Worship leader CHRIS QUILALA has revealed that the Jesus Culture team is gearing up to release a new live album this summer. This new record was recently recorded at their home church in Sacramento, CA and has a tentative release date of late July/early August. Chris says that in all, they recorded about 19 live songs and now are working to narrow down that tracklisting. The new record will reportedly feature a special live version of Kim Walker-Smith’s “Fresh Outpouring.” Aside from this pre-released track, all other songs of the upcoming Jesus Culture album are expected to be brand new.
JESUS CULTURE : Let It Echo Unplugged. (Jesus Culture : 0602547899)
Recorded live at the Underground Lounge in Sacramento, this 7 track release features some of the song from the “Let It Echo” album that has become a worldwide hit. As the name suggests, unplugged means that all the instruments used are acoustic, and this stripped down version does lack a little of the awe its predecessor had. However, Kim Walker Smith is in her element, as she sings “Never Gonna Stop Singing.” Even in this bare all production, the message still comes across with great authority. Again, on “In the River”, Smith caresses each word of the song to make a joyful noise. The title track is sung by Chris Quilala. This version begins with just a few instruments backing his vocals, before everything comes crashing in, accompanied by myriad voices in praise. The Torwalt’s are featured on “God is With Us” and “Set Me Ablaze” and those gathered are certainly enjoying themselves, judging by the reaction to each song. If I’m honest, I prefer the original album in all it’s glory, but this one will also make a welcome addition to Jesus Culture fans. 7/10.
This is a collection of contemporary worship songs, that feature lead vocals from both artists. It starts off with a cracking song called “He Is Faithful” which is a high energy no nonsense rock arrangement, this song pretty much sets the tone for the whole CD. Most of the songs on here are cleverly arranged and tend to build up from a quiet start into what are some quite busy and atmospheric rock / pop arrangements. I sometimes feel that a lot of worship albums tend to be somewhat “over produced”. This one certainly doesn’t fit into that category, and in fact works quite well, although most of the songs do give the impression of being intended for use in large meetings, and not your local church. It’s probably an advantage, having two different singers leading these songs. Both of them have a completely different vocal style. and it does keep things moving along nicely, which is probably quite a good thing, as this CD runs in at just under 75 minutes. One of the highlights for me is “Holy Spirit”. Which is a song calling for the Holy Spirit to fall on the congregation, and is a very powerful song. I can’t say that I found any of the tracks on here to be disappointing. I would certainly recommend this CD if you like good solid worship music, as opposed to the normal watery rubbish that we get served up on endless compilation albums. This is well played and original, and a breath of fresh air to my ears. 10/10 Andy Sayner.
Based at Bethel Church of Redding California, since 2006 Jesus Culture has counted among its activities the record label Jesus Culture Music – this being its sixteenth release. Both cd and dvd are provided although two of the songs, i.e. ‘Wide open’ and ‘Born of God’, are missing from the cd. Here we have professionally shot perfectly presented rock pop ccm, with note perfect vocals from Chris Quilala and Kim Walker-Smith, and it is obvious from the outset that the whole band are not only well capable but also well produced and rehearsed. There are also some good melodies here, that stay in your head. Chris is probably heard at his best on the slower ‘Surrender all’ (although it struggles to justify its more than 7 minutes, with the audience participation repeats of ‘all to Jesus I surrender’ going on a bit long) and Kim’s ‘We will run’ continues with you all day! Almost altogether good, then? It’s difficult to say why I hesitate, but somehow what we don’t have here is the same spiritual connection, the same originality / reality-of-life lyrics as provided by, for instance, Casting Crowns – a similar band in many respects, but Mark Hall and his crew engage the audience with an authority and connectedness that just doesn’t seem to be present here. Jesus Culture’s lyric ‘In flesh he walked among us, bore our sins’ is of course true, but such often repeated words tend to pale alongside the contemporary power of Mark Hall delivering Casting Crown’s ‘Somewhere is the middle’. Eastbourne’s Phatfish are another example of a band whose recorded performances can really connect. ‘Unstoppable love’ is a worthwhile release then, enjoyable musically, well produced, but for me lacking that certain something in terms of spiritual engagement. 8/10. Dave Deeks
Remix artist, music producer and songwriter Lucas Hogg, who has served with Jesus Culture since 2007 and plays drums for Kim and Skyler Smith, began producing music under the artist name Oh Snap It’s Luke! in 2009. Included on Reconstructed Vol. 1 is Hogg’s re-interpretation of many Jesus Culture songs. With vocals supplied by artists such as Kim Walke-Smith, Chris Quilala, Derek Johnson, and Bryan & Katie Torwalt, a lot of these songs bear little resemblance to their original version. As you would expect, there are lots of vocal and sound loops used, along with electronic and other synth produced sounds. ‘He Is The Light’ stands up really well, in a sort of 80’s Howard Jones sort of way. Similarly, ‘I Belong To You’ is quite listenable, and I really liked this version. On other songs, repetitive sampling on ‘Awaken Me’ and ‘King of All the Earth’ make for an annoying listen, that just become monotonous at the end. One track raised a smile. ‘Your Love Never Fails’ has a sample that sounds just like a barking dog. By this time I reached the end of the album, I needed a laugh. Apart from the couple of tracks I’ve mentioned, I found the rest quite mind numbing. Not one of my favourites at all. 4/10.
JESUS CULTURE will release a ‘Best of’ collection of their live worship songs called ‘From The Start’ on 10th March 2014. The 12 song collection includes anthems such as ‘One Thing Remains’ and ‘Your Love Never Fails’, and takes songs from Jesus Culture’s seven live albums, ‘Everything’, ‘We Cry Out’, ‘Your Love Never Fails’, ‘Consumed’, ‘Awakening’, ‘Come Away’ and their most recent album, ‘Live In New York’.
This November the BigChurchNightIn ‘Worship Tour’ with Matt Redman and Rend Collective Experiment will be heading out to venues across the UK! The event aims to draw local churches together for an exciting night of celebration. This will be Matt’s first extended UK tour since returning from living in the USA where he was part of the Passion City Church in Atlanta. Matt is married to Beth and they have five children. They are now based in Brighton. He is the writer of songs such as ‘Blessed Be Your Name’, ‘You Never Let Go’ and ‘The Heart of Worship’. More recent songs include ’10,000 Reasons’ from his latest album, and ‘Our God’ written with Jonas Myrin, Chris Tomlin and Jesse Reeves. Also, with two critically acclaimed albums and a stand out performance at this years BigChurchDayOut, Rend Collective Experiment will be joining the BigChurchNightIn. They started in 2004 as a group of confused 20 something’s trying to figure out life, God and community. Then in 2007 grew into a collective of musicians and artists trying to share with the world what they were learning. Reminding the church that we are called to be “One” a “Collective” even a “Family”. Check out this month’s Gig & Event Guide for details, or For further info go to www.bigchurchnightin.com
Singer-songwriter Juliet Turner is offering a free compilation download at http://noisetrade.com/julietturner
Juliet will be releasing a new song called “The House at the Top of the Hill” in early December 2012. Further details will be given at www.julietturner.com in the next couple of months. This will be available for download at http://julietturner.bandcamp.com/ Juliet’s 1996 recording Lets Hear it for Pizza is also available for download at her bandcamp site.
East Yorkshire’s HOT GOSPEL CHOIR are asking for your support for a brand new fund-raising project that could lead to an historic breakthrough, in the medical world. The whole focus of this project is a HUGE concert that will be held at Hull City Hall 7th December. The high profile concert will feature Hot Gospel, (The North’s premier Gospel choir) All For One Choir, (a huge adult choir made of 250 wonderful people from the East Yorkshire Area) and a scratch teen choir known as All For Felly(made up of Josh Fells friends from Hornsea School). This wonderful event has some great support from many high profile local people and we are hoping will attract lots of publicity both regionally and potentially nationally into this wonderful example of communities coming together for a shared purpose.
Christmas in a Heart Beat (the Concert), will take place 7th December 2012 at Hull City Hall. Funds will be raised from a donation from tickets sales, concert programme sponsorship and a great raffle. Tickets can be booked through The City Hall Box office 01482 300 300. If you would like to get involved and support the event in any way, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Popular songwriter, producer and recording artist FREDDY WASHINGTON, who has earned Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award nominations for his songwriting and production work with the likes of Hip Hop luminary Da’ T.R.U.T.H. and Gospel Dream winner Melinda Watts, releases his debut, double-disc project, The Jesus Record today. Skirting the edges of Gospel, Hip Hop and R&B and pop, with hints of Washington’s early influences Phil Collins, Andrae Crouch, Michael W. Smith and Kirk Franklin, the songs on The Jesus Record feel right at home on both contemporary Christian and Gospel radio formats. While the music will move your feet, Washington’s rich, compelling vocals will lift your spirit.
Gospel/Jazz pioneer BEN TANKARD has been nominated for a SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARD following the release of his 18th solo CD “Full Tank”. “This is the most successful record of my 20+ year career, and the music industry is buzzing with excitement about it,” Tankard says.
New Haven Records and RSI Music Group have announced that Academy of Country Music award-winner GORDON MOTE’S new Christmas project, The Star Still Shines, will hit store shelves October 16. The holiday CD combines Southern Gospel, inspirational, and country music-flavoured renditions of new and traditional Christmas songs and carols, including Michael W. Smith’s classic “Emmanuel” and Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Christmas Is All In the Heart.”
Award winning gospel artist AMI RUSHES has produced a 122 page Word-focused and Christ-centred tool of healing and uplift. Her love for people and compassionfor the hurting are communicated on every page while ministering to the reder with simplicity, clarity and insight. ‘Monday Manna’ contains a foreward by Bishop Charles E. Blake Snr.
Jesus Culture With Martin Smith Live From New York : One of the most significant releases of the year will be the new Jesus Culture double CD, a live recording from the Hope Is Alive arena in New York, featuring Kim Walker-Smith, Chris Quilala and special guest and former Delirious? frontman Martin Smith. An unforgettable night, captured as an unforgettable recording, Live From New York looks set to further establish Jesus Culture’s passion-drenched worship albums as absolutely essential listening. Live From New York arrives on 20th November…..UK worship leader ANDY SMITH will be known to many for his work with The Eden Project and The Message Trust. He’s lead worship from the stages of Spring Harvest and New Wine and will tour the UK again in 2013 with The Message Trust. Andy’s songs have already impacted UK churches through Breathe his earlier release on Survivor’s Emerge label, and on albums such as Spring Harvest’s Fresh: New Songs. ‘Ladders, Rocks & Lightening Swords’ is full of heartfelt, congregation-friendly worship songs with superb acoustic-based arrangements and first-class production…..Spring Harvest Acoustic Worship 2 : Today’s worship songwriters offer some rousing anthems, but this release strips away the big arrangements to let the melody and words shine through. Stripped back to a few essential instruments with which many churches will play them, on this resource less is quite definitely more!….This Is Your Kingdom Come Now: Casey Corum & Friends Live From The Sugar Land Vineyard New and powerful congregational songs recorded live in Texas. Featuring veteran worship leader and songwriter Casey Corum recorded before a full house at his church, Sugar Land Vineyard. Introducing the powerful voices of Torri Baker (Vineyard Church Columbus, Ohio) and Crispin Schroeder (Northshore Vineyard Louisiana), as well as a 17-voice gospel choir, threads of R&B, gospel, and modern rock are woven together to create a fresh sound while, at the same time, being deeply rooted in the hallmark Vineyard worship value of intimacy with God…..Live Anthems from Vineyard USA is an extraordinary collection of songs showcasing some incredible live worship from Vineyard US worship leaders, mixing the well-known and the new. Taken from a wide selection of writers including Jeremy Riddle, Chris Lizotte, and Sheri Carr, the US Vineyard continues to nurture and develop some of our most gifted songwriters. These and many of the new songs have the potential to impact the worldwide Church is a similar way.
Leeds based worship leader/singer/trainer JOE KING, is leading a 2 day event in Garforth on December 8th & 9th called POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CONFERENCE. The Cost is £25, and it’s to be held at 62c Main Street, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 1AA. Subjects to be covered include: Spiritual gifts, inner healing, physical healing, deliverance, soul ties, generational influences, ungodly beliefs, spiritual roots of disease, bitter root judgements & expectations, inner vows, the power of negative words, the effects of trauma. To secure a place, send a cheque payable to ‘Joe King’ to 5 Hertford Chase, Leeds, LS15 9EP. For more information: Tel. 0113 2285917 or email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Some testimonies from recent conferences:
“The conference was a huge blessing. I am a GP and I was saying to my husband about me calling patients in for an over 40’s health-check. My hubbie said, “This conference is your health-check!” During the conference I got rid of more stuff, so there’s more room for Jesus. It was like, in a small way, being ‘born again’ again.”
“I enjoyed the conference so much. The laughter and fun was something I hadn’t expected, not just from the Holy Spirit, but from everyone there.”
A strong line-up for the 2012 Whitby Gospel Music Convention has been announced. The event, due to be held at Whitby Pavilion on Saturday 17th November, will feature comedian Bobby Ball; the Indian family group now living in Scotland, The Sunbeam Singers; the veteran country singer Tony Goodacre; and the singer formerly with Live Option, Samuel Purdy.