Irish hymn writers debut album in U.S.

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In Christ Alone, the U.S. debut recording from Irish modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty, is now available at mainstream and Christian retail outlets nationwide. The album was introduced in February exclusively through a national Christian bookseller as part of the chain's "inspired heart an artist's story" series. The title cut, "In Christ Alone," has become a standard in churches around the world and has been recorded by artists like Natalie Grant, Avalon and the Newsboys and included on more than 100 recordings. The Gettys hail from Northern Ireland and are currently living and touring in the United States. They are committed to creating and presenting modern hymns to impact today's Church. For more information, visit www.gettymusic.com.

In the category of "two guys with guitars" two new albums hit the shelves this summer. Pages, from college-favorites Shane & Shane, released in August, and The Twenty-First Time, from Monk & Neagle, releases Sept. 18. While I like Shane & Shane, I've always been particularly fond of Monk & Neagle. Maybe it's the fact that their lyrics resonate with whatever God happens to be doing in my life when I'm listening to their music. But you don't need to choose. You can catch both Shane & Shane and Monk & Neagle on tour this September with Bebo Norman.

Inpop Records' pop/rock band Newsboys will perform at the Pentagon's sixth annual September 11th memorial service, to be held in the Pentagon Auditorium. The multi-faith service will include members of the armed forces as well as government employees and their families. The band will also host a concert immediately following the service. "The events of 9/11 touched us all," says lead vocalist Peter Furler, "and the willing sacrifices of the men and women of our Armed Forces to defend the United States is truly awe-inspiring. We are honored and humbled to have been asked to be a part of the memorial service at the Pentagon this year, and we hope our music and message will be an inspiration to all those who attend."

Minneapolis-based rockers Mainstay release their sophomore project, Become Who You Are, on Sept. 25. Their 2006 debut album, Well Meaning Fiction, was one of my favorite albums of the year, and this new album is a strong follow-up. The band manages to find the perfect balance between rock melodies and thought-provoking lyrics that draw the listener in for more than just a musical experience. "If we're going to do this," says frontman Justin Anderson, "it has to be about God, about the deeply intimate relationship we're experiencing. Otherwise, it's not worth it." For more information, visit www.myspace.com/mainstay.

Rachel Hurt from Shep, Ky. took home multiple honors at the GMA Academy Artist and Song of 2007 talent competition, held during the 33rd GMA Music in the Rockies. Hurt was named GMA's Artist Vocal Solo 2007 Grand Prize Winner and was the recipient of GMA's "Disney's Night of Joy Best of Show Award." She will perform at Night of Joy at Florida's Magic Kingdom this September. Other Overall Winners were: Overall Vocal Group—The Sonflowerz, a worship band from Colorado Springs, Colo.; Overall Band—Hollow, a Christian rock band from Oklahoma City, Okla. and Overall Instrumental Award—Steve Merrick, from Clairmont, Calif. "How Big Small Can Be," written by Steven and Amanda Potaczek from Indianapolis, Ind., was named the Overall Song of 2007. Kaleb Krueger of New Haven, Mo. was tapped for the Compassion International's Music & Ministry Experience, and will be invited to travel with an established Christian artist to a Compassion International third-world destination. A complete list of winners can be found at www.musicintherockies.com. The next GMA talent competition will be held during GMA Academy in Nashville on Oct. 12 and 13.

When the David Crowder Band was voted MSN's Artist of the Year 2006, MSN noted, "They've single-handedly redefined what contemporary Christian music should sound like…" The David Crowder Band lives up to that billing with their fourth full-length studio album, Remedy, which releases Sept. 25. The album's first single, "Everything Glorious," is also the band's fastest charting single to date. The Remedy Club Tour kicks off Oct. 3 with openers Phil Wickham and The Myriad.

TobyMac's "The Portable Sounds Fall Tour," with special guests Barlow Girl and Thousand Foot Krutch, kicks off Sept. 20 in Mobile, Ala. with stops in 28 cities through Nov.11. In addition, TobyMac's Christian Rock radio hit "Boomin'" is featured in a trailer for the film, "Underdog," while another song, "Feelin So Fly," is featured in the new Disney film, "Gameplan."

Thousand Foot Krutch releases their new studio album "The Flame in All of Us," Sept. 18 from Tooth & Nail Records. The first CHR/AC single, "What Do We Know?" is poised to be a landmark song for the band. Frontman Trevor McNevan explains, "The song starts out waking up the morning of 9/11, and it refers to events like Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia Tech tragedy, tsunami and the major catastrophes that have happened in the last few years that have made us all—no matter what you believe—stand back and say, 'Wow, we're not in control here'" You can catch TFK on tour with TobyMac this fall.

Multi-platinum recording artist Jaci Velasquez and her husband Nic Gonzales of the award-winning band Salvador have announced that they're expecting their first baby in November.

Entertainment notes compiled from artist interviews and press releases.