Mark Schultz to bike across America for widows, orphans

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Platinum-selling, Dove Award-winning recording artist Mark Schultz is embarking on a bike ride across America to raise support for orphans and widows. Beginning May 6 and continuing through early July, Schultz will bicycle from California to New Hampshire, stopping along the way to perform concerts featuring music from his acclaimed, best-selling album, Broken & Beautiful. Schultz was inspired to make this 3,500-mile trek after he and his wife, Kate, visited orphanages in Mexico in the spring of 2006 with The James Fund, a non-profit organization founded by a Christian retail chain. "I thought, how can I raise money for these kids?" Schultz said. "It seemed like nobody in the music business had ever done a tour where they rode their bike across the country and did concerts. I thought, that sounds impossible, let's do that!" For more information on how you can support Mark's bike journey, visit markacrossamerica.org.

David Crowder Band is wrapping up recording for the follow up to the band's groundbreaking album, A Collision. Their first new full-length studio album in two years, Remedy, is slated to release this fall. David Crowder Band gave music fans a live action, inside look at the recording process for the new album, offering an eight-Web cam view of The Barn, a recording facility built by the David Crowder Band in the legendary barn of Dr. Pepper fame. Video clips from the recording process can be seen at youtube.com/profile?user=davidcrowderband.

Former Newsboys bassist Phil Joel is encouraging children and parents to add a little rock 'n' roll to their Bible time with the deliberateKids album, in stores May 1. Featuring upbeat songs with fun sing-a-long lyrics, deliberateKids teaches core spiritual principles and strong biblical truth. The project was birthed from songs Phil and his wife, Heather, were writing for their church Sunday school program. "The whole idea is to plant seeds of truth into the hearts of our kids while they are young through music that will be enjoyed by kids and parents alike," Joel said.

Members from the bands Hundred Year Storm, Anberlin, Showbread, Classic Crime, and Versa, as well as representatives from the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms, recently traveled to Calcutta, India to learn more about human trafficking and The Emancipation Network's work to fight the modern slave trade through prevention and rehabilitation. The network provides an economic alternative to prostitution for girls at high risk for being trafficked by working with programs to provide education and income-generating handicraft jobs for girls who might otherwise be sold into prostitution. To learn more, visit madebysurvivors.com.

Switchfoot's latest video "Awakening" features Tony Hale (Arrested Development; Because I Said So (Stranger Than Fiction); Adam Campbell (Epic Movie) and Jayma Mays (Heroes). "The traditional concept of a music video can be a bit surreal, lip-synching to your own songs can feel especially comical at times!" said Switchfoot member Tim Foreman. "With this irony in mind we wanted to make a video that doesn't take itself too seriously, even if the song itself is dealing with weighty issues." Check it out at switchfoot.com/awakening.

Veteran recording artist Michael W. Smith joined an elite group of music industry figures in April when he was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame. The 2007 class of inductees also included country legend Emmylou Harris, Americana mainstay John Hiatt, country powerhouse Wynonna Judd, seminal rock 'n' roll combo The Crickets, and longtime BMI president/CEO Frances Preston.

"The Salvation Poem," from Matt and Sherry McPherson's new album Slow Down, is a simple song with lyrics that lay out God's plan of salvation, and it has been making an impact worldwide. "The concept came to me from what I know of kids' poems and songs," said songwriter Matt McPherson. "I could offer you a million dollars to forget 'Mary Had a Little Lamb,' and you couldn't do it! I thought, 'What if we could teach the world a poem that was the salvation prayer?'" Noted evangelist Franklin Graham was so impressed by the song's lyrics that he's distributing pens imprinted with the poem as an outreach tool at his evangelistic events in the U.S. and abroad.

Word Records' popular sister-rock-trio BarlowGirl has partnered with some of today's top Christian authors, evangelists and musicians to lead a 73-day campaign aptly titled Psalms 73. Based around the 73rd chapter of the book of Psalms, the online initiative will feature daily studies and in-depth devotionals focused on the different names and aspects of God. For more information on the Psalms 73 campaign, or to join the study, visit barlowgirl.com.

Compiled from artist interviews and press releases.

Published, May 2007