where’s t-pain when you need him?

8 03 2009

i’ll be brief.  here’s the skinny… mary j. blige’s sister latonya is supposedly preparing to release a gospel album.  the first single has released and whooooooa bessie… apparently making a “joyful noise” unto the lord is much more a relative concept than i was aware.  i love me some mary j. and will readily admit that she’s not exactly the best singer herself,  but where i’ve got to give it up to mary is that no matter what she is singing, you feel her. i certainly feel this as well, but in a much, much different way.

latonya blige – “it’s coming (feat. mary j. blige)”

i’m not exactly sure what happened here, but it’s reeeeeeeeal special.  and i’m actually surprised that mary j. is actually singing on it!  more than that, i’m kind of shocked that mary would let her put herself out there like this.  then again, maybe they think it’s hot.  i appreciate mary’s verse, but dude… i mean, i love Jesus too and er’rything,  but, but…  the track is wack and this is just ………… and it all sounds about 15 years old to boot. (yes, “to boot”)

perhaps singing isn’t necessarily latonya’s bag… may i suggest a handbell praise album?  i’m going to need her to begin to operate in an auto-tune spirit expeditiously!   i’m just sayin’… i’m certainly not his biggest fan, but where’s t-pain when you need him?!?!  this is one gospel record i wouldn’t mind him jumping on.  stretch your hands and pray, saints… where’s my oil?

is it just me???

shout out to thafeedback.com for the 411.

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friday throwback: it’s gonna be a brighter day

6 03 2009

it’s supposed to be 70 degrees in nashville today and stay in the 70s all weekend, which has been a long time coming.  spring is on it’s way and i could not be happier.

today’s friday throwback isn’t too old, but it’s not necessary recent either.  but it makes me feel like spring is just around the corner.  as the green grass starts to push its way to the surface and new buds pop up on trees, so a new season is dawning in the lives of so many people right now.

funny thing about watching anything grow that started in seed form and has been planted… it has to push through a lot of opposition and obstacles before you even see it.  then, when you finally do see it start to emerge from the ground, you still really don’t see it, you just see what it looks like right now… but it’s only a matter of time…  just as every mighty oak started as a seed, so your life has yet to reveal who you truly are.  if you judge something based on what you see right now, you’ll get distracted and discouraged and miss it.

it’s gonna be a brigher day, ya’ll!  this is my jam!





no mo captain crunch

27 02 2009

there really are no words i can offer that would adequately sum up what i feel about this… so just take it all in.

you’re welcome.





the essence of elegance

13 01 2009

heatherheadleyfinal-cover

heather headley is a tony award winning actress and grammy nominated recording artist.  at the same time, she has managed to slip under a lot of people’s radar. i am hoping that will change with the release of her first gospel project, “audience of one”.

if heather’s name is new to you, check out this video of her singing “the prayer” live with andrea bocelli in 2006.

ever the definition of class, heather headley delivers a gospel record in a fashion that is both distinguished and refined.  on her first gospel release, heather seems to have already perfected the art of balance that is often difficult to come by, even for many of the genre’s mainstays.  striking the perfect balance between reverent restraint and passionate praise, heather lets each song breathe and speak for itself, and speak they do.  heather headley’s “audience of one” is quite simply the essence of elegance.

heather headley “simply redeemed”

heather headley “jesus is love” (featuring smokie norful)

“audience of one” is available now.





sounds of the season

23 12 2008

someone asked me today what my all time favorite christmas albums were.  i had to think about that for a minute, and i’m not sure i can say what my all time faves would be, but i can tell you what some of my current faves are.  here, in no particular order, are a few my favorite christmas albums.  all are worth your $10 or or so if you’re looking for good christmas music.

inbtimeless

at the top of my list is israel & new breed‘s “timeless christmas” album.  released in ’06, this is probably my all-time favorite christmas album.   it is a musical tour-de-force and a masterpiece that can be (and should be) experienced all year long, not just during the holidays. “hark!” features 2nd chapter of acts alum matthew ward and well.. whoa!  turn it up!

israel & new breed “hark!” (featuring matthew west)

mindysmith1

i blogged about her already last week, but i can’t do a favorite christmas music post without talking about mindy smith.  she is amazing and her “my holiday” album is stunning.  “away in a manger” features harmony bgvs by the one and only alison krauss, which is another reason to love this album.

mindy smith “away in a manger” (featuring alison krauss)

forestry

future of forestry are an alt-rock band out of southern california who weave emo-esque textures throughout rich musical arrangements with a unique sigur ros-ish feel, resulting in music whose beauty is its simplicity, but its depth is complex.  it should be experienced with candles and at high decibels.  their “advent christmas ep” was released last week and is the best $5 you could spend.

future of forestry “o holy night”

b2m

boyz ii men‘s “christmas interpretations” is one of my all time faves as well.  this christmas album captured the sound of early to mid 90’s r&b like no other.

boyz ii men “silent night”

briansetzer

the brian setzer orchestra‘s “christmas rocks” is a collection compiling material from a couple of their christmas releases.  it’s a rollicking, big band, swinging good time and makes me feel all good and christmas-y.

the brian setzer orchestra “let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!”

sarah

sarah mclachlan‘s voice is absolutely mesmerizing and her “wintersong” album is a work of art.  “christmastime is here” also features diana krall, another favorite of mine.

sarah mclachlan “christmastime is here” (featuring diana krall)

overtherhine

i was introduced to ohio-based husband and wife duo over the rhine a few years ago by my good friend matt, and i have been a fan ever since.  their “snow angels” album is a bit off the beaten path and has quickly become one of my favorites.

over the rhine “little town”

those are just a few of my christmas music favorites.  what are some of yours?





kierra sheard wants to be invisible

16 10 2008

…..::::::::::this is a gideon chronicles EXCLUSIVE! ::::::::::…..

i am very proud of kierra “kiki” sheard.

kierra is third-generation greatness in the legendary moss-clark family.  her late grandmother, dr. mattie moss clark, served many years as the head of the music dept. for the church of god in christ denomination and is widely considered the architect of the modern choir arrangements that are synonymous with much of today’s gospel music.

her mother is karen clark-sheard, a dynamic gospel artist in her own right and one-fourth of the iconic gospel group the clark sisters, which is also comprised of her “aunties” dorinda clark-cole, elbertina “twinkie” clark and jackie clark-chisholm.  the clark sisters, along with fellow detroit natives commissioned and the winans, are largely responsible for introducing the more contemporary style of gospel music in the early to mid-80s.

her uncle is urban gospel recording artist/writer/producer j. moss.

so basically… gospel music is in kierra’s blood.

here is a video of a 9 year old kierra and her mother karen, singing “the will of god” at the live recording of karen’s 1997 debut solo release, “finally karen”.  her gift was so evident even then…

i had the pleasure of working with a 17-year old kierra in 2003-2004 while I was working at emi music in nashville.  i still remember the day that we got in the first mix of her first single, “you don’t know”, and all gathered to hear what would soon be kierra’s official introduction to the music world as a solo artist.

i remember working on her project and developing her highly successful online marketing & promotions plan, building her street team “the juliet crew” and just beating the pavement in general to make sure that we made believers out of everyone who heard her music.  her debut album, “i owe you”, was fresh, young, soulful and hot… but most of all, it carried the unmistakable thread of the moss-clark legacy that set it apart from the efforts of her contemporaries at the time.  “i owe you” debuted at #1 on the billboard top gospel sales chart, a first for a solo artist debut.  i will never forget that entire season.

now, fast forward to 2008 and kierra has grown into not only a beautiful young woman, but a successful recording artist with 2 albums under her belt.

on october 28, she will release her third solo project, “bold! right! life!”… a fitting title as both her music and her life have grown to embody the essence of those three words.  she is a young woman who is living her live for the renown of christ and her new album is a bold statement of that.

most every artist has “career” songs.  you know, those songs that no matter how many songs or albums they record, they will always be known for those songs.  whether it be a “billie jean”, “i will always love you”, “control”, “why we sing”, “running back to you”, “stand” or “real love”… every career artist has at least one career song.

while both of her previous albums have had their share of great songs, i believe that kierra has finally delivered what will undoubtedly be a career song for her.

the song is “invisible” and it is amazing.  listen closely as she tells of her concern that we seem to be living our lives for our own glory and outshining the glory of christ, and hear her heart as she declares her desire to be invisible so that people would look at her, but see christ.

kierra sheard – “invisible”

“a total eclipse has just begun, we’ve blocked out the sun

can’t believe this is what we have come to

so you think that you’re a star, but the real star has some scars

on his hands and feet where the nails went through”

her new singles “praise him now” and “wont’ hold back” are available on itunes now, and “bold! right! life!” releases october 28.  make sure you get it!

love you, kiki!

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worship in jakarta, indonesia

11 06 2008

i am sitting in the hong kong airport, waiting to board my plane headed to los angeles. i have been in indonesia for this event since last thursday, june 5. it was an absolutely amazing experience. i have a lot of stories and pics to share, but in the meantime, i wanted to share a couple of videos from our time in jakarta, indonesia. i’ll tell you what, there are some Jesus-loving people in indonesia! more coming soon… enjoy!