It’s been a banner year for Third Day in many ways, from hitting the late night television circuit (“Jay Leno” anyone?) to tearing up the radio with its return to rock record Revelation (Essential) to co-headlining the “Music Builds Tour” (also featuring Switchfoot, Jars of Clay and Robert Randolph and the Family Band). Above all, members graced the cover of Billboard (the music industry’s most influential magazine), which continued to expand the band’s mainstream reach.


Though Amy Grant’s had numerous news items this year, the first half of ’08 included her historic remastering of 1988’s Lead Me On album. Besides the original project in its entirety, the collection included a bonus disc of acoustic re-recordings, plus live cuts from the original tour. And speaking of road trips, Grant also reunited with the majority of that original outing’s band for a limited run of dates, performing a set list stacked with Lead Me On tunes, plus all her other hits before 1988.

Her longtime collaboration partner Michael W. Smith also celebrated his own milestone with a 25th anniversary in Christian music. The troubadour was just as active as ever, touring non-stop, participating in political and humanitarian causes, plus recording his latest live CD, A New Hallelujah (Reunion), featuring several contemporary and classic worship cuts.


Following a six-year hiatus to pursue solo projects, Sixpence None the Richer reunited much to the delight of its many fans. After warming up with an EP, My Dear Machine, followed by a few spot dates, the group released its first ever Christmas collection, The Dawn of Grace (Nettwerk).


After spending its entire career thus far as one of Christian music’s most melodic pop groups, Point of Grace mixed up its musical meanderings by turning toward country influences on How You Live (Word). In addition to a nod at this year’s Dove Awards, the title track, “How You Live (Turn Up the Music),” crossed over to the country radio charts and found the ladies visiting several secular radio stations for the first time in their nearly 20-year career.

Look for Pt. 2 of “2008:  This Year in Christian Music” next week.

© 2009  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

**This feature first published on January 14, 2009.