- Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 7 Jul
Michael W. Smith recently celebrated the marriage of his daughter Whitney to Jack Mooring, member of up-and-coming group Leeland, in a June 1 wedding at Smith's farm in Franklin, Tenn. The couple met when Smith and Mooring's brother, Leeland Mooring, began writing for Smith's last studio album, Stand. Smith is currently prepping for the October release of a new Christmas album, his third in his 24-year career.
Shane & Shane will release Pages on August 28, an album inspired by Shane Barnard's personal journal and a season of re-evaluation of their ministry. "We had to ask the important questions," said Shane Everett. "What are our goals? What are we doing here? Are we just playing music, or is it really something more? And how do we move forward from here?" To support the new album, the Shanes will tour with Bebo Norman and Shawn McDonald in the fall.
Southern gospel veterans The Imperials are putting the finishing touches on a new album of classics and standards tentatively titled Back to the Roots. Produced by Michael Sykes (Gaither Vocal Band, Oak Ridge Boys), the retrospective will contain favorites from the group's various eras and personnel configurations. The album is due in September.
Singer/songwriter Dennis Jernigan ("You Are My All in All," "Thank You Lord") announced a partnership with CareNet, a network of pregnancy centers that provides free checkups, counseling, financial assistance, and spiritual support. Jernigan will introduce audiences to CareNet's ministry resources during upcoming concert stops. Jernigan's first album in five years, Holy, releases July 17.
Time-Life announced the October 2 release of Songs 4 Worship: Country, the newest entry in the million-plus-selling Songs 4 Worship franchise. The compilation features various praise-and-worship favorites as performed by some of country's biggest names, including Rascal Flatts, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Emerson Drive, Diamond Rio, and many more.
Hip-hop artist Da' T.R.U.T.H.'s third album, Open Book, is out July 10 on Cross Movement Records. The rapper's hope is that the new disc will "encourage people all over the world to live Jesus-consumed, truth-driven, intentional and transparent lives in order to make the sight of Christ attractive." Da' T.R.U.T.H. rose to prominence thanks to an opening stint for Kirk Franklin during his acclaimed Hero Tour.
Newcomer Brandon Heath logged his first No. 1 single at Christian radio with his song "I'm Not Who I Was," from his 2006 release Don't Get Comfortable. In addition, Casting Crowns broke a record when their new single, "East to West," was added to the rotation of 78 stations its first week out of the box; the track comes from The Altar and the Door (due Aug. 28) and can also be heard on the band's MySpace page