Dara Maclean Releases Sophomore CD to Critical Acclaim!

I have to admit, I haven’t actually listened to this one yet, but if its anything like the first CD it will be completely awesome!  If any of my readers have had a chance to check out Dara’s latest, I’d love to know what you think about it.

Dara maclean

Nashville, TN – (September 24, 2013) – Fervent Records’ soulful vocalist/songwriter Dara Maclean released her sophomore album, Wanted, today to outstanding praise from critics and a Top 5 chart position on iTunes Christian & Gospel Albums Chart. Produced by Paul Mabury (All Sons & Daughters, Hillsong, Meredith Andrews), Wanted is the eagerly-awaited follow-up to her 2011 debut album, You Got My Attention, which garnered her a 2011 Dove Awards’ nomination for “New Artist of the Year.” The album’s lead single and title track, “Wanted,” is currently No. 4 at Hot AC/CHR and climbing.

Early reviews have critics embracing Maclean’s latest effort and comparing her to some the finest voices of today. Here are a few highlights:

“These are the most transparent, vulnerable and authentic lyrics I’ve heard on any album this year. If you like soulful singer-songwriters like Adele, Lana Del Rey and Natasha Bedingfield, you’ll love Wanted by Dara Maclean.” – NewReleaseTuesday.com (5/5 stars)

“Contemporary Christian music has found its Adele with Dara Maclean.” – Digital Journal (4.5/5 stars)

“You won’t find a single ‘bad’ song on this album. For that matter, you won’t even find a ‘take it or leave it’ one….they’re all top notch, making this a five star release…This is a young woman with something to say and an incredible voice to say it with. But don’t just take my word for it; listen for yourself and prepare to fall in love.”– Hallels.com (5/5 stars)

“You’ll definitely be changed from the inside out after these 12 tracks…A must buy… Dara Maclean’s respect is about to go through the roof, and hopefully you all can be a part of her journey!” – Christian Music Zine (4.5/5 stars)

“…this album…is able to stand tall amidst all of these releases, possibly being one of my favourite pop-soul albums of the year.”– Indie Vision Music (4/5 stars)

“Maclean is one of the most promising young artists in Christian music today and Wanted is prime proof of this- don’t expect her to go anywhere anytime soon- just expect her to pick up more and more steam and become one of the biggest names out there.” – The Front Row Report – (9/10 stars)

In support of Wanted, Maclean will participate in a series of Google+ Hangouts with key partners throughout the week.  Please see schedule for further information:

Sept. 24         2pm CT – DaraMaclean.com

Sept. 25         5pm CT – NewReleaseTuesday.com

Sept. 26         3pm CT – InternationalJusticeMission.com

Sept. 27         12pm CT – CCMMagazine.com

Maclean is on tour with Casting Crowns through October and then will join the “Winter Jam Tour Spectacular” through November. This week on Maclean’s website fans can also enter for a chance to win a flyaway to see her on the Casting Crowns tour on October 24 in Lafayette, LA. For further details, please visit www.DaraMaclean.com.

Powerful vocalist and songwriter Dara Maclean first sparked the music industry’s interest with her 2011 debut, You Got My Attention. The album introduced a powerful new voice in Christian pop, steeped in Motown and soul and beaming a heart for the broken and struggling. The LP reached the Top 10 on Billboard‘s Christian Albums chart, and album tracks “Suitcases” and “Free” each hit the Top 20 on Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. “Suitcases” appeared on the 2012 installment of WOW Hits, celebrating Christian radio’s biggest songs, and You Got My Attention closer “Home” was included in The Bible: Music Inspired By The Epic Mini-Series, a companion to the smash History Channel series. The Texas-bred singer-songwriter earned a New Artist of the Year nomination in the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards, and spent nearly two years straight on the road with some of Christian music’s biggest names, including Casting Crowns and Newsong, and on major tours including Winter Jam and the KLOVE Acoustic Christmas Tour. Maclean has earned high critical praise throughout, NewReleaseTuesday including her among its Top 10 New Female Christian Singers in 2012, noting that “Dara displays the strongest vocals I’ve heard in years.” Maclean is also passionate about raising awareness and bringing an end to human trafficking and is an advocate for the International Justice Mission.

Facebook: Facebook.com/DaraMaclean

Twitter: Twitter.com/DaraMaclean

YouTube: YouTube.com/DaraMaclean

Advertisements

Into The Light Tour: Concert Review

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Alrighty, so on Friday night, November 9th, 2012 I headed out to Matthew West’s ‘Into The Light’ tour concert stop at IPFW’s Auer Hall along with my trusty sidekick, Sarah.  In addition to headliner Matthew West, the tour featured performances by Mikeschair, Lindsay McCaul, and Everfound.  Since I’ve been getting some flack via my e-mail for not posting nearly enough about music lately, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about the concert today. I do need to tell you this upfront, however:  if, after reading this, you are pumped up and ready to head out to the Into The Light tour, you should know that the tour actually ended yesterday.

Sorry for your luck!

In good news, though, if you are in Indiana you’ll have several opportunities to see Matthew West in the coming few months.

In not so good news, Mikeschair, Lindsay McCaul and Everfound shows are looking rather elusive in our area in the near future.

First up, I’m going to talk a little about Matthew West’s portion of the concert.  This was not the first time I’ve seen Matthew West in concert; Sarah and I saw him back in February when he came to town with Casting Crowns and we really enjoyed his performance.  Come to think of it, Matthew West must like Fort Wayne a lot because he seems to come here on a somewhat regular basis.  Anyway, of all the times I’ve seen Matthew West in concert, I have to say this past weekend’s performance was theshow of shows.  Sarah and I laughed, we cried, danced, and we cheered in our trademark two-part harmony.  (Seriously, when we scream it sounds angelic.  Really, it does!)

While some people count sheep to help them fall asleep, on Friday night after the concert I actually started counting all the Christian music concerts/performances I’ve seen this past year.  I started to lose track when I got into the 90’s range, but essentially I’ve seen a lot of shows this year already with another 15 more to go before 2013.  I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say Matthew West outdid all of them (and the bar was set pretty high coming in to Friday night).

Do you know what impressed me the most about Matthew West, though?  Right off the bat, as everyone was laughing and having a great time while he ran around through the crowd talking and singing with the audience, he stopped the entire show, the music, the light show, everything, and said “Do you want to know where my joy comes?  Make no mistake about it, my joy comes from the Lord.”

That statement right there, in my opinion, set the tone for the rest of the evening.

So, for sure you need to go see Matthew West in concert whenever you get the chance! If you live in the East half of the United States, Matthew West will be a part of the Winter Jam Spectacular along with Mr. TobyMac, Red, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets, Newsong, Royal Tailor, Jason Castro, et.al visiting over 40 cities this winter/spring.  If you’re in Fort Wayne, he’ll be here on January 20th (so feel free to get behind me in line!)  Tickets are just $10, and since I have seen every single one of the aforementioned acts, I can say definitively that attending Winter Jam will be the best use of $10 ever!

One last thing, Sarah and I stood in line for a very long time to meet Matthew West and get his latest CD, ‘Into The Light’ autographed.  We were also able to get our pictures taken with him!  Sarah’s expression totally cracks me up in the picture, so of course I have to share it.

Matthew West, Sarah and of course, me!

Moving right along, the next act I want to write about is Mikeschair.  This is probably one of the groups I have most been looking forward to seeing in these last few months of the year.  (Mikeschair is in good company.  The other acts I’m most looking forward to seeing in the next few weeks are TobyMac and Mandisa!)  I really like their current CD, A Beautiful Life, and the song ‘Let the Waters Rise’ and ‘Can’t Take Away’ from their debut self-titled album.  I thought they put on a great show on Friday night, and I have to say I was more than a little disappointed their show was over as quickly as it was.  I’m not sure I’ve ever honestly wished an opening act could do an encore before, but if Mikeschair had done an encore on Friday night I would have been totally fine with it.  Totally.

In addition to being amazingly gifted songwriters and musicians, the guys from Mikeschair are also exceedingly friendly and humble.  After the show, Sarah and I met them and were able to talk with them for a while and we were both really impressed by how down to earth and fun they were.  Mikeschair ranks very high on my list of the nicest bands you’ll ever care to meet, which includes (in no particular order) the Sidewalk Prophets, City Harmonic, For King & Country, and Royal Tailor.  Once again, they are in very good company!

Next up for Mikeschair is the ‘Christ is Come’ Christmas tour with Big Daddy Weave.  Unfortunately, they won’t be anywhere even remotely close to Northern Indiana, but if you are lucky enough to live near Columbus, Ohio or further south in the United States you might be able to go check them out.  (Side note:  I think Big Daddy Weave must have an aversion to Northern Indiana because it has been forever since they have been here!  Maybe we should ask Matthew West to put in a good word for us since he seems to like Fort Wayne?)

Here’s a picture of me with the guys from Mikeschair that Sarah took on Friday.  Don’t I totally look like I belong?  For sure they wouldn’t want me to sing back up or anything, but if Mikeschair is ever in need of someone to play the egg shakers or some other instrument that would be hard mess up, I’d be happy to help out!

Mikeschair (and me!)

Lindsay McCaul was one of the other opening acts of the night on Friday.  I’ve seen Lindsay McCaul in concert before (she was also on tour with Casting Crowns last spring), and she is just a lovely, lovely young woman.  She’s a very gifted singer/songwriter, and I really enjoy listening to her CD, ‘If It Leads Me Back’.  I especially like the song ‘Say My Name’!

Lindsay McCaul

Last but not least, I’ve got to say a few words about the opening opening act of the night, Everfound.  Prior to the concert, I had never heard of Everfound.  I’m guessing you may not have heard of Everfound either, but I’m also going to bet that this is about to change in a big way in the very near future.

Everfound pretty much has all of the elements necessary to be a huge success in any genre of music:  great music, a young, ultra-hip look, and a very interesting back story.  Did I mention that they are also freakishly awesome performers, too?  We’re talking bigger than big energy that proved somewhat difficult to photograph.  I was quite wowed by the pouring water on a drum and playing it thing they did.  (Okay, so I’m easily impressed, but in my defense, it was pretty cool!) I’m predicting big things for these guys in the future!

Everfound

I’m posting some of the pics that I took on Friday night for your enjoyment!  I had fun playing with my new camera and taking some shots in black and white and other non-traditional color schemes.  My “official” critic review will be up sometime later this week on Bryan’s site, and I’ll be sure to post a link when it goes up.  As far as being a critical review, you can probably guess it won’t be very critical!   I loved it, and if you get the chance to go see Matthew West, Mikeschair, Lindsay McCaul or Everfound, don’t miss it!