FOR KING & COUNTRY TO RELEASE HOPE IS WHAT WE CRAVE │LIVE ON AUGUST 27

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present for your reading pleasure today’s public service announcement from 6-year-old musical connoisseur Alexander E. Stauffer…who has respectfully requested he gets one of the following CD/DVD Packages for his upcoming birthday on Friday (now there’s a shocker!)  I guess it makes sense, since the theme of his party is ‘for King & Country/Let My Life Be The Proof of Your Love’.

You’ve really never lived until you’ve tried to custom order a birthday cake with a picture of Joel, Luke, and Alex on it along with the for King & Country crest and “Happy Birthday Alex”.

But I digress…

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BREAKTHROUGH AUSTRALIAN DUO FOR KING & COUNTRY TO RELEASE HOPE IS WHAT WE CRAVE │LIVE ON AUGUST 27

The Live CD/DVD Package is Available for Pre-Order Now at forkingandcountry.com

hope is what we crave live

Nashville, TN – (August 6, 2013) – Australian duo for KING & COUNTRY’s forthcoming project, Hope Is What We Crave │Live, is scheduled for release on August 27 on Fervent Records and is available for pre-order now at forkingandcountry.com. This CD/DVD package was filmed at The Factory in Franklin, TN, on the final night of their first headlining tour, “The Proof Of Your Love Tour,” in November 2012.

Hope Is What We Crave │Live features nine live performances from for KING & COUNTRY’s debut album, Crave, which was named iTunes’ “Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of 2012.” The set also includes their hit single and Amazon.com’s Christian music “Song of the Year” for 2012, “The Proof Of Your Love,” and the band’s new single, “Hope Is What We CRAVE,” currently climbing the charts.” In addition to the CD featuring live audio, the package includes long-form concert footage, their critically-acclaimed music video for “The Proof Of Your Love (The Monologue Remix)” and exclusive behind-the-scenes content from the shoot.

“To you who we’ve met at shows over the last few years, you know that playing music live is our life’s blood” said for KING & COUNTRY’s Joel. “We’ve poured so much into this DVD/CD with the intent to give you a moving, honest and first class view of our show that has not been seen like this… Until today!”

The band has put together two pre-sale offers featuring the forthcoming release, exclusive bonus audio and video, autographed and personalized merchandise, and more!

Hope Is What We Crave | LIVE

Deluxe Pack: $19.99
• Hope Is What We Crave | LIVE CD/DVD
• Busted Heart (Hold On To Me) – Live From Winter Jam: Instant Download
• Light It Up: From The Rooftop (video + audio): Instant Download
• Autographed Crave Live Poster
Signature Edition: $49.99
*limited edition, only 50 available*
• Everything in the Deluxe Edition
• Autographed and Personalized Crave Live Poster
• I Am Priceless Custom Necklace

Track Listing:

DVD Track Listing

1. Fine Fine Life – Live Performance
2. Light It Up: From the Rooftop – Live Performance
3. Middle Of Your Heart – Live Performance
4. Missing – Live Performance
5. Pushing On A Pull Door – Live Performance
6. Busted Heart (Hold On To Me) – Live Performance
7. Baby Boy – Live Performance
8. Crave – Live Performance
9. The Proof Of Your Love (The Monologue Mix) – Live Performance
10. The Proof Of Your Love Official Music Video
11. An Inside Look: Making The Music Video
12. An Inside Look: The Song + Music Video
13. An Inside Look: A Busted Heart
14. An Inside Look: Love’s To Blame, Missing, and People Change
15. Busted heart (Hold On To Me) – In-Studio Acoustic Performance (Recorded Live at KLOVE Studios in Rocklin, CA)
16. The Proof Of Your Love – In-Studio Acoustic Performance (Recorded Live at KLOVE Studios in Rocklin, CA)
17. Middle Of Your Heart – In-Studio Acoustic Performance (Recorded Live at KLOVE Studios in Rocklin, CA)

CD Track Listing: Live audio from Hope Is What We Crave | LIVE
1. Fine Fine Life
2. Light It Up
3. Middle Of Your Heart
4. Missing
5. Pushing On A Pull Door
6. Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)
7. Baby Boy
8. Crave
9. The Proof Of Your Love (The Monologue Mix)

for KING & COUNTRY, recently named “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the first annual K-LOVE Fan Awards, made their late night debut on January 10 performing “The Proof Of Your Love” 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.”

Prayers for Luke of fK&C

As all you diehard for King & Country fans out there probably already know, 1/2 of the dynamic duo, Luke, recently had to miss a few appearances due to health related concerns. 

Not much is known about Luke’s condition, with the exception of what Joel has posted on the pair’s Social Media feed–Luke has an unnamed digestive disorder and was to be seen by a specialist on Monday of this week for treatment. 

Also, according to Joel, “I spent a few hours w/ Luke yesterday & there’s been a slight improvement in his condition! Your prayers are being heard. Thank you! -Joel.”

So, keep those prayers coming for Luke!  If you’d like to send Luke and his family a note of encouragement for his health, I’ve been told they can be sent to:

Smallbone Management, Attention: Luke Smallbone, PO Box 1524, Franklin, TN 37065

Of course, the most important thing of all is to remember Luke and his family in your prayers! 

Call upon me, and I will answer you; I will be with you in trouble, I will deliver you and honor you.  ~Psalm 91:15

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.

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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!

 

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!

for King & Country Debuts New Live Video for “Middle of Your Heart”

My two favorite Australian singing brothers, Joel and Luke of for King & Country, recently debuted a new live video of the duo performing their new single, “Middle of Your Heart” live at The Factory in Nashville.  It’s a great song and a great video, but you don’t have to take my word for it…just ask my son, 6 year old Alex.  He gives the video two thumbs up and is probably responsible for a good portion of the 3,000 views the video has already received on YouTube.

Check out the video below, and if you like the song you should definitely hop over to iTunes and pick up for King & Country’s debut full length project, Crave.  I believe it’s a $7.99 special on iTunes this month and well worth every penny.  (iTunes even named ‘Crave’ the ‘Breakthrough Christian/Gospel Album of 2012’, so perhaps Alex is a bit of a musical critiquing prodigy in his own right.)

 

The Continuing Saga of Alex, fan of for King & Country

Alex Stauffer, middle, poses with Joel and Luke of for King and Country

 

Alex with his two favorite people in the world, Joel and Luke of for King & Country, in December 2012

Let me start by saying earlier this week I thought that my six year old son Alex might have started to move on from his loyal devotion to his ultimate favorite duo, Joel & Luke of for King & Country, because he was quoting Stellar Kart song lyrics.  (Yes, I was proud…but I should probably tell you that I’m pretty sure Alex thinks that Stellar Kart and Mario Kart are related, thus his fleeting interest in the band.  Mario ranks right up there with Joel and Luke!) 

Oh, how wrong I was!

This morning Alex added a whole new chapter to the book I am writing entitled “How for King & Country is the Best Possible Worst Influence on my 6 year old son.”  (Or maybe it should be worst possible best influence?  I’m not sure.)  What I’m trying to say here is, Joel and Luke and the music of for King & Country are incredibly positive influences on Alex; where things begin to run amuck, however, is when my six year old begins behaving like a rock star and attempts to emulate his Aussie born heroes.

To catch everyone up to speed on what I’m talking about, let’s begin with the multiple phone calls from Alex’s school in the last few months.

First, there was the “blatant dress code violations”.  Alex was bound and determined for a good while after meeting for King & Country in December that he was going to wear suspenders “just like Joel.”  He was fully prepared to drop out of school (kindergarten, to be specific) to make a statement about the travesty his school calls a dress code.  We barely dodged that bullet by agreeing to let him wear his suspenders anytime he isn’t in school; and for the record, you really haven’t seen anyone rock a pair of suspenders until you’ve seen a six year old running around the house sporting a pair to hold up his Batman underoos.

Second, there was a little ongoing quiet time drama in which Alex kept getting busted for humming the tune to “Fine Fine Life.”  Eventually, several of the other kids started humming along and, well, let’s just say his teacher was not pleased.

Then, after watching for King & Country on Jay Leno (the DVR’d segment), there was a little incident with a substitute teacher and Alex climbing up on one of the classroom tables and delivering the ‘Proof of Your Love’ monologue into a makeshift microphone marker.  (From what I hear, his delivery was spot on…and hey, isn’t the monologue technically from the Bible?  I think he should get extra credit for that!) 

This morning, things took an unexpected turn in the Alex/for King & Country saga.

For sure, I never saw it coming because technically I was still half asleep and my eyes were closed.

At approximately 6 am, I hear Alex go running down the hallway out of his bedroom.  Slightly odd, but it was 6 am.  I’ve learned over my career as a mother not to ask too many questions that early in the morning.

A short while later, I hear Alex come trotting into my bedroom, his sweet little voice singing the chorus to ‘The Proof of Your Love’:

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

My heart was so touched by the sweetness of this moment, waking up to my little boy singing his favorite song, starting the morning praising Jesus.

I know I smiled.  I know I felt super blessed;

And then Alex pulled two cymbals out from behind his back and clanged them very loudly together right in front of my face.

I saw flashes of light in front of my eyes, and I was momentarily stunned speechless.

“Alex!”  I cried.  “What the heck?!”

“Look Mommy!  I’ve got Joel’s cymbals!” said Alex proudly, holding up his makeshift cymbals for me to inspect.

I raised my eyebrows at him.  “Where on earth did you get those?  We don’t have any cymbals!”  I asked.  For a brief moment I was terrified Alex had taught himself how to shop online using my credit card.

“I took apart my drum set,” said Alex with a smile that was much too cheerful for 6:30 am.  “And look what else I’ve got!”  Alex reached down beside my bed and lifted up what was formerly the main component of his very expensive full drum set.  “Now I’ve got a big bass drum like Luke, too!”

With that, Alex climbed up on the bed and began jumping around, clanging his cymbals and singing ‘The Proof of Your Love’ at the top of his lungs.

Our Bassett Hound, Boomer, was very disturbed by the cymbals and started yowling to go outside, probably as far away from Alex and instruments of a percussive nature as possible.

I couldn’t decide whether I should laugh or cry at his antics.

After some deliberation, I decided to go with laugh.  I’ve come to realize that our current situation could be considerably more dire than Alex imitating good Christian guys like Joel and Luke of for King & Country.

For instance, he could still be fascinated with that big purple dinosaur, Barney, like he was when he was 1, or Elmo from Sesame Street when he was 2.

He could like the band Red.  If that was the case our house and Alex’s school probably would have burned to the ground by now.  I’m thinking disassembled drum sets and dress code violations are preferable to fire and explosives.

He could be a girl and like, horror of horrors, Justin Bieber and One Direction.  That would be bad.  Real bad.

So, for today I’m just going to be thankful for Alex and his fanatics, and for his best possible worst influences, for King & Country; and, I’m going to  try not to think about the reason why Alex refuses to get his haircut. (I’m pretty sure it has something to do with him wanting to get a perm to have hair like Luke; unfortunately for Alex, Momma has to draw the line at chemical treatment of his hair.)