Dave Luetkenhoelter (2nd from l.) exits Kutless. No replacement was immediately announced.
Dave Luetkenhoelter, bass guitarist for Kutless, played his final concert with the band on May 5.
“What a great night to end this journey!!,” he tweeted after the show.
“Blessed by the support from you peeps on twitter too! It’s an honor to have been included at all.”
No known connection, but Dave and his wife Megan just welcomed a baby girl (Macy Oliva) into the family last month.
Band members also checked in with their send off for Dave, who had been with Kutless for eight years.
“God is leading him in a different direction, but we are certain you haven’t seen the last of him! God bless, brother. We will miss you!”
So far it's been "Miller time" for Angie on "American Idol"
Singer Angie Miller is among the top three finalists in “American Idol” going into the week of May 6.
“Wow, is this real life?” she tweeted immediately after Thursday’s (5/2) results show.
“Thank you everyone who got me here!!! Your support is amazing,” she added, using a favorite hashtag #DreamBig.
Singer Kari Jobe, whose music Miller has sung on the program, also tweeted her congratulations.
Miller, whose father is a pastor in Massachusetts, is making a quick visit to her hometown of Beverly, Mass. for a parade before returning to Los Angeles for the next round in the competition.
TobyMac's "Eye On It" was a bright spot on the 2012 sales charts
The music industry saw its first revenue increase in 13 years in 2012, and that includes Christian music. The increase was slight……less than one percent.
The largest growth came in music subscription services – or music “streaming.” According to one Christian music distribution executive, however, physical copies still account for two-thirds of all Christian music sales.
Christian music albums had their best success ever on the Billboard overall music chart last year, with CDs from TobyMac, LeCrae, Kari Jobe and others making major impacts.
New albums this year from Chris Tomlin and “Passion,” for example, have 2013 off to a good start.
There was also a 26 percent drop in illegally downloaded music last year, according to industry officials.
A golden tip of the hat for Phil Keaggy
Legendary and faith-inspired guitarist Phil Keaggy will be honored Monday (5/6) with a Golden Note Award. The award from a music publisher organization (ASCAP) goes to music artists who have achieved “extraordinary career milestones.”
Keaggy, 62, has recorded more than 50 solo albums over his career, including numerous instrumental projects. Early in his career he was part of a band called Glass Harp.
Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Michael W. Smith.
Jars of Clay was busy this week doing a photo shoot for their upcoming CD “Inland.”
They made a cool “time lapse” video of the entire process, and set it up with a sound track of an instrumental song from the CD.
See the video at http://vimeo.com/65182475
(Check out the mustache of guitarist Stephen Mason – it has grown to “handlebar” proportions).
Thursday (5/1) was the National Day of Prayer, and the new Sanctus Real song “Pray” was used to help promote the event.
“Every public headline and personal challenge is a reminder as well as a call to lift up our hands and voices in prayer,” said Sanctus Real lead singer Matt Hammitt.
By the way – Sanctus Real guitarist Chris Rohman is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the Cleveland Indians baseball game on Saturday (5/4) in a team Faith and Family Day promotion. The band has a post-game concert in the stadium.
As you may have heard, the annual Christian music Dove Awards are moving from spring to fall this year; and after two years of award ceremonies in Atlanta, are moving back to Nashville this October.
There are other changes in the awards, sponsored by the Gospel Music Association (GMA). Three “performance” categories have been added – for contemporary Christian, Southern gospel and gospel, making them more similar to the gospel categories of the Grammy Awards.
A film category has been added – called Inspirational film of the Year.
The GMA has removed three categories – Group of the Year, Male Vocalist of the year and Female vocalist of the year.
And they have revised the Artist of the Year category process, inserting a stipulation for the first round of balloting that an artist must be in the top 20 in sales of all Christian artists.
Check details at www.doveawardsvoting.com
"Rise" -debuting June 25
When Skillet’s next album “Rise” emerges on June 25, you will note that all the art work on the CD is done by Skillet drummer Jen Ledger – including a drawing of young girl on the cover.
Ledger also is a vocalist with the band in addition to her drumming duties.
The band has already debuted several of its new songs, including one titled “Sick of It.”
(see the lyric video at www.skillet.com)
St. James has a role in an upcoming film
Singer Rebecca St. James has a prominent role in a film that hits theaters this fall “A Strange Brand of Happy,” in which she plays a life coach.
Here’s the plot: A bachelor who just lost his job hires her for some life direction, and she gets him to volunteer at a retirement home where she also helps out. Another young man enters the picture and ….love triangle?
It’s described as a “faith-friendly” romantic comedy.
Also in the film is veteran actress-singer Shirley Jones – who played the mother on the 1970s show “The Partridge Family.”
See the trailer at www.strangehappymovie.com