Daniel Bashta

There can be no life apart from death. At least that’s what singer/songwriter Daniel Bashta believes. He’s experienced both throughout his story thus far. Yet, in the middle of what felt like the darkest season, the light of God’s merciful resurrection showed up, changing everything. Over the course of close to a decade, Bashta has been on a journey of self-discovery, attempting to discern where he—with all his God-given strengths—belongs. Now, he’s finally found a home at a quietly rebellious church in Atlanta, Ga., and he’s ready to share the spirit of his beloved community with the world on his latest live album, My Resurrection (GoForth Sounds).

 

The son of missionaries, Bashta—best known for writing “God’s Not Dead (Like a Lion)”—grew up all over the globe, living in Russia, China and Amsterdam. While studying in London, he fell in love with worship after meeting Matt Redman and Tim Hughes. And that set in motion a career in ministry, helping to plant churches and lead worship all over the U.S. Throughout the years, his original songs have been recorded by Newsboys, Third Day, David Crowder, Passion Band, Jesus Culture and Bethel Music. But in the early 2000s, a pastor questioned his calling, telling Bashta he didn’t fit into the traditional worship mold—his personality too brash; his songs too creative.

 

They were all lies from the enemy, but nonetheless, they took root in Bashta’s head and heart. “I remember when he said that, I just felt like this curse, this dark cloud, came over my life,” he admits. “I think for a season, I tried everything to fit in. The more I tried to fit in, the more I lost myself and the further I strayed from who God made me to be.”

 

Feeling like they had been kicked out of their church family, with no money and little purpose, Bashta and his wife set out in search of a new start, which inspired a move to Atlanta. “We got really hurt and really, really bitter,” Bashta shares. “We basically just lost our heart for the local church.”

 

The storyteller in Bashta soon found a new creative outlet through launching a non-profit. He threw all of his energy into GoMotion Worldwide, an organization that uses music, media and missions to shine a light on people doing good. “We sing songs; we tell stories; and we create change,” Bashta says of the ministry’s primary vision.

 

Professionally, Bashta was struggling to make ends meet and attempting to discern why he was so misunderstood. Personally, he and his wife began to grow their family. Following the successful adoption of their first son, they filed paperwork to adopt a second child. However, they soon learned they were pregnant—after battling infertility—and halted the adoption process. It was an uncanny pattern that seemed to continue each time they filed for adoption. Today, Bashta has four children—one adopted child and three biological kids—all six and under.

 

Fatherhood proved to be precisely what Bashta needed. “It basically started this healing in our lives,” he says of the miracle of adoption followed by the birth of his three other kids. “Maybe it’s becoming a dad once over and over and over, but I’m seeing that even my songwriting style is changing.”

 

In the midst of experiencing the gift of parenthood four times over, Bashta saw “God’s Not Dead (Like a Lion)” became a massive No. 1 radio hit sung around the world. For Bashta, the anthem became a personal declaration.

 

“It’s really this song of hope and freedom from all these voices that were trying to change me or not let me be myself,” he says. Maybe his brand of music had purpose, after all.

 

Gradually, God also began to call Bashta and his wife back to the local church. Today, he’s the worship leader at Atlanta’s RiverStone Church, a multi-generation community of like-minded believers who have embraced Bashta just as he is.

 

“It’s been this journey over the last eight years of things that were dead inside of us and people who told us we couldn’t be who God created us to be,” Bashta offers. “The healing that has happened to my wife and I in the last eight years has been unbelievable. We went from being broke and having nothing to all of a sudden finding a family, starting a family and seeing God just bring so much healing. We’re not the same people anymore. So much has changed in our hearts. God has completely restored our love for the local church.”

 

That’s why it was significant for Bashta to record a live album that invites the world to worship alongside his community. My Resurrection captures the unbridled spirt of Bashta’s paint-outside-the-lines worship through a mix of new selections and familiar songs that are already being sung in churches globally. “I think this record is a testament to this journey we’ve been on, looking back at what God has done in our life,” he attests. “We went from being so full of death and being jaded to now being so full of life and full of this resurrection spirit.”

 

Marked by his adventurous creativity and reckless abandon in the same vein as one of his greatest influences, Keith Green, My Resurrection (Live) celebrates the acceptance and fervor he’s found within his local congregation. “This record is probably one of the least produced records I’ve done, but it’s the most fun record, because we’re with family. What’s better than that?” he asks. “This is a true interpretation of how we lead worship, the songs that we sing, and what we’re about.”

 

The album’s eight tracks are all penned by Bashta, with the listening experience clocking in at just under an hour. “The church was the first place where I would introduce a new song before anyone else had heard it in a corporate way,” he says. “I just wanted to make a simple record for our church of us singing these songs together.”

 

Several of the project’s new tracks—“Bellows of Praise” and “Drenched in Love”—were inspired by old hymns. “The way hymns are crafted…the verses are so strong and poetic, they take you on a journey; and the chorus gets everybody singing together and proclaiming,” he observes. “I think it’s cool we can write songs that are a little more progressive. There’s something so powerful about singing these hymns. Whether it’s your first hymn or you’ve sung this hymn hundreds of times, I feel like hymns are just timeless.”

 

Additional tracks feature lesser known voices Bashta is eager to introduce to the world, including Matt Jackson (“Thank You Jesus”), EB Cole (“Praise The Lord – Rejoice”) and his sister, Harvest Parker (“Costly”). He consistently collaborates with up-and-coming songwriters and worship leaders, passionate about championing the gifts of others. His passion for facilitating artistic collaboration has led Bashta to launch LINUS, a curated gathering for thoughtful creatives to share songs, stories and communion.

 

He’s found authentic community. He’s witnessed his songs take on a life of their own, and he’s continued to cultivate his unique brand of creativity, proving the naysayers wrong. Bashta is finally comfortable in his own skin once and for all—as a believer, a father and a worship leader. “I think my life is all about breaking outside of the boxes,” he offers. “Why would I want to sound like anyone else when God’s already created that person to sound like they should, and He’s created me to sound like I should? I think each of us has a piece of God’s creative heart inside us.I’m not going to dam up the creative spirit that God has given me.”

 

Although the journey has been long, and at times heartbreaking, today Bashta unapologetically pursues all of his endeavors—be it songwriting, worship leading, creativity or even adoption—with a vibrant, renewed passion for the heart of the local church, never content to stay in the lines.

 

“Creative people should always be pushing boundaries,” he attests. “The world needs creative dreamers to create and to inspire and to change their environments around them. I think that’s probably the whole message of My Resurrection… There’s life coming. Get ready for it.”

 

For more information on Daniel Bashta and My Resurrection (Live), as well as chord charts, videos and more, go to http://danielbashta.com/ and social media sites Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,YouTube and Vimeo.

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Skillet Tour Dates

skillettour.pngGrammy-nominated rockers Skillet will embark on a headline tour of the United States this September. The tour will kick off on September 22 in Clive, IA and run through October with more dates to be added and announced in the near future. The tour will feature Thousand Foot Krutch on the first half of the U.S. run and Sick Puppies will finish the second half of the tour. Devour The Day will be playing the entire tour. The headline tour will make stops in cities such as Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; and Sayreville, NJ to name a few. More tour dates will be announced in the near future. An exclusive presale for The Panheads (The Official Skillet Fan Club) will go live on Wednesday, June 22nd.  Tickets and VIP Packages will be available and fans can sign up for the fan club at: www.skillet.com/become-a-member.

Skillet will be touring in support of their new album Unleashed, scheduled for release on ugust 5th. The 12-track album, a year in the making, is currently available for pre-order via all digital retailers including iTunes at: smarturl.it/SkilletUnleashed and Amazon.com at:smarturl.it/SkilletUnleashed. Pre-orders will include an instant download of the debut single “Feel Invincible” and the follow-up track “Stars.” A lyric video for “Feel Invincible” can be seen at youtu.be/tmk_cTMqF58 and the official music video will premiere next week. Skillet can also be found on Google Play at: smarturl.it/SkilletUnleashed_GP and streaming on Spotify:smarturl.it/StreamSkillet.

Skillet’s 2006 release Comatose has just been certified platinum by the RIAA. This marks the band’s second platinum album alongside their 2009 release Awake. The album was nominated for a GRAMMY® in 2007 and saw the release of numerous singles including the likes of “Rebirthing,” “Whispers In The Dark,” “The Last Night” and “Comatose.”

Skillet has cemented its place as one of the 21st century’s most successful rock bands. Selling more than 11 million units worldwide, the Wisconsin quartet have received two GRAMMY® Award nominations and won a Billboard Music Award for the platinum-certified Awake. Their double-platinum single “Monster” is “the eighth most-streamed rock song of 2015” with a total of 57 million plays (and counting) on Spotify and would earn the distinction of becoming “the best-selling digital single in the history of Christian Music.”  2013’s Rise bowed at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release and received resounding and eclectic acclaim from the likes of USA Today, New York Times, Revolver Loudwire, and more.

The Unleashed Tour Dates
*MORE DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED*
September 22 – Clive, IA – 7 Flags Event Center
September 23 – Turtle Lake, WI – St. Croix Casino
September 24 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
September 25 – Wichita, KS – Cotillion
September 29 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
September 30 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre
October 1 – Peoria, IL –  Limelight
October 6 – Fort Wayne, IN – Piere’s
October 7 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews
October 8 – Cleveland, OH – Agora
October 9 – Knoxville, TN – The International
October 12 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
October 13 – Washington, DC – The Fillmore Silver Spring
October 14 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater
October 15 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva
October 16 – Richmond, VA – The National
October 20 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre
October 23 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom

Together 2016 in DC

Together 2016 will be free to the public and is presented in partnership with more than 250 organizations that believe in the power of standing together for Jesus. It will feature an all-star line-up of more than 30 speakers, pastors, artists, and leaders from various backgrounds for a day of unified prayer and worship. Confirmed speakers and artists include: Hillsong United, Kari Jobe, Francis Chan, Lecrae, Nick Hall, Passion, Crowder, Kirk Franklin, Ravi Zacharias, Jeremy Camp, Andy Mineo, Michael W. Smith, Lauren Daigle, Christine Caine, Mark Batterson, Matthew West, Jo Saxton, Mike Kelsey, Casting Crowns, John K. Jenkins, Sr., Josh McDowell, Laurel Bunker, Luis Palau, Tedashii, Tasha Cobbs, Lacey Sturm, York Moore, Trip Lee, Sammy Rodriguez, Ronnie Floyd, Reid Saunders, Bob Lenz, Jose Zayas, Jennie Allen, Nabeel Qureshi, and Josh Brewer.

What we need now is if you are at all interested in joining us on July 16, go to www.reset2016.com and click say “I’m going” so we know you’re in! The more people that tell us they’re going, the larger our permit for The Mall will become. That’s it!

Courtney Cotter King

Courtney Cotter King is releasing a single and music video on Friday, July 1st, 2016, entitled “Stowaway.” It will be available on YouTube, iTunes, and on www.courtneycotterking.com.

Have you ever had a past love return to your thoughts? Anyone who has experienced a parting of ways with someone they once loved understands that walking away doesn’t necessarily mean their past love has disappeared from thought. This strongly symbolic song tells the tale of a “stowaway” who has hidden as a passenger in this woman’s mind, and as much as she’s trying to sail away to be free of him, he won’t leave. Make sure to watch the artistic video, shot on a desert oasis lake, to find out what happens!

Courtney Cotter King was born with a piano as an appendage and is inevitably attached to the keys. A raw talent, with smooth vocals and lyrics beyond her years, Courtney commands a room with merit for listening. Courtney’s artistry at the piano drives her songs with a compliment of strings and agile vocals that shoot straight to the soul in a masterful blend of indie and jazz influences.

Her other works include Fervor Records release “Rooftops” in November 2013, independently released “Home I Roam” in 2011 and her single dedicated to parents of children with special needs, “For the Better,” on May 5th, 2015.

Jill Parr returns with I Still Want More

After a 10 year hiatus, Christian recording artist Jill Parr has reemerged with her new album, “I Still Want More.” The album was quietly released on June 3rd and immediately debuted at #1 on iTunes (Christian & Gospel Top Albums Chart).

“I Still Want More” is Parr’s fourth full-length album, her first to be released via dailyaudiobible.com—the ministry founded by she and her husband, and her first release since 2006. “My story is a dime a dozen here,” says Parr. “3 different albums, 3 different labels and each label either went bankrupt, or fell apart shortly after I released my work.”

But this time, she’s in full control. “I wanted to make this record exactly as I wanted it to be and have it say exactly what I wanted to say with just me and the guy I married who gets it. I’ve heard it all. I’m too old, I’m not thin enough, shouldn’t talk about being a mom and blah, blah, yada, yada. I just don’t care anymore and I love my kids too much to leave them out of this. My husband and I make honest music together because that’s who we are. I write how I feel and what I’ve learned and what I hope to learn. I write about love and faith and losing faith and of never giving up. I’ve been lost along the way but I’ve found in losing myself I have been found.”

Produced by Parr’s husband, veteran record producer/label executive and Daily Audio Bible founder Brian Hardin, the album’s 13 tracks have the honest authenticity that her fans expect. Parr and Hardin wrote or co-wrote on 8 of the album’s 13 tracks, which also includes a cover of the Russ Taff/The Call hit, “I Still Believe.”

During her recording break, Parr has continued to speak to women at conferences, through social media and at Daily Audio Bible events around the world. She’s also currently writing her first book.

“‘I Still Want More’ is for those of you who have big dreams, just like me,” says Parr. “For those of who you live without a safety net. For those of us who don’t have a Plan B. For those who still want more and hope that it’s out there and are crazy enough to believe it. There’s more in me. There’s more in you.”

“I Still Want More” is available wherever music is sold, including iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, jillparr.com, dailyaudiobible.com and more.

With over 1.5 million listens monthly and nearly one-hundred million downloads, Daily Audio Bible (www.dailyaudiobible.com) is one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the world. Created in 2006, Daily Audio Bible is one of the world wide web’s biggest success stories.