fans in the U.S. and Europe and has been featured on national TV several times. When you ask what he's learned from all of the group's achievements, Brown consistently comments, "it's not about the awards or the places we've traveled, it's about the people we've met. I want to show people the love of God in action; loving people for who they are."

I really love the group. Specifically I'm just a huge fan of lead singer Josh Brown as a person. He is the most sincere artist I've ever met in Christian music. Just a few years ago, he was touring with Slipknot. Now he couldn't be more excited about where he calling is taking him. I'm a fan for life!

Another band worth checking out (though they're scheduled to Thursday, June 15, during the day no less) is Family Force Five. You can hear some of their music online at familyforcefive.com and, of course, Itunes and Napster. Definitely one of the most unusual bands in Christian music history, they sound like a cross between Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More and Beastie Boys. Throw in a little ELO and the artwork from the movie Xanadu ,for good measure. Really, you haven't seen something quite like this before. FF5 impressed Madonna's label, Maverick, enough to sign them-before they had a Christian deal. The group have clean lyrics, of course, which is a definite difference between them and, say, Rage Against the Machine. I can't get their music out of my head. I won't be able to go see it that Thursday, so if you do, shoot me an email and let me know how it went.

If you going, be sure to check out Jeremy Camp, Superchick, Kutless, Need To Breathe, Bradley Hathaway and Kevin Max (always interesting to see what he's doing - you might as well if you're already going). I love Casting Crown's music as well; if you're going, they will be hard to miss, as they are one of the festival's top mainstage artists.

The Festival is June 15-18 at Ichthus Farm in Wilmore. Ticket and other information can be found at ichthus.org.

The solo project from Kentucky's "Backstreet Boy" Brian Littrell released a few weeks ago.

"This has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy singing in church in Lexington, Kentucky," said Littrell, who grew up singing in various youth choirs at Port Memorial Baptist Church. With Welcome Home, "I hope to encourage people to stand up for what they believe."

Produced by Billy Mann (Jessica Simpson, Ricky Martin); Dan Muckala (Backstreet Boys, Mandy Moore); and the production team of Mark Kibble and Dave Thomas (Take 6, Mariah Carey, CeCe Winans).