New Christmas Tours Announced!

ANOTHER Christmas tour was announced today–the K-Love Christmas Tour featuring some of my favorite peeps, the guys from Big Daddy Weave, for King & Country, and Meredith Andrews! The details are below, but what I want to know is…which tour are you most excited for? The K-Love Christmas Tour with Big Daddy Weave & the gang or the NewSong Very Merry Christmas Tour featuring NewSong, Audio Adrenaline, the Sidewalk Prophets, Jason Castro, and Love & the Outcome? Tough call, right?

NASHVILLE, TN – (September 25, 2013) – K-LOVE Radio and 25 Entertainment present the second annual K-LOVE Christmas Tour kicking off on December 4 in Greensboro, NC.  The K-LOVE Christmas Tour will feature K-LOVE Fan Awards’ winners Big Daddy Weave and for KING & COUNTRY and Meredith Andrews. The relationship between 25 Entertainment and K-LOVE Radio provides the opportunity for radio listeners and fans to experience an inviting evening of Christmas music for the entire family during the holiday season in 10 of K-LOVE’s markets.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with KLOVE and Feed The Children for the second annual KLOVE Christmas Tour featuring Big Daddy Weave, for KING & COUNTRY and Meredith Andrews,” said Rod Riley, President and CEO of Word Entertainment. “The tour provides the unique opportunity for radio listeners and fans to experience an inviting evening of Christmas music while also making a difference in their local community.  This will be surely be a one of a kind evening you won’t want to miss.”

The artists also shared Riley’s sentiments:

“We’re so excited to tour with K-LOVE and both of these artists.  We have the utmost respect for Meredith as a songwriter and a friend. We’ve known Joel and Luke and their family for a long time and are so pleased for their success and this season of their lives. K-LOVE has meant so much to us, supporting and encouraging us in so many ways.  All of this combined makes it very special that together we’re declaring the most important news of all, that Jesus came.” – Mike Weaver, Big Daddy Weave

“K-LOVE and Christmas – What an excellent combination! The K-LOVE team has been brilliant partners with us in impacting culture with the mission and message of Jesus. So now to take to the road with them in celebrating the greatest moment in human history – God coming to earth, is truly an honor.” –  for KING & COUNTRY

“Big Daddy Weave, for King and Country, Christmas and lots of people singing together…these are a few of my favorite things. I am so excited to be on the K-LOVE Christmas tour!” – Meredith Andrews

This past June both Big Daddy Weave and for KING & COUNTRY won two of the top honors at the first annual K-LOVE Fan Awards. Big Daddy Weave took home “Song of the Year” for their smash hit “Redeemed” while for KING & COUNTRY were presented the award for “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” by Meredith Andrews.  In addition, all three acts are currently nominated for the 2013 Dove Awards with for KING & COUNTRY receiving seven nominations, Big Daddy Weave having four nods and Andrews up for two of the night’s honors.

In addition to music from these critically-acclaimed artists, Feed The Children will be the ministry focal point offering Child sponsorships throughout the tour. The non-profit organization will also sponsor a separate event in each city along the tour to feed over 4,000 families in all. Feed The Children is one of the world’s largest charities with the mission of providing hope and resources for those without life’s essential needs. In the U.S., Feed The Children works with local agencies to distribute food and necessities to over 400,000 families annually.
K-LOVE Christmas Tour Dates:

Dec. 4             Greensboro, NC – Christian City Church

Dec. 5             Virginia Beach, VA – New Life Providence Church

Dec. 6             Pittsburgh, PA – Amplify Church, Pittsburgh East Campus

Dec. 7             Indianapolis, IN – Zionsville Performing Arts Center

Dec. 8             Chicago, IL – Aurora Christian High School

Dec. 11          Lexington, KY – Porter Memorial Baptist Church

Dec. 12          Nashville, TN – Brentwood United Methodist Church

Dec. 13          Memphis, TN – Raleigh Assembly of God

Dec. 14          Kansas City, MO – Cross Points Church

Dec. 15          Evansville, IN – First Christian Church Newburgh

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit www.KLOVEChristmasTour.com.

About Big Daddy Weave: 

This year, Big Daddy Weave’s monster hit song “Redeemed,” which spent 11 weeks at No. 1, took home top honors for “Song of the Year” at the first-ever K-LOVE Fan Awards and received a nomination for “Christian Song of the Year” at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. The single is the first release from their greatest hits compilation, Love Come To Life, and their current single, “The Only Name (Yours Will Be),” marks the second.  The band, comprised of Mike Weave, Jay Weaver, Jeremy Redmon and Joe Shirk, originally formed when attending the University of Mobile. In 2002 they stepped into the spotlight with the release of their second album, One and Only, which debuted in SoundScan’s Christian Top 5 and earned them a nomination for Dove Awards’ “New Artist of the Year.” In 2010, Big Daddy Weave took home the Dove Award for “Christmas Album of the Year” for their seventh album Christ Is Come. They have also been honored at ASCAP’s Christian Music Awards and are one of the 10 most played artists at Christian radio over the past decade.

About for KING & COUNTRY:

for KING & COUNTRY made their late night debut in January performing “The Proof Of Your Love” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, the duo released their debut album, Crave, to critical acclaim in addition to inclusion in Billboard’s “2012’s Biggest Debuts” list recognizing “17 Artists Whose Time Is Now.” The magazine also asserted that for KING & COUNTRY possess a “vibrant pop/rock sound that echoes a mix of influences ranging from Coldplay and Amy Grant to Aqualung,” while American Songwriter continued the comparison noting “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” They have also appeared nationally on “Access Hollywood” and Fox News Channel’s “Huckabee” in addition to cuts airing on the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva.” Stay tuned to www.forKINGandCOUNTRY.com for the most current news.

About Meredith Andrews:

With her Word Entertainment’s debut release in 2008, Meredith Andrews’ insightful songs and engaging voice awarded her recognition as Billboard Magazine’s “Most Promising New Artist.” In 2011, she picked up two Dove Awards for “Worship Song of the Year” and “Praise and Worship Album of the Year,” quickly distinguishing her as one of the preeminent worship leaders and songwriters in the Christian music community. With the success of her debut album and her sophomore release in 2010, As Long As It Takes, she was afforded the opportunity to tour with acclaimed CCM artists Natalie Grant, Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman and Michael W. Smith.  Her much-anticipated third studio album, Worth It All, featuring singles “Worth It All,” “Strong God” and “Pieces,” was released January  22, 2013. A native of Wilson, NC, Meredith began singing in church when she was only six, and by the time she was in high school, she was writing songs and leading worship. For more information on Meredith Andrews please visit www.meredithandrews.com.

About Feed The Children:

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Feed The Children is one of the largest international charities based in the U.S. With the mission of providing hope and resources for those without life’s essentials, Feed The Children is a BBB Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity and uses a comprehensive and integrated program to combat hunger and poverty. Feed The Children addresses four basic needs: food and nutrition, water and sanitation, education and health, and livelihood community development. In addition to helping families and communities around the world achieve lasting self-sufficiency, Feed The Children also responds quickly in times of disaster to provide emergency supplies for those in need.

About K-LOVE:
K-LOVE creates compelling media designed to inspire and encourage people to develop a meaningful relationship with Christ. K-LOVE is listener supported and delivers positive, encouraging contemporary Christian music through its 446 signals across 47 states.  For more information visit: www.klove.com.

A Brief Update Re: the Banned Band

Ok, so last week I started something here on Spin when I eluded to the fact that the blog has its first official banned band.  (For more details, go check out my previous post about Live 4:1 playing the Allen County Fair).

Shocking, indeed.

This band is so banned from Spin for the foreseeable future that I won’t even dignify their existence by typing out their name in this post; I’m half tempted to go back and take down every blessed post I’ve ever written about them previously, but my BFF says that may be a bit overly dramatic.  (Of course, she’s right.  I am nothing if not overly dramatic!)

Since I’ve received a large influx of e-mail, Facebook messages, Tweets and even a few texts wanting to know the scoop (and of course the identity) on the banned band, I am going to make a brief comment and then never talk about it again.

Basically, the banned band has ended up in the Spin: the Blog no fly zone because the band, who shall remain nameless, broke my little boy’s heart.

Before anyone freaks out, no I AM NOT talking about for King & Country.  They remain in my good graces because they have the common sense NOT to make grandiose promises to a 6 year old that they don’t intend to keep.

I mean, who does that?  (Well, I guess I know the answer to that one!  Grrrrr. ..)

So, that is my brief official statement.  You all now know the one and only way to get blacklisted here on Spin:  mess with Alex, and we will speak of you no more.

On the flip side,  if you get Alex to love ya, I will no doubt write about you all the time (a la for King & Country)!

Pick your poison 🙂

Awesome FREE Christian Music Events in Indiana!

If you are here on Spin: the Blog, I can only imagine that you probably like Christian music. (What a coincidence!  So do I!)

You may or may not live in the great state of Indiana, so if you don’t happen to be a Hoosier, then I feel for you in more ways than one; particularly because you are going to miss out on some awesome FREE Christian music events coming up in August!

Here are the details:

WORLD PULSE MUSIC FESTIVAL

The City Harmonic II

The City Harmonic!!!

WORLD PULSE MUSIC FESTIVAL–Seriously, this music festival has THE BEST line-up of any free Christian music festival I’ve ever heard of, and I’ve pretty much heard it all at this point. Coming to South Bend on Saturday, August 10th, 2013 the line-up includes, check this out: Tricia Brock (formerly of Superchick! Rock What You’ve Got! I Love her!!), Jason Castro (Uh, hello? Who doesn’t like Jason Castro? I think it would be impossible NOT to like Jason Castro!), the City Harmonic (I LOVE this band to the moon and back. Seriously, you have not lived until you’ve seen the City Harmonic in concert. Trust me on this!), Natalie Grant (No, I’m not kidding. I said ‘Natalie Grant’ and ‘Free’ in the same paragraph!!), Audio Adrenaline (Again, I am not joking. I paid $50 two months ago to see Audio Adrenaline and I thought it was a deal!), and…wait for it…SWITCHFOOT! Switchfoot! Can you believe that?

Jason Castro

Jason Castro

Like I said, this is THE line-up of free line-ups and it is coming to South Bend on Saturday, August 10th, 2013!

Tricia Brock

Tricia Brock

PLEASE NOTE you do HAVE TO HAVE a ticket to get in, but like I said, the tickets are free and still available over at iTickets.com. (For more information and/or additional places to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s website at http://www.worldpulsefestival.com). Of course, you will have to pay for parking ($25) and food (a complete list of what’s available and the prices are on the festival’s website).

I would happily pay these prices for parking and food any day that I get to see the City Harmonic play a live show, but when you throw in Tricia Brock, Jason Castro, Natalie Grant, Audio Adrenaline, and SWITCHFOOT to the mix…well, you know I’m gonna be there, and you should definitely be there too! In my opinion, this is going to be THE Christian Music event of the summer in Indiana so go grab some free tickets now while there are still some left!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC DAY AT THE INDIANA STATE FAIR

I swear I know nothing about these guys.  My son, however, is an expert on them!

I swear I know nothing about these guys. My son, however, is an expert on them!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC DAY at the INDIANA STATE FAIR–Again, another free event (although you do have to pay admission to the State Fair venue. Discount admission tickets are available at all Indiana Wal-Mart stores, CVS Pharmacies, and Indiana Farm Bureau Offices for $7. Kids under 5 are free! Gate admission is only $10.) The line-up for this festival taking place on Sunday, August 11th, 2013 from 2-9 pm is Brianna Caprice (I don’t have a clue who this is, but I intend to find out!), Jason Castro (he’s a busy guy this weekend!), Love & The Outcome (I’ve seen this duo and they are AMAZING!), some band called for King & Country (don’t know why anyone, particularly my 6 year old son Alex, would want to go see these guys. HA! 🙂 and Matthew West.

Matthew West’s kind of a slacker, but the rest of the line-up is decent. 

(Of course, I’m just kidding!  Matthew West is one of if not THE BEST entertainers in all of Christian Music.  You have to go see him if you haven’t yet!)

If those names aren’t enough to get you down to the State Fair on Sunday, August 11th, then I don’t know what will. (The World’s Largest Popcorn Ball? A 4,500 square foot barn made out of glass? An outdoor ice skating rink in Indiana in August? Just a few suggestions!)

Love and the Outcome

Love and the Outcome

The website for the Indiana State Fair is http://www.in.gov/statefair

I’ll be at both of these festivals the weekend of August 10th and I hope to see you there! Should be a rockin’ time 🙂  Let’s just hope the weather is not too sweltering hot…if I have another weekend where the temps get up like they did at LifeFest when my nail polish literally melted off of my nails, I don’t know if I’ll live to tell the tale!

for King & Country Perform for Sold Out Crowd

Okay, so this is newsworthy to me for one reason—I got to see for King & Country first on Friday night at the WFRN Friend Fest!

Free parking.

Free bouncy houses.

$1.00 bottles of water.

Backstage passes for me and Alex because I’m a card carrying member of the media.

Yeah, from a fan perspective who really needs all the hoopla of a giant NASCAR Stadium anyway?  (If you couldn’t tell, I’m not a fan of racing.  In my opinion, NASCAR is not a real sport.  Basketball, baseball, and football are sports.  Sitting in a car driving around really fast in a big circle, not a sport.  Don’t even try to convince me, it has been done before and it has not worked nor will it ever.  Just sayin’.)

Just the same, how awesome that for King & Country was able to perform in front of 16,000 fans?!  (I’m sure it wasn’t quite the same as Friday since Alex wasn’t there, but you know, can’t win ’em all.  This is still quite an accomplishment!)

________________________________________________________________________________________

From Press Release:

FOR KING & COUNTRY PERFORMED BEFORE A SOLD-OUT CROWD AT

NEW LIFE 91.9 FM WRCM’S “FAITH, FAMILY AND FREEDOM CELEBRATION” AT

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY ON SATURDAY NIGHT

fkc charlotte motor speedway

Nashville, TN – (June 25, 2013) – On Saturday night, for KING & COUNTRY took the stage at New Life 91.9 FM WRCM’s “Faith, Family and Freedom Celebration” at Charlotte Motor Speedway in front of an audience of over 16,000 fans. The celebration also featured performances by Building 429, Mandisa, Sanctus Real and Plumb. In addition, this weekend the band’s critically-acclaimed debut album, Crave, launched back into the Top 10 on the iTunes’ Christian Albums chart over 70 weeks after its initial release.

“We were thrilled to have for KING & COUNTRY as a key part of our Faith, Family & Freedom Celebration Saturday,” said Joe Paulo, Director of Broadcasting for New Life 91.9 WRCM. “Their energy and enthusiasm were contagious to the crowd and their music was incredible.  They were a perfect fit for this event!  Our social media outlets absolutely lit up with passionate comments about the band’s performance that night and for days afterward.  Most importantly, however, they effectively communicated the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ with the talents that He has given to them.”

Joel of for KING & COUNTRY added, “To stand alongside 15,000 fans shouting songs of hope on zMAX Dragway Saturday felt like a piece of heaven coming to earth.”

“Middle of Your Heart” is for KING & COUNTRY’s third single from their debut album, Crave, which was named iTunes “Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of 2012.” On June 1, the duo was named “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the first-ever K-LOVE Fan Awards. In addition, this past January, for KING & COUNTRY made their late night debut performing “The Proof of Your Love,” Amazon.com’s “Christian Music’s Song of the Year,” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, for KING & COUNTRY were named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch and were CCM’s best-selling new artist. New Release Tuesday noted that Crave was “One of the Best Debut Projects in Years!” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwriter commented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”

About Word Entertainment

A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

###

For more information please visit, www.forKINGandCOUNTRY.com / facebook.com/forkingandcountry / Follow:@ 4kingandcountry

Alex Expands His Musical Horizons, Sidewalk Prophets Style

It is not a secret that 6-year-old Alex is the biggest for King & Country fan in the 46774 zip code by a vast margin.

Believe me, he takes this title and its inherent responsibilities very seriously.

As some of you may recall, last fall I experienced a full week of his wrath when Alex gave me the cold shoulder.

The silent treatment.

The evil eye.

The reason?  No biggie, at least in my mind–I booked the Sidewalk Prophets for the first Faith & Family Night at the New Haven Canal Days Festival.

In Alex’s mind, however, it was the end of the world because I had betrayed him in the worst possible by way by not booking for King & Country.  (In my defense, for King & Country wasn’t available when I inquired.)

In the days leading up to Faith & Family Night, Alex made it clear that he planned to make his dissatisfaction with me known to the Sidewalk Prophets in no uncertain terms as soon as they arrived in New Haven.

To put it mildly, I was living in a state of sheer terror about what Alex was going to say/do for the entire week leading up to Saturday.  For those of you who know Alex, you know exactly what I mean.

I decided my best plan would be to find a secure location to lock Alex up, leave him with a day’s supply of food and water, and a porta potty.  (Just kidding.  That thought never crossed my mind.)

My next best option was to take him out to the farm and leave him with Grandma and Grandpa for the day.  No one, including Grandma or Grandpa, was going to go for that one.

Plan C was bribing the Police Chief to baby-sit (and by baby-sit,  I would have totally gone for handcuffing him to the Chief’s golf cart while he was on patrol all day) for $100 and 2 VIP Wristbands to the concert, but since he had already watched Alex once this week, I was flat-out of luck.

I knew I was just going to have to bite the bullet and hope Alex didn’t do what he does best– that is, say the most hilariously inappropriate things at exactly the right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) moment.

Saturday morning started out well enough.  Alex was busy over at  the parade, and I hadn’t seen him anywhere near the Main Stage all morning.  I was starting to relax, and think that maybe,  just maybe Alex would be so busy having fun he’d forget all about the for King & Country/Sidewalk Prophets debacle of days gone by and just enjoy the beautiful day in the park.

I should have known better.

Shortly after 12 pm out of the corner of my right eye I see Alex running like a freight train straight towards me from the direction of the park, and out of the corner of my left eye I see Dave from the Sidewalk Prophets emerging from the Park Hill Center.

Alex and Dave are headed straight towards one another.

Uh oh, I think to myself; this probably isn’t going to end well.

Dave sees Alex approaching and holds up a banana from the hospitality cart.  “This is a hold up,” Dave says, turning the banana in Alex’s direction.  “My name is Dave.  What’s your name, buddy?”

“Alex,” he replied, and I could tell he was trying really hard not to smile at Dave’s banana antics.

“What grade are you in?”  Dave asked.

“Gonna be in 1st grade,” Alex said.  “Are you one of those Sidewalk Prophets guys?” Alex asked, his eyebrows furrowed like he was interrogating a suspect in a criminal investigation.

“Yep, I am,” Dave laughed.

“You should join a real band like for King & Country,” Alex said.

And there it was.

Of course, I apologized profusely, and tried to explain Alex’s obsession with for King & Country (but really, how do you explain something like that?  I mean, there are literally no words to describe it.)  

“So, do you play the drums?  I have a drum set and cymbals just like Luke & Joel,” Alex told Dave.  “I even have suspenders just like Joel!” added Alex proudly.

“Nope,” said Dave,  “I’m the singer.”

“Luke and Joel are singers too,” said Alex.  “They’re the best singers in the whole wide world!”

Dave is laughing, I’m looking for the nearest hole in the ground to crawl into and die, while Alex is beaming with pride because he’s talking about the one subject on earth he’s a certifiable expert in, his favorite band of  blokes, for King & Country.

Luckily for me, Alex’s attention was easily diverted when I slipped him $8 and pointed him in the direction of the park.  He ran off to go get his face painted like a cheetah, sparing me for the foreseeable future from any more embarrassing moments related to his for King & Country fanaticism.

Meanwhile, while Alex was being transformed into a cheetah,  I went to track down the afternoon entertainment for the Main Stage, the magician ‘The Great Andini’.  My hope was that he would be able to use me in his act and make me disappear, like, permanently.

Alas, since The Great Andini was not able to make me permanently disappear, I was available to drive 1/2 of the Sidewalk Prophets in the minivan I borrowed from my Mom to the 909 Room for a pre-show meet and greet at 2:30 pm.  Of course, Dave ended up stuck with me (I’m sure he was thrilled about that!), along with Justin, Cal, and the band’s road manager, Duncan.  I tried to explain the whole Alex/for King & Country situation by, well, blaming it on for King & Country.  (Well, it is kind of their fault!  They made Alex a really nice, totally unexpected video message, and took time to personally meet him and just be exceedingly kind to him.  So, yes, I feel totally justified by blaming it entirely on for King & Country.  No one has every accused me of being an overly logical and rational person.)

Listening to my own explanation in the van made it pretty clear, at least in my own mind, where Alex gets his mad public speaking skills from.

The 909 Room meet and greet ended up being another legendary fiasco in a string of legendary fiascos on Saturday; granted this one was not entirely my fault.  My BFF Sarah and I somehow managed to rock Plan B, and all was well in the world for a few minutes…..until, after everyone had gone through the line, Dave looked at me and asked, “Hey, where’s Alex at?”

“Um, he wanted to go to the Magic Show back at the Main Stage…you know, the whole for King & Country thing.”

Of all the dumb things to say, I had to come up with that.  I’m a writer, for heaven’s sake.  At the very least, I could have come up with something interesting, like he was kidnapped by an army of evil clowns on the Midway who were holding him ransom for face paint and giant squeaky shoes or maybe  he joined the carnival and is now the youngest person in Guinness Book of World Records history to ever operate the giant spinning bear ride on the Burton Brothers Midway.

Anything that didn’t have to do with for King & Country would have sufficed.

Anything.

 

 

Fast forward to the middle of the Sidewalk Prophets show later on Saturday night.

I’m hanging out with my lighting gurus, Nate and Chad, backstage.  Alex is sitting on my lap, intently watching what is going on up on the stage.

Alex turns his head towards me, his blue eyes soft and wide, and he whispers, “Mommy, can Dave join for King & Country’s band?”

“No, Alex.  Dave is a Sidewalk Prophet.  He has a special place in that band, just like Luke and Joel have a special place in for King & Country.”

“Mommy, I think I like Dave anyway, even though he’s not in for King & Country.  He’s just as nice as Luke and Joel, and he sings really good, too,” said Alex.

I totally agree.

Then, from the stage Dave began talking about how God sometimes uses the broken and the least likely people around to do some of the greatest things for His kingdom.  This was a new part of the Sidewalk Prophets set that I had not heard before, and I really liked it.  Dave mentioned names from the Bible such as Mary Magdalene and David, but the one name that he spoke of that really struck me was Moses.  As he talked about Moses, a man who was one of the truly great leaders in the Bible, he said that Moses was unlikely to ever be a great leader because he was a stutterer.

I watched as Alex sat riveted, watching Dave talk about Moses and how God used Him even though he wasn’t perfect, and how He can use each one of us not in spite of our flaws, but because of our flaws.

I’m quite certain this caught Alex’s attention because this is not just Moses’ story.  This is Alex’s story, too.

You see, when Alex was three years old, it became apparent that he had a serious speech disfluency, also referred to as a stutter.  When the children in his preschool class started to make derogatory comments about how Alex talked, he shut down and completely stopped talking for an extended period of time.

He began therapy and while he has made great strides in his fluency over the years,  it remains something that he is very aware of and has to work very hard at overcoming on a daily basis.  I’d be lying if I said Alex didn’t battle  with his speech at times, and the pain and frustration and anxiety I know he feels being different from the other kids is heart wrenching.  It pains me to see him struggle, to have to work so hard to do something that comes so easily for most of us.

Last week was especially tough for Alex, because the hard ‘C’ sound in ‘Canal’ days is a very difficult one for him to make smoothly, and he told me several times in frustration, “Mommy, I’m having a hard time with my speech today!  Why did God have to make me so different, Mom?”

I wasn’t sure Alex really listened when I told him why I thought he was uniquely and wonderfully made; however, there was no doubt in my mind that he was hanging on to every single word Dave said on Saturday night from the Canal Days Main Stage.

My heart was full when, after listening to Dave talk about Moses, Alex whispered in my ear, “Mommy, I’m just like Moses!  Does that mean Dave is talking about me?”

“I think he was talking about all of us, ” I said with a smile, giving him a hug, “but maybe especially about you, sweetheart.”

Alex beamed and threw his arms around my neck.

 

 

After the concert, I was chatting with the Sidewalk Prophets fans who were waiting in the signing line to meet the band when Alex came running over to me waving his arms in the air.

“Mommy, Mommy!”  he said excitedly, “Can Dave sign this for me?”

Alex held out his most prized possession, his autographed for King & Country ‘Crave’ CD.  He listens to it on repeat, he sleeps with it, he takes it with him to school; and now he wanted the Sidewalk Prophets to sign it.

Oh boy.

“Alex, that might not be such a good idea,” I said gently.  “We’ll buy you a Sidewalk Prophets CD, and they can sign one of their own CDs for you.”

“But Mommy, Dave and the Sidewalk Prophets are my favorites just like Luke and Joel,” said Alex.  “Can’t they all be friends on the same CD?”

“Yes, they can, but since you like the Sidewalk Prophets wouldn’t you like one of their CDs?”  I asked.

Alex smiled and nodded his head.

A few minutes later, Alex was tearing into his very own copy of Live Like That with a big grin on his face.  When it was his turn to approach the signing table, he marched right up to Dave and plopped his CD down on the table in front of him.

“Hi Alex,” said Dave.  “How are you doing, buddy?”

For a fleeting moment, Alex was shy.  This has happened maybe twice in his lifetime.

“Go ahead, tell him what you told me earlier,” I said encouragingly.

“You’re my favorite, Dave,” said Alex shyly.  “I like you AND for King & Country.”

I’m not sure Dave realized what an epically big compliment this was, but I did.

Big deal.  Very big deal.

 

 

A little later on, I was able to thank Dave for that part of the concert when he talked about Moses and explain about what that meant to Alex.

“That’s God working,” he said humbly, “but I didn’t notice anything unusual about Alex’s speech?”

I explained a little more about Alex’s prognosis and therapy.  “That’s awesome,” said Dave, referring to how well Alex has done with his therapy.  Then, Dave shared that he had devised a little plan of his own to surprise Alex for his birthday that may, in fact, rival the video messages of for King & Country.  (Not that this is a competition or anything, because it really isn’t.)

This made me remember something that Dave talked about when I interviewed him back in April.  The basis for the Sidewalk Prophets current project, Live Like That, was a verse in Hebrews 12:1 that says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  During the interview, Dave spoke freely about the amazing cloud of witnesses that influenced his life as boy growing up in Terre Haute, Indiana.

It occurred to me that at just 6 years of age, God has already been working for several years now to surround Alex with his own cloud of witnesses, preparing him to run with perseverance the race of his life that is still largely before him. In a world where so many kids don’t even have a father, we are so blessed that Alex is being influenced by so many men of strong Christian faith, like Luke & Joel of for King and Country and Dave Frey of the Sidewalk Prophets, and by public servants like firefighter Josh Hale and Police Chief Poiry, by Pastor Matt and Alex’s Uncle Phil, by his father Jon and his grandfathers, to name just a few.

Blessed kind of seems like the understatement of the century.

Yet, blessed we are that so many people who cross our paths are living a life like that, and it doesn’t really matter if they are fans of the Sidewalk Prophets or for King & Country or The City Harmonic (another story for an entirely different day!)  All I know is, when I see the Lukes and Joels and Daves and Joshes and Steves and Matts and Phils of the world showing kindness to my sometimes snarky 6-year-old with a speech impediment, I can’t help but think of the verse in John 13:35 when Jesus tells us “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If you’re a fan of Jesus, if you love Him and love His people, then you should know that Alex & I are YOUR biggest fans!

Just one question…where can we get a t-shirt?

for King & Country K-LOVE Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Okay, so I already revealed that I only correctly picked one correct K-LOVE Fan Award winner on Saturday night and it was not in the category for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.  I will say that in my sweet little heart of hearts, I kind of knew that for King & Country was a shoo-in for this award, and a very deserving shoo-in winner at that.  Luke and Joel have had a truly tremendous year, and I am ever so happy that they won (and, as you might imagine, so is Alex, the for King & Country super fan!)

I do have to say, I thought that the title of this category was kind of bogus, however; I mean, how did they decide who to nominate anyways?  I mean, they were nominated with Building 429, the Sidewalk Prophets, Laura Story, and Plumb.  I would venture to say that a solid argument could be made that both Building 429 and the Sidewalk Prophets have already done broken through with previous projects; and, technically aren’t all three of these groups/duos anyway, not an artist?

Well, whatever.  Not going to split hairs over it, like I said, I’m happy for Luke and Joel and they really have had a tremendous year.  I love Crave, which is a good thing since Alex has made me listen to it at least 25 times a day for the last year.

Perhaps the biggest reveal of the night was not the fact that for King & Country won Breakthrough Artist of the Year, but (and better hold on to your hat here, ladies), is that his mystery fiancée is (and, for the record, I knew it!) the lovely Moriah Peters.  No official word on when the wedding is set for, but the future children will be unquestionably gorgeous, that much is certain.

G’day.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

From Press Release:

Nashville, TN – (June 3, 2013) – It was a big night Saturday for critically-acclaimed duo for KING & COUNTRY as they took home the award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the K-Love Fan Awards voted on exclusively by the fans. In December, iTunes also selected their debut album, Crave, as their “Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of 2012.” In addition to the big win they also performed their hit song “The Proof of Your Love” before a roaring sold-out crowd at the fan-filled Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

 

“To share the stage with such gifted people and to feel the incredible love of our supporters at the K-Love Fan Awards was overwhelming,” commented Joel of for KING & COUNTRY. “Thank you so much! God was honored at the Ryman Saturday night.”

 

The duo’s third single, “Middle of Your Heart,” from their debut album is currently at No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot AC/CHR and No. 16 on NCA. This summer fans can catch them throughout the country on tour. For a complete list of tour dates and for further information on the band please visit www.forKINGandCOUNTRY.com.

 

On January 10, they made their late night debut performing “The Proof of Your Love,” Amazon.com’s “Christian Music’s Song of the Year,” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, for KING & COUNTRY were named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch and were CCM’s best-selling new artist. New Release Tuesday noted that Crave was “One of the Best Debut Projects in Years!” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwriter commented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”

Caught Dreaming–Andy Mineo featuring for King & Country

So, I recently sort of discovered a new (to me) artist that I really kind of like by the name of Andy Mineo. According to the essential reference guide known as Wikipedia, Mineo is a Christian hip hop artist, producer, minister, actor, and music video and TV director from New York City. He is signed to Reach Records, and his first mixtape was released in 2009 and has what I’m thinking is the best title EVER…Sin is Wack (vol. 1).  Mineo has sang background vocals for Lecrae and collaborated with both Tedashii on his album Blacklight and Lecrae on his award winning album Gravity.  His first full length release, Heroes For Sale, with Reach Records hit stores on April 16th, 2013.

One of my favorite songs on the album is the song Caught Dreaming, which features my favorite Australian born dynamic duo, for King & Country’s Luke & Joel. You can check out the YouTube video for the song below, and the entire album is for sale on iTunes (and for previewing on Spotify!) Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

The Afters Release New Album, Life is Beautiful

The Afters released their latest project, ‘Life is Beautiful’ today, and let me tell you…it is a beautiful thing! This is my favorite project by The Afters to date, and I can’t recommend it enough. You can preview it below on Spotify, then go grab yourself a copy on iTunes, Amazon, or at your local Christian bookstore. You’ll be glad you did!

(Side note: if you get a chance to go check out The Afters who are currently on tour with Francesca Battistelli, go do it! They put on a great show. In fact, I think it may be the one and only time I’ve ever seen anyone take a running leap off a piano during a live performance. It was awesome, perhaps the highlight of last summer at the Foellinger Outdoor Ampitheatre in good ole’ Fort Wayne, Indiana! Of course, it didn’t hurt that for King & Country was also there that night and everything was completely free. Plus, the concert venue also had free pony rides.   Who doesn’t love free pony rides?  All in all, an awesome night!)

Catch for King & Country on Huckabee!

If you missed Joel and Luke of for King & Country on Huckabee (FoxNews) on Saturday night, you can check out the full performance and interview by clicking here.  The performance features Mike Huckabee as the band’s new bass player; I have to say, his performance was a little lackluster, but I guess that’s just how bass players roll with it sometimes.

The interview was pretty standard stuff, with the exception of the revelation by Joel that he is newly engaged.  (Sorry, ladies, but it’s true.)  Alas, he did not fess up as to who the lucky lady is, being as how he is notoriously tight lipped about such matters, but if I hear definitively who the bride-to-be is, I’ll let you know.  (I’m pretty sure I know who it is, as I’m a stealth investigative reporter, but it would just be speculation on my part…and for the record, I’m not really a stealth investigate reporter, but you can learn a lot by looking at inauspicious pictures posted on Twitter by all kinds of musical peeps.  Just saying.)

Congratulations to Joel on this happy news and great job to all the guys on their performance on Huckabee!

Cute Baby Alert!

Luke, 1/2 of for King & Country fame, today posted a new pic of his adorable 3 month old son, Jude, on Twitter.  Baby Jude is super cute and sporting some mega chunky baby cheeks and a sweet little smile in the picture!  To see the picture of Jude on his Dad & Uncle Joel’s Twitter feed, click here.

There are certainly some cute little Christian Music baby boys making their debuts lately, from Jude of fK&C to Meredith Andrew’s Remington and Rapture Ruckus’ cutie-pie, Roman Dring (son of lead singer Brad Dring).

Maybe Britt Nicole and Group 1 Crew’s Bianca will have girls later this year to even out the crowd?

Live Acoustic Rendition of ‘Middle Of Your Heart’

for King & Country may be on a much-needed vacation according to their Facebook & Twitter feeds this week, but their music lives on over at YouTube where the radio station that other radio stations aspire to be like (K-LOVE) recently posted a live acoustic set of the guys singing their latest single, ‘Middle Of Your Heart.’

Now, you know that any post about for King & Country is not complete without a brief mention of the for King & Country super fan that I live with. This is no joke: as soon as Alex heard the opening lyrics to ‘Middle of Your Heart’ being played over my laptop speakers, he came running from the other room. After watching the video, he turns to me and says “Mommy, I’m going to start my own band. First, I need a brother. Then I’m going to hire Daddy to be my manager and you can be my clothes shopper.” (I believe in rock star speak, that is called being a “stylist”.  Funny, I already kind of thought I was his stylist since he’s only 6 and I still buy all his clothes?  But, I digress…)

Anyways, here is the video (and purpose of this blog). All I can say is, ‘Good on ya, for King & Country.’ (Translated from the online Australian slang dictionary: ‘Well done, for King & Country’. I figured I ought to start learning some basic ‘Australian’ as Alex is bent on moving there with his band.  Like, tomorrow.)

Enjoy!