Australia's Hillsong Live, in the midst of a European tour, released its latest album, "God is Able" in July. Garnering wide acclaim, the album climbed to No. 1 on multiple retail sales charts.
Worship leader Reuben Morgan said the title song hit close to home this year as his native homeland was rocked with cyclones and floods.
"We were continually reminded just how true those words are," he said. "God is able: able to save, able to heal, able to rescue from the fiercest storms and highest floods. There are so many times when you feel as though you are out of your depthin my case it happens every time I get up to lead worship or speakand there's something revolutionary about being able to say or sing our God is able, In His name we overcome, for the Lord our God is able.
"You can't celebrate God's ability without realizing quite how weak we really are: you can't say God is able without also remembering that we are not. And here's the really crazy thing about acknowledging our weakness: it's one of the most comforting and liberating things around."
For more information, visit www.live.hillsong.com/music.
Morgan single recorded, released by Kimber Rising
Morgan's writing prowess may also prove liberating for Kimber Rising, a Pop/R&B trio featuring sisters Amanda and Brianna Wilcox and Danielle Cruz. The three-year-old group will spend the fall promoting the radio play of their new single, "Forever Reign," penned by Morgan and award-winning songwriter and producer Jason Ingram. It will be released as a digital offering in October.
The group, which just signed with Save the City Records, has performed more than 300 concerts and toured with the likes of such artists as Building 429, Todd Agnew and 33Miles, as well as Mandisa, Natalie Grant, LeCrae and David Crowder Band.
Derek Hoiem, president of their new label, said the trio exemplifies the type of artists they strive to support.
"They are excellent in their craft, they've paid a fair amount of indie dues, and they just flat out love God," he said. "They show their passion for sharing the gospel not only with their voices but with their lives."
For more information, visit www.kimberrising.com.
Lampa goes a cappella to compete on 'The Sing-Off'
Dove Award winning recording artist Rachel Lampa was set to take to the small screen Sept. 19 as part of the a cappella group The Collective for season three of the fall NBC series "The Sing-Off."
Lampa, whose new album All We Need was due in stores on Sept. 27, is part of a group of Nashville vocalists formed specifically for the series by Jeremy Lister of Season 2 runner-up Street Corner Symphony.
Hosted by Nick Lachey, the show features the judging panel of Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman and brings together a cappella groups from around the nation, who compete each week for the votes of the viewers.
Lampa will hit the road later this fall with Group 1 Crew, Shonlock and Rapture Ruckus for the Outta Space Love Tour.
For more information, visit www.rachaellampa.com.
Groves gives fans early release to 10th record
Sara Groves releases her 10th record, Invisible Empires, officially on Oct. 18, but is offering a pre-release special, including a T-shirt and bonus songs, on her website.
In a note on her website, Grove said the album was heavily influenced by Chapter 9 of Eugene Peterson's" A Long Obedience in the Same Direction," a book she said she reads annually.
"Structures become more important than the people who live in them," he writes. "Machines become more important than the people who use them. We care more for our possessions with which we hope to make our way in the world than with our thoughts and dreams which tell us who we are in the world."
She goes on, citing Psalm 127, "Invisible Empires is looking at two skylines: one that is frenetic and man-made, and one that is eternal and not built in vain."
For more information, visit her site at www.saragroves.com.
Jeremy Camp welcomes new baby, album and book
There's apparently no such thing as the dog days of summer for
Grammy-nominated artist Jeremy Camp, whose calendar is filled with a variety of new things, including a son with wife, Adrienne.
Egan Thomas Camp arrived early in the morning on Aug. 17 and is the first brother for big sisters Bella, 6, and Arie, 5. Egan made his entrance just as his famous daddy's radio single "The Way" was No. 1 at AC Monitoredhis 24th career top hit.
Dad was also scheduled to begin his fall headlining tour "We Cry Out" at the end of September just as his book, "I Still Believe: Discovering Hope and Healing in the Midst of Life's Deepest Valleys" was due for release. The chronicle reflects his journey of losing his first wife, Melissa, to cancer just months after marrying, and how he has grown in his relationship with God through the past 10 years. The full-circle account of Camp's story explores how his story has impacted his music.
Matthew West promoting two albums
Matthew West, who released the music video for his radio hit "Strong Enough" on iTunes Sept. 6, will also join the fall tour circuit promoting his album The Story of Your Life, which features the "Strong Enough" single.
Even as he promotes the latest album, West is also prepping for his first-ever holiday album, "The Heart of Christmas," due to hit the streets on Oct. 4.
For more information, visit www.MatthewWest.com.