Feature Artist: Tenth Avenue North
Reviewed by Claire Walden
The Christian music market is filled with talented artists, yet it is often saturated with songs that are almost carbon copies of each other. It is hard to be original in an industry full of talent and artists wanting to reach the same audience and get their voices heard about the truth of the Gospel. Not that it takes away from the truth, however, it is always refreshing to come across a song that speaks to you from a perspective that is unfamiliar to the sound waves, but it articulates exactly what you feel in your heart. This is where Tenth Avenue North comes in.
The band is comprised of four guys who met in West Palm Beach. Mike Donehey leads the band with Jason Jamison on the drums, Jeff Owen on lead guitar and Scott Sanders on keys and bass. Their name originated from a street that Jason and Mike lived on while attending Palm Beach Atlantic College. The guys all were brought up in the church and have the same ambition: to be a light in a dark world. They want to reflect God’s truth and love in a new way within an industry that makes it so accessible to get caught up in the recognition and wealth that often results.
Their debut album, “Over and Underneath” gives an intimate experience of devotion. The songs range from themes of human weakness, freedom, love, spiritual need and truth. One of my favorite songs is “Hold My Heart.” The band’s originality shows through in their unique lyrics about the struggle between truth and one’s emotions. “If you’re everything you say you are won’t you come close and hold my heart…I’m done asking why cuz I’m on my knees, begging you to turn to me.” I absolutely love this perspective and the way the song is uniquely crafted. As flawed human beings, we will always struggle to grasp the concept of God and his grace, and this song captures that reality.
I highly recommend this album and that you check this band out to see for yourself how they are using their talents to further the Kingdom. To find out more about Tenth Avenue North check them out at their website.
By Laura Greenwood
All of the members of Casting Crowns have backgrounds in student ministry. Lead singer, Mark Hall, states “Our songs have always come from our ministry in the church,” and their new album Until the Whole World Hears is no different. On the band’s Web site, Hall talks about how many of the songs came about and how we can see God in all of them.
By Mark Bowyer
With most people thinking of chocolates and falling in love with each other this time of year, one artist takes his music a step further and discusses the ultimate love—that love that is demonstrated by God toward man. Evan Wickham, worship leader and artist, brings his sensitivity and doctrinal maturity to the music scene in his most recent album, Above the Sky. With such great songs as “Our Deliverer,” and “He’s Alive,” a certain positive energy and emotional rush can be felt imagining the majesty described in the lyrics. Singing the tracks could be thought of as his lovely dedication back to God. Read more
By: Brian Johnson
It’s very rare that you’ll find a band formed straight off of MySpace, but that’s what the band, ROOTDOWN did. To add to that fact, they are a Christian band that’s main genre is reggae. You never know what kind of music you’ll hear today, and ROOTDOWN is definitely no exception. The fresh music that is made from ROOTDOWN is an example of the modernization of the music industry.
Now as I said, the band formed straight off the Internet. Zane Fischer, the band’s guitarist/vocalist came across a singer while browsing MySpace one day. The singer sparked his interest, and soon talks began between the two about starting a band. That singer was Paul “Pdub” Wright, and the pair began the recruitment process. Paul discovered a guy by the name, Jesiah, who now plays keys for the band. Of course he was also found on MySpace. Two more guys would be casted for the band, Craig and Jackson. All would meet to begin making music in the college town of Eugene, Oregon. They started off by producing an EP and giving it away for free, to get their name out. Next, they picked up Matt Salinas on guitar, and self-produced the CD, “Summer of Love.”
By Laura Greenwood
Steven Curtis Chapman is no stranger to the Christian music industry. His career started over twenty years ago, and since then he has been given Grammies and GMAs. He has provided many inspirational and well-known songs such as, “Dive” and “Magnificent Obsession.” Chapman is also well known as a family man, with a lovely wife and many children. However, in May of 2008 Chapman’s world was rocked to its core. His youngest daughter, Maria, was killed in a tragic accident. At only five years old, Maria was laid to rest in a ceremony filled with love, hope, and inspiration.
Following her death, Chapman released “Beauty Will Rise,” in 2009. This album is filled with songs of hope, sorrow, and remembrance. He states in the liner notes that each songs on the album had a personal influence on him and his family during their grieving process. From the title track Chapman sings, “Out of these ashes, beauty will rise.” One receives such hope out of these lyrics. “Jesus Will Meet You There” is another track, which only furthers our hope that Jesus will be there in difficult times.