Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

The "Hello Goodbye" Tour comes to Northeast Christian Church on Friday September 7. The show will feature the final Louisville concert appearance by Jump5, as well as performances by Carried Away, Pure NRG, Sammy Ward and Cali. The church is located at 9900 Old Brownsboro Road. Tickets are $12 in advance and $20 for "artist circle." Ticket outlets include area Christian bookstores (call ahead to make sure they've got them) as well as www.itickets.com and jump5.com. For more information call 426-6668.

The legendary guitar virtuoso Phil Keaggy will be here in concert on Sunday September 23rd at New Life Church, 3402 Goose Creek Road. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available at LifeWay Christian Store on Hurstbourne Parkway as well as Berean Christian Store on Shelbyville Road. Tickets are also available through itickets.com. Phil Keaggy is an amazing live artist. I've seen Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen and many others and can tell you that Phil hangs at that level. Don't believe me? Go to the show.

Just announced: Todd Agnew's "Better Questions" tour will be coming to Louisville next month. The show takes place Sunday October 28th at Okolona Christian Church, 10801 Faithful Way. While Todd has played here before (he was just here for Celebration 2007 at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom), the show will mark the Louisville concert of Rush of Fools. This band came out of nowhere earlier this year and has become the top selling new band in Christian music. 88.5 WJIE has been playing the band's first single "Undo" since early this year and nearly every major station in America is still playing it, months after it released. "Undo" stayed at the top of the R&R's AC Christian Music single charts for weeks and is one of 2007's biggest hits. New artist Joy Whitlock will be opening the show. Tickets are available at the church as well as LifeWay Christian Store, Berean Christian Store and Family Christian Store on the Outer Loop.

Tickets are also available at itickets.com. For more information call 962-6500.

Rachel Hurt from Shepherdsville, Kentucky, is among the several aspiring artists and songwriters who are one step closer to their dreams of a music career after winning multiple honors at the GMA Academy Artist and Song of 2007 talent competition at the 33rd GMA Music in the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. GMA Academy Artist and Song of 2007 competition is the official Gospel Music Association (GMA) talent competition for unsigned artists and was held during GMA's annual Music in the Rockies (www.musicintherockies.com) event July 29 to August 3 and featured six days of educational and professional development seminars and music concerts. At the conclusion of the week-long competition, Hurt was named GMA's Artist Vocal Solo 2007 Grand Prize Winner as well as the recipient of GMA's "Disney's Night of Joy Best of Show Award," which means she will perform at Night of Joy at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in September. Hurt also was selected to have a song on two upcoming CD projects.

"We heard a lot of talented artists and songwriters at this year's GMA Music in the Rockies. We hope that this week has given them the tools and confidence to find their place in music, whether that be as a recording artist, songwriter or worship leader," said John W. Styll, president and CEO of the GMA. Hurt was picked by Walt Disney World to have a performance slot at Night of Joy at Walt Disney World Resort (www.disneyworld.com/nightofjoy). She will perform as part of a talent lineup that includes 18 Christian recording artists - Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin, Flyleaf, Mary Mary, Kutless, Mark Schultz and many more - September 7-8, in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

"This was the strongest group of unsigned talent in years performing at Estes Park - but nobody was stronger than Rachel Hurt, this year's 'Best of Show' award winner." said Brad Ross, talent booking director, Walt Disney World Resort.

Hurt was also the choice of Indelible Creative Group (www.indelibleonline.com) to record a song for its annual multi-artist project, Velocity, distributed nationally by Word Distribution. CCM Magazine will feature Hurt on its CCM New Music Collection, Vol. 2, a sampler CD included in the magazine's November/December double issue that includes a two-page feature on the CD's artists.

Lewis Mathis

Lewis Mathis is the lead singer of the group Saturate, as well as a solo artist in his own right. The band hasn't played much in Louisville lately but played in Louisville and the surrounding region in 2005-2006.

These days the band (Gary Means, Caleb Riddle and Hannah St. Pierre) has been playing mostly east of Louisville according to Mathis. One the band's website, www.saturate.cc, they describe their sound as jazz/contemporary Christian. Mathis took time to answer a few questions for me recently.

Louisville Music News: How long have you been playing music?

Lewis Mathis: 30 years of music as 'calling', music is my nature. I just react musically; I have many songs playing continually in my head and several percussionists who keep me on the groove. Every thing is rhythm .... music is not my hobby, it's what I do. I do everything from dinner music to loud rock and roll, jazz, 'Christian', ambient, folk or whatever.

LMN: Who are your musical influences?

LM: Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Cash, American Indian Music, John Coltrane.

LMN: What is spinning in your CD player/MP3 player?

LM: I don't listen to much radio or (compact discs), but Kansas has been in my (compact disc) player for a month, so maybe when I get in the car, I'll turn it on.

LMN: What is your favorite place to play in the Louisville area?

LM: For some reason, as close as I've gotten to Louisville lately is Old Stone Inn in Simpsonville. Mostly have been in the east: Black Tulip, Common Grounds, Ground Effects, Starbucks, various private parties.

LMN: Tell me about your most memorable show ever.

LM: These are the mystical worship experiences that happen in various locations that are not necessarily a "show."

LMN: About how many shows are you playing these days?

LM: (My band) Saturate has slowed down for a brief spell but I play all the time.

To hear some of Lewis Mathis's music, you can check out lewismathis.com.