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New Music Friday — November 6, 2020

JAMIE GRACE | Normal

Christian; Good Eye Management – STREAM / BUY EP

Jamie Grace is a Dove Award-winning, K-LOVE Fan Awards-winning, and 2x GRAMMY/Billboard-nominated singer, songwriter and actress based in Los Angeles, California. At just 19, she earned her first GRAMMY and Billboard Award nominations, while taking home New Artist of the Year at the annual Dove Awards in Nashville. To date she has four #1 radio singles in addition to her latest album titled ’91 reaching a Billboard #1.

 

 

About the focus track (“Grown Up Lullaby”) | Anxiety. Stress. Those are common themes at any time, but then: The year 2020. Hitting rewind for just a little bit, it’s been a whirlwind couple of years for Jamie Grace: Marriage + first child. And then, this crazy year comes out of nowhere & before we—even as adults—know it, we’re in need of solace & comfort to alleviate the onset of worry. Currently intimate with singing lullaby’s to her young daughter, this song is written in the same spirit to all of us—just try this grown-up lullaby.

 



DATIN | “Who Do You Believe?”

Christian, Hip hop/rap; Menace Movement – STREAM / BUY single

Datin, core member of the Menace Movement collective, is one of the most sought after artists on the Christian hip hop scene today. Marty—one-half of Social Club Misfits—produces this new track (and forthcoming EP, Nov. 2020) with fellow Menace-man after several recent collabs with Datin and follows-up their critically acclaimed CHH Aint Dead, Vol. 1 release from May of this year.

 

About | For this new joint, Datin & Marty ask a very clear & timely question: “Who do you believe, now? They’re confusing you & me with the news up on the screen, now…” While this mid-tempo jam bumps w/musical intensity, it’s no accident it drops on the precipice of the most important presidential election in US history. Datin warns of “cerebral terrorists” & “the foolishness on your feed,” & calls for all to listen to be free.

 


THE KINGDOM HEIRS | “Never Changing God”

Southern Gospel; Crossroads Label Group – STREAM / BUY single

Following their #1 debut on Billboard’s Southern Gospel chart for their release Everything In Between—that included their #1 hit “Come to the Well”—The Kingdom Heirs add to their long list of songs with a message and meaning in “Never Changing God.”

Up-beat, encouraging and traditional, “Never Changing God” is made for lovers of classic Southern Gospel Quartet music. Loren Harris, the featured vocalist says, “For the times that we are witnessing in our world at this very moment, isn’t it a comfort and a blessing to know that we serve a God that remains the same, even when the things around us don’t? This song is very fitting right now and should encourage us as believers that He is in control, an ever present help, and a constant, faithful friend that will come through against overwhelming odds! He truly is a ‘Never Changing God,’ and I’m thankful He’s on our side!”

 

 

Joined by Jerry Martin, tenor; Arthur Rice, lead; and Jeff Chapman, bass, “Never Changing God” reminds fans of what great quartet Gospel music is supposed to sound like. It’s the feeling of “4 men and a piano,” but in this case, The Kingdom Heirs add a mountain banjo roll, tasteful country guitar licks and a classic progression and arrangement.

The Kingdom Heirs have been praised and awarded for their recorded music but always return the praise to Jesus and continue putting the message of each song first. “Never Changing God” follows that tradition both in style and intent. It’s authentic, earnest and positive—the kind of feeling that comes from believing the message it carries.


STEVE GULLEY & TIM STAFFORD | “Long Way Around the Mountain”

Bluegrass; Mountain Home Music Company – STREAM / BUY single

From modern tales of love and loss to stories of hard-working mountaineers, the award-winning team of Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford wove compelling narratives out of historical events and personal, emotional journeys alike—and never so well as when the two coincide, as they do in “Long Way Around the Mountain,” the new Mountain Home Music Company single from the duo. Built around a true story, the song offers a vivid portrayal of life underground and the violence that periodically flared up in the coal fields as miners sought to organize.

That alone would have given the release some gravity—it’s a theme the two have treated more than once, both together and individually—but with the sudden passing of Steve Gulley in August at the age of 57, his musical legacy takes on an even deeper emotional weight. So it was natural that, when planning a second release from the duo’s already-recorded material, thoughts would turn to a song based on events handed down from one generation of the singer’s family to the next.

 

 

“‘Long Way Around the Mountain’ was special to Steve because of his family’s connection to the events in the song,” recalls Stafford. “Steve had a keen sense of family history, and as a History major at Lincoln Memorial University, he was well aware of the role of coal mining and labor unrest in Appalachia—and specifically his region. We had written about it before, with songs like ‘A Town That Isn’t There,’ (recorded by Mountain Heart) which dealt with the company towns that many of his ancestors lived in.”

On “Long Way Around the Mountain,” muscular bluegrass picking from Ron Stewart (banjo, fiddle), Thomas Cassell (mandolin), bassist Barry Bales and Stafford on guitar give life to Gulley’s heartfelt recounting of the story of his native eastern Kentucky’s “Fork Ridge Coal Mine War” at one of the area’s few non-union operations long ago—told in the voice of miner Marcellus Gulley, his great-uncle.

“Steve’s dad, Don, said that Steve had spoken quite a bit with Don’s mother—Steve’s grandmother—about what happened in this case,” Stafford continues. “And I remember Steve’s vivid recollections about the miners being told to find another way home from the mine since there was ‘blood running down the highway’ and ‘they were shooting men down at the gate.’ We put Steve’s words directly into the song as we told the story of hard-working men just trying to make a living, who learned through the grapevine that they had better take the long way around the mountain to make it home alive.”


THE WALKERS | “You Are Still Father”

Southern Gospel; Mansion Entertainment – STREAM / BUY single

The Walkers are a long-time family music ministry that have garnered multiple chart radio singles in Christian radio, including their recent Singing News charting version of “Blessed Assurance.” The group has been acknowledged with Group of the Year nominations in 2014 and 2018. The Walkers have maintained a national touring schedule since the 1990’s with multiple national charting singles and award nominations.

 

 

About | A Christian/gospel fan-fave, The Walkers return with this new inspirational ballad. This uplifting song tugs at the heart for anyone going through seasons of doubt & struggle. The Chorus rings true with beautiful reminder that no matter what happens God will never forsake us, will always love us, & always forgives. Co-written by John Mathis, Jr. & Brad Steele.


JAMES GARDIN | The Groove Collection

Hip hop, rap; Illect Recordings – STREAM / BUY album

Illect Recordings artist James Gardin has used his multifaceted skill set of empowering rhymes, fun melodies, energetic stage presence, and deft fashion sense to become the most successful emcee in his hometown of Lansing, MI. In addition to his music being featured on ESPN, GaryVee TV, and Black&SexyTV, he has performed hundreds of shows around the world, amassed thousands of plays and downloads with coverage on top web sites and publications (HipHopDX, Earmilk, 2DopeBoyz, DJBooth, Paste, The Word Is Bond, Rapzilla, Lansing State Journal, Grungecake, Respect Mag, Sphere of Hip-Hop, and many more).

 

 

About | Gardin’s newest, “Damage,” is the launch-track for a newly-bundled set of previously released material titled The Groove Collection. Staying true to the “groove,” this new dance-inspired hip hop joint is just a good-time, feel-good, “get your back up off the wall” kind-of jam intended to get your feet moving. As always, Gardin’s vocals deliver & this new one fits into many listening types & moods.


SUNDAY DRIVE | Smoky Mountain Christmas

Holiday; Crossroads Label Group – STREAM / BUY EP

This Christmas may be one of the more challenging in recent memory, but Smoky Mountain Christmas, the new album from award-winning trio Sunday Drive, is sure to make this year’s celebration of the birth of Christ more enjoyable—and even more meaningful, too. Released on Sonlite Records, the 10-song collection is filled with the holiday’s spirit, ranging from seasonal to devotional and from old favorites to new classics in the making.

Not surprisingly, the group is excited about Smoky Mountain Christmas. Misty Treece, who handles most of the lead vocals, says, “I have always loved everything about Christmas and listen to Christmas music year round. It’s been on my bucket list for quite some time to record a Christmas project, so it’s a dream come true.”

“We are blessed to share some of our favorites, some originals and some all time classics of the most wonderful time of the year,” the group adds. “We pray that this project will encourage and bring a smile to all who hear it.”

 

 

The opening “Joy Medley,” which moves gracefully from “Joy To The World” through “Go Tell It On The Mountain” to “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” sets the tone for the collection, given further musical embroidery by finely crafted strings on a gently swinging “Winter Wonderland.” “Born,” an original from the group’s Misty and Jeff Treece writing with Steve Jones, is a reminder of the holiday’s true meaning, as is their simple yet moving take on the modern classic, “Mary Did You Know.” Right through to the closing “Christmas Waltz,” a sweetly sincere reading of the 1957 Frank Sinatra favorite, the set is an expertly crafted sampler of the many moods of this joyous holiday.

Known for their tasteful arrangements and polished harmonies, Sunday Drive has delivered in Smoky Mountain Christmas a celebration of the season that’s sure to be a blessing to all who hear it.

 


COUNTRY JOHNNY MATHIS | “Left My Gal in the Mountains”

Country; Avid – STREAM / BUY single

As a songwriter, “Country” Johnny Mathis has had songs recorded by George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Paycheck, Charley Pride, Johnny Horton, Jimmy Dean, George Hamilton IV, Freddy Fender, Webb Pierce, The Whites, Elvis Costello among many others. Seven Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees and two (2) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees have recorded his music. His song accolades further include gold records, country radio hits and BMI airplay performance awards. There has been a revival of Mathis’ songs in recent years with cuts by Jim Lauderdale, the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band and GRAMMY Award-winner Brad Davis.

 

 

About | Originally released in 1965, “Left My Gal in the Mountains” is a tale of a sorrowful man who went out on a late-night escapade alone, shot the sheriff, & landed himself in the “penitentiary.” Making matters worse, the 2nd verse drones onward with the subject dreaming he received a letter from his “Gal” expressing lament, only to awake in his “sad & lonely” reality. Mathis’ vocal performance is classic & flawless on this mid-tempo swing.


TURNING GROUND | Crazy House

Bluegrass; Pinecastle Records – STREAM / BUY LP


THE DERRICK LOUDERMILK BAND | Amazing Saving Grace

Christian; Chapel Valley – STREAM / BUY album


THE ISBELL FAMILY | “The Goal”

Southern Gospel; Chapel Valley – STREAM / BUY single

 


DECLARATION WORSHIP | “Blinders”

Christian; Godsey Media – STREAM / BUY single

 


SUPERUNKNOWN | “Leap of Faith”

Christian, rock; CLG Distribution – STREAM / BUY single

 


RELEASED TUESDAY, NOV. 3:

COLEBROOK ROAD | “Left My Gal in the Mountains”

Bluegrass; Mountain Fever Records – STREAM / BUY single

Mountain Fever Records announces “Run Run Rudolph,” the all-new Christmas single from Colebrook Road releasing today! Pennsylvania’s favorite Bluegrass group Colebrook Road gives us a fun holiday tune perfect for all your Christmas-time playlists. Singer Jesse Eisenbise and the jamming band deliver upbeat energy that’s perfect for the whole family with their version of “Run Run Rudolph.” Follow the links below for the music. You won’t regret it!

 

 

About | After success of their first, and only, new release of the year (“Carolina Side,” Aug 2020) Colebrook Road returns with a favorite holiday classic in “Run Run Rudolph.” This always-fun tune is all grassed-up complete with mandolin, fiddle & a double-time feel—that kicks-in on the 2nd verse—that will have you pickin’ & grinnin’ with the egg nog frothed on your nose!