Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

A reminder that the Mercy Me concert this month at Northside Christian Church is sold out. A nice alternative, though not in our market, is the Third Day show coming up on the 7thin Bloomington. It's going to be Third Day with Need To Breathe and Revive, who opened for Third Day here back in May. I haven't seen Need To Breathe live, but the music I've heard from them is good stuff. I was not familiar with Revive before they played the Louisville show earlier this year and was backstage for their entire performance. But I can tell you the crowd reaction was really enthusiastic. The band was pretty pumped, too, as the Louisville show was the biggest they had ever played. You can hear their music at reviveband.com. The show takes place at the Indiana University Auditorium. Tickets are available now at Ticketmaster outlets.

Southeast Christian Church's Women's Tea event will feature former American Idol contestant and back-up singer for Beth Moore, Mandisa. The event is Tuesday December 9, 7:00 PM at the church. Like many people, I saw her on American Idol. I've also heard her sing live, and, of course, her voice is as powerful as you would expect. It's no surprise she got a record deal right out of the gate. For the event at the church, there are two ticket packages available, one with dinner for $10 and one without for $30. Ladies can get tickets and more information on the church's website, southeastchristian.org, or by calling 253-8000. The church is located at 920 Blankenbaker Parkway.

Winter Blitz 2009 is January 23-25 at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. This year's event features speaker Reggie Dabbs on the main stage. Tenth Avenue North will be there as well. Mad Dogs and Englishmen will provide the event drama and Darren Streblow, Simple Drive, and Phillip Hogg will be featured as well. According the event's website, there will also be inflatables, karaoke, giveaways and more.

I had a chance to see Tenth Avenue North earlier this year-and I think they are the most exciting new artist in Christian music for 2008. If you attend this event, I think you will be impressed. The band has gotten excellent support from Louisville Christian radio this year for their singles "Love Is Here" and "By Your Side." They also just announced a partnership with Compassion International, one of the finest child sponsorship organizations around. No doubt this band is helping to make this world a better place on more than one level. Can you tell I'm impressed? I have yet to see them do a full length show, I only heard them sing a couple of songs at an industry event. This was before they were being played much on the radio here. After just a couple of songs, that was all it took for me to know this is a band to watch and listen to. Singer and songwriter Mike Donehey has a strong voice and a powerful way of conveying thoughts in song. According to a press release from the band label, Provident Music Group, "Simply, our mission as a band is to know Christ and to make him known," says Donehey. "It's a grand adventure."

Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. The Winter Blitz events are put on by The Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The event's official website has all the details. You can register for the event and get more information at theflame.info.

Circleslide will be in concert January 25 at New Life Church. The band will be leading worship during the 10 a.m. service, then holding a ticketed concert that evening. I'm not very familiar with the band's music. Their official website (circleslide.net) says they are "A four-piece band whose music blends folk rock, British pop and pop sensibilities of the 80s". You can of course hear some of their music at that site. The show is at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m.. Tickets are only $5 and are available at itickets.com (a service charge does apply if you get tickets online). You can also get tickets or more information about the concert on the church's website at newlifechurch-lou.org or by calling 426-3132. The church is located at 3402 Goose Creek Road.

This is way out in advance, but it's a big event, so I wanted to let you know that the North American Christian Convention will be happening in Louisville in July of 2009.

The convention, themed "Still Amazed,", is set for June 30- July 3 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Tammy Trent is scheduled to be there with music. Speakers include Max Lucado, Liz Curtis Higgs, Chuck Booher, Dr. Jack Cottrell, Dr. Jack Graham and many others. Online registration is available now at gotonacc.org.

Shepherdsville's Rachael Hurt made the move to Nashville, Tennessee but we still consider her a local gal. I got a chance to hear her sing live for the first time at a Clergy Appreciation event last month in Louisville. I was impressed. I can see why she won the Gospel Music Association's "Music in the Rockies" competition last year. Rachael has a strong voice but is not a Mariah Carrey "wannabee" (not that there is anything wrong with that). Her style reminds me more of Jennifer Knapp. But she doesn't have a cookie-cutter sound. Rachael certainly sounds "good enough" to have a major record deal right now. She told us that she isn't really pursuing that in Nashville, but she's open to it. She is about to hit the road with another local group Mile 7, which will keep her busy for a little while. You can hear for yourself on her website: myspace.com/rachaelhurtband.

This is my last column for the paper. Thanks to all of the writers at Louisville Music News for their efforts to get the word out about local music and events. Also, thanks to Editor Paul Moffett for the opportunity to write for Louisville Music News. Finally, thanks to you for reading it!