Sunday, March 7, 2010

Major Echoing Angels Update...

This just in from Echoing Angels! It's been three years since we've heard a full-length album from these guys. The band released an outstanding track "God Bless Us" last year for Christmas, but we really haven't heard anything new. So, what's been going on? I did an investigation to figure out, and it turns out that I was partially correct! I'll let Echoing Angels fill in the gaps as it was told on their myspace page:





To Our Families and Friends!!

Hello everyone out there in the world we share. We hope this letter finds you well and BLESSED! We wanted to drop by for a few minutes to share what GOD has done and IS doing in our lives, with our band, and in our ministry.

LOOKING BACK:
So many of you have asked “how are you guys doing?” and “what have ya’ll been up to?” and some of you that we don’t see on a regular basis have asked “what in the world happened to ECHOING ANGELS?” The most commonly asked question would have to be…“when are you guys going to release another album?” All of these are very legitimate questions and we really appreciate the concern and the genuine interest in our ministry! Well, let’s catch up.....

In 2006, we signed a record deal to INO RECORDS. We went in and recorded our debut full-length national release “YOU ALONE” that “dropped” (industry shop-talk J) in January of 2007. On that record, GOD blessed us with a couple of songs. HE also blessed us with favor with CHRISTIAN RADIO. There is no formula other than through CHRIST in which a single gets selected, added, then placed in heavy rotation. We had that with our first two songs. The lead single was the title track “YOU ALONE” followed by “COMING BACK TO LIFE”. It is so rare that a brand new band would have such quick respect and support from radio. We didn’t have to do anything. It all happened so fast. That year was a crazy busy year in the life of EA. We toured, did festivals, did radio promos, did camps, did conferences, we flew, we bussed, we vanned…we did it all. I can remember saying in just about every radio interview that it was GOD who has called us to do this, not a label, not a particular manager, not an agent - nothing but GOD! Looking back, that’s an easy thing to say when everything is going your way and you have your first single rise and reside in the top 5 nationally for such a period of time you grow to take it for granted. That’s what you do as an artist right? You sign a deal, record a song, release the song, and it’s a hit. It’s just what you do. HA! More on that later.....


Later that year in the fall of 07, we had the opportunity to do “The Rescue Tour” with our good friends NEWSONG and JIMMY NEEDHAM. “COMING BACK TO LIFE” was the current single, though “YOU ALONE” was still getting a very respectable amount of spins. The tour was a blast. We met so many wonderful people, perhaps some of you. That tour ended in NOV 07. The label had already sent us a letter stating they had “exercised the option” (more shop-talk) meaning they will further continue our partnership and fund us another record. The new songs were to be turned in and ready by 12/31/08 for an early 2009 release. AWESOME! After the tour, our original singer had to come off the road due to personal reasons and had to be with family effective immediately. We still had many bookings already confirmed in December and in to 2008, not to mention to write and turn in a record. Well, when we lost our singer, the label pulled back a bit. Understandable, they didn’t know what the new vibe would be with in the band, writing, performing...the total package. This is where it gets good and God really begins to work.


2008: Through a producer friend of ours, we met Trey Heffinger. Trey did not know he was coming to audition to be our new singer. He thought he was coming to rehearse to fill in for our next confirmed concert in MS a week later, a GA date, and 3 big Student Life conferences in TN, FL, and TX. He killed it! He learned our record including vocals and guitar parts, plus several worship songs. We were jaw dropped at the commitment to excellence and the work ethic that he displayed from the get go. This is what we needed! We still toured pretty heavy in 2008 from the momentum sustained with our record and the success of the 2 singles. This was great, but unfortunately it left us not a lot of time to write and turn in a new record. Plus, we were basically becoming a new band. In the summer of 2008, we lost two more members. It’s always tough to lose someone you’ve served with for years, but truthfully everyone is called to do something and we’re not all called to do the same thing. ....

Scripture tells us in the 15th Chapter of John “our FATHER is the vinedresser and every branch that does not bear fruit HE prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” Through all of these changes, GOD was still working and painting on our canvas. We immediately got a new bass player, and later we obtained a full-time keyboard player, which plays a huge roll in our “new sound”. We even gained an outstanding front of house engineer/stage/road manager. All of these guys are men of GOD. They love the LORD, they love people, and they are huge assets to our ministry!


2009:
This was a brutal year of blows I think for everyone. It was an interesting year for us to say the least. It started in January, as everyone’s 2009 did…I suppose. We got a phone call from our label. Only, this one was not as pleasant as the ones we were getting a couple of months prior as we had just really tapped in to our writing as a new band and turning in songs. They were excited about the new sound, loved the new vocals and seemed to love the new image. All of the pruning and re-grouping we did was necessary and the best thing for us internally as far as a ministry was concerned. But, unfortunately too much time had passed. We were not ready for by the deadline stated in the “2nd option letter”. So, over the phone we were told about the economy, record budget was not going to be what it once was, our manager at the time was very ill, and we had 3 new guys. The label had decided to let us go. I have to tell you, this is an interesting call to receive right after completing a 21-day fast seeking God’s guidance! A couple of months after being dropped from our record deal, we lost our manager who had been fighting a vicious war with pancreatic cancer and was called home to be with our LORD. We had this overwhelming feeling that God was still not done with us yet. A month or two after that, we were told that we were losing our booking agency as well.

Rumors flew that we were breaking up or had broken up. Some asked if that was the end. Some would even say strike 3, and you’re out. Thankfully, as much as I love the game of baseball, life is bigger than a 9-inning game and the KINGDOM is an ETERNITY.

THE LESSON:
What was God teaching us throughout all of these “worldly set-backs”? We truly felt like God was doing a mighty work with us and was still using us, and working through us…but how? It hit me like a ton of bricks. Remember the aforementioned “it’s not a label, manager, or booking agent that has called us to do this”? WOW! It’s GOD. It always has been and always will be. HE has never left our side.


I was recently telling a couple pastor buddies of mine that looking back on this journey, this is the first time we have had to fully rely on GOD. It was about and for GOD before, but things happened so quickly and fairly easy that we almost lost site on what is important and WHO actually paved the path. HE has us where he wants us-face down praying and seeking HIS guidance. We will surrender to HIS will and we know that HE is setting up a testimony and that through all of the trials, HIS name and KINGDOM will be glorified!! The BIBLE reminds us in the book of ROMANS “if GOD is for us, than who can be against us?” Eternity CAN NOT and WILL NOT be measured in ticket sales, album sales, or a single charting. All of these things are not bad in and of themselves, but they don’t validate a ministry or what we’re called to do. That goes for all of us!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
JAMES 1: 2-4

2010 – THE SEASON WE’RE IN:
We’re at a point now to where we have been working hard and writing so much new material. GOD is opening many doors with new relationships and touring opportunities. This past fall, we signed new management with a well respected and hard working company in NASHVILLE called PATTON HOUSE ENTERTAINMENT. Andrew Patton and Tiffany Rockhold are the epitome of integrity and have grabbed the bull by the horns and went to work from day one. They have been such a blessing to have on our team as we are preparing to launch our new project. They don’t hold back from any kind of accountability whether it is spiritual, musical, and business counsel. This is the kind of board and leadership that we have needed for a long time! They’re KINGDOM minded in all their works and strive for nothing less than excellence. This lines up perfectly with what we feel like we should be and how we should carry ourselves.



As we are pressing on toward the prize, we are at a place where we could really use a little bit of help. We’ve never really had to ask or felt too awkward to ask, but in reading God’s word in JAMES 4 it says: “Have you ever considered why you don’t have grace in different areas in your life? Could it be that you have not because you ask not?” Over the last couple of years of touring and business expenses, we have acquired some debt that the LORD has convicted us to pay off. “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” – ROMANS 13:8 On the new album question that we’re asked so often and the question that all of our wonderful friends at all of the CHRISTIAN RADIO stations and networks across the country ask “when can they have a new song?” Here’s the answer: We are trying to raise the necessary capital that it takes to go in the studio and record the songs that we feel like the LORD has place on our hearts to sing and we feel like the message in them is one that HE has anointed! We have faith that GOD will provide us a way to carry on with this ministry. “Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city!”


So the obvious question raised after reading the last paragraph is, “What can we do to help Echoing Angels?” So, being brave and without reservation, we ask for your prayerful consideration in financially helping us. To prepare for our next record, marketing, promotion, and some other costs associated with getting a record ready for distribution and release, we need about $75,000 to do it all. WOW, right? That’s what we think as well. But, with GOD all things are possible. So, we simply are letting our need be known. You might be someone that can help in a MAJOR way. You might be someone that can help in a small way. You might be someone who can get others on board, or you might be someone that will “pray without ceasing.” We need all of those amazing and very different ways of support. If you have questions, we also welcome you to reach out to us directly at info@echoingangels.com.

“THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG, WE’RE PRAISING OUR SAVIOR ALL THE DAY LONG”. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all that each of you do and all that you are! Thank you for taking the time out of your hectic schedules to read this update. And THANK YOU ALL for spending so much time in our hearts and minds, which is where you all will stay!!!!

IN HIS LOVING GRIP,
ECHOING ANGELS

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