Plankton Recording artists Vivienne Neville and Liz Clarke are joined by Nashville-based artists Jackie Morris Bates and Mary Kathryn for a new charity single ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’ which is to be released on March 3rd, in memory of Taira Johnson Baughman who sadly lost her battle with cancer earlier this year.
Taira inspired countless people as she courageously faced cancer with such strength and dignity and she touched many hearts as she blogged about her battle all throughout her illness. Taira and her family featured in Martina McBride’s music video ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It'” which was released in 2011 by Universal Republic Nashville Records and has over 2.1 million views on YouTube to date.
Taira’s mother, gospel jazz singer Jackie Morris Bates is a close friend of Vivienne Neville and through Jackie, Vivienne became friends with Taira. Not long before her passing mutual friend Joe Rudy Hernandez recorded Taira, Jackie & Vivienne on his phone at a family day in the USA around a piano singing ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’.
Vivienne, Liz, Jackie and Mary were recently with Neil Andrews at Room At The End Studios in Franklin Tennessee recording their vocals for the single. Chris Smith and Nic Burrows Producers at Raindance Studios in the UK already having completed recording the music.
‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’ is released worldwide as a digital single by Plankton Records, and will be available on all major music download sites including iTunes and Amazon. A video to accompany the single has been produced incorporating footage shot on a phone on the day of the vocal recording in the USA! The video can be viewed on YouTube using this link: http://youtu.be/rFYJAl8-wqU
All money raised from sales of the single go towards paying the outstanding medical bills for Taira’s treatment and also to her daughter’s (Breanna) college fund which she hopes to start attending later this year following 2 years of looking after Taira and her 2 brothers during her high school years, allowing her father to work to support the family.
Integrity Music are delighted to announce the latest news from Indian worship leader and songwriter, Sheldon Bangera. Having recorded an inspiring cross-cultural hybrid of Matt Redman’s classic Undignified (translated ‘Nachoonga’ in Hindi), the accompanying video has now gone viral, racking up 15,000 YouTube views within the first four days. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbdUBrCC-i4
Blending Bollywood dance moves with an infectious call to worship, Nachoonga demonstrates loud and clear the power of a song to cross linguistic and cultural borders. And with so many views coming so quickly, it’s clear that there are plenty of worshippers out there who are hungry for more of the same. The title track of his debut full length album, Nachoonga features 12 well known worship songs translated into Hindi – and given a little extra Indian flavour – the album includes Here I Am to Worship, Happy Day, I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, Hosanna (Praise is Rising), In Christ Alone, Your Grace is Enough, Everlasting God, Blessed Be Your Name and You Never Let Go, all sung in Hindi with nothing less than maximum passion. Sheldon Bangera has been bridging the gap between western worship and the indigenous Indian church for years. Based in Mumbai, he has led worship at Worship Central India, where he sang classic worship songs in Hindi.
Twelve-year-old YouTube sensation CHRISTOPHER DUFFLEY who is blind and has autism, has been selected as one of “10 Amazing Individuals With Autism Who Shined In 2013” in the current issue of the Autism Speaks national newsletter. Christopher was selected as no. 2 on the list for his standing ovation-evoking performance of “Lean On me” at the Winter Autism Ball, hosted by Autism Speaks and New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA) in December. During Christopher’s Winter Autism Ball performance, he was joined onstage for background vocals by some famous entertainers, including Michael Bolton, Kelly Rowland and the Harlem Gospel Choir. Christopher was also singled out for his performance earlier in 2013 as part of Autism Speaks “Cruise Night for Autism Speaks” event.
MICHAEL SWEET, frontman for the multi-platinum rock band Stryper, will release a new full-length solo album, I’m Not Your Suicide, and his first autobiography, Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed, on May 6, 2014, via BIG3 Records. Fans can get a sneak peak at the album courtesy of the all-new lyric video for the song, “The Cause” – which premiered in January exclusively at Loudwire, Noisecreep and NewReleaseTuesday. The new Michael Sweet website has also been launched at www.michaelsweet.com with a free preview of Chapter One of the upcoming book.
Following his 22 years with Newsboys and his 2011 successful solo album ‘On Fire’, PETER FURLER has announced his new project will be ‘Sun And Shield’ by Peter Furler & The Blissbombs, released on New Day Records. The project will be released on 11th March and signals the collaboration between Furler and producer/lyricist Steve Taylor.
SARA GROVES : The Collection. (Fair Trade : 736211607690)
Since her 2002 release, ‘All Right Here’, which gained a stonking 10/10 NFN rating, I’ve found Sarah’s following albums to be a bit of a let down. For me, nothing has compared to that first album, although she has had her moments. This 2 CD collection contains 27 songs from the last 12 years, and does include the wonderful track ‘All Right Here’. It tells of the reason why she lives her life as she does, because she knows God as her Heavenly Father. The song itself is in pop/country style and I’ve played it over and over again during the past week. A similar track is ‘Setting Up the Pins’. A great, happy feeling song, it reminded me very much of the Andy Landis hit from the 90’s called ‘Watch Me Run’. Sometimes, Sarah’s voice sounds rather thin, but I’m not sure if that’s a production problem, because on songs like ‘Add to the Beauty’ and the pedestrian paced ‘Fly’, the vocals are perfect. ‘When the Saints’ is rather an oddball song, but I enjoyed it very much. This collection really does contain the best of Sarah’s recordings, but there are still a number of songs that pass by without leaving their mark. Sarah loves telling stories within the context of her songs, but maybe they’re just a little complex at times. I didn’t dislike this album, but I think it will be one that I will pick and choose which songs to play in the future. 6/10.
BRIDE : The Lost Reels Vol 2 (www.retroactiverecords.net)
I don’t know Bride that well, as I noted in my review of “Vol 1” so I won’t repeat most of those comments here. It is part 2 of 3 in that it contains demo versions of songs from 3 of their earlier albums from the early 1990s. Along with Vols 1 and 3 this was originally released in 1994 but this is a remastered version from 2013. Being demos, these tracks generally have a rawer feel to them than the final versions (especially compared to the bonus track) and (I’m told) different arrangements that range from the subtle to major. Some tracks don’t quite sound finished (“Kiss The Train” and “Everybody Knows My Name” sound very much like parts 1 and 2 of the same song, for example), whereas some (such as “Same Ol’ Sinner”) have a “ready to release” feel about them. It’s a CD for the fans, really, but certainly not a rip-off (as so many “out-takes and demos” CDs are). The bonus track I mentioned earlier is a cover of Steve Taylor’s “We Don’t Need No Colour Code” from the “I Predict A Clone” CD. It’s a testament to the overall quality of the CD that it doesn’t fly so high above them – indeed, I don’t place it as “Best track”: that honour goes to “Same Ol’ Sinner”. 6/10. Paul Ganney.