A wrap-up of Christian music for the week of December 4-December 8.
Top Story: Grammy Nominations are announced
Nominations for the 2007 Grammy awards were announced this week. Hard Rock band Red earned their first nomination for "End Of Silence" in the Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album category. Acclaimed new rock band Leeland also earned their first nomination for their debut CD "Sound Of Melodies" in Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. Veterans Chris Tomlin and Third Day also received nominations, as well as new rock band DecembeRadio. A complete listing of Grammy Nominations for Christian artists/bands:
Best Gospel Performance: "Victory," Yolanda Adams; "Not Forgotten," Israel and New Breed; "The Blessing of Abraham," Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers; "Made to Worship," Chris Tomlin; "Victory," Tye Tribbett and G.A..
Best Gospel Song: "The Blessing of Abraham," Donald Lawrence (Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers); "Imagine Me," Kirk Franklin (Kirk Franklin); "Mountain of God," Brown Bannister and Mac Powell (Third Day); "Not Forgotten," Israel Houghton and Aaron Lindsey (Israel and New Breed); "Victory," Tye Tribbett (Tye Tribbett and G.A.).
Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album: "DecembeRadio," DecembeRadio; "Where the Past Meets Today," Sarah Kelly; "Turn Around," Jonny Lang; "End of Silence," Red; "Bone-A-Fide," T-Bone.
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: "Sound of Melodies," Leeland; "Coming Up to Breathe," MercyMe; "Wherever You Are," Third Day; "See the Morning," Chris Tomlin; "Introducing Ayiesha Woods," Ayiesha Woods.
Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: "Kenny Bishop," Kenny Bishop; "Give It Away," Gaither Vocal Band; "Precious Memories," Alan Jackson; "The Promised Land," the Del McCoury Band; "Glory Train," Randy Travis.
Best Traditional Gospel Album: "An Invitation to Worship," Byron Cage; "Paved the Way," the Caravans; "Still Keeping It Real," the Dixie Hummingbirds; "Alive in South Africa," Israel and New Breed; "Finale Act One," Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers.
Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album: "Set Me Free," Myron Butler and Levi; "Hero," Kirk Franklin; "A Timeless Christmas," Israel and New Breed; "This Is Me," Kierra Kiki Sheard; "Victory Live!," Tye Tribbett and G.A..
I think some of these nominations were well-deserved(Red, DecembeRadio, Leeland etc.) but there are some glaring omissions. While Sanctus Real's "The Face Of Love" wasn't as strong as their previous CDs, it was still worthy of a nomination in the Best Rock album category, especially when considering the success "I'm Not Alright" and the title song have enjoyed on radio. It may very well be their most commercially successful CD.
Secondly, another new band is missing from this list: Fighting Instinct. They released a terrific debut self-titled CD this year, with a single("I Found Forever") that enjoyed radio success.
It is disappointing that the Grammy committee missed out on nominating these two deserving bands, but they did do some good by giving nominations to Red and DecembeRadio.
In other news:
Rock band Sanctus Real is celebrating their tenth anniversary tonight in Toledo, OH with two back to back concerts. Since forming in 1996, Sanctus Real has enjoyed good success in Christian rock with multiple #1 singles. This year, their video for "I'm Not Alright" was featured on MTVU.
Kutless released their first live CD/DVD this week. Titled "Live From Portland", it features 15 songs and was directed and produced by the award winning team of Michael Sacci, Ken Conrad and Carl Diebold.
I had the privilege of seeing Sanctus Real live this year, and it was an unbelievable show. They are truly one of the best bands in Christian music today. Bands staying together for 10+ years are a rarity now, but these are special guys. I'm sure that those who will be attending tonight's shows will be treated to two amazing performances.
Kutless is also one of the better bands in Christian music today. I have not seen them live yet, but hope to do so within the next year. I have, however, heard good things about their live show, so this CD definitely is worth checking out.