As the music business continues to change—and the Internet gives every garage band a worldwide platform—the number of noteworthy artists who have passed on the requisite record deal and taken a different road continues to grow.

To help you navigate your way through this plethora, we present the second half of CCM’s Guide to Independent Artists. …

Ason
bigsonny.com
Delivering rhymes in a more melodic, East Coast style similar to Jay-Z, Thurman Custis, aka Ason, has shared the stage with big-name artists like Ciara, Mary Mary and Nicole C. Mullen—all as an independent rapper. His first album, The Recruiter: Part One, has sold thousands of copies at live shows and without significant distribution. His upcoming Bigger Business looks to be available this winter.

Candlefuse
myCCM.org/candlefuse
You might be somewhat familiar with Candlefuse, the radio-rock trio who’ve opened for acts like BarlowGirl, Disciple and Kutless. The band’s debut, Never Go Unheard, sparked Melodic.net to comment: “This is a very enjoyable modern rock album. People who love bands like Anberlin and Mae should give this new band a chance.” The band’s relentless tour schedule continues throughout the fall.

Micah Dalton
micahdalton.com
It’s called “alt-soul, the little brother to soul music,” notes Micah Dalton on his slow, spiritual acoustic vibe. The niche he carved serves him well as Dalton’s latest EP, Advancement, continues to garner praise and grow an already impressive indie audience. It doesn’t hurt that the disc also features American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle’s backing vocal.

Christine Evans
myCCM.org/christineevans
Aiming to be the next much-heralded youthful singer/songwriter, a la Amy Grant and more recently Bethany Dillon, Canadian 16-year-old Christine Evans netted “Album of the Year” at the Island Music Awards in Vancouver for Push, made famous by the hit single “Break Me.” Most recently, Evans signed with the prestigious William Morris Agency, further positioning her for breakthrough status with such a strong platform.


Exit The Ordinary
exittheordinary.com
Some things just take more time than others. For Exit The Ordinary, a three-piece modern rock outfit from Michigan, it’s been worth the wait. After releasing an EP in 2005 entitled The Place You Are, it hasn’t been until recently that things have picked up, including the title track’s inclusion on The Butterfly Effect 2 soundtrack and a contract for airplay with MTV Networks.

Randall Goodgame
randallgoodgame.com
As a member of the Square Peg Alliance, Randall Goodgame surrounds himself with great songwriters—but his own ability is notable as well. His work on numerous Caedmon’s Call efforts plus his own, most recently War and Peace, reveal a deep well of inspiration. His latest project is Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies, a children’s record with friend Andrew Peterson.

Katie Herzig
katieherzig.com
The former vocalist for Newcomers Home, Katie Herzig moved from Boulder, Colo., to Nashville to pursue a solo career. Now Herzig’s stock stands ready to soar after a year that featured a GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Country Performance” for her song “Heaven’s My Home” and tour dates with The Fray. Her latest album, Weightless, is adored by critics nationwide and has garnered plays on TV shows like “ER” and “Smallville.”