Chris Carraba started his musical career as the vocalist for Tooth & Nail emo band Further Seems Forever before hitting it big in the mainstream with a solo project he called Dashboard Confessional. He keeps his faith mostly to himself in regards to Dashboard, though it is common knowledge to his fans. His fifth album, last summer’s Dusk and Summer, was produced by the legendary Daniel Lanois who has helmed ground-breaking albums by many other artists of faith including Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan and U2.

Though courted by several Christian labels in its formative years, Cincinnati’s Over The Rhine has spent more than 15 years either independently creating its transcendent music or strategically aligned with niche-specific general market labels. The result has been the cultivation of a devoted following and one of the most impressive bodies of work in American music. Though Over The Rhine is constantly and disarmingly transparent about its members’ faith and their struggles, the grace that weeps from their songs has endeared them to fans both faithful and not.

It’s no surprise that Buddy and Julie Miller are constantly mentioned by artists of faith as huge inspirations and excellent examples of how Christians should carry themselves in the music world. Their unquestioned excellence and consistent transparency transcends musical and theological divisions. Though Julie did release several records through Christian labels in the ’90s, the two now both exist outside the Christian music scene. Buddy, one of the most respected and celebrated songwriters, singers and guitar players in Nashville, has released a string of critically acclaimed solo albums including the GRAMMY® nominated Universal United House of Prayer, while the couple’s lone self-titled duet disc was also nominated for a GRAMMY® award.

Indie phenom Waking Ashland has been generating amazing buzz both in the American and international scenes with near non-stop touring and its accessible power-pop, alt-rock sound. Though the band did release its debut on Tooth & Nail, and front man Jonathan Jones makes no apologies for his faith and the way it influences his writing, Waking Ashland has intentionally avoided the “Christian Band” tag—even while it was signed to Tooth & Nail. Now with the support of Immortal Records (30 Seconds To Mars, Incubus) Waking Ashland has launched its most recent project, The Well, exclusively into the mainstream market.

© 2007 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.   Click here to try a free issue.