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Wednesday, October 7, 2009


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 24, 2009) - More artists have been added to the annual conference of the International Entertainment Buyers Association October 11-13 in Nashville. Uncle Kracker, TobyMac and Emily West will perform Monday, October 12 at the CAA showcase to an audience of live entertainment professionals in town for three days of performances, educational discussions and networking.

Other performers scheduled to appear at IEBA this year include: Bob Lefsetz, Dan Clark, Don Felder, The Wailers, Chubby Checker, Boyz II Men, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Chris Young, Jessie James, Phil Vassar, Michelle Branch and Joey + Rory with many more stars announced soon. Special guest panelists include Marcie Allen of MAC Presents, Drew McGowan of Clorox Company, John Grady of Borman Entertainment, Mary Hilliard Harrington of The Greenroom, Derek C. Crownover of Crownover Tisinger, Lang Scott of Music City Networks and leading executives from MySpace, iLike and other social networking sites plus much more.

Space is limited, so register now for IEBA 2009 at

About IEBA and IEBA Honors
IEBA was founded in 1970 as a non-profit trade organization for talent buyers, concert promoters, agents, managers, artists and other related entertainment professionals. IEBA provides networking, showcasing and educational opportunities to strengthen relationships, foster growth and increase revenue for the live entertainment industry. IEBA is known for showcasing the best and brightest talent in all genres of music and all fields of entertainment--exposing buyers to the freshest acts for the buying season. IEBA is an intimate organization that makes a huge impact. IEBA pays tribute to the trailblazers of entertainment at the annual IEBA Honors ceremony. We salute those that have shaped where we are and those that continue to reinvent the entertainment industry. Past honorees have included: Loggins and Messina, ZZ Top, Ronnie Milsap, Patti Page, Loretta Lynn, Lou Rawls, Brenda Lee, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Wayne Newton, Barbara Mandrell, Styx, Porter Wagoner, LeAnn Rimes and numerous others.

About Uncle Kracker
Is there anyone better to tell it like it is than one's kid? In January 2008, when Uncle Kracker began to write the songs that appear on his new album Happy Hour, it was his eight year-old daughter who suggested that he try writing something a little less downbeat than usual. "She said to me, 'I can't really dance to any of your songs,'" the father of three says with a laugh. "Not that I needed to make a dance record, but it dawned on me that I tend to write a lot of acoustic ballads and mid-tempo type tunes. And I thought, 'It's pretty bad when your own kids won't listen to your records. Your own kids!' At the end of the day, people want to have fun more than they want to cry. I realized that it was time for something a little more upbeat and positive and that's what I ended up with on Happy Hour."

Produced by multiple Grammy-Award winner Rob Cavallo, Happy Hour is a breezy blend of country-flavored pop and rock and roll that showcases not only the Detroit native's natural appeal as a likeable Everyman, but also his considerable gifts as a songwriter. Though many know him from his early years as the DJ in Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker Band, Uncle Kracker (whose real name is Matt Shafer) has had impressive success as a songwriter, racking up co-writing credits on Kid Rock's blockbuster hits "Bawitdaba," "Cowboy," "Forever," "Only God Knows Why," and 2008's No. 1 "All Summer Long," as well as his own Adult Top 40 No. 1 "Follow Me" (from his 2001 double-platinum debut Double Wide). "Uncle Kracker has zero musical talent," says Kid Rock. "No musician skills at all, but he's a phenomenal songwriter -- very talented with words and melodies."

About TobyMac
TobyMac is more than just your run-of-the-mill triple threat. On one hand he ranks among the most successful artists in Christian music history in terms of radio success, sales power and critical acclaim. On the other he is universally recognized as a creative force, an artistic maverick and a prophetic voice for racial reconciliation, social justice and a fierce devotion to faith and family. On the third hand, he's the most humble and approachable merchant of cool on the scene today. Yeah; that's three hands. Some things defy common logic.

Obviously, when it comes time for a new TobyMac record to drop there are a lot of people paying attention. His rampant eclecticism and consistent excellence have set the bar very high, and on his third solo outing, Portable Sounds, he does not disappoint. An increased commitment to melody and soulful singing abounds, while his now trademarked rock/funk/hip-hop side hits deeper grooves and catchier hooks than ever before. On February 20th, the man Christianity Today called "one of the fifty most influential evangelical leaders in America" sets a new standard with the release of Portable Sounds.

His solo career took off from the first notes, with two GOLD albums, six Number One singles, two Grammy nominations and widespread critical acclaim. But to hear TobyMac talk about the passion and drive he has for this, his third solo outing, it sounds like all that was just the wind-up, and Portable Sounds is the pitch. The artist, producer, songwriter, industry leader and father of five was not the slightest bit interested in going through any motions. "Passion for my art drives me so long as I feel the Most High breathing new songs through me. I committed on this project that when writing and recording I will never rely on what has worked in the past and never fear what hasn't. The canvas is blank and the colors are endless."

About Emily West
When Emily takes the stage it's nothing short of fireworks. Her own appreciation for artists such as Patsy Cline and Bette Midler have led her to cultivate her talent as an entertainer - not just a singer. Emily was born to be on stage. The energy, the excitement, the audience response - it fans the flame that drives her to perform. With a little confidence, a lot of charisma, and more than just a flash of wit, West is captivating. "I'm a live singer...performing is very emotional," she states. "They're my personality set to music." And what a personality! A personality that flickers not just in her live performance, but also in the lyrics of her songs. Emily is a girl's girl. Sweet, funny, sometimes gregarious, often demure, impulsive and vulnerable, quiet and quirky. She takes ownership of her gender birthright and parlays that into lyrics that run the gamut from raw, sometimes painful emotion to top-down-sunny-day all out rockers. West isn't trying to fill a void or follow in the path of someone who has passed this way, Emily West is blazing new trails with her music.

Still this former ingénue from Waterloo, Iowa doesn't take herself too seriously. She moved to Nashville in March of 2000 with the quintessential dream of being a singer. Within a month she had caught the ear of one of Nashville's most influential publishing icons, Tim Wipperman and landed a deal with Warner-Chappell Publishing. At the time West wasn't really even sure what a publishing company did for her, but she learned that opportunities in the music business don't usually happen that quickly. Her alliance with Warner-Chappell not only provided her with an income while she educated herself on the inner-workings of the business, it also fortified her faith in her dream and positioned her with some of the most prolific songwriters in country music.

Mike Dungan at Capitol Records Nashville met West and was intrigued enough to listen. Dungan got a little more than a listening party - he got a complete performance by a consummate artist. He invited Emily back for an encore with his full staff and they too were smitten by West's incredible vocals and sparkling personality. By unanimous decision Emily was invited to be a part of the Capitol family and is currently in the studio working on her debut project.

American Airlines is the official airline of IEBA. Conference attendees will receive a 10% discount off the lowest applicable eligible published airfare. Please use the following promotional code: 92H9AT, valid from October 8-16, 2009.

Christian Music News Source

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Christian music news: NASCAR : TobyMac & MercyMe to Perform Pre-Race Concert at Banking 500

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CONCORD, N.C. - Lowe's Motor Speedway officials announced today that Grammy-nominated musical artists TobyMac and MercyMe will perform a pre-race concert for the Oct. 17 NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America. Fee and Robert Pierre will also be on hand to sing as part of pre-race festivities.

The concert featuring all four bands will begin at 2 p.m. in Turn 4.

Admission to the show is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Banking 500.

TobyMac ranks among the most successful artists in the history of Christian music in terms of radio success, sales power and critical acclaim.

He began his music career as a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning and best-selling group, dc Talk, before venturing out on his own in 2001.

Since going solo, his soulful singing combined with his trademarked rock/funk/hip-hop sound has earned him two gold albums, six No. 1 singles and two Grammy nominations.

In 2009, TobyMac took home a Grammy for the Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album with his live DVD/CD "Alive and Transported." In August he released the single "City on our Knees," and has plans to release his fourth solo album in February 2010.

MercyMe, the down-to-earth Texas-based praise and worship group with a modern rock/pop flair was founded by lead singer Bart Millard. The band quickly became one of Christian music's fastest-selling new acts in 2001 with the release of their breakthrough hit, "I Can Only Imagine."

The heartfelt song Millard wrote about his father's early death quickly catapulted the group into the mainstream spotlight. The No. 1 single sold nearly 3 million units, received several GMA Dove Awards, including Song of the Year, and raced up the Top 40, Adult Contemporary, Christian and Country charts alike.

MercyMe had an unimaginable start to their music career with more than 5 million records sold, one double platinum disk, three gold albums, an American Music Award win, two Grammy nominations and 19 No. 1 singles.

In addition MercyMe has appeared on numerous television programs such as The Tonight Show, Fox and Friends, CNN and ABC's Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade.

Now with six albums and more than 13 years of making music, the guys of MercyMe still find themselves passionate about leading people in worship and released their newest CD/DVD set "10" in April 2009. The new release features 12 No. 1 singles and numerous videos that span their career.

MercyMe has plans to release their seventh studio album in 2010.

Dove Award-nominee Fee is the worship band at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, one of the nation's fastest-growing churches. The group, who also travels the country leading worship at student camps and conferences, has plans to release their new record "Hope Rising" on Oct. 6.

Robert Pierre, a high school sophomore, released his debut album, "Inside Out" more than two years ago and has since been sending encouraging messages of faith to teens and adults through his music.

Tickets for the Oct. 17 NASCAR Banking 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, start at just $49 and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455 FANS or online at

Christian Music News Source

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Christian music news: TobyMac's newest single sells 17,000+ digital units first week

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TobyMac’s newest single “City On Our Knees,” from his upcoming February 2010 album, took off at digital retailers including iTunes® Music Store and Amazon MP3, selling more than 17,000 digital units in its first week. The single also hit #2 on Christian/Digital Tracks and #86 on the Hot Digital Tracks chart. The song has also been embraced at radio, with 96 stations adding it to their playlists in the past three weeks. The song has already placed at #14 on the AC Monitored chart, #13 at AC Indicator, and #5 at CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio).

TobyMac, along with Relient K, will entertain audiences across the country on the upcoming fifth annual TobyMac Winter Wonder Slam 2009 Tour. Also scheduled to appear on the tour are B.Reith and Stephanie Smith. The tour will travel to the West Coast for the first time, along with stops in New York City, Fairfax, VA, Pittsburgh and numerous other cities across the states. The tour will be teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps to help with their Toys for Tots campaign. Music fanatics will be encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift to the event as Marines will be on site to collect toys at every venue.

For more info on Toby, or to see if Winter Wonder Slam is coming to a city near you, please visit or

Christian Music News Source

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Christian music news: TobyMac, Mark Hall, Casting Crowns win big at Dove Awards

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won artist of the year and Casting Crowns singer Mark Hallcollected four trophies at Wednesday's 39th annual Dove Awards, which celebrate the best in gospel music."Are you kidding? This is crazy, man. I thought I was Mr. Pre-Televised awards," joked TobyMac, whose real name is TobyMcKeehan. "God has been faithful time and again to surround me with people that sharpen me and that make me better."
TobyMac also won artist of the year in 1996 as a member of dc Talk. His latest album, " Portable Sounds," debuted at No. 10 on theBillboard Top 200 albums chart.
Besides artist of the year, he took home Dove Awards for rock/contemporary album for " Portable Sounds" and short-form video for his hit "Boomin."
Hall, who was the night's leading nominee with six, won song of the year and pop/contemporary recorded song of the year for "East to West," which he co-wrote with Bernie Herms.
His participation on the multi-artist worship project " Glory Revealed" brought Hall individual honors for special event album of the year for the CD, as well as inspirational recorded song of the year for "By His Wounds."
His band also had four nominations and won three: group of the year, best pop/contemporary album of the year for "The Altar and the Door" and pop/contemporary recorded song of the year for " East to West."
"I'm so thankful just to get to be part of the songs," Hall said.
Chris Tomlin won male vocalist of the year and Natalie Grant was awarded female vocalist. Those were their third consecutive wins in their respective categories.
" This is quite amazing. Thank God for letting me sing and give a voice to people around the world to worship him," Tomlin said. "This is unbelievable that God would continue to use us all like this, and I'm very, very grateful."
Grant, who gave a soulful performance of " Bring It All Together" with country star Wynonna Judd, said she was thankful for the freedom to express herself freely.
"I think we forget often what a privilege it is to be in a country where we can record music that boldly proclaims our passion forJesus Christ. What a gift," Grant said.
Brandon Heath won new artist of the year. Heath's "I'm Not Who I Was," a song about forgiveness that he says was inspired by an old photograph of someone he hadn't seen in a while, was nominated for song of the year.
Cindy Morgan won the songwriter of the year award her eighth Dove trophy and Ricky Skaggs and the Whites collected bluegrass recorded song for " Salt of the Earth."
"I think of all things this probably means the most to me because all those years ago I didn't set out to be a singer, just a songwriter," said Morgan, who wrote "How You Live ( Turn Up the Music)" for Point of Grace. Morgan was named new artist of the year 15 years ago.
The contemporary gospel album award went to Israel & New Breed for "A Deeper Level."
"My first ministry is not what you see onstage. It's the church I pastor. It's got four members my wife and my three kids," said the group's singer-songwriter Israel Houghton.
The evening's performers included " American Idol" alum Phil Stacey, Chris Sligh and Mandisa with Amy Grant in a musical tribute to Michael W. Smith.
Switchfoot played " This is Home," a song from the soundtrack of the upcoming film "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."
The Doves closed with a salute to the Grand Ole Opry stage, where the show was held. Charlie Daniels led the house through a rousing version of the hymn "I'll Fly Away."
The Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards were broadcast live on XM Satellite radio and on the Gospel Music Channel. In past years the awards were syndicated and shown later on tape.