Chris Rice

Chris Rice was born in a small town near Washington DC, his official musical education was just 3 years of piano lessons. While he was in college he began to speak and lead worship at his church’s youth group. After graduating from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Communication, he decided to try his hand at songwriting and moved to Nashville. His first roommate was Monroe Jones who helped him put together song demos. Jones has been his producer ever since.

In 1996 Chris Rice was the very first artist to be signed to Micheal W Smith’s new Label, Roketown Records. The next year his first album Deep Enough to Dream was released. That was followed by Past the Edges in 1998. Chris Rice received the Dove Award for Male Vocalist of the Year for that album. The next year he tried out a bit more of a pop style with the album Smell the Color 9. In Contrast, his next 2 albums where piano-only Hymn and Christmas disks called The Living Room Sessions. The albums were recorded in a living room, but that’s nothing new. All of Chris Rice’s songs are recorded like that.

Remedy Drive

Remedy Drive is a family band from Lincoln, Nebraska. The four Zach brothers, David, Paul, Philip, and Daniel started out calling themselves The Aslan Band after the character from Narnia. Their first independant album, Remedy, was released in 1998. After that album they changed their name to Remedy and released another indie album in 1999 called Remedy (the blue one). Then Remedy (the red one) in 2001 and Remedy: A live album in 2004. That was followed by Magnify the next year. Their final indie album was released in 2006 and was a huge success. Rip Open the Skies sold over 20,000 copies. That led to a deal with Word Records. Their first studio album Daylight is Coming was released in 2008. The title is a reference to Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, when he says “At dawn, look to the East”. There is hope coming.

In April, 2011, the band’s website announced that all the brothers except David will be leaving the band and will be replaced.

Plumb

Tiffany Arbuckle was born in Indiana but spent most of her childhood in Georgia. Growing up she would sing at school and church. After high school she enrolled in nursing school. To help pay her tuition she started working as a backup singer. She began focusing her attention to music full time. She moved to Nashville where she met Matt Bronlewee, one of the original members of Jars of Clay. He was living next door. When she was signed to Essential Records at age 20 she had him co-write and produce her album. She and her band called themselves Plumb after the Suzanne Vega song My Favorite Plum. The album Plumb was released in 1997. After the band finished touring with the Jars of Clay CD sales had surpassed 100,000 copies. That album was followed by candycoatedwaterdrops in 1999 which won the Dove award for Modern Rock Album of the Year. Following this album she married Jeremy Lee from the indie band Ashbury. Even though she was relatively successful Tiffany Arbuckle Lee was not happy in her career. She was having problems with her label and was planning to leave the music industry altogether. In the year 2000 she released a best of album and went to perform at what she decided would be her last concert. Just a few hours before she took the stage, however, she got a letter from a fan. It said that Damaged, a song about dealing with abuse, had changed her life. Plumb decided to stay in the music industry as a solo artist.
She soon signed with Curb Records and in 2003 released an album called Beautiful Lumps of Coal. That was followed by Chaotic Resolve in 2006. Plumb’s album, Blink was released in 2007, and Beautiful History in 2009. Her album Faster than a Bullet is set to be released in 2011.  

 

Britt Nicole

Brit Nicole started singing in church in North Carolina at the age of 3. After graduating high school at age 17 she had a scholarship to study music at Belmont College in Nashville, but decided instead to stay home and pursue a career in music full time. She released two independant albums before meeting with Sparrow Records. They told her to develop her style and come back. In 2007, at the age of 22, Britt Nicole’s first album Say It was released.

Britt Nicole’s album, The Lost Get Found, was released in 2009. The album peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Christian Albums Chart.  In 2010, a compilation titled Acoutsic Playlist: Bold was released under StarSong Records. It featured an acoustic remix of her single “Believe”.

In 2012 Britt Nicole Released the album Gold which was her most biggest album yet. It debut at #1 on the Hot Christian Albums chart and #41 on the Billboard 200. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award. The album Gold got a mainstream re-release in 2013.

The Newsboys

Newsboys is an Australian group that’s been around since 1985. With John James on vocals, Sean Taylor on bass, George Perdkis on gutar and of course Peter Furler on drums, they originally called themselves simply “The News”. In 1987 they were signed by Refuge Communications and came over to the US. They changed thier name from The News to The Newsboys so they the wouldn’t get confused with Huey Lewis’ band and Phil Yates replaced George Perdkis on gutar. Thier first album Read All About It was released in 1988.

 

They then signed with Star Song records and Jonathan Geange replaced Phil Yates on guitar. Hell Is For Wimps was released in 1990. Vernon Bishop replaced Jonathan Geange on guitar and Corey Pryor joined the band on keybords. Peter Furler began taking charge of the band writing and producing thier 1991 album Boys Will Be Boyz. For their next album Vernon Bishop left the band and songwriter Steven Taylor was brough in to co-produce with Peter Furler. Not Ashamed was released in 1992. It was a hit.

Kevin Mills then replaced Sean Tayor on bass, Duncan Phillips replaced Corey Pryor on the keys, Jody Davis joined on guitar and Jeff Frankenstein came to help them play live on tour. Going Public came out in 1994. It was a smash hit. It was also nominated for Gospel Album of the year at the Grammys and won Dove Awards for “Rock Album of the Year”, and “Rock Recorded Song of the Year” for Shine, wich remains their most popular song.

After that album, Jeff Frankenstein took over on the keys for Duncan Phillips who moved to percussion, and Phil Joel replaced Kevin Mills on bass. Peter Furler continued to write the music, with a number of people pitching in on lyrics. Take me To Your Leader was released in 1996. It was also nominated for a Grammy and several Dove awards, winning for “Best Album Packaging”, with its vintage space craft cover photo.

In 1997 lead singer John James left the band, leaving Peter Furler as the only original member. He took over on lead vocals and was replaced on drums by Duncan Phillips. They then signed with Sparrow Records and released their first album on a major record label. Step Up To The Microphone came out in 1998, followed by Love Liberty Disco in 1999. The following year they released a best of album called Shine: The Hits featuring remixes and 3 new songs. Their next album Thrive was released in 2002. One of the hits on that album was a worshipfull song called It Is You. That led to an entire worship album called Adoration in 2003.

Bryan Oleson then replaced Jody Davis on guitar for a second worship album called Devotion released in 2004. The Newsboys created their own label and Paul Colman replaced Bryan Oleson on guitar for GO in 2006. After a live album called Houston We Are Go in 2008 former member Jody Davis then returned, replacing Paul Colman on guitar. They released the album In The Hands of God in 2009.

In 2009, it was announced that Peter Furler had decided to down as lead singer of the band. Michael Tait of DC Talk was choosen to replace him on vocals.

Their first album featuring Michael Tait was Born Again, which was released in 2010. That year they also released a seasonal album called Christmas! A Newsboys Holiday.

Naomi Striemer

Born in Putnam Valley, NY Naomi is a duel citizen of CAN/USA. She was homeschooled on a hobby farm in Malagash Point, NS. At age 11, her family moved to MB where she recorded an album of Christian music. Prior, Naomi had never watched television nor listened to the radio. At age 15, her family moved again, this time to Orlando, FL where she became familiar with life in the recording studio.

Striemer was signed to Epic Records in one of the last major record deals offered. Naomi moved to Los Angeles, CA and recorded an album with Grammy-award winning producer Narada Michael Walden.  Upon its debut, IMAGES was the #1 downloaded album in Canada, from which Billboard Magazine endorsed  “Cars” featuring Santana, as “the melodic debut of the year.” Striemer wrote the theme songs for Toronto Sick Kids, & Food Grains Bank. Naomi is also a gospel preacher, spending time on the Camp Meeting circuits encouraging youth to reach for their dreams without sacrificing principles in life.

Nicole C. Mullen

Nicole C. Mullen grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with 2 sisters. Her musical talent was evedant at an early age and blessed by her parents and grandparents. In 1991 and again in 1992 she released independent albums through the indie label Frontline Records. But her main focus in the ’90s was backup. She was a back dancer and choreographer for Amy Grant and she sang backup vocals for Michael W. Smith, the Newsboys and even Larry Boy.

In 1998 she shared the Dove award for Best Song of the Year with her husband David Mullen for the song On My KneesRedeemer. The following year she came out with Talk About It which went on to sell more than 500,000 copies. Following the success of Talk About It, Nicole C. Mullen released Christmas In Black and White, then Bringin’ It Home, a live album from Cincinnati.

which had been recorded by Jaci Velasquez. By the close of the decade she had been signed by Word Records. Her self-titled debut album on a major label was released in 2000. She won the Dove award for songwriter of the year and song of the year for

In 2004 she re-did and oldie by Sly and the Family Stone which became the title track to the album Everyday People. That year she won the Dove award for Female Vocalist of the Year. and her album not only won the Dove award for Urban Album of the Year, it also got a Grammy for Best Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year. In 2007 Nicole C. Mullen released the first of a 3 volume set. Sharecropper’s Seed, Vol.1 was a slower album that didn’t get as much attention as her previous albums. A Dream To Belive In, Vol. 2 was release on July 22, 2008.

Her latest CD is called Captivated and was released in 2011.

MercyMe

MercyMe is a 7 time Dove award winning band. Lead singer Bart Millard met Mike Scheuchzer (who plays the gutar) at Church and he got to know Jim Bryson (who plays the keyboard), when the two were choosen to lead a mission trip worship team. In 1994 the three of them formed the band MercyMe. They were joined by Nathan Cochran on bass and Robby Shaffer on drums a couple years later. Finally Barry Graul joined on guitar. MercyMe released an independant album Pleased to Meet You (1995). That was follwed by Traces of Rain vol.1&2 (1997), The Need (1998), The Worship Project (1999), and Look (2000).

During this time they opened for bands like Audio Adrenaline and moved to Nashville for a while. At the end of one youth concert the croud cheered for an encour. The only problem was they had already played all of thier songs. They desided to go back on stage an play some of the worship songs they used to do. They cross between modern rock and worship music became MercyMe’s new sound.

After six years and six indie albums MercyMe was signed by INO Records. Thier first studio album Almost There was released in 2001.

 

MercyMe’s followup album Spoken For was released in 2002. Thier next album Undone came two years later in 2004. That year the won 4 Dove awards including Group of the Year and Artist of the Year. MerecyMe then recorded a seasonal album called The Christmas Sessions (2005). They came back with Coming Up To Breathe in 2006. MercyMe’s latest album All That Is Within Me was released 2007.

In 2009, MercyMe released their first greatest hits compilation entitled 10. Their latest album is called “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” and they are considering making their next album a worship album.

Mandisa

Mandisa was discovered on American Idol. She was a finalist on the 5th season.

After American idol Mandias appeared on several talk shows and soon teemed up with Toby Mac and Kirk Franklin on Toby Mac’s album, Portable Sounds. She was signed by sparrow records and released her first album True Beauty last year. In September 2008 she came out with a Christmas album called Christmas Joy. The following year she released he next album Freedom.

Mandisa’s latest album is called What If We Were Real (2011). 

 

Matt Maher

Matt Maher was born in St.John’s, Newfoundland and took piano lessons as a kid. He was in a number of choirs and school bands growing up. He was even a part of a garage band with some friends in high school. But during his high school years he stopped going to church and says music became his religion.

In 1995, his parents were divorced and he decided to follow his mother to Arizona. He had a cousin there who started taking him to a local church youth group. He later joined the worship team. Meanwhile he started to work on his music degree at Arizona State University, studying Jazz Piano.

After a few years Matt Maher moved to St. Timothy Catholic Parish in Mesa, Arizona. There songwriter Tom Booth took him under his wing. They worked with a number of artists in that church including Kathy Troccoli and Rich Mullins. After graduating Matt Maher took a full time job at the church. He was enthralled by modern worship and began writing his own worship songs. He would play them at Sunday evening services. He also played for a number of annual youth conferences.

In 2001 Matt Maher produced an independent album called The End and The Beginning. His next indie project was Welcome to Life in 2003. It including the song Your Grace is Enough. At a youth conference that year, Matt Maher met Chris Tomlin. Tomlin’s band was asked to play backup for Maher. Chris Tomlin liked the song Your Grace is Enough and recorded it for his 2004 album Arriving.

 



In 2005 Matt Maher began touring and signed a publishing deal with EMI. He still produced his next album, Overflow, independently in 2006. In the spring of 2007, Matt Maher signed a record deal with Essential Records. His new album Empty and Beautiful was released on April 8, 2008. His re-recording of Your Grace is Enough was a cross between his original recording and Chris Tomlin’s version.

That year he played in front of thousands of people for the U.S. visit of Pope Banedict XVI. A few months later he realeased an album called Alive Again (2009).

Matt Maher’s latest album The Love In Between was released in 2011.