Natalie Grant's New Album "Hurricane" Hits No.1!

October 23, 2013
Curb recording artist Natalie Grant has made an extraordinary chart debut with her long anticipated new album, "HURRICANE." The collection entered Billboard's "Top Christian Albums" chart at #1, marking the award-winning singer/songwriter's first-ever debut atop the chart. In addition, "HURRICANE" made a top 20 entry at #17 on the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200.
Grant's first new release in more than three years, "HURRICANE" includes the ebullient title track, which arrived earlier this year and proved the fastest rising single of her career. "Hurricane" swiftly ascended to #1 on the iTunes Store's "Top Christian & Gospel Songs" chart while also achieving top 10 success on Billboard's "Hot Christian Songs" tally. In addition, a companion video clip for the album's moving "In The End" is now streaming at Grant's official YouTube channel,
Natalie Grant is among contemporary Christian music's most talented and beloved superstars, acclaimed around the world for her breathtaking vocal abilities, powerful songwriting, and courageous efforts to help victims of human trafficking. One of the most honored artists in CCM history, Grant is a five-time GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Award winner as "Female Vocalist of the Year" (including four consecutive victories spanning 2006 to 2009 and a return win in 2012), as well as a 2012 GRAMMY® "Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance" nominee for "Alive (Mary Magdalene)," featured on 2011's blockbuster, "(MUSIC INSPIRED BY) THE STORY)."
"HURRICANE" - available now on the iTunes Store -- follows 2010's "LOVE REVOLUTION," which like its predecessor, 2008's "RELENTLESS," reached the #2 spot on Billboard's "Top Christian Albums" chart. Produced by her multi- award winning husband and longtime collaborator Bernie Herms, the album stands as Grant's most affecting and spirited collection to date. Songs like "Closer To Your Heart" and the powerful duet, "Born To Be" (featuring Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox) chronicle her recent struggles and hardships, a personal journey which saw this gifted artist emerge at last from the darkest, most challenging period of her life thus far.
A brilliant performer known for making lasting connections with her audience, Grant has a number of live dates scheduled through the year, including a leading role on the upcoming multi-artist "THE STORY Tour," slated to get underway November 29th at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena and then travel through mid-December. For complete details and ticket information, please see
In addition to her extraordinary musical career, Grant is also committed to giving voice to the voiceless through a variety of charitable efforts. An outspoken advocate for victims of human trafficking, she is the founder of Abolition International, a non-profit origination that works towards providing quality restorative aftercare to human trafficking victims both domestically and around the world.
What's more, Grant has visited the nation's capital twice this year, including a memorable appearance before Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Carter, among others, at the "Let Freedom Ring" ceremony held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
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Songs of Christmas {Album Review}

ALBUM TITLE: Songs of Christmas
ALBUM ARTIST: Gaither & the Homecoming Friends
FAVORITE TRACKS: Jesus the Light of the World, Jingle Bell,Go Tell, Mary, Did You Know?

Recently, I had the privilege to review Gaither Music’s two-volume Women of Homecoming Album. Not only me but my whole family is really enjoying it. If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, you are missing a lot! Now, I have in this post another Gaither Music offering, and this is very timely for the coming season. It’s their latest Christmas compilation album called “Songs of Christmas”, comprising 12 gorgeous and well recorded Christmas hymns featuring Bill & Gloria Gaither and their Homecoming friends.

The songs that are recorded in this album are covers and remake of most-loved Christmas songs of many generations. I am certain of this that this new covers will be enjoyed and loved by generations to come. The album was introduced by a lovely cover of Isaac Watts’ signature hymn Joy To The World. I've listened to countless covers of this song, and this is one of my favorites; its simplicity and elegance make it special.Another beautiful cover is Florida Boy’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas; very masculine, harmonious and jazzy. After this, comes the folky Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. Ben Speer’s low vocal compliments to the choir and gives a sweet country theme—it’s a complimentary song to Jake Hess’ C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.
Jesus the Light of the World, Jingle Bell, and Go Tell are someof the memorable covers that are worth mentioning. The Hopper’s Jingle Bell is an outstanding remake, fast in tempo and dynamic in instrumentation. Another stand out is the elegant and well-orchestrated Oh Holy Night. The song is very ethereal and every inch of the song is perfection; so momentous and soothing just like the peaceful moments with Silver Bell that is thoroughly engaging.

In a powerful and driving violin plus piano introduction, Mark Lowry delivered expressively his rendition of Mary, Did You Know? The atmosphere built by the instrumentation jives perfectly to the thick emotion brought out by Mark, it’s an amazing worship hymn. The Christmas Song was also given an elegant jazz makeover sung by the Gaither Vocal Band. Of course there’s no question with the vocals—which is perfectly blended. It’s just wonderful to listen, it’s very relaxing.

To end the album, a stunning acapella rendition of Away In a Manger can be heard, but it is just an introduction to the entire song. After the audience’s applause, the choir restarted it in the middle having the same atmosphere of the first song Jingle Bell.Thus far, every revival that Gaither has released (not only in this album), I must say is better than the original, owing mostly to their very rich vocals and creative musicianship.

Gaither Homecoming is the name applied to a series of videos, music recordings and concerts, which are organized, promoted and usually presented by Christian music songwriter and impresario Bill Gaither. To date, the Gaither Homecoming title is applied to more than 60 videos, dozens of music recordings, and an annual concert tour that drew more than half a million fans in 2004 (the most recent year for which statistics are available). On February 19, 1991, the Gaither Vocal Band had just wrapped up a recording session in aNashville, Tennessee, working on an album called Homecoming, which featured many of the great voices of southern gospel music: The Speersthe GatlinsJake HessThe CathedralsHoward & Vestal Goodman,Buck RamboEva Mae LefevreJames BlackwoodHovie Lister, Jim Hill, and J.D. Sumner & The Stamps. After the session, the artists stayed around to chat, swap stories and sing old standards around the piano. The impromptu session was recorded on video and later published. The recording was so well received that Gaither began a series of professionally-produced videos with larger gatherings of gospel musicians.

See more at:
Disclosure: I received free review copy of the album in exchange of my honest review.
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Paul Baloche Releases "Christmas Worship" October 29

First-Ever Christmas Recording From Baloche Features Guest Vocalists
Aaron Shust, All Sons & Daughters, Kathryn Scott, Rita Baloche, More

Features New Celebratory Songs, Re-Imagined Classic Carols With New Vertical Choruses As
Resources For Modern Worship Services; Co-writes with Jason Ingram, Lincoln Brewster,
Graham Kendrick, Glenn Packiam, Kathryn Scott

NEWS SOURCE: Hoganson Media
October 10, 2013

One of today's most influential worship leaders, songwriters and artists, Paul Baloche is set to present his first Christmas project, appropriately titled Christmas Worship, Oct. 29 from Integrity Music. The goal of this three-time Dove Award-winning artist and local worship pastor was to create a Christmas album that would minister to and resource the church. Featuring new songs of celebration along with unique arrangements of much-loved traditional Christmas carols seamlessly blended with modern worship choruses, the result is an album packed with accessible Christmas songs that help create a worship environment familiar to congregants and first time visitors alike.
Drawing from his own personal experience as a local pastor working to help his congregation worship during what may be the busiest time of the year, Baloche says, "We all love the content of Christmas carols, but often they don't facilitate a vertical expression of worship towards the Lord. So the idea of this album was to take classic Christmas carols that we all enjoy singing and combine them with modern worship choruses to encourage worship all throughout the Christmas season."
Produced by Baloche, Michael Rossback and Ben Gowell, Christmas Worship features special guest vocals by Aaron Shust on "Follow That Star," All Sons & Daughters on "King of Heaven," Kathryn Scott on "This Is Love," Onaje Jefferson on "Offering" and Jennifer Holm on "Prepare Him Room." The album also features additional vocals by Rita Baloche, who further wrote "Prepare Him Room" and "Follow That Star" for the album.
In addition to his wife, Paul was joined in the songwriting process for Christmas Worship by such acclaimed writers as Jason Ingram, Lincoln Brewster, Graham Kendrick, Glenn Packiam and Kathryn Scott. These "contemporary" songwriters crafted new choruses to seamlessly blend with the great classic Christmas hymnody from writers such as Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, George Frederick Handel and John Francis Wade.
The full Christmas Worship track listing with corresponding songwriters follows:
01. Hark The Herald Angels Sing/King Of Heaven - Hark The Herald Angels Sing: Charles Wesley & Felix Mendelssohn. King Of Heaven: Paul Baloche & Jason Ingram.
02. Joy To The World/Shout For Joy - Joy To The World: Isaac Watts & GF Handel. Shout For Joy: Paul Baloche, Jason Ingram & Lincoln Brewster
03. Offering - Paul Baloche
04. O Come Emmanuel - Traditional, Paul Baloche
05. Angels Intro
06. Angels We Have Heard On High (Deo) - Traditional, Paul Baloche
07. What Can I Do (Christmas Version) -Graham Kendrick & Paul Baloche
08. Your Name - Paul Baloche & Glenn Packiam
09. This Is Love/Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (with Kathryn Scott) - This Is Love: Paul Baloche & Kathryn Scott. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus: Charles Wesley & Rowland Prichard
10. Follow That Star - Rita Baloche
11. Prepare Him Room - Rita Baloche
12. O Come All Ye Faithful/We AdoreYou - O Come All Ye Faithful: John Francis Wade & Frederick Oakeley. We Adore You: Paul Baloche & Tim Janis
Taking the new music on the road, Baloche's touring/workshop/teaching schedule takes him around the world. In the coming months, he will hold Nights of Worship in Calgary, AB, Canada (10/18-19), St. Louis, MO (11/1-2), Seattle, WA (tba), Jacksonville, FL (12/14-15) and New York City (tba).
Best known for such modern classics as "Open the Eyes of My Heart," "Above All," "Hosanna," and "Your Name," Baloche's songs have been recorded by numerous artists, including Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Matt Redman and Philips, Craig & Dean. His songs are also sung by millions of worshippers around the world, with 21 of them included in the CCLI Top 500 list, indicating the songs most often used in North American churches.
In addition to writing, recording, touring and his role as worship pastor at Community Fellowship in Lindale, TX, Baloche has created a variety of teaching DVDs, along with many free resources designed specifically for worship leaders and musicians. He has also written the books, The Same Love: A Devotion (David C Cook) and God Songs -How to Write and Select Songs for Worship. He is a further a contributing writer for both Worship Leader and Worship Musician magazines and is a featured blogger on
For more information on Paul Baloche and his schedule, go to and
About Integrity Music:
Integrity Music is part of the David C Cook family, a nonprofit global resource provider serving the Church with life-transforming materials. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Integrity is committed to taking songs of substance to the local church and its leaders around the world. Additional information can be found at
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Hillsong's Young & Free Debuts at No.1!

October 10, 2013

NASHVILLE, TENN. -October 10, 2013 -Hillsong's Young & Free has launched their first album, "We Are Young & Free," and has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian albums chart as well as on the Praise and Worship albums chart. In addition it debuted at No. 22 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and No. 6 on the Overall Digital Albums chart.
Last weekend in New York City to a sold-out crowd at the famed Radio City Music Hall, Young & Free unveiled new music, plus a performance of their single "Alive," which was one of the musical highlights of Hillsong's first ever U.S. conference. The band continues a run of dates in November opening for worship trailblazers Hillsong UNITED in the U.S.
Given that it's rare for Hillsong to unleash a brand new music team, the launch of Young and Free has predictably captured the excitement of Christians across the globe. Yet while music writers have positively reviewed the new pop sound and the album tops charts around the world, those behind Young and Free are focused on bigger - and deeper - issues. They want to change the world!
Laura Toggs, Hillsong's youth pastor and the driving force behind the new youth-focused team, says "Young & Free exists to give voice to this generation and to give our youth an identity. God is calling a generation who will rise up, and who will know deep and unending joy in Jesus Christ." Fans can watch "Our Story," a mini-doc that highlights the early stages of the band as they crafted the songs and heart of Young & Free. Also available at the band is posting daily devotionals based on all the songs from "We Are Young & Free."
Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston said the launch of Young and Free was intentional. He explained that while the new team was "created for teenagers, the whole church comes alive" to the music. "I feel very strongly that we are called to release generations, to be more loyal to the future than we are to the past," he said.
Worship Leader Magazine stated: "This stellar collection of songs from Hillsong are exciting and uplifting modern pop tunes with smooth, clear vocals, aimed at today's teenagers and the music styles they love." While Hallels gave a glowing review saying, "The music is glorious with an unprocessed sound that galvanizes you, whatever your age, towards the Throne." Louder Than Music concluded, "Hillsong Young & Free is a brilliant, fresh addition to the Hillsong family. It's like the younger brother, who dresses a bit more cool, likes to play loud music, and has too much energy."
- ### -
Young & Free is the sound of Hillsong Youth. They are a youth ministry by name, but by identity they are individuals who have found hope, salvation, joy, forgiveness and a future in Jesus Christ. Their songs are the overflow of their hearts and a reflection of life in Jesus.
About Hillsong Church:
In August 1983, Brian and Bobbie Houston founded the Hills Christian Life Centre in the Hills District of Sydney, Australia. It has grown from a congregation of 45 to what is said to be the largest local church in Australian history. It has now expanded to be a global church with local expressions in significant cities; with churches in Australia, London, New York, Paris, Cape Town, Stockholm, Germany, Kiev, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Each week, tens of thousands of people across the globe call Hillsong Church 'home' and the reach, impact and influence of this local congregation is seen across many nations.
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Women of Homecoming {Album Review}

ALBUM TITLE: Women of Homecoming (Vol.1 & 2)
FAVORITE TRACKS: You Brought Us Out, Oh Happy Day, 
God Will Open Up The Windows, It is Well With My Soul

Gaither Music occupies a very huge space in the world of Gospel and Christian music industry. Through the years they have resourced the worship community with amazing releases. Their very famous Homecoming Series has impacted and inspired many lives globally and has been the home for numerous gospel artists. To add to the long list of Homecoming discography, Bill and Gloria Gaither hosted a night full of joy, stories, testimonies and celebration which they called ''Women of Homecoming.''

Gathering famous and finest female voices of Christian music,
Women of Homecoming is a two-volume collection of 40  gospel songs and hymns recorded live in an intimate worship setting. It's awesome to see some of my favorite Christian artists gathered together to do an album including Sandi Patty, Natalie and Amy Grant, and the youngest of them all--Jamie Grace.

Each of these songs is wonderfully-crafted and soul-stirring. What's amazing with these women is that they sing not because they were assigned to sing a particular song, but because they have some stories to tell. Behind each songs are testimonies of faith, hope, love, pain and grief that these women bears. The DVD-Video feature these testimonies and it makes a good stuff to keep for the family.

Breaking generational barriers, the album also showcases new covers of the most-loved old and new gospel songs; out of which are the classic hymn
It Is Well With My Soul where Natalie Grant mashed with her single Burn Bright. There's the newly interpreted trio song--Oh Happy Day Medley by the Sisters that will surely bring you chills; and the remake of Nothing But the Blood, Days of Elijah, plus covers of Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone), Indescribable and Your Great Name.

If you are going through pain and grieving for a loss, Hurt by Hurt, In the in Between, Hear My Heart, In Good Hand, She's Better Now, Lord I'm Listening and Give Them All To Jesus will give you strength, peace, comfort and encouragement. These songs cuts through the heart and it will leave you comforted. I Know Who Holds Tomorrow is a modern re-write of Gaither's classic Because He lives, a perfect complimentary song to Getty's critically-acclaimed In Christ Alone that exhorts the hope found in Jesus, that he is worthy of our trust. Other songs on the album that are parallel in their messages are: Bread Upon the Water and God Will Open Up the Windows which speaks of the Blessings by Obedience. Another set is I Am Loved, I Will Go On and Standing in the Need of Prayer which talks of the forgiveness and love found in Jesus, and so we ought to let go of the hatred and bitterness within which cannot be blamed to others.

Everything Has Its Season is an exhortation of Ecclesiastes chapter three and it co-relates with Amy Grant's Our Time is Now. A reminder that time is an illusion, and so we ought to seize every second of our lives. To celebrate womanhood, The Women I Come From has been the anthemic theme song of the entire album. A mother's heart is wonderfully expressed with Kristyn Getty's A Mother's Prayer--filling the room with strong emotion and tears. You Brought Us Out is a picture of the Israelites' journey to the promise land, and also a depiction of a Christian's journey. Journeying through the wilderness and crooked ways to spread out the gospel is also the message of Jesus Saves.

Women of Homecoming
is a no-ordinary album. It's just hard to express all of my emotions in this review, because all that I'm looking for an album is very well present: the powerful vocals, driving instrumental accompaniments, biblically-sound lyrics and of course the professional and well-talented artists. This album is simply perfect, and so I need to raise my standard of rating for this album.


''Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.''

-Proverbs 31:30

Gaither Homecoming is the name applied to a series of videos, music recordings and concerts, which are organized, promoted and usually presented by Christian music songwriter and impresario Bill Gaither. To date, the Gaither Homecoming title is applied to more than 60 videos, dozens of music recordings, and an annual concert tour that drew more than half a million fans in 2004 (the most recent year for which statistics are available). On February 19, 1991, the Gaither Vocal Band had just wrapped up a recording session in a Nashville, Tennessee, working on an album called Homecoming, which featured many of the great voices of southern gospel music: The Speers, the Gatlins, Jake Hess, The Cathedrals, Howard & Vestal Goodman, Buck Rambo, Eva Mae Lefevre, James Blackwood, Hovie Lister, Jim Hill, and J.D. Sumner & The Stamps. After the session, the artists stayed around to chat, swap stories and sing old standards around the piano. The impromptu session was recorded on video and later published. The recording was so well received that Gaither began a series of professionally-produced videos with larger gatherings of gospel musicians.

See more at:
Disclosure: I received free review copy of the album in exchange of my honest review.
Continue reading »

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