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Thursday, April 28, 2011

How Great Thou Art - In the News

Last Friday night (April 22, 2011) on CBS, the Academy of Country Music presented Girls Night Out: the SuperStar Women of Country. One of the special treats of the night was when Carrie Underwood song the hymn "How Great Thou Art." Vince Gill accompanied her on his electric guitar. You see people singing along, people crying, and giving respect to something that they might not even believe in. One of the redeeming factors of country music is that it is so easy for many artists to express their faith safely. It is always something special when a song, one grows up singing like a hymn is sang in today's mainstream music. This can reassure us that God can use us sinners and the imperfections of life to bring about His glory.
      Every song has a story, and "How Great Thou Art" is no different. In 1885, Carl Boberg, a Swedish minister, wrote a poem called "O Store Gud" (O Mighty God). His poem was set to a Swedish melody, but was not widely known.

When I the world consider
Which Thou has made by Thine almighty Word

And how the webb of life Thou wisdom guideth
And all creaion feedeth at Thy board

Then doth my soul burst forth in song of praise
Oh, great God, Oh, great God

      Hearing this hymn in Russia, English missionary Stuart Hine was so moved he modified and expanded the words and made his own arrangement of the Swedish melody. He later said his first three verses were inspired, line upon line, by Russia's rugged Carpathian Mountains. The final verse was written after Dr. Hine returned to Great Britain.
      Some time later, Dr. J. Edwin Orr heard "How Great Thou Art" being sung by Naga people in Assam, India, and decided to bring it back to America. During the 1954 Billy Graham Crusade in Harringay Area, George Beverly Shea was given a leaflet containing this hymn. Then in the New York Crusade of 1957, it was sung by George Beverly Shea ninety-nine times, with the choir joining the majestic chorus:
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011 - New Releases

Here are the new releases for April 26, 2011 of Martha Munizzi and Ricky Dillard.
April 26 new releases

Monday, April 25, 2011

42nd Annual Dove Awards for 2011 Results!

The Dove Awards took place on Wednesday, April 20 and they were broadcasted Sunday night on GMC. If you are like me and didn't get the chance to see the exciting event in Christian music and want to know who are the winners, 
well let me tell you...and show you...




SONG OF THE YEAR & INSPIRATIONAL SONG OF THE YEAR & TRADITIONAL GOSPEL SONG OF THE YEAR
Jason Crabb


PRAISE AND WORSHIP ALBUM OF THE YEAR & WORSHIP SONG OF THE YEAR
As Long As It Takes - "How Great is the Love" - Meredith Andrews
WORSHIP SONG OF THE YEAR (TIED WITH MEREDITH ANDREWS)
"Our God" - Chris Tomlin
CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Love God Love People - Israel Houghton
CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL SONG OF THE YEAR
"The Best in Me" - Marvin Sapp
ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Horseshoes & Handgrenades - Disciple
ROCK SONG OF THE YEAR
"Start Again" - Red
BLUEGRASS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Singing from the Heart - Dailey Vincent
BLUEGRASS SONG OF THE YEAR
"Mountaintop" - Lizzy Long & Little Roy Lewis
COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR & COUNTRY SONG OF THE YEAR
No Changin Us  -"There is Nothing Greater Than Grace" - Point of Grace
SOUTHERN GOSPEL ALBUM OF THE YEAR & SOUTHERN GOSPEL SONG OF THE YEAR
Greatly Blessed - "Better Day" - Gaither Vocal Band
RAP/HIP HOP ALBUM OF THE YEAR & RAP/HIP HOP SONG OF THE YEAR
Otta Space Love - "Walking on the Stars" - Group1Crew
ROCK/CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Tonight - TobyMac
GROUP OF THE YEAR & ROCK/CONTEMPORARY SONG OF THE YEAR:
"Something Beautiful" - NEEDTOBREATHE
INSPIRATIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Downtown Church - Patty Griffin
The Edge of the Divine - Sandi Patty
TRADITIONAL GOSPEL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Master Plan - Tamela Mann
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR & NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR & POP/CONTEMPORARY ABLUM OF THE YEAR: 
No Far Away - Chris August

ARTIST OF THE YEAR & FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR & POP/CONTEMPORARY SONG OF THE YEAR:
"Beautiful Beautiful" - Francesca Battistelli



Friday, April 22, 2011

Laura Story's Blessings - A Review

This sophomore album of Laura Story is of a reflective melodious beauty. The music she composes is a delightful balance between smooth praise & worship and more contemporary muses. Even if one may not be familiar with her name, they will recognize the songs that she writes, like "Indescribable" made popular by Chris Tomlin.
    Laura admits, “Everyone wants to be a mature and equipped follower, but would I have signed up had I known what it would take? God has grown us up, deepened our faith, our awareness of our great need for him as a savior, daily. We knew it before, but we didn’t see it. This is a good place to be.”
    Blessings reflects that hopeful place. A worship project at heart with constant threads of pop energy and singer/songwriter warmth, the album was recorded in Georgia at Chris Tomlin’s studio and produced by Nathan Nockels (Passion). Story penned most of the ten songs herself but partnered with co-writers including Brenton Brown and Third Day’s Mac Powell.
    Laura's songs refect her faith, just as her bio reflects a man who lived many years ago. Her first single, "Blessings," off this album is a great example of that faith and life. 
                   
What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if your healing come through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

These words hold so much the power of faith that no matter what storms may come in life, they have a meaning for your life. There is an old Chinese story that says something along these lines. Many years ago, in a time where China could still have more than one child, there was a man who had only one son. The man and the son worked hard together, but the man was advanced in years, so most of the work was left to the son. One day, the son was working in the field when an accident happened that left him with a broken leg. The family was devastated for now how will they survive, and what kind of future will this young man have? The next day, however, some soldiers came to the town and collected all the young able-bodied men to be the builders of the great wall of China. Those workers were never seen again. However, the son was not taken. The accident that broke his body saved his life. Stories like this are so common. Yet when it happens to us, do we have the faith in God to see us through?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011 - New Releases

The new releases of today consists of Abandon, Gaithers, Time Hughes, Gail Homes, Mark Schultz, and some great various collections. Check them out in more detail below!
2011 April 19 Releases

Monday, April 18, 2011

What If We Were Real by Mandisa - A Review

This third studio album of Mandisa is another solid project that one can expect from the amazing vocal talents of Mandisa. I see Mandisa's first album, True Beauty, as one that does reflect more on the issues of image. This not surprising containing it was one of the reasons for her falling out of American Idol. Her second album, Freedom, is a declaration of a new Mandisa, and how she came so far not by herself. God has delievered her through so many trials in His loving arms. What If We Were Real is an album that encourages the listener to live life today, and if you can't find the strength inside then look to the One who is strength.
     The album, What If We Were Real, begins with the first single "Stronger."

The rest of the great collection contains the songs like "What If We Were Real," "Say Goodbye," "These Days," "The Truth About Me," and "Lifeline." Well most of these songs are from the first half of the album, but these songs were the ones that I thought featured her great vocals with meaningful lyrics. Or you could say that these were my personal favorite songs on the album. The one exemption from the beginning songs is the song "Lifeline." "Lifeline" is actually the last song on the album, and it does a great job ending the album with the lasting thought that God is the only lifeline that we can cling to.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12, 2011 - New Releases

Here are the new releases for Jonny Diaz, Laura Story, and New Life Worship!
New Releases April 12, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 04, 2011 - New Releases

Today Mandisa, Derek Webb, Rebecca St. James, Brandon Bee, FM Static, X2011, and more were released. See below for more details!
2011 April 05 Releases