Welcome to the Baker Book House Music Blog! We've got new release info, reviews, and artist features.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Downhere Rocked My Socks Off.


This past week, we had Downhere stop by the store and do an impromptu concert for our staff. It was pretty cool. I won't even hold the fact that they are from Canada against them. That's right. I am passing on the opportunity to make fun of Canada.
Did someone put something in my water?
Probably. But that's beside the point.
We got to hear some songs from their new record. The album is called "Ending is Beginning" and it really is a great album. Downhere fans will be blown away. In fact, Downhere-fans-to-be will be blown away as well.
Downhere, if you are reading this, thank you for stopping by. It was an honor to have you come in . You reinforce my Canadian stereotype that all Canadians are just plain nice people. And to Josh from Centricity records and Daniel from Word Distribution, thanks for helping arrange the visit. It was great.
For those of you who are upset that you missed it, sorry. Maybe you should hang out at Baker Book House all hours of the day to see who might stop by.
Barefoot,
Josh Mosey

New Releases - 8/26/08

Remedy Drive - Daylight Is Coming

Four-piece, four-brother band from Lincoln, Nebraska, Remedy Drive has been cranking out their own brand of piano-driven rock tunes as a full-time indie band for the past 3 years across the Midwest and West Coast. During that time, the band has developed a committed network of over 140 “home churches” that repeatedly host the band’s live concerts. As a result, Remedy Drive has established real community with these churches’ youth pastors and their youth group kids, garnering sales of over 20,000 independent CDs at their live shows. Delivering a message of hope, Remedy Drive combines their heart-on-a-sleeve sensibility with an acrobatic and explosive live show.

DecembeRadio - Satisfied
It's here--the highly-anticipated sophomore project from GRAMMY Award nominees and rockers DecembeRadio! With a stage show that leaves crowds wanting more, terrific momentum in the marketplace and a couple more years under their belts, DecembeRadio has delivered a project aimed to please their fans. Known for their hit ballads, DecembeRadio has weaved easygoing, radio-friendly melodies onto the new release combined with laid back, medium-tempo grooves reminiscent of their classic rock influences. Bringing the project full circle, the Rock-Album-of-the-Year-winning band offers up their signature, driving guitar rock with skill and energy like never before.

Darwin Hobbs - Free
On his debut Tyscot Records release Darwin Hobbs victoriously celebrates the true freedom that believers have been given in Jesus Christ. Birthed from his own personal life experience Free encourages listeners to break out of their self-made prisons of guilt and shame by truly accepting the liberation that only Christ can give. Co-produced by Hobbs and Aaron Pearce, this awe inspiring offering will bring listeners to a place of introspection and set the tone for a powerfulworship experience. the songs featured on this CD speak to the saved and the lost as well. Standout tracks include a cover of the Chris Tomlin hit "Your Grace is Enough", the title cut "Free", and many more.

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir - I'll Say Yes DVD

Worship with the 300 voice Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in New York through this LIVE DVD recording as they “Say Yes” to the call of Christ. Featuring powerful worship songs PLUS a feature length docu-video, I’ll Say Yes will usher listeners into a place of spirited praise and deep worship.





Monday, August 18, 2008

New Releases - 8/19/08

There are more releases today than you can safely shake a stick at. So many, in fact, that I'm not even going to put a picture up for every release. But know this: Every release will probably go multi-platinum. Or if not, you may like it anyway. So stop in this week and check them out.

Casting Crowns - The Altar and the Door Live CD/DVD

Experience Grammy Award-winning artist Casting Crowns on the most popular Christian tour of 2007/2008 reaching 450,000 people in 83 markets. This 2-disc set features eight live songs both on CD and DVD from Casting Crowns best-selling The Altar and The Door album, including the No. 1 hits “East to West” and “Every Man.” Bonus content includes a behind-the-scenes documentary, the new “Slow Fade” music video, and four five-minute teaching videos from lead-singer/songwriter and pastor Mark Hall specifically geared for personal use or in church services and bibles studies.


Brooke Barrettsmith - Brooke Barrettsmith

Brooke Barrettsmith captivates audiences with her passionate vocals and straightforward lyrics about faith and relationships. Growing up in Chicago, Brooke first started singing in church with her siblings. Since then, she has shared the stage with artists such as Toby Mac, Audio Adrenaline, Jeremy Camp and Steven Curtis Chapman. As a top 40 finalist on "American Idol Season 5" in 2006, Brooke has been championed by local Chicago TV and print outlets and has received hometown support performing at various local events. She has also had the honor of performing the National Anthem at both Chicago Cubs and White Sox games.


Bart Millard - Hymned Again
Bart Millard, the voice of MercyMe, crafts one of the most musically innovative CDs of the year with Hymned Again. Following in the footsteps of his successful debut release, Hymned No. 1., Bart delivers bold interpretations of familiar hymns with a fun, up-tempo and spirited musical journey showcasing his signature vocals.

Family Force 5 - Dance Or Die
Widely considered one of the most significant bands in the CCM market, Family Force 5 is positioned to move to the next level with the release of Dance Or Die. This has been a story of artist development that has been rooted in the modern day fundamentals of great songs, non-stop touring and a commitment to the bands deeply held beliefs.

The Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer

The Jonas Brothers have come hard and fast onto the Tween Scene with their '07 Hollywood Records Debut Jonas Brothers with the support of the Disney Channel, Radio Disney, and Top 40 radio these Brothers from NJ have quickly become Superstars and Teen Heartthrobs. Joe Jonas (as well as Nick and Kevin) star in the Highly Promoted Disney Original movie "Camp Rock" airing now on the Disney Channel. The Boys will also have their own Disney Channel TV show called J.O.N.A.S. scheduled to start airing this summer- ala Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus.

Brandon Heath - What If We
It’s a simple but powerful question. What if we? What if we take a risk? What if we choose to follow our hearts, what if we don’t? What if we sit in the quiet and truly listen to God’s voice, what if we continue to fill our lives with noisy clutter? What if we look at others through the eyes of Jesus? Singer songwriter Brandon Heath continues to inspire the possibilities on the follow up to his Dove nominated Song of the Year “I’m Not Who I Was” from debut album “Don’t Get Comfortable”. Featuring “Give Me Your Eyes”, “Love Never Fails” and “Sunrise”, Brandon’s latest offering is an honest, heart-spoken journey that further solidifies his voice in our community of believers.

Deitrick Haddon - Revealed
Deitrick Haddon is celebrated as one of the most diverse and versatile artists in modern Gospel music, and with his latest CD offering, he further exemplifies exactly why this is! On the heels of the aggressive and staunchly urban-skewed 7 Days, Haddon returns with an equally heavy-hitting pop/rock-tinged soundtrack of intense praise and sincere worship. In this career-defining move, Haddon sows the seeds for another branch in his ever-growing and expansive tree of ministry. While not forsaking the bass and strong rhythms that his listeners have grown accustomed to and quite fond of, Haddon incorporates new sounds, manifest in the prominent guitar licks, big drum sequences, and sustained notes.

David Crowder Band - Remedy Club Tour Edition CD/DVD
Continuing the excitement of last fall’s “REMEDY Club Tour” and full-length CD release, which produced the Top 5 Christian single “Everything Glorious,” and garnered three 2008 Dove Awards, fans will soon be able to pick up David Crowder*Band’s first ever live DVD & CD. The REMEDY Club Tour Edition DVD & CD will include more than 85 minutes of live music shot in high definition from the “REMEDY Club Tour,” which boasted 19 sold-out dates in historic venues nationwide and whose “Surely We Can Change Something” campaign collected thousands of towels and socks for local shelters, while encouraging attendees to “be the Remedy” in their local communities.

Gaither Gospel Series - Bill Gaither/Vince Gill Bluegrass #1 CD/DVD
Gaither Gospel Series - Bill Gaither/Vince Gill Bluegrass #2 CD/DVD

This Country Bluegrass Homecoming brings together the very best of gospel, bluegrass and country music for a star-studded celebration of faith. This historic musical event, hosted by Bill Gaither, is packed with unforgettable performances by legendary artists who got their start singing in church. Featuring a perfect mix of great old hymns, southern gospel classics and newer favorites, this extraordinary gathering highlights the world-class talent of: Vince Gill, the Gaither Vocal Band, The Isaacs, Marty Stuart, Ralph Stanley, George Jones, The Grascals, Dailey & Vincent, Cherryholmes, Gordon Mote, Jimmy Fortune, Rhonda Vincent, Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Jeff & Sheri Easter and many others.

Charlie Hall - The Bright Sadness
Creating music for the sole purpose of making God’s name renown, celebrated worship artist Charlie Hall follows up his acclaimed 2006 release, Flying Into Daybreak, with a fourth studio project, The Bright Sadness. A collection of songs that reflect his spiritual journaling these last few years, the album, according to Hall, “comes from me understanding my ordinary human condition and my deep love for Jesus.” Recorded in Oklahoma City & LA, the project reflects real life struggles, among those themes addressed are brokenness and Christ’s free fellowship, redemption and compassion. Hall is currently debuting music from his new record on the first-ever Passion World Tour this summer and fall.

The Showdown - Back Breaker
Southern Metal favorites, The Showdown, are back to what they do best. Pummeling riffs, explosive breakdowns, and hooks that will stick in your head for weeks. Back Breaker is the band at its finest, with years on the road, they have matured in their songwriting, their performances and their passion for all things heavy. Back Breaker covers all the bases, from Southern Metal, to Hardcore, to a hint of sludge. Cutting new ground, and perfecting the tried and true style of "The Showdown" is what Back Breaker is all about.

This Beautiful Republic - Perceptions
Fueled by grinding guitar riffs and dynamic vocal performances, This Beautiful Republic emerges from the studio delivering their highly anticipated sophomore release Perceptions. With a debut album under their belt, success at radio and multiple tours across the country the band has fashioned the experienced they’ve gained with their natural art and created the album Perceptions. Highlighted by the tracks “Learning To Fall”, “No Turning Back”, “Beautifully Broken” and “Surrender Saved My Life”, Perceptions showcases the rock-n-roll side of This Beautiful Republic that continues to win fans over live and the massive choruses that etch themselves in your mind, leaving you reciting lines day after day.

Jimmy Needham - Not Without Love

Houston, Texas-based singer/songwriter Jimmy Needham’s Inpop Records debut, Speak, released August 2006, showcasing his down-to-earth lyrics while exposing the rock, pop and gospel-influenced side of his art as well. The album produced a No. 2 single at Christian Hit Radio with “Lost At Sea,” and its song “Dearly Loved” also broke the Top 10 on CHR. Last fall Needham was featured on tour with NewSong, Echoing Angels and Nate Sallie, while he also joined labelmate Superchick for a special Christmas tour. Produced by Will Hunt (Bethany Dillon, Ginny Owens, Shane & Shane) at acoustic duo Shane & Shane’s very own Spaceway Studios, Needham’s sophomore album, Not Without Love, is a fitting continuation of his first project and includes tracks like “A Breath Or Two,” “Come Around,” “Tossed By The Wind,” “I am Yours,” as well as “Home From War,” the record’s debut radio single. Needham will perform songs from Not Without Love as a special guest on female vocalist Natalie Grant’s headlining tour this spring.

Ten Shekel Shirt - Jubilee
Ten Shekel Shirt is a band with a message. Through two album releases, a # 1 hit at Christian CHR radio, and 150,000 album sales, lead singer/songwriter Lamont Hiebert has watched as his songs of revolution and rejuvenation have impacted listeners across the globe. But sometimes actions speak louder than words, and after hearing reports about child slavery and exploitation, Lamont had a life altering experience when he traveled to Southeast Asia and witnessed the sale of children first-hand. Not content to simply write songs about the issue, Lamont co-founded the organization Love146 to help end child slavery and exploitation. Love 146 quickly gained national recognition for their work, earning the MySpace Impact Award for Social Justice, and they were named an "Agent of Change" by GQ magazine. Lamont's experiences as a modern day abolitionist are at the heart of many of the songs on Ten Shekel Shirt's new album Jubilee, easily the strongest album in the band's career. Though the album's songs deal with weighty subject matter, Lamont and Ten Shekel Shirt bring a strong message of hope throughout.

Jon Michael Talbot - The Troubadour Years 2CD
In 1990, John Michael Talbot began a new direction in recording the music God gave him by starting his own label, Troubadour for the Lord. This change came after 14 years as a top selling artist with Sparrow Records. This compilation represents the best of John Michael’s music throughout these recent years, as he continues to tour, perform, and create new music in the wake of a devastating fire that destroyed his Little Portion Hermitage Monastery.

The Wrecking - A New Abolition
With A New Abolition, The Wrecking has cultivated a truly unique sound that is readily accessible and notably fresh. By interlocking hook-driven rock with urban grooves and futuristic adventurism, this band has emerged from the East Coast music scene as one of the most talked-about new acts. From the pounding anthem "Inside" to the earthy remake of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," A New Abolition is both gritty and smooth, offering listeners inventive and memorable tunes passionately rendered.

Tonya Backer - Special Friend
Tonya Baker is a gifted songwriter and an anointed artist, as exemplified in her album Special Friend. Tonya has appeared on TBN & the Stellar Awards Music Showcase and counts it an honor to minister the good news of Jesus Christ in every opportunity. As she performs across the globe, this young lady will not be satisfied until she reaches the nations with the Gospel.

Niyoki – Rest

Rest is the life-enhancing, praise-filled sophomore release from anointed gospel vocalist Niyoki. Rest builds upon Niyoki’s strong vocal talents and exceptional delivery while ably showcasing her ability to fully inhabit a song with heart and soul. Each song on the 13-track collection has a different sound and feel; the album crosses all musical genres to incorporate R&B, jazz, rock and even hip-hop. The stunningly beautiful and soothing “I Will Rest,” the high-energy and driven “Joy,” the praise filled “Where Would I Be” and the prayerful “All That I Have” are just a few of the highlights featured on Rest.

Gene Autry - Cowboy Hymns and Songs of Inspiration
Gene Autry, America’s Favorite (and best selling) Singing Cowboy, sang and recorded hundreds of songs during his lifetime, including many best-loved Cowboy Hymns and Songs of Inspiration. This first ever collection of Cowboy Hymns by Gene Autry is taken from his popular radio show and Western films.

The Sons of the Pioneers - Western Hymns and Spirituals
The Sons of the Pioneers are the definitive vocal and instrumental group in western music history. Although they specialized in songs of the west, cowboy hymns and spirituals have always been an important part of their repertoire. The greatest achievement of The Sons of the Pioneers lay with the sheer quality of their work. Their superb harmonies and brilliant arrangements have delighted three generations of listeners and inspired numerous performers.

The Katinas – Still

The Katinas are back with a sound that will amaze the listener from all aspects of production to the style of worship on their new album entitled Still. From the excited anthem "Alive" to the heartfelt song "Praying For You," Still is both fun and worshipful, offering listeners a sense of joy and memorable tunes passionately rendered.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Releases - 8/12/08

Kim Hopper - I Just Wanted You To Know

Kim Hopper has one of Southern Gospel's most dynamic and recognizable voices. This debut solo Canaan release showcases her versatility on songs such as The Woman In My Little Girl's Room, a parental reflection of children that seem to grow up too soon.


The LeFevre Quartet - Nothin' But Good

Soulful vocals, smooth harmonies, and a powerful Gospel message work together to make the Mike LeFevre Quartet’s debut Canaan release, Nothin’ But Good, a must-listen for Christian music fans of all backgrounds. While Canaan’s newest quartet stays honest to their Southern Gospel roots, their fresh vocal take on the Southern genre uses exciting and energetic tracks that place this group and album in a class all its own. Nothin’ But Good features a great blend of songs that appeal to the Southern listener while being firmly grounded in the church. A rendition of Didn’t It Rain, a traditional spiritual done “not so traditionally,” is sure to become an instant fan favorite. If you love music in a classic genre with a contemporary flair, then the Mike LeFevre Quartet is the group you’ve been waiting for!

Mike & Kelly Bowling - Faith To Believe

While both have had major success recording separately for years, Mike and Kelly Bowling now appear for the first time as husband and wife on their debut Canaan release, Faith To Believe. With a combined 11 GMA Dove awards, 3 Grammy nominations and over 20 #1 songs, this husband and wife team travels the world performing two hundred dates a year. Together Mike and Kelly, along with tenor Jeff Snyder, have created a sound that is as refreshing as the trio sounds of the early 70s. History will note that they have been true to the excellence of their ability without diminishing or distancing the listener and this album is certainly no exception. Faith To Believe is sure to pull the listener into the safe place of our Savior’s love and hold them there with rich, anointed vocals and soul-stirring songs. This is an album every Christian music lover will not want to miss!




Monday, August 4, 2008

New Releases - 8/5/08

Norma Jean - The AntiMother

Norma Jean once again teams up with producer Ross Robinson (Korn, The Cure, Slipknot) to create the follow up to the critically acclaimed Redeemer of 2006. Norma Jean has cut a path in metal music, and continues to push boundaries and push limits on the Anti-Mother creating a symphony of discourse and chest pounding songs. A perfect addition to an already astonishing catalog of music, The Anti-Mother once again why Norma Jean are trend setters, and leader in their genre.


Various Artists - WoW Essentials - All Time Favorite Christian Songs
WOW, the most recognizable brand in Christian Music is branching out this summer with a new product line devoted to the best & biggest Christian songs in the past 5 years. WOW Essentials - All Time Favorite Christian Songs is the latest addition to the hugely successful WOW brand of products. The focus for WOW Essentials is to assemble 12 of the most-known & best-loved songs from the past 5 years into one collection for the amazing low price of just $9.99. Like bumping into an old friend that you haven’t seen in a while, WOW Essentials reminds listeners of the songs that fueled their faith, gave encouragement in a time of need, or was simply the right song at the right time in their life. Featuring Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable," Casting Crown's "Who Am I," MercyMe's "Word Of God Speak," and Steven Curtis Chapman's "Dive," these are the songs that have impacted believers around the globe and have become anthems of our faith.

Various - Songs That Changed The Church: Hymns
Music is a powerful change agent – it’s the soundtrack to our lives, to our culture and to the growth and change in the church over the years. This new collection of music honors the songs that have marked and risen to the forefront in the changes that the Church has experienced. Complete with detailed liner notes written by CMM historian John J. Thompson about each song – the stores behind the songs are rich with how God has worked in lives around the world – inspired writers that changed the Church.

Songs That Changed The Church - Hymns includes the hymns over the centuries that are the bedrock of our faith – the amazing stories behind these songs speak to the complete power of God in our world and grace to each of us no matter what our journey

Various - Songs That Changed The Church: CCM
Songs That Changed The Church - CCM focuses on the pop songs that mark the growth and change in the church from Amy Grant’s “Thy Word” do dcTalk’s “Jesus Freak” to the powerful “I Can Only Imagine”

Various - Songs That Changed The Church: Worship
Songs That Changed The Church - Worship includes 13 songs that document the modern worship expression with songs like “Lord I Lift Your Name On High”, “The Heart of Worship” and “How Great Is Our God”

Spensha Baker - Outloud
Introducing Spensha Baker and her debut album “Outloud”
Spensha was discovered at a young age by Ron Fair, Chairman of Geffen Records, while she was a 2004 Star Search finalist. Since then, she’s developed a story in Christian and mainstream outlets making impressions as the opening act for the First Annual Grammy “Salute To Gospel Music” concert, performing the national anthem at the “Presidential Address” at Fort Hood and performed on internationally viewed TBN in 2008. Outloud! is Spensha’s genuine message of encouragement to live and love outloud!

Hillsong - This Is Our God CD/DVD
On the evening of Sunday, March 9th 2008, thousands of worshippers gathered to fill the Acer Arena in Sydney as Hillsong Church recorded their latest live worship album.
The night was riveting, as the stadium filled with thousands of voices, eyes raised heavenward, and created an expectancy that welcomed the very presence of God.

"We come together and we say, 'This is who we are, God. We need You, we love You, and we're going to give everything to You'. It's actually about the church coming together and singing with One Voice, One Passion, One Heart, giving all our praise to God," Joel Houston, Hillsong Creative Director, said.

A number of new songwriters, worship leaders and musicians joined Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, Darlene Zschech and Marty Sampson on the platform, capturing the sound of a new generation, and entering into a new season of worship and song.

Dave Hollister - Witness Protection
The ultimate Preacher's Kid (both his parents are preachers), Dave Hollister initially got his break in music as an original member of the platinum-selling R&B group Blackstreet, founded by uber producer Teddy Riley. Dave left Blackstreet after the release of their first album and went on to pursue a solo career as a singer, songwriter and producer. His solo debut, Ghetto Hymns, was released in 1999 to critical acclaim, as well as his sophomore release the following year - Chicago '85... The Movie.

After releasing two more albums, Dave returned to his church roots, signing with GospoCentric and releasing 2006's The Book of David: Vol. 1 The Transition. His second Gospel release, Witness Protection, displays the soulful, soaring voice that has been earning him die-hard fans since 1994. This album shows a much lighter side of Dave that combines an up-tempo R&B sound with a strong gospel message.

Klaus - Glory
Featuring internationally known worship leader /songwriter Klaus along with special guest vocals from Kari Jobe, Glory strikes a deep vein of worship that combines celebration, intimate moments and spontaneous expressions of worship encouraging believers to go deeper into the things of God. Recorded LIVE at Christ For The Nations Institute, Glory features a powerful mix of Klaus’ best known songs, dynamic new offerings and amazing keyboard interludes for a rich sound of worship that is sure to find its way into the hearts of many around the world.