Aaron Crabb, a founding member of the acclaimed quartet Canton Junction, has left the group to focus on pastoring Restoring Hope Church. Crabb and his wife Amanda started the Hendersonville, Tennessee church earlier this year.
“To everything there is a season, and singing with this wonderful group of men has been a great one,” Crabb said. “I am honored to have been able to be a small part of the beginning of what God is doing—and will continue to do—in Canton Junction. Now I have moved forward to the tune of a new season with a calling that God has placed upon my heart.”
Crabb leaves a few months after the group was named Favorite Southern Gospel New Traditional Quartet at the 2014 Singing News Fan Awards. www.differencemedia.org
James brings home another Female vocalist award
Mary James brought home her second consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year trophy at the Nov. 13 Inspirational Country Music Awards in Nashville.
Still well connected in San Diego, with regular concerts in the region, James told her Facebook friends, “So honored to receive Inspirational Country Music’s distinguished Female Vocalist of the Year award for a second consecutive year. What a huge surprise!! Thank you to all who have supported me for the last 15 years of ministry.”
Also winning in the Vocal Duo of the Year category was San Diegan Dennis Agajanian and Kali Rose. Other winners included Chuck Hancock, for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, and the Kristina Craig Band for Vocal Group of the Year. The brother-sister team of The Roys won for Inspirational Bluegrass Artist.
The Mainstream Awards went to Alan Jackson, Country Male Artist; Carrie Underwood, Country Female Artist; Sweetwater Rain for Country Duo/Group and Lady Antebellum for Song of the Year. www.faithfamilycountry.com
Seventeen years after its inception, Passion has compiled a mega best hits album featuring seven live video performances and four talks from Passion founder Louie Giglio.
“Passion: The Essential Collection,” a CD and DVD set, includes some of the most popular worship songs of all time led by renowned worship leaders such as Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Redman, David Crowder Band, Christy Nockels and Charlie Hall.
Featured songs include “10,000 Reasons,” “Better is One Day,” “How He Loves,” “In Christ Alone,” “How Great Is Our God” and “Lord I Need You.”
The album releases in advance of three Passion 2015 conferences next month, Jan. 2 to 4 and 16 to 18 in Atlanta and Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 in Houston. The album retails for $15. www.passionresources.com
Rising artist ‘Not Forgotten’
Gotee recording artist Ryan Stevenson has released his new single, “Not Forgotten,” which features Grammy-winning, multiplatinum recording artist TobyMac. The song, written by Stevenson with Toby McKeehan, is featured in TobyMac’s Midwest “Worship, Stories & Songs Tour.”
“The heart of ‘Not Forgotten’ is to release a spirit of hope; proclaiming encouragement over this generation, reminding us that no matter what we are facing, God has not forgotten about us,” Stevenson, a former paramedic, said.
The Pacific Northwest resident and father of two sons was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award as co-writer of TobyMac’s hit single, “Speak Life.” Stevenson’s own acoustic version of the song is featured on his Gotee debut, “Holding Nothing Back” EP, which released last year. www.gotee.com