Kingsway & Integrity Music Blog

Music Divisions of David C. Cook
Recent Tweets @integritymusic
Posts I Like

 image

The “I Have A Dream Tour” Features Special Guest Artist Daniel Bashta, Author/Speaker Bob Lenz

Fans Help Create “Mountaintop” Music Video As Single Gathers Radio Airplay

Garnering a “New Artist of the Year” GMA Dove Award nomination in the midst of its 65-city tour with newsboys that wrapped up last month, The City Harmonic immediately launch into the festival season with main stage appearances at major events across the US. Known for its engaging live performances, the band also announces its first national US headline tour in support of its highly acclaimed and first full-length album, I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home).

 The headline “I Have A Dream Tour” begins in November and features special guest artist Daniel Bashta, writer of the hit song “Like A Lion (God’s Not Dead),” and nationally recognized author/speaker Bob Lenz.  The tour also introduces Eric Brandon and will be in partnership with Compassion International and Life Promotions.  All the tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.  (The current itinerary for The City Harmonic, including the summer festivals, is listed below.)

 While on tour, The City Harmonic is playing its hit singles and new music from I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home), including the title track, a top 15 Billboard National Christian Audience radio hit, “Manifesto,” which is featured as a bonus track on the album, and its current top 25 and climbing single, “Mountaintop.”  The fastest-rising song ever for the band on the radio charts, “Mountaintop” is gathering airplay on numerous outlets, including Air-1 Network, WGTS/Washington D.C., WONU/Chicago, SiriusXM, WBVM/Tampa, WTRJ/Jacksonville, WBSN/New Orleans, WAYG/Grand Rapids, WBFJ/Greensboro, KLFF/San Luis Obispo and more.

 In addition to being the current radio single, “Mountaintop” will become the band’s third music video following “I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home)” and “Manifesto,” which has been viewed on YouTube more than 1,500,000 times (http://www.youtube.com/thecityharmonic).  For the new video, most of the production credits will be going to the band’s listeners.  Music fans from around the world have captured video of themselves, friends or church groups, etc., singing along with the song and submitted the results through the band’s website (www.thecityharmonic.com/mountaintop).  Having received numerous responses to their call for footage, the band is beginning to create the final video now.

 One of the best-selling new artists of last year, The City Harmonic continues to gather international acclaim.  Featured on the current cover of Worship Musician magazine, an upcoming cover of Surrender magazine, and performing acoustic tracks from their new album in a June podcast for Relevant magazine, the critics are using adjectives like “fabulous,” “infectious,” “exciting,” “spectacular,” “worshipful,” “captivating,” “creative,” “brilliant” and more to describe I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home). Released Oct. 18, 2011 on Kingsway, the album hit No. 1 on iTunes® in Canada, No. 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and never left the Top 4 on the iTunes Christian/Gospel US chart in its debut week at retail.  The digital single, “Manifesto,” has also sold well over 100,000 copies and is the only song from a new artist in 2011 to break into the top 10 of the SoundScan Top Current digital singles sales chart.

 The City Harmonic, consisting of Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan, wrote, recorded and produced all of the songs for I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home).From the “now but not yet” tension of earthly Christian living heard in much of the album, including the title track and “Mountaintop,” to having hope in the midst of struggle in“Fell Apart” and “Be Still O My Soul,” to dealing with apathy in “Wake Me Up” andliving missionally in “Spark” and “Benediction,” the songs take the listener on a worshipful, poetic journey.

 Click here for tour dates! 

More information on The City Harmonic can be found at http://www.thecityharmonic.com and http://www.facebook.com/thecityharmonic. More information on Daniel Bashta can be found at http://danielbashta.com and https://www.facebook.com/danielbashta 

[Editor’s note: The following article was originally published in the October issue of our Integrity Digital Magazine]

image

By Gary Durbin 

The Sounds of Daniel Bashta isn’t your average worship album, and that is exactly what Daniel wants to hear. As Breathecast.com writer Jessica Brooks says, 

“Listening to Daniel Bashta is like listening to Martin Luther King Jr. in his prime… There is a fire about him that ignites the sleeper’s heart.”

The fire in Daniel’s heart burns to bring a fresh, prophetic voice to the Church, and he makes no apologies about it. As a worship leader and songwriter, I’m always interested in what inspires others in ministry. I asked Daniel to share some of the inspiration behind his writing and the fire that compels him.

Gary: You’ve been involved in church and worship your whole life. What kind of vision has God given you as a church leader?

Daniel: Wow, I have a buffet of answers for this question! But I’ll start by saying that my vision for the global church is that we become epicenters of restoration to our communities. That we see wild, raw transformation spread to every family.

I think one of the biggest epidemics right now in the church is lack of true pastors or fathers. There is a dying world searching for their real Jesus in some way. The church needs to wake up and father a generation and launch a movement of sons and daughters that are so creative and full of dreams. I don’t think we need to just be trying to change culture, we should actually be the leading voice of our culture.

Sadly, we have become spoiled as a whole. Ten years ago, it was unheard of for a writer to become wealthy from writing a worship song for the church. Today it’s not that uncommon.

And we are all such technological junkies. We love the bright lights, the big screens, the sexy Vegas shows. Somehow, our churches now represent all of these things. Nothing is ever good enough… How many intelligent lights must we have, how many HD projectors and LED walls must we have? How many holograms of preachers can we have? Now don’t get me wrong, I am the worst because I really do love all of these things, but my belief is that we love to rely on the glitz and glamour instead of the power and presence of God. We substitute our programs and agendas instead of really allowing the Holy Spirit to be uncontrollable and mess up all of our plans.

There are so many incredible gatherings and churches that are learning that this is the key to seeing a generation unleashed. God is not coming back for a sexy Vegas church, He is returning for a warrior bride, a bride that has been rejected and stained, a bride that is full of broken misfits and dreamers, a bride that was once dead but is now beautiful.

Gary: You’ve got a distinct voice. Who were your musical and vocal influences?

Daniel: My belief is that no artist should just blend in. If you look back at history there has never been a revolution that has happened with a group of people that have adapted to culture. God has put in each of us a unique piece of the puzzle of His heart. We were created to stand out. Having a unique voice or distinct voice is not always the easiest thing to accept because it produces a huge spotlight over you. Anytime I hear or see some form of art that stands out, it captures my attention.

If I look back at some of the artists that have shaped me and continue to shape me, each of them have such a commanding sound. Keith Green, Kevin Prosch, David Ruis, Martin Smith, Bono. I think the most impacting thing about each of these artists is that their sound continues to spread from one generation to the next. They were/ are visionary artists writing songs of Hope that can’t be contained. You can hear the emotion and conviction in each of their voices. Conviction for me is the one thing that will set you apart.

Gary: I believe the greatest songs grow on you. “Like a Lion” has definitely grown on me. What’s the story behind that song?

Daniel: Beautiful, I’m really glad you phrased it like that. I think the best stories are those that grow on you, because it means there are new conversations taking place after the first time you have heard it. If a story gave away the plot on the first page it would not be much of a journey. When I write, my mission is to take people on a journey.

I’ve been on a personal journey the last few years, challenging my belief in who my God is and my love/hate relationship with the church as a whole. A few years ago, I had a pastor tell me that he didn’t think I was called to be a worship leader. But you know, there will always be dream-killers.

Around the same time, a friend, who didn’t know what I was walking through, told me that when he looked at me, all he could see was this “lion spirit that was caged up.” So I started writing Like a Lion… “My God’s not dead He’s surely alive, He’s living on the inside roaring Like a Lion.”

It was a breakthrough anthem for me. The healing process had begun. I started working on the verses and the phrase, “my faith is dead I need a resurrection somehow.” There’s a reason that Jesus said in Matthew 17:20-“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” This was a very honest line for me. There could never be a resurrection unless there was a death and I really felt that that this line would resonate with this generation. I’ve heard so many stories of broken dreams and bitterness coming out of the church. We need the God of restoration to awaken our lifeless steeples. This line was not a statement saying my faith in God is dead, but my faith to believe for the impossible had become desolate. In the bridge it says,“come shake the ground with the sounds of revival.” I used plural sounds for a reason.

 I also felt compelled to use the word revival, even though that word has become more of a cliché in our churches. The heart of this phrase is that God, in all His power, would roar and revive every dead heart and dead things would begin to dance again. It’s an anthem of hope, the roar is alive, and I can see it spreading!

Gary Durbin is the worship arts director at The Orchard Church in Denver, Colorado.


[Editor’s note: The following article was originally posted on the All About Worship blog by Barry Westman ]

At a recent conference I attended, one of the artists compared the worship leader to a waitress or waiter; another artist said in a royal court, the worship leader would be the court jester, there to entertain the King; I’ve also heard the role of worship leader compared to an usher or a tour guide. While each of these comparisons needs a bit of explaining to comprehend the full meaning, the intent is clear – the worship leader is a servant – they  not to fulfill their personal needs, but to help others behold and lift their praises to the King.

At first, this role of a servant worship leader may seem a bit counter-intuitive. Isn’t the worship leader there to lead, not to serve? Did God really call us into this position just to be a servant to others? What about getting to be up in front of the congregation to lead my songs? But, as you study Scripture, you realize that Jesus puts a high value on being a servant, especially for those in leadership.

Matthew 20:26 says “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,” and again in Matthew 23:11 He says “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” What does it look like to a worship leader who is a servant? It needs to be lived out in all areas of your ministry, but let’s take a look at just a few – being a servant to your pastor, the team you lead and to your congregation.

Having a servant’s heart and attitude is perhaps nowhere more important than in the relationship between the worship leader and the senior pastor. The worship leader should constantly be thinking, “What can I do in this situation to help put the senior pastor in the best light possible?” Pointing out his flaws or idiosyncrasies to others will not only make him look bad, but it will tarnish your role as a servant leader. One of the best ways to be a servant to your pastor is to know and implement the vision of worship established by the leadership in your church, being flexible to those last minute requests, and making it your goal to go above and beyond what he expects from you.

Read the rest of the article 

image

Paul Baloche sings “Oh Our Lord” from the CD “The Same Love”, available on iTunes at http://bit.ly/TheSameLove  

All Sons And Daughters co-wrote this song with Paul

image

Rita Springer performs the song “I Call You” from her album The Playlist. You can purchase The Playlist and In This Forever bundled together for only $9.99 on iTunes. Get it here: http://bit.ly/PlaylistDeluxe

image

Grab Travis’ album on iTunes http://bit.ly/fearlessLP

“If you’re a worship leader looking for some new songs that will light a fire in the hearts of your people, Travis Ryan’s “Fearless” is a great start. Each song is full of truth and praise to a God who loves and expects His children to live out what they believe, which in essence is true worship.” – NewReleaseTuesday.com,  


"This is spiritual battle music, from both sonic and songwriting perspectives… Top-notch production and engineering from a Grammy-winning team complements the song crafting to deliver a solid package. –  Worship Leader magazine (May issue) or view online at http://worshipleader.com/travis-ryan


Travis Ryan has cemented himself on my list of top worship leaders. Fearless is a topnotch album with amazing everything: vocals, lyrics, instrumentals, production, engineering, etc. The album is super smooth and amazingly worshipful…  Ryan has released one of the top worship albums of the year, and one I would recommend checking out. –TheChristianMusicReviewBloghttp://thechristianmusicreviewblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/travis-ryan-fearless.html


“Fearless is immediately off to a great start with the hard-hitting ‘Love That Has Won’ and ‘Battle Song.’  The production value here is especially high…As a studio recorded worship effort, the innate musical power of the album never feels forced or canned…the album has an epic feel…” – JesusFreakHideout.comhttp://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/TravisRyanFearless.asp


“Travis’s new release will touch the hearts of many…Fearless is designed to take the listener through a journey…” – Examiner.comhttp://www.examiner.com/article/travis-ryans-debut-album-fearless-filled-with-hope-and-promise


“…a project full of the love and power of God that casts out fear and torment…. Travis writes in such a way that it is impossible to listen to this project without considering God’s love in a way you have never considered it before.” – JaysMusikBlog.comhttp://www.jaysmusikblog.com/2012/04/travis-ryan-fearless-review.html


“Because these songs remind me of all that I lose sight of when I am letting my fears take the foothold, the album becomes more than just another praise record in my collection.  Fearless is strong and bold; a collection of songs that resonates deeply and inspires greatly.” – Relate Magazinehttp://www.relatemag.com/2012/04/travis-ryan-fearless/


“…Travis Ryan has captivated me with every song…  a breath of fresh air that is revitalizing and enjoyable to listen to.” – ChristianMusicZine.comhttp://christianmusiczine.com/travis-ryan-fearless-review/


“With these worshipful outpouring lyrics and heartfelt melodies, this album is a must for people who love to lift their hands up in the air and just embrace God’s love…Travis Ryan has produced a very elegant album…” – Louder Than The Musichttp://www.louderthanthemusic.com/document.php?id=3060


"Travis Ryan’s debut album is an excellent combination of driving rock guitar riffs and a solid message that always manages to refocus our attention on Christ… His tenure as worship leader for Saddleback Church has cultivated a true minister’s heart that results in a message the church needs to hear." – Colliedoscope (blog),  http://colliedoscope.blogspot.com/2012/04/review-travis-ryans-fearless-debut.html

**HearItFirst.com you can watch Travis’ interview and acoustic performances at: http://www.hearitfirst.com/artisthome.aspx?f=artisthome&artist_id=4845&vid=1055347

image

Ben Cantelon’s “Everything in Colour” has released today. You can check-it out on iTunes here: http://bit.ly/CantelonEIC 

image

Rita Springer has released her “Digital Deluxe” album today. Buy “The Playlist” here: http://bit.ly/PlaylistDeluxe 

image

Be in the music video for The City Harmonic’s new single “Mountaintop” 

1. Download the single from iTunes (if you don’t already have it) -http://bit.ly/GWytcx

2. Sing along on video! Alone or with your friends. Be as creative as you want and we would love you to feature your community or church!

3. Upload the video via http://www.thecityharmonic.com/mountaintop 

4. All done - you’re in!

image

Jon Egan talks about the process of writing for the brand new Desperation Band album “Center of It All” available now at bit.ly/CenterOfItAll