Sunday, May 29, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ May 30th, 2016 ~ Happy Memorial Day ~

Happy Memorial Day fellow music lovers!!!! I hope that some of you have gotten to enjoy the holiday weekends concerts, festivals, etc. It has been a busy weekend for some of our favorite artists. For those that haven't already kicked off their Summer touring this was the weekend to do it. Also, Dierks Bentley dropped "Black" this past Friday and it is of course blowing up. Just a few hours after release it was, to no ones surprise, #1 on the iTunes country charts. I genuinely believe that this will get Bentley into the Record of the Year category at the Award Shows next year. I also think, based on the six songs already released he could win. I think that "Black" may go down as a iconic album for Dierks when all is said and done. To celebrate the release Dierks has been a busy bee hitting the morning shows, doing a Memorial Day concert in the plaza in New York, did a surprise visit to his "Black" pop-up shop in Nashville, and has been very active on social media letting everyone know what he is up to and how to catch him. It's been amazing to watch. I love this kind of artist. I realize that a lot of artist do this kind of thing simply for promo, but I feel everything we have gotten to know about Dierks this far, leads us to the knowledge that this is the kind of thing he would do even if it isn't suggested by label and management. I am sad to report that I do not have "Black" yet, but you better believe it is on my list!!!!!

With Memorial Day allowing everyone some extra free time to lounge pool side, goof off outside, and just sleep in one extra day I thought you all might need some appropriately themed tunes to help you celebrate. I am starting with one from Kip Moore. Currently not on a album and not a song to be seen on a normal show set list. The #DieHards will probably know it, but for the rest of you this may be a new one. I first heard it, I wanna say last summer via YouTube after it was performed at a Holiday show, I think out in Cali. It is one you don't forget. I hope that it eventually finds its place on a album, either a Kip album or a mix cd of some sort. This isn't the version I first saw, but for whatever reason I can't find that one today. Give a listen to Kip Moore's "Battle Cry".

Kip Moore - "Battle Cry"
2012 - You Tube
Whitney Houston - Super Bowl 1991
"Star Spangled Banner"
Next, one of the most iconic performances of the "Star Spangled Banner" in Super Bowl history, perhaps in history ever. The one and only Whitney Houston. I was around 11 years old and somehow ended up with a cas-single of this. I want to say I still have it in my music stash. I at least hope I do.
Also, from 1991 another iconic performance at a sporting event. Lee Greenwood sings, "God Bless America" at Game 4 of the World Series.

Lee Greenwood - World Series 1991
"God Bless America"
Toby Keith - "Courtesy of9 the Red White and Blue"
(The Angry American)
I think that Toby Keith is one of the more outspokenly patriotic artists out there. He has done a variety of shows for the troops as well as several songs that show his version of what being an American is. This one is no exception and is classic with its Toby lyrical and vocal style. Give a listen to "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue" by Toby Keith.
Because how do we leave James Browns, "Living in America" or Rocky for that matter, out of the equation ?! We don't.  I dare you to listen and not have it stuck in your head for the rest of the day. 
James Brown - "Living in America"
Rocky IV Soundtrack
And absolutely NO list would be complete with out it, Bruce Springsteen's, "Born in the USA". I don't know who can listen to this and not get a little out of control. I mean, it basically demands an American flag bandana wrapped around your head and a fist in the air.  

Bruce Springsteen - "Born in the USA"
Military Taps 2014

There are so many great tunes out there that celebrate our beautiful country, the people who keep it free and the glory that is being an American that this list could go on for days. I encourage you to check out some of those tunes on this Memorial Day weekend on YouTube, iTunes, etc. I'll close this post with a pic of my Papaw while in service with the US Navy. I am sorry, but does he not look like the coolest dude that ever was??!!!! Sitting on a ships machine gun, smokin' a cig with hair cooler than Elvis. I just can't handle all the swag in this pic. Must be where I get mine from. BAHAHAH!!! JK!!! #ButForReals

Papaw - US Navy
Happy Memorial Day y'all!!!! Enjoy the day and lets not forget that it is about more than a cook-out or extra day off of work. So many have and still sacrifice so that we can live free.
Past Patriotic Holiday-esq Posts/Stories -


Sunday, May 22, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ May 23rd 2016 ~ Thy Will ~

I apologize for skipping last weeks posting. The Faith Journals seemed to be having technical difficulties in a variety of ways. But we are back and this week we are picking up with a change in genre....sort of. I have been around music my entire life. My mother played piano for church while I was in her tummy. Later she taught piano out of our home. My grandmother, grandfather, and the majority of my great aunts and uncles all sing or play or sing and play. That said, I have been around "Christian" music more than any other genre. I think that is safe to say. I have worked in Christian music in a variety of capacities, use it along with my Bible and other books in my daily devotions, sometimes the words of a Christian artist song are my prayers, when I can't seem to come up with the words I need. It has literally surrounded me my entire life. So, dedicating this weeks #NewMusicMonday to several artist who have genre hopped a bit into the gospel/Christian genre should be no surprise.

I have said thousands of times that the Lord will use whatever avenue required to get His word to you just when you need it. For me He has used not just music and books, but even social media. Something I sometimes refer to as "a kinda ridiculous vessel". It's true, social media doesn't have to be all selfies and meals. It can actually be used for something with a bit more depth if needed. Anyway, back to #NewMusicMonday, several weeks ago I received a free download from UMG (Universal Music Group). Well, they have literally (And I am using that word correctly, I'm not a Kardashian. I know how to properly use the word "literally".), millions of songs to choose from. Allowing me one download was like saying to a chocoholic you can have one M&M. I mean, don't get it twisted, I am grateful for the freebie. I am always grateful for freebies!!! Especially when it is music related. Well, after much ponder and research I decided to go with Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellums' new solo single titled, "Thy Will". Lady A is on a bit of a hiatus and each of its members have been working on a variety of projects. Hillary's project is with her mother, father, and sister, aka Hillary Scott and the Scott Family, a gospel/Christian album. The first single as I mentioned before is titled, "Thy Will". Hillary has an angelic voice to begin with, but she also has a light about her that has always lead me to believe that she too is a "believer". Now, I know a gospel song sang does not a Christian make, but some souls just radiate something that can only be attributed to a relationship with Him. I remember watching Lady A on a red carpet or pre show interview, they had Stevie Nicks with them as she was apart of the performance that night and they had done some earlier recording with her. Anyway, Stevie in discussing working with Hillary mentions specifically a light that she radiates and what a special spirit she has about her. For me, that really says something, particularly coming from Stevie Nicks. All that to say it is no surprise to me that Scott would put some time into recording a gospel album. Based on this first track I think it is going to be a beautiful body of work. I can't wait to hear the entire thing. I think it makes it all the more special that she had the opportunity and means to do this along with her family. Hillary has posted some Insta's of the video in progress and I think it too is going to be rather special.

Back to the song, this song has been speaking to where God has me rather specifically. I repeat, He will use whatever means necessary to get His truths to you. So, no matter what this track does on radio or video my prayer is that the Scotts know that the Lord has used this one for at least this one heart.

Hillary Scott and the Scott Family
"Thy Will"
Blake Shelton - "My Saviors Shadow"
fr "If I'm Honest"
I feel certain that all where taken aback when learning that Blake Shelton had written and released a gospel track for his upcoming album, "If I'm Honest". Blake isn't exactly known for his spiritual side, publically. Now, that's obviously not saying that he doesn't have one. Everyone relax. But a gospel track was a curve ball to anyone familiar with his Tweets. I'll just say that. I read that Shelton had a dream of this song while going through the toughest part of the last year or so and when he awoke immediately wrote the entire tune. Feeling as though it was something he was "suppose" to do and that it was meant as a comfort in such a rough time. I can certainly relate to that feeling. Well, I must say it turned out beautiful and I hope that the song itself gets the attention and airplay it deserves. As I said before, God will use whatever and whoever He needs to get His point and His truth to His people.
Lastly, this #NewMusicMonday I am sharing an oldie, but a goodie. This hymn will forever be timeless in my mind. Originally performed for Vince Gills, brothers funeral, it was later released as a single, was #1 for many weeks on both radio and video countdowns and was sang again at the funeral of George Jones. Being backed by Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs, Vince had every right to be at peace with the tune and the performance. I think it is perfect in every way. Judge for yourself.
This is the actual performance from
George Jones funeral held at
The Grand Ol Opry in Nashville, TN

I hope that this weeks New Music Monday has encouraged you, inspired you, and allowed you some peace going into this next week. He is always with you. He is for you. He is making a way. Keep on keeping on friends. Let Him use whatever He may to get His truth for you, to you, today. Loves and hugs!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ Black Out Addition ~ Chapter 4 ~ May 13th

In last weeks New Music Monday  we shared the first three chapters of Dierks Bentleys, "Black". As mentioned we had hopes that there where more chapters or at least a little closure as we get closer to the May 27th release of "Black" the album. Well, he must have heard our requests because out now is "Black", the fourth chapter of pre-release videos leading into the albums release. However, like the clever minx that he is Bentley has only left us wanting more. Does she get caught? Does she get arrested? How did she ax lover number one? Does lover number two rat on her? Well, we may never find out or this may become one of those oh so epic albums that produce a larger story visually as singles and videos release. Time will tell. Until then, enjoy the first four chapters of "Black" along with the number one hit "Somewhere On a Beach".

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

~ Girl Defined ~ Coloring Contest ~ Yes, Coloring Contest ~

Wanna color?! How about a good ol' fashioned coloring contest?! Thats right, I said coloring contest. I LOVE coloring. Its a creative way to keep your mind busy, focused and even counts as brain candy in my world. You feel creative with out the pressure of actually having to create something. You're invited to participate in the first ever Girl Defined coloring contest. This coloring book is one-of-a-kind and absolutely gorgeous on the inside. Get all the details HERE !! Also, The Girl Defined coloring book is one of the freebies when you pre-order 'Girl Defined' !!!!
Which, you still have time to pre-order and receive the rest of your freebies. Here is a quick shot of what other respected women in ministry and sisters in Christ are saying about the 'Girl Defined' book. Any questions feel free to ask in the comment section. I'll do my best to get you an answer or point you in the proper direction for one.

While you color or work on your pre-order of the 'Girl Defined' book, the authors just released the first video in our brand new 4 part series called, "4 Secrets to Brave and Bold Womanhood." It begins the discussion on "counterfeit womanhood", how we compare ourselves, insecurity disguised, and several other high notes hit in the 'Girl Defined' book. Please take a moment to give the vid a watch and don't forget if you ‪#‎PreOrder‬ by ‪#‎May17th‬ you will receive several freebies including the ‪#‎GirlDefinedColoringBook‬ which is super cute. Any questions feel free to let me know or check the #GirlDefined site.

  • The contest will be held from May 17th - May 31st
  • One winner will be chosen for each day. Each winner will receive a custom designed "winners certificate" signed by Kristen and Bethany, and will have their beautiful artwork reposted on the Girl Defined social media sites. 
  • How to enter? Pre-order Girl Defined, download the coloring book on May 17th, color your favorite picture, and post to social media. You must tag @grildefined and use the #girldefined. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ May 9th, 2016 ~ Black Out ~

Happy #NewMusicMonday!!!! I wanna start with thanking everyone who read last weeks post on "Fans, Frans and The Others" . I truly appreciate the extra love The Faith Journals received and the extra social media shares. I hope that many of you will become return readers. With Summer around the bend it would seem that every artist everywhere is gearing up for Summer tours, new album releases, and promo for it all. This week alone.....

......Keith Urban did a FB live stream Q & A with his fans to celebrate
the official release of "Ripcord". "Ripcord" already has three number 1's
which is kinda amazing considering upon their release a definite drop date
had not been announced for "Ripcord" the album. 

Thompson Square announced their next single for release
titled, 'You Make It Look So Good". I don't know about you, but I
have been seriously missing their presence on country radio
and at all these awards shows.
Kip Moore's 'Running for You' is slowly, but surely moving up
radio charts and is holding strong at #3 on GAC's Top 20 Country Countdown.
And I burnt lunch on Friday due to being so engulfed in watching/reading
media from Kip Moore and The Slow Hearts UK leg of
the Wild Ones Tour. I rarely suffer real and true FOMO (fear of missing out)
however, the social media coverage of the UK part of the Wild Ones tour had
me on a legit ledge. With post show acoustic performances in the alley ways
how could I not have FOMO??!!
So, obviously I have consumed every article, pic and video posted from it.
I did not however consume this Cajun chicken.
I could spend the entire post updating you on all that happened last week in music, but what I want to focus on this #NewMusicMonday is the upcoming release of Dierks Bentleys, 'Black' album. Following the trend of pre-release videos as apart of promo for an album, Dierks has already released four videos for 'Black'. One that is officially out for video countdowns and video channels for airing, "Somewhere On a Beach". Just this weekend it was announced that "Somewhere On a Beach" has hit number one on the charts. Another well deserved musical notch in Dierks Bentleys belt. "Beach" is the follow up to "Drunk on a Plane" and when it was released I kinda had a pit in my stomach. Not that it wasn't hilarious and totally a Dierktastic (I may have just coined that) kind of tune, but I had a fear that he was going to start following a particular formula. You see it all the time. Or should I say hear it?! An artist or more importantly an artists label, see's what is working and starts to force an artist not just into that mold for the moment, but forever. I can imagine as an artist it is very difficult to stand out from the crowd not just musically or lyrically, but visually. I think that the three vids that have been released online as apart of promotion for "Black" are going to help Bentley do just that. I am a HUGE fan of videos from the 90's. Garth Brooks, "The Thunder Rolls", Reba, "Fancy", Keith Urban, "Sunday Morning", I mean the list is endless, And I know that Luke Bryan kinda did this with "I Don't Want This Night To End" and "Drunk on You". I don't want to say that the art of video making has gone down since the initial up swing of video television, but I feel like for the most part, we totally know what to expect from a video these days. I mean, if you have seen a truck in a field in one country music video you have seen it in 30! Or some "country girl", I use that term lightly because the last time I went fishin' I didn't have a unbuttoned top button on m'denim shorts that are so short they are basically under wears. Paired with a white shirt that is thin enough to see the bra underneath it, dancing around in a field or "accidentally" getting caught in the rain. Dear directors and girls who like to think they are country, denim, a shirt tied in a knot, and a pair of cowboy boots, does not a country girl make. But if your only reference is country music videos, I can see why this would be new information.
"Black" is Dierk's wife, Cassidy's maiden name. He said that the album is partially named after her and the entire body of work is a bit of a love letter and story. Not necessarily all inspired by things they've specifically went through as a couple, but what a couple can go through in journeying through many years together. I think it is a beautiful thank you to someone who has supported you for so long. In most situations I am against the idea of a muse. Mainly because in most stories the muse ends up getting the bad end of the deal. But, in this body of work I think it is really rather special. The first "chapter" from  "Black" is, "I'll Be The Moon" featuring Maren Morris. All "chapters", a Dierks specific term for describing the online vids and released tunes, are shot in black and white along with the same actors/actress'. Each "chapter" representing a different song, but tied together by a visual and lyrical story line are kinda amazing to me. He didn't have to do it this way, but the video lover in me ADORES that he did.
"I'll Be The Moon" starts the current trilogy by setting up the couple with the push and pulls of an affair. I say "current" just because "Black" doesn't drop until May 27th. So, there is still time for several more "chapters" to be released online. Back to "I'll Be The Moon", I LOVE this song so much. Not necessarily because I understand the subject matter, but because it is just so beautifully written and executed. Y'all know I am a huge fan of Maren Morris so, I was super amped to read that she was going to be apart of one the tracks on "Black". And after hearing the tune I was on the edge of my seat for a video. Luckily we didn't have to wait but a day or two for the images that go with the lyrics. We never see Maren in the video, only hear her haunting vocals, but the story is so strong I don't know that it is something you even think about missing. Dierks being the vocal narrator through out the trilogy I can see how adding in visually that second vocal could be out of place.  
Dierks Bentley - "Ill Be The Moon"
Featuring Maren Morris
fr "Black"
Next: "What The Hell Did I Say"
Chapter Two is, "What The Hell Did I Say", a question that I think EVERYONE has asked them selves after leaving a nervous or drunk voice mail on someone's phone. And even worse, wondering what will happen if that message is received by the wrong person. Suddenly you are wondering how to break into their home, or car, steal their phone and delete the message at 4 a.m. Or is that just me?! "What The Hell Did I Say", may be the bit of comic relief needed to survive these super dramatic "chapters" from "Black". 
Currently the last "Chapter" available is, "Pick Up". Now, y'all, this video, for real though.....I am struggling with words because of its epic cliff hanger. This is the vid that is taking me back in my mind to my 90's music television, video watching afternoons after school. It's video's like these that brought me to the realization that the visual was just as important to the translation of the lyrics as the drum beat, chord progression, or bgv's are. Some songs don't even start hitting charts until fans get a glimpse of the video these days. Making videos a very important part of getting the music out. I had this feeling when the "I'll Be The Moon" video released that this could be an amazing opportunity to return to the oh so dramatic type of video that once existed in music. As I mentioned earlier what I am thinking when I say that is, Reba's, "Does He Love You", Garth Brooks, "The Dance", Faith Hill, "Breathe". These are epic videos that will forever be able to stand on their own and that totally hit the nail on the head as far as meeting visually the expectations of the lyrics.
"Pick Up" leaves us thinking/hoping that this is not the last chapter to be released prior to May 27th. We NEED to know how it all went down and what happens next. Do you hear me DIERKS BENTLEY?????!!!! We NEED to know!!!! Have you been secretly working as a writer for a soap opera? Just tell us. This is a safe zone. No judgment. 
Third: "Pick Up"
My heart skips a beat at the idea that these kinds of videos and continuing story lines could perhaps return to being in style. As with most things, only time will tell. For now, thank you Dierks Bentley for the released "Chapters" of "Black". You have us exactly where you want us in anticipation of "Black".
Keep calling in, snail mailing, tweeting, texting, instagram-ing, and fb-ing your radio and video requests to local stations and online. Follow the hosts of the countdowns on social media, send a thank you tweet or fb post to the stations that play your requests, post a insta shout out of your car radio to the station that randomly, with out request, played your favorite tune. I have programed local radio stations into my cell so that when I am in line somewhere or stuck in traffic or am riding shot gun I can call in a request. I follow my local radio stations and the national video channels on social media so that I don't miss out on special events they host. I.E. Cam at WIVK fund raiser a few months back, it was fb live streamed and I didn't have to miss a minute just because I was sick. Really and truly social media communication can be a wonderful thing. It doesn't have to be ridiculous or annoying. It's all up to us, the users, the communicators, the posters, the tweeters....ahahaha tweeters, anyway, it's up to you!!! 
For past #NewMusicMonday posts or other Faith Journal Posts feel free to scroll through the archive or type a key word into the blog pages search board. Also, feel free to PM me with any questions you may have or to share an artist you think the world needs to hear about. Follow me on Instagram @StacieTennessee for updates, random FYI's, sale alerts and just general fun.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

~ Insta Blog ~ Waiting Confidently ~

Jesus Calling Instagram
The Lord has been showing me a lot lately about waiting and the condition in which we do it. He's used once again this sometimes ridiculous resource of social media to get His words to me in ways I'll understand. If I had the space I'd repost everyone one of @blushnetwork fb status' from the last few days, but since I don't have the space I'll just post this one as I feel it goes w this #JesusCalling post and just w how I've been feeling. "Waiting plays on every insecurity we have..." - Autumn Miles, in "Appointed"- The Significance of the Wait.

Its true. In a very painful, core rattling way, waiting in confidence is sometimes seemingly impossible when in the waiting the enemy brings up and out our every flaw and mistake. But we gotta keep that truth in mind. Its the ENEMY that takes time to remind us of our flaws and failures. GOD has already forgotten and forgiven them all. And when we are in the waiting He is using those flaws to make us perfect. Ironic is it not?! It will be our flaws and even our failures that more often point back to our Savior than our attempts at perfection. Lets wait together. Lets wait together and in confidence that "He who has begun a good work is sure to finish it". You are not alone. He is not finished.

"You are on the path of My choosing. There is no randomness about your life." - Jesus Calling - Psalm 31:7- "......You have set my feet in a broad place."

~ Girl Defined ~ Summer Bible Study ~

What are your Summer plans ? Have you already made a plan for what you might use in your quiet times this Summer season ? May I recommend the Girl Defined Summer Webinar ? It begins June 8th and will be streamed live for small groups all across the country. Lasting 8 weeks it will also be available via YouTube for those who can't attend or virtually attend on Wednesdays. All you need is the 'Girl Defined' book and a computer with internet access. If you pre-order the 'Girl Defined' book by May 17th you will receive several bonus', including.....
  • 12 Custom Designed Bible Verse Memory Cards 
  • Exclusive Girl Defined Coloring Book 
  • Guaranteed Admission to the LIVE Summer Webinar Study
  • Inspiring Computer Background Wallpaper 
  • Beautiful Phone Wallpaper 
  • 4 Part Quick Start Audio Training Guide 
  • Access to Private Insider Video 
    If you are interested in pre-ordering 'Girl Defined follow click on THIS LINK . 
    Summer Webinar Video Promo
    by 'Girl Defined' and 'Oh Happy Heights'

    ~ New Music Monday ~ Belated ~ RIP ~ The Artist Formerly Known As... ~

    I was out of town and New Music Monday was on Spring Break when the news of Prince's death broke. It is so sad and odd to me how many true artists and musical genius' we have lost in the last year. It's almost overwhelming if you spend too much time thinking on it all. Well, in honor of the "Artist Formerly Known As" I wanna post one of my most favorite of 'New Girl' episodes. I think it is a proper portrayal of how all mortals would react when meeting such a celestial being. 
    Prince Guest Stars on
    New Girl
    I also wanna share one of my favorite Prince written, but not performed songs. While Prince was an amazing artist in his own right he also had a heavy influence in setting up some of the most iconic songs/performances of the 80's and 90's for example, Sineade O'Conners' "Nothing Compares", written by Prince. Carmen Electra, discovered by Prince. He created her entire brand even giving her the name 'Carmen Electra'. There are so many the list goes on forever, but I'll share my 80's girl band favorite from the Bangles, "Manic Monday". Who didn't want to be Susanna Hoff ?!
    Bangles - 'Manic Monday'
    Written by Prince
    Lastly, he was an artist who wanted to do things on his own terms. When the label was trying to force some of their ideals on Prince he refuted by changing his name to a symbol and becoming, if even temporarily, "The Artist Formerly Known As". He believed in owning your own masters, being 100% who you are, even if who you are sticks out like a sore thumb. He was just the kind of artist that other artist could easily respect. May you Rest In Peace with the knowledge your art and your influence will continue on.