Category Archives: Music

#MercyMe Christmas CD: It’s Christmas!

mercymeMercy Me It’s Christmas​ CD will be available in Pizza Ranch locations beginning November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.  It has 4 exclusive songs that can only be found on the CD version being sold by Pizza Ranch.  Each CD will be sold for $5 plus tax.  Pizza Ranch will give away the CD with a $25 gift card purchase as well as sell the full album at each of its 200 locations throughout the Midwest and Great Plains states.  “We are so excited to debut our new Christmas album, MercyMe, It’s Christmas, with Pizza Ranch” said Bart Millard with MercyMe. “Pizza Ranch is a fantastic restaurant with a great mission to glorify God. It’s the perfect gift to give this Christmas season and the perfect CD to get you in the Christmas spirit.”

My Thoughts

Everyone loves Christmas music, right?  The only problem is that over playing thing they do around the Holidays.  So, before you get played out check out Mercy Me in their CD done for Pizza Ranch.  With great voices singing all these wonderful songs, you’ll definitely want to add this CD to your Christmas music collection!!!

PizzaRanchAbout Pizza Ranch:
Cultivating its mission “To give every guest a legendary experience” since its inception in 1981, Pizza Ranch connects with its communities in a way that provides bridges for friends, family and colleagues to come together. Today, Pizza Ranch is based in Orange City, Iowa and owns, operates and franchises over 190 locations in 13 states. Consistent growth has been a Pizza Ranch staple, as the brand has become a beacon of community involvement and exceptional food. The Pizza Ranch buffet features legendary pizzas, salads and desserts, and is delivered with an unmatched service quality.  “We are extremely blessed to have a very close connection with our guests,” said Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder and president of Pizza Ranch. “This project extends the brand’s essence to a new dimension beyond our four walls and into their lives. It’s a new kind of way for us to relate to our loyal fans.”

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Be Sure & Check Out These too:

Christmas Tracts & Ten Must Do Christmas Crafts

Christmas Love Letters from God 

Originally posted 2015-11-17 23:04:24.

Classic Kids Songs #LaurieBerkner

FavoriteKidsSongsAt the risk of sounding old fashioned, I miss the simple songs of my youth.  The ones sang with joy and happiness and no known sinister message or lesson.  It seems like these days the songs teach our children the wrong lessons, or at least the songs we sing with them from the radio and such.  I have greatly enjoyed hearing these kids songs, most from a much simpler time.  I think they’ll make you feel the same as you sing along with them.  Take the time to listen to this adorable collection and you’ll be singing and dancing along with your little ones without ever having to worry about any negative side effects (aside of course from constantly hearing the same song over and over, as children tend to do).  Check out the Laurie Berkner Band and you’ll find a new love for these old classic songs of our youth.

LaurieBerkner

Laurie explains, “I made my first recording, Whaddaya Think Of That? because I wanted families to have a way to listen at home to the songs I was singing with their kids in the classroom, especially the ones I had written, which they wouldn’t have know otherwise.  I included traditional songs, too, because I wanted some of the music to be very familiar.  With each consecutive album, my own originals became more and more of what the kids wanted to sing, so I got away from recording the traditional songs I grew up with.  Now, with Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs, I’m doing the opposite and exploring many of the songs that were so formative for me and helpful in my early days as a music teacher.”

A former preschool teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started marketing her music more than fifteen years ago from her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the “kindie” music genre and was crowned “the undisputed queen of kindie rock” by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, “Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups.”

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Originally posted 2015-11-16 00:01:49.

Sunshine Collective

Sunshine Collective

Sunshine Collective is a fun collection of happy music that simply makes you want to enjoy it.  Sunshine is definitely a good name, as it really does feel like you are listening to a little sunshine!  I’d definitely suggest this for Moms and daughters as it just seems to me music perfect for girl time on a beautiful day!  The various songs bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart as it lifts you up one song at a time.  To quote the song Up to Something Good, ” the world needs a smile and it’s here”.     That definitely sums up this album.  Check it out today.  It will be your next go to happy music!

Sunshine Collective creates an intricate and sophisticated vocal/instrumental tapestry that defines each track as a true musical composition.  Arbuckle and Richards don’t pander to low expectations of children’s listening abilities by simply laying “kiddie lyrics” on top of a basic 3-chord musical structure. Recognizing that children are responsive to music that has sonic complexity and lyric depth, the team purposefully delivers a break from typical kids’ fare, keeping it fresh, cool, and “adult ear” friendly.

Up To Something Good has a roll-down-the-windows, flyin’ free feel, but its summertime sweetness isn’t sticky or syrupy; it’s refreshing as cold fruit at a hot picnic.  The album’s powerful instrumental ensemble flexes its muscles while never intruding on Stephanie Richards‘ vocal tone and style or her crystal clear delivery of the lyrics.  Her eminently ear-friendly voice serves up mod pop and jazz-tinged tunes just as deftly as pop-country, four-on-the-floor, head-for-the-sun numbers.

The title track is pure pop heaven:  bold, brassy, and pulsating with life as Richards’ powerhouse soprano soars over a complex orchestration in a manner reminiscent of ’60s stars like Martha Reeves or Diana Ross.  The album’s non-hackneyed lyric landscape is best exemplified by the poetic poignancy of “Waiting To Say Hello Again,” a gently country waltz that explores how childhood often copes with parting.

Before launching Sunshine Collective, Brian Arbuckle and Stephanie Richards had an R&R pop chart hit with Stephanie’s debut single, “Get Use To It.”  Arbuckle’s orchestral compositions can be heard on trailers for Benchwarmers, Catwoman, and Spider, among others, as well as network promos for shows like Cold Case, Big Bang Theory, and 60 Minutes. He has mixed music for Sprout, Disney, Disney XD, and Nickelodeon, and he is currently in music production for a new Simpsons promo campaign.

CD Details:  Up To Something Good
Release date:  September 18, 2015
For all ages.
Label:  Mystefire Records
SRP:   $14.95
Running time:  38 minutes

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Originally posted 2015-11-06 06:02:00.

#PizzaRanch Hope CD

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Before reading the PR statements (listed below) I listened to the CD they put together.  To be honest, I thought ‘Pizza Ranch’ was some sort of silly band name, but it didn’t matter to me.  What mattered was how good the CD was, because that’s why I’m reviewing it, right? Initially, my post was going to start with telling you this compilation of music totally inspires a sense of hope.  Until I read it’s purpose, now it’s got to start differently.  Only, I don’t know what to tell you.

Guess I’ll just go….  On the three hour trip back to seeing our little blessing I began to listen to the CD Pizza Ranch has put out to inspire Hope, not knowing it’s purpose.  Let me tell you, after almost 7 months of our little one being in the hospital, imagining going home (that hope that things may get on to the ‘new normal’ soon) becomes harder and harder.  As a parent, I keep praying and waiting (and I know it will happen) but some days are hard, others harder and that trip back and forth to the hospital, living there and only visiting your home and pets, is taxing.  Frankly, I think I should be paid in advance, at least 20 years worth.  Regardless, by the third or fourth song in, I was feeling hopeful about life in general, about everything. The rest of the music brought the same good feelings of hope.

Although those at Pizza Ranch who took on this project and put it together may never know the effects of their project on everyone, but hopefully they read this and know that they did make a difference.  More importantly, I hope that you’ll buy the CD and it will bring you some hope and happiness as well.

Adrie Groeneweg had a dream that started in Hull, IA, in 1981, when he was just 19 years old.  It was simple.  Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza?  With just six specialty and single topping pizza recipes developed by Adrie’s mother, Lorraine, Pizza Ranch was born.  Pizza Ranch’s vision and mission is to glorify God by positively impacting the world and to give every guest a legendary experience.  They have 190+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.

LivingHope

On June 2, 2015, Pizza Ranch released a CD called Living Hope containing twelve songs from many of their favorite Christian artists.  Most of the songs are brand-new and written exclusively for this CD around the theme of Hope.  Artists include Colton Dixon, Francesca Batistelli, Ellie Holcomb, Sidewalk Prophets, Kevin Max, Bart Millard, Passion Band featuring Kristian Stanfill, Michael W. Smith, and Mark Schultz.
The CD will be available to purchase for $5 plus tax exclusively in Pizza Ranch restaurants or for download at pizzaranch.com/livinghope through August 31, 2015.
From Adrie Groeneweg, President & CEO of Pizza Ranch, Inc.:  “This album has a very special meaning for Pizza Ranch.  Although Pizza Ranch is not in the music business, many things have been happening, conversations have been taking place and doors have been opening for this album.  Through these events, I believe it was obvious that God has been behind this for His specific purpose and putting it on our hearts to collectively create this project.  As such, we call this our miracle album, Living Hope.”
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Twitter:  @PizzaRanch @PRServes

YouTube Channel (features images and videos of the artists talking about the story behind each song):https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE9lEnxuNzMyLfRyX8_tiLA
Press Release with additional information about the Living Hope CD project:  https://t.e2ma.net/message/7tnbk/7l1cgr

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Originally posted 2015-07-19 17:28:40.

Exhale by Plumb

Plumb

Exhale is an interesting album with great production!  I chose to do this review after listening to part of the music online and thinking it sounded great.  That being said, I think you should check her out and decide for yourself.  It’s very difficult to write a review when you didn’t necessarily love the product.  I hate being ‘mean’ but I also will not be dishonest as God demands it and I feel I owe it to you, my readers.  Unfortunately I feel like the artist’s voice lacked the depth and feeling one has when pouring out their soul to God in song.

The lyrics of the song were beautiful and well written but when sang, it seemed like there was little to no feeling.  I can’t imagine singing such beautiful words, meaning them, and still sounding like I am singing about something mundane.  I feel like God is all encompassing and if I am singing for him, it is my heart pouring out.  That always entails strong emotions.  I honestly felt like there is more emotion manifested in Disney songs than on this album.

If you are a fan of contemporary Christian music, you may hear this and think my opinion is wrong.  I hope so, as this music is supposed to be a touching tribute to God and to help the listener feel His presence.  I am never opposed to that wonderful feeling when God pops ya upside the head and goes ‘hear that? remember how I love you always?’  Perhaps it would be a different description for you, that may be the country Southern girl coming out in me.  LOL.

Regardless, check her music out and give it a shot.  I’d love to hear your opinion after you listen to a song or two.  I’m always up for other perspectives!

About PLUMB:

Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better-known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, co-penned songs for numerous other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Velasquez, and Natalie Grant, and had music placed in many films and television shows.Originally signed as a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) recording artist in 1997, Plumb is now known as well as or better in alternative rock, electronic dance music, and for the use of her music in film and television than she is in the CCM market.

About the album:
EXHALE, the seventh studio album from acclaimed multi-genre singer, songwriter and author PLUMB, expresses a new focus and vision. After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW (the album, title track and book), which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and ultimately healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.The defining concept of EXHALE was born from a sermon at Plumb’s home church, wherein her pastor Pete Wilson expressed the notion that the Church doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, believers come to church to breathe in grace and truth, be changed, and then go out and “exhale” that hope into their surrounding community.“That idea of exhaling hope hit me right away and I couldn’t get to the Notes section on my phone fast enough. I started writing the chorus of Exhale right then and there,” explains Plumb. “I have been made new by the ultimate hope, and I want to share and exhale that hope in everyway I can.”


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Originally posted 2015-05-06 18:11:52.

Tego Audio- Sound You’ll Love!

IMG_4733With music being such an incredibly important part of our society, it’s crucial to be able to have great speakers!  Between that and the incredibly mobile world we live in, Tego Audio has created the product you aren’t going to want to miss!

The Cera Wireless Portable Speaker has amazing sound from such a small speaker!  You can connect via bluetooth or USB to enjoy your tunes wherever you are!  With a reach of up to 35 feet, you can wirelessly play your music as you go from room to room or work in your garden!

A perfect Christmas gift or treat for yourself!  Super simple to use so that even the newest of technology users can use it but those adept will love it too!  If you wanna get one now, or anything else from Tego Audio, use the code below for 20% off!

IMG_473520% Off Discount Code

20CraftyZoo

Originally posted 2013-10-07 00:01:38.

Passion: Free Music Resources & Giveaway

Passion’s is committed to producing praise & worship music that reaches the masses. Check out their free music resources

Passion Free Music Resources

Passion does conferences around the country, calling their tour dates worship nights.  I find that quite interesting.  Their website not only lists their music and where to purchase, it goes above and beyond by providing free resources to churches and individuals.  Their site provides chord charts, presenter files, performance video, multitracks and even tutorials for keys, guitar and drums.  I appreciate that they are putting the resources out there so that churches can utilize their music, it’s also a genius marketing strategy.  Of course, that may just be me and my skepticism.

One of the quotes on their site completely grabbed my attention: “We Sing because We’ve Seen”.  I find that absolutely beautiful.  While I don’t sing much anymore, there was a time when I did.  I hope to one day be back to a place in my heart where the pain no longer masks the glories I’ve seen.  People say that one can get back, unfortunately no one ever is able to give instructions on how to get there.  I can’t honestly say that I’ll ever understand how Job was able to keep going, though I do realize one keeps walking for lack of choice.  What I don’t get, is how he was able to keep and increase his love and faith for God.  While I still have both, they are greatly tainted with pain and heartache.

Passion: Whole Heart

Passion’s album Whole Heart is a live album recorded in Atlanta, Georgia at their 2018 conference.  Below are the list of songs on the album.  Be sure and check them out.

01. Whole Heart (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
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02. Almighty God (feat. Sean Curran)
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03. God, You’re So Good (feat. Kristian Stanfill & Melodie Malone)
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04. Reckless Love (feat. Melodie Malone)
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05. Heaven (feat. Sean Curran)
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06. More Like Jesus (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
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07. Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat. Brett Younker)
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08. Ghost (feat. Crowder)
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09. Ever Almighty (feat. Melodie Malone)
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10. Great Are You Lord (feat. Matt Redman)
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11. All My Hope (feat. Crowder & Tauren Wells)

Additional Free Christian Resources for Churches, Sunday School, Homeschool, etc:

Salvation Bracelet Tutorial

Gospel Plane Printable

Free Gospel String Magic Lesson

The Star Scene & Nativity Printables 

Rod Stewart’s Time Review

Rod Stewart has been making albums and playing music since long before I was born.  Though his looks may have aged, his voice is timeless.  Reaching many achievements throughout his career, he has just come out with yet another great album ‘Time’. Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-05-26 11:32:19.

Sentimental Journey by #EmmyRossum Video and Review

SentimentalJourney
Emmy Rossum’s passionate voice takes you to a new place with each song on her new album ‘Sentimental Journey.’  Although the album title song is not my favorite on the disc, I love the way she transports you into the different world of each song.  One can imagine that if watching her perform live, she would be very descriptive in her movements as she sang the story told in each song.

Emmy recently signed with WB, but she’s been acting, singing and writing for a while now.  She started singing as a child and in a world of synthesized music, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear a modern day singer belting out classic songs from a period of simpler times.  Her album is full of songs meant to guide you along a sentimental journey of song for each month of the year that she chose.  Each song is a remake of classic songs by Doris Day, Edith Piaf, May Blooms, Frank Sinatra and more.”Each song needed to either lyrically or emotionally reflect the corresponding month,” Emmy explained. “Some songs were obvious fits, like Summer Wind for June, and Pretty Paper for December. Others songs were less literal fits. I chose Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down and Out) for September because, to me, the plaintive melody and lyric emotionally reflect the cold weather creeping in and the sense of melancholy we can get in the fall months.”

They definitely elicit feelings of a simpler time and she seems to lift one’s mood with the passion in her voice.  I enjoyed listening to her album, and have loved reviewing it (listening multiple times to ensure I got a good taste), but what I look forward to the most is when she does an album with her own songs.  Although she does an excellent job with these songs, I believe that her voice has a range that just wasn’t quite explored with this album.  “Sentimental Journey” is just the beginning for Emmy Rossum.
You can get your copy on iTunes, Amazon or wherever when it’s released on January 29th.  Follow her on twitter @EmmyRossum https://twitter.com/emmyrossumGet ready, this will be your new go to songs for those long days!
Sentimental Journey Track Listing:
  1. “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown, Ben Homer, Arthur Green)
  2. “The Object Of My Affection” (Pinky Tomlin)
  3. “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover “(Mort Dixon, Harry M. Woods)
  4. “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” (Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey)
  5. “(I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson)
  6. “Summer Wind” (Heinz Meier, Johnny Mercer)
  7. “Many Tears Ago” (Winfield Scott)
  8. “All I Do Is Dream Of You” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
  9. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” (Jimmy Cox)
  10. “Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert)
  11. “Things” (Bobby Darin)
  12. “Pretty Paper” (Willie Nelson)
I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

 

Originally posted 2013-01-26 15:40:00.

Kyle Sherman: Album Review

kyle_cover_FINAL copyWebsite: http://www.kyleshermanmusic.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyleshermanmusic Twitter: https://twitter.com/KyleShermanTX YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com
/user/RayLynnRecordsAlbum Bio Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter Kyle Sherman recently signed on as the flagship artist to brand new label RayLynn Records, an opportunity that presented itself during a time period when a record deal wasn’t even on his radar. “It’s crazy how God works,” Kyle says. ‘Five years ago, I pushed pretty hard to do my own thing as a singer-songwriter, but every well I approached would dry up. It clearly wasn’t the right time.” So Kyle continued on a path of leading worship, taking a full-time role as worship leader at Lifechurch.TV’s Fort Worth campus under the leadership of renowned pastor/author Craig Groeschel. Just 3-years later Kyle made it back to Nashville, pouring his heart into a microphone at Sony studio with veteran producer and country singer-songwriter Mark Collie making his first album. God is faithful. Hear Me, the result of those sessions, is an eclectic and authentic mix of rootsy, southern soul.

Originally posted 2012-10-09 05:00:00.