Artist Spotlight: Jason Upton

December 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Music Spotlight

By Mark Bowyer

Like so many other people these days, with a troubled economy comes the necessity for each of us to wear many hats. In Jason Upton’s case, his journey through life has made him wear the hats of worship leader, inspirational teacher, husband, father, songwriter, and independent recording artist. Jason’s Key of David Ministries is a powerful source of Godly wisdom and musical inspiration. With at least ten albums to explore, it becomes more of a history lesson of a decade gone by—where God taught Upton through lyrics and chords and unlocked doors of opportunity for future tours.       

Jason’s MySpace music page, along with a more personal page at, lay out everything about his life in the open. A proud father, and highly sought after speaker/performer, the seriousness of a sermon is always coupled with the melodies in his music. Songs like “You Are Holy,” and “How to Know if We Are Born,” speak specifically to growing closer to God and swept away out of the corruption of this world into the glorious holiness of the next.

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Artist Spotlight: NeedToBreathe

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Music Spotlight

By Anthony M. Corliss-Smith

Needtobreathe, a band based out of Seneca, South Carolina, are on their third album and they are starting to get people’s attention. Never before have I personally heard a Christian band so often played on secular radio stations. Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, piano, guitar), Bo Rinehart (backing vocals, guitar), Seth Bolt (backing vocals, bass), and Joe Stillwell (drums, percussion) must be doing something right.

Their Southern rock/blues style seems to defy definition, for each song seems to be different than the last and yet they all go together. Also, the honesty in the lyrics and music are unmistakable. You can definitely tell that they were all written by the same two guys, the Rinehart brothers.

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Artist Spotlight: Andrew Walden

November 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Music Spotlight

By Laura Greenwood

Whether Andrew Walden is leading worship at his local church or hanging with his family and friends, there is an overwhelming presence of God in him. Andrew worked hard to release his first self-titled album in 2006, but it had limited availability. In June 2007, Andrew had a major step in his music career with the release of an EP that is available on iTunes.

And there is no difference in his music. “You broke the chains around us and gave us brand new life,” leads his self-titled EP in the toe-tapping song “You Are Holy”. Throughout this song, you are surrounded by the reinforcement of God’s love and light. Andrew’s light-hearted attitude and good-humored personality definitely shine through this fun and catchy tune, which will stay in your head for sure.  

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Artist Spotlight: MIKESCHAIR

November 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Music Spotlight

With negative influences in today’s media and culture it is very easy to get lost in all of the confusion.  That’s where the band, MIKESCHAIR, comes in.  Now, when you hear of a band called “MIKESCHAIR,” you’re probably going to double check if you heard the name right.  I did to, and found out it comes from some funny experiences the band had together when they formed.  In college, the band members met, and they all lived on the same floor of a dorm, except for the lead singer, Mike Grayson.  He lived on a different floor, but all his time was spent hanging with the band and writing music, on their floor.  So, one day the rest of the band decided to buy Mike a chair so that he’d have something to sit on, when he came down (and to sleep on).  So, the name MIKESCHAIR seemed very fitting, and the rest was history. 

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Artist Spotlight: VOTA

November 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Music Spotlight

VOTA, the band formerly known as Casting Pearls, has put out a new, self-titled CD.  It sounds like a love song to Jesus and makes you want to get up and dance.  Now if that’s not enough to like it, I don’t know what is.

Composed of Bryan Olesen (formerly of  Newsboys) on lead vocals and guitars, Case Maranville on bass and vocals, Scott Rutz on drums and vocals, and Riley Friesen on guitars and keys and vocals; they changed their name to VOTA when they kept getting confused with Casting Crowns.  And before you ask: VOTA doesn’t mean anything.  Bryan chose it because most Christian bands are expected to have “Christian” names.

The opening track, “Hard to Believe,” is one of the songs that make you want to dance, but it’s not just all pop and fluff.  With lyrics like “Lost in the dark /Till Your love dawned in my heart/You filled all the hollow/and You freed my pent-up soul” it makes you think about whether or not God has truly filled your life and affected your heart.  It makes you want the joy the singer has.

“Be Mine” may take a slower pace, but it definitely doesn’t let up on the meaning.  “How did I live life before /You took over my heart/Nothing in life I want more/To be in your arms.”  The chorus goes on to ask God to “Be mine for life.”  Never before has a song made me think about truly being in love with Christ more than this.

My personal favorite is “Love’s Taken Over.”  Leaning on God, starting over, and the power of Love in the life of the saint are reflected in lyrics like “I never wanna be alone again/Here’s my declaration of dependence/Without Your love I ain’t got a chance/Yeah Your love is life to me.”

I’ve listened to this CD about 20 times already, and I don’t think I’m about to stop.  Usually these kinds of lyrics are found in secular love songs.  It’s refreshing and encouraging to find believers singing love songs to Jesus.  I can’t think of anything I’d rather sing (and dance) along to.

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