Spotlight: Fields of Grace

SPECIAL: BUTLER MUSIC

Nashville, TN (October 27, 2022) Popular Candler, North Carolina-based trio, Fields of Grace, is in the midst of some exciting blessings for its ministry. The trio was just awarded a Diamond Award for “Sunrise Trio of the Year,” they have a brand new member with an awesome story to tell, and they are preparing to go into the studio with Les Butler to begin working on a new album under the Family Music Group/REAL Southern Gospel Records label.

Les Butler states, “I have been the radio promoter for Fields of Grace for several years. From that platform, we have built a very strong relationship. I believe in them; they believe in me. Our next goal is to produce an album that will be a benchmark album for their career. This will be released on the REAL Southern Gospel Records label”

Butler continued, “These are exciting times for FMG and Fields of Grace. They are experiencing great radio airplay, award nominations and wins, and a datebook that gets more full each day. Jesus is coming and it’s time that we get about the Father’s business and that’s exactly what we plan to do!”

FOG manager, Joe Belcher, gave this comment, “We are excited to announce that we have begun the process of working on a new project to be released in 2023 with Les and his team. Expect the same “foggy” sound that seeks to lift up our Savior and encourage our listeners. We are grateful to be entering this next phase of ministry with Les Butler. It has always been our goal to prayerfully seek out songs to release to radio that would touch hearts. Les shares that vision and has always encouraged us to pray for the “Favor of God.” These goals will continue to be our focus as we seek to “expand our borders” for the Lord in 2023.”

Fields of Grace new member, Neely Bennett, is 21 years old and lives in Candler, NC. She is the daughter of a third-generation pastor and is very involved in the music ministry at her church, Cane Creek Missionary Baptist Church. She has also sung previously with New Hope Bluegrass Gospel Group.   Neely stated in a recent interview, “Singing for the Lord has always been something near and dear to my heart because I know I got it from Him. Joining Fields of Grace is truly a blessing in my life. I was at a point where I was unsure of my future and I was praying for God to give me something I could do for him. I remember praying, “God if you will just set something in my path, I will not hesitate and I will be all in.” Less than a week later I received a call with an answer to prayer that Fields of Grace was looking for a member. From the moment I met them, I knew that this is where God wants me. It really was all in God’s perfect time.” Neely gives credit to the Lord for opening this door, and to her friend, Jacob Ellison, with the Kingdom Heirs for recommending her to Fields of Grace.

Avenue Trio Releases Crucified. Magnified. Glorified.

SPECIAL: CONDUIT MEDIA

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 31, 2022) – Avenue Trio – comprised of husband and wife, Kasey & Haley Kemp and Jonathan Mattingly – have released their latest project, Crucified. Magnified. Glorified.

This collection contains brand new recordings of songs that have found their way into churches across America and around the world – both beloved hymns alongside new worship songs. 

From songs like “Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed,” to “Jesus Cares for Me,” and “It Takes Jesus,” and so much more, the music exists to bring the listener into a time of worship.

Group member Kasey Kemp says: “It’s not your everyday hymns project, that’s for sure. This is a true worship record. We invite the listener to join us as we sing songs of praise to the Father, not just songs about Him. With familiar hymns and new worship songs alike, this record has been carefully designed to bring a spirit of worship to your personal time with God.”

Whether new or old, each song contains lyrics that are rich in scripture, expertly delivered with stunning and exquisite harmonies.

The project is available now on all streaming platforms or via the groups website at http://www.avenuemusic.net.

The group continues their heavy schedule in support of the new project with upcoming appearances including Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio and more.

The Chitans’ glistening, heartfelt vocals shine on Shoulder to Shoulder

SPECIAL: CROSSROADS RECORDS

Arden, North Carolina (August 16, 2022) — Reminding us once again that the sounds of Southern Gospel and the timeless message of salvation they convey know no boundaries, The Chitans return with Shoulder To Shoulder, their second full-length album for Horizon Records. It’s now available for pre-order, add or save ahead of its September 30 release.

The title and opening track lays out the story almost as if it were written to order:

“We are brothers and sisters, we’re part of the family of God
We’ve faced many battles together, God brought us thru every one
Now we don’t always agree, we don’t always see eye to eye
But all of these things will not stop us, for we have made up our mind

Shoulder to shoulder, we will go forward, united together as one
We’ll not be divided, we’ll not be defeated, as a family we’ll keep standing strong
Shoulder to shoulder, we are helping each other make it home”

Set to a soulful, gently swaying rhythm, the song lifts up the entire group — sisters Kaiziah, Kayandra and Karlainah, along with brothers Jesse and Jayden — and sets the tone for the album, which reflects a joyously embrace of the Gospel spirit and the power of God’s love. And while there is room for expansive orchestral arrangements that underline the majesty and power of their message, most of the songs on Shoulder To Shoulder favor more organic sounds to match the simplicity of youthful belief, giving the album a warm, intimate family atmosphere.  

Similarly, while there are a few touchstone songs that listeners may recognize, including “Goodness Of God,” the group’s reworking of Charity Gayle’s take on “New Name Written Down In Glory,” and a nod to the family’s Caribbean origins in “Hush (Don’t Cry),” first recorded by the group Acapella, the bulk of the songs are fresh and new, carefully chosen by the group and their producer, Roger Talley. And though the glistening, heartfelt vocals of Kaiziah and Kayandra are most prominently featured — that’s Kayandra taking the lead on the first single, “God Like That” — there’s plenty of room for all of The Chitans to shine, emphasizing the close-knit feeling of the family as they stand shoulder to shoulder.

“We are so excited to announce the release of our brand new album,” offer The Chitans. “God is so good, and we are so grateful to be able to sing about Him. It was such a fun and enjoyable time working with our producer, Roger Talley, and the folks at Crossroads Studios. There are some awesome songs on this album, songs of encouragement, hope and peace — some songs you may know that you can sing along to, and some brand new ones that will have you singing along in no time. We are so thrilled to be able to share this with you all!”Pre-order, add or save Shoulder to Shoulder HERE.

About The Chitans
Kaiziah, Kayandra, Jesse, Jayden and Karlainah Chitan and their parents, Layne and Karen, travel the world singing wherever they are called upon to do so, to share Jesus’s love with all people, especially the children of the world. 

The family travels the world, serving the communities they stop in through ministering in churches, hospitals, nursing homes, senior homes, community centers, prisons, slums and on the streets (feeding the homeless). The family has sung at religious, cultural, human rights and civic gatherings throughout Canada, the United States — including at The White House and on Capitol Hill —  Kenya (Africa), the United Kingdom, the Caribbean including Bermuda and to heads of state in Jamaica, Grenada, Bermuda and Canada.

In July of 2012, the family received a Congressional Award from the United States of America, for volunteer work done on the streets of Brooklyn, New York.

The Chitans have ministered with Lynda Randle, Woody Wright, The Nelons, The Collingsworth Family, The Talleys, Mark Bishop, Gordon Mote, Guy Penrod, Bobby Jones on Bobby Jones Presents, RussTaff, Wintley Phipps, Bill Gaither and his Homecoming Friends, and have sung at Singing in the Sun, Gatlinburg Gathering, National Quartet Convention and Gaither’s Fall Fest.

3 Heath Brothers release “Into The Deep” music video, win at film festival

SPECIAL: HORIZON & SONLIGHT RECORDS

Arden, North Carolina (August 15, 2022) — In July, the 3 Heath Brothers released Into The Deep, their second album on Horizon Records, which puts an emphasis on bold, fresh sounds, new songs and lyrics that offer the eternal Gospel of hope, encouragement, worship and faith in contemporary language.

Now, the trio has released a music video for the title track and recently won awards at this year’s Christian Worldview Film Festival for other video projects.

Filmed in Puerto Rico, the “Into The Deep” music video captures the song’s lyrics, “I’m diving in, into the water / I’m swimming out, farther and farther / Where Jesus is calling me into the deep / Now I’m going in with Jesus / I’m going in all the way” as the Brothers dive off a cliff into the ocean.

Nicholas Heath says he and his brothers, twins Clayton and Christian, have been dreaming about making a music video like this for years.

Puerto Rico is the most beautiful place we’ve ever been and it was perfect for this video. A lot of people think that the underwater shots were photoshopped but if only they knew the hours we filmed underwater. It was the most challenging thing we’ve ever done,” says Nicholas. “It was hours of swimming down to get the right shot, focusing on making the right facial expressions, lip syncing with the music from an underwater speaker, swimming back up for air at the last possible second…and then swimming back down to do it again. The most terrifying part was jumping off a 50-foot cliff into the ocean.”

In the same week, the trio took home honors from the Christian Worldview Film Festival for previously released videos. They won Best Music Video and Best Young Filmmakers awards for the video for “Dream Small” from their album Who We Are; and the video they created for the Kingdom Heirs’“A Good Day Coming On,” a song the Brothers were featured on, was the runner-up for Best Music Video.

“We can’t believe it! It was an honor to not only perform at the Christian Worldview Film Festival but then to take home three different awards!” says Nicholas. “We are so grateful to God for the great things He’s done! We honestly did not expect to walk away with any awards this year.”

Each year, the Christian Worldview Film Festival  started in 2014 by the non-profit ministry Media Talk 101 and sponsored by the Kendrick Brothers — encourages Christian Filmmakers in their Biblical worldview and the craft of filmmaking.

Listen to songs from the 3 Heath Brothers’ latest album, Into The Deep throughout the day on Texas Gospel Canada!

The Kingsmen’s More To The Story nominated for Dove Award

SPECIAL HORIZON RECORDS

Arden, North Carolina (August 11, 2022) —  Horizon Records congratulates The Kingsmen — one of the most accomplished, innovative and longest running Southern Gospel artists in history — whose latest album, More To The Story, has been nominated for the Southern Gospel Album of the Year GMA Dove Award

“We are both shocked and grateful for this honor,” says The Kingsmen’s Alan Kendall. “The Kingsmen secured 18 Dove nominations between 1974 and 1995, and won three Dove Awards in the past for the albums Big & Live (1974), Chattanooga Live (1978), and From Out of the Past (1980). After 66 years of ministry, to know that the music of the Kingsmen still touches the hearts and lives of our fans, friends, and peers is truly humbling for us. We thank God for all of you and your continued support.”

Each release from this celebrated group is special, and More to the Story is no exception. Produced by the  award-winning and GRAMMY-nominated Jeff Collins at Crossroads Studios, the set features a fresh group of songs given both traditional and contemporary Southern Gospel arrangements.  

More To The Story was a long anticipated album for the group, says the Kingsmen’s Chris Jenkins. “We truly believe this album encompasses the message for the times in which we live,” he says. “The Kingsmen are celebrating more than 65 years in Christian music, and we are eager to tell our listeners that there’s ‘more to the story’ of The Kingsmen. We’re not finished. We are encouraged and motivated, now more than ever, to let our faith shine brighter and make Christ’s name known!”

Classic, powerful, and filled with the gospel spirit that has carried The Kingsmen far beyond their western North Carolina origins over more than six decades of performance, More To The Story offers a spirit-lifting, crowd pleasing jewel in the ever-growing catalog of the legendary group.

The winners of the 53rd Annual GMA Dove Awards will be announced Tuesday, October 18.

About The Kingsmen
For more than half a century, no other group has secured such a far-reaching legacy as that of The Kingsmen Quartet. Since 1956, this group has risen from humble beginnings in the mountains of western North Carolina to become one of the most beloved and innovative groups in Christian music. Countless renowned artists have been a part of this great lineage, such as Eldridge Fox, “Big Jim” Hamill, Ray Dean Reese, Squire Parsons, Johnny Parrack, Anthony Burger, Ernie Phillips, Gary Sheppard, and a host of others. The momentum has not stopped as this group continues to help define the Southern Gospel genre for a whole new generation of music lovers, perhaps more so than any other group.
 
In the mid-fifties, brothers Raymond, Reese, and Louis McKinney formed a gospel group, traveling locally throughout the western part of the Carolinas and completing dozens of recordings by the late 60’s. By the early 70’s, area natives Eldridge Fox and Ray Dean Reese joined this emerging quartet and in 1974 released their first live recording, “Big & Live” consisting of Fox, Reese, Jim Hamill, and Johnny Parrack. This Dove award winning album brought to gospel music, fresh arrangements and catchy melodies that would later become southern gospel classics, such as “Glory Road,” “Look for Me At Jesus Feet,” and “Love Lifted Me.” This would be the start of many legendary live albums for the Kingsmen. Traveling with a live band, the Kingsmen became one of few groups during this era to be able to perform with three to five musicians, granting them individuality and innovation in the industry.
 
Always seeking to have a creative edge, they began introducing themselves as, “The Ton of Fun.” Through the late 1970’s and 80’s, more hits were churning from albums such as “Chattanooga Live,” “Live Naturally,” & “Live at The University of Alabama.” These albums combined with high energy and up-tempo music brought music lovers an exciting brand of showmanship. Songs like, “Old Ship of Zion,” “Shake Hands with a Poor Boy,” “Beautiful Home,” “Saints Will Rise,” and “Child, Child” became gospel music staples. In 1981, “Excuses” became the Kingsmen’s biggest hit of that era; it was steady at number one for 18 months, making it the longest running number one song in Southern Gospel Music history.
 
The successes of The Kingsmen have led to many prestigious opportunities. In 1977, The Kingsmen performed on the south lawn of the White House for President Jimmy Carter and in 1982 they performed at the opening ceremony of the World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN which was broadcast on local and regional TV, with President Ronald Reagan present to open the fair. The Kingsmen was also the first group to film and record a live performance at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and in 2000 they were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame followed by the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2008. They’ve garnered multiple dove awards and numerous Singing News Fan awards including favorite bass vocalist, tenor, baritone, lead, instrumentalist, video, the 1992 favorite song “Wish You Were Here” as well as favorite album by the same name, male quartet of the year, and group of the year. The Kingsmen band was voted favorite band a record 17 times making this quartet one of the most awarded groups in Southern Gospel Music.

Listen to The Kingsmen’s More to the Story throughout the day on Texas Gospel Canada!