The moment you surrender your life to Christ, a checkered flag is waved and you’re off to the races…on the greatest adventure of your life. It’s a race that’s already been won, yet one you’re committed to run for the duration of your existence. And it’s a race the men of MercyMe have been running for awhile. After 23 years as a band, Bart Millard (lead vocals), Nathan Cochran (bass), Barry Graul (guitar), Mike Scheuchzer (guitar) and Robby Shaffer (drums) are in it to win it. And their relentless commitment to faith, music and the gospel shows no signs of slowing down on their ninth studio project, aptly titled LIFER (Fair Trade Services).
The beloved band’s storied career speaks to the endurance of its members and the timelessness of its music. With more than 9 million units in cumulative sales, MercyMe has seen 27 of their songs reach No. 1 across multiple Christian radio formats, in addition to garnering four mainstream radio hits. Their landmark song, “I Can Only Imagine,” was the first digital single in Christian music history to be certified platinum and double-platinum. Billboard named them the Christian Artist of the Decade in 2009. In addition, they have multiple GRAMMY® nominations, GMA Dove Awards and American Music Awards to their credit.
2014’s Welcome to the New proved to be one of the biggest releases of the group’s career, earning them two GRAMMY® nods and four long-reigning No. 1 smashes at radio. The album continues to be a top-selling title from a band that has been churning out hits for more than two decades.
Tenth Avenue North If every album serves as a single snapshot of an artist’s current season, then Tenth Avenue North’s new album, Followers (Provident Label Group), is a Polaroid coming to life in full color. Brilliant hues of exuberance, confidence and unwavering hope saturate the band’s follow-up to 2014’s Cathedrals. Every cut finds Mike Donehey (lead vocals, guitar), Jeff Owen (guitar, vocals), Brendon Shirley (keys, vocals), Ruben Juarez (bass, vocals) and Jason Jamison (drums) basking in the pure joy discovered only in following Christ.
Tenth Avenue North has long been known for the depth and vulnerability of their songwriting since they released their acclaimed national debut, Over and Underneath, in 2008. Quickly winning fans’ allegiance with radio staples like “Love Is Here,” “Hold My Heart” and “By Your Side” (GMA’s 2010 Song of the Year), the band was named the Gospel Music Association’s New Artist of the Year in 2009. The group gained further momentum with three additional full-length records that spawned hits like “You Are More,” “Losing,” “Worn” and “No Man Is an Island,” among others, and has sold in excess of one million albums to date.