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dawsoncoyle3

Music producers and talent scouts spend millions of dollars and countless hours listening to hundreds upon thousands of terrible performances to find the one diamond in the rough, amazing musician or singer who seems to have all the qualities and abilities to turn heads and make your jaw drop in awe. As a local talent scout, I can probably count on one hand a few individuals or bands in the area over the past few years that meet this criterion and that have wowed me to the point of saying, this person/group is amazing, this person/group has that “it” factor, this person/group is destined for greatness; for people like these come sometimes, once in a lifetime. However, when I find a person or group like this, I do everything in my power to not only get the word out about them, but to help them gain exposure and recognition they deserve. This album review is my attempt to do just that for a very incredible young talent by the name of Dawson Coyle.

I met Dawson and had the privilege of introducing him to the world for the first time as an artist, at a concert Kindred was hosting in a small middle school gymnasium in Swedesboro, NJ. In front of a packed house or about 100 people, Dawson nervously stepped on stage and performed a mix of originals and covers that just blew me and all who were in the audience away. Then, just 16 years old, he not only had a fantastic stage presence but, by using his personality and musical talent, captivated the audience for 20 minutes leaving us all wanting more.  It was at that moment that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was not only something special about Dawson, but that this performance was just the beginning of amazingly bigger and better things to come. And bigger and better things did in fact come. Within the course of a year, Dawson made it to the finals of a very prestigious talent competition, Dawson won a Kindred Award for New Artist of the Year, Dawson opened up for several big named acts in the Christian music circuit, and is now starting to become a headliner at many of the establishments he is asked to perform at.

To say that Dawson has the “it” factor would be an understatement. I say this not to give him a big head or to paint him out to be the most amazing singer and performer in the history of time, but to try to paint a picture of just how rare an individual like him is. For Dawson fits almost every criterion of what I believe are key elements to massive success in the music industry. First, he is young, he’s attractive, he has an amazing personality, wit and charm, he is a very creative songwriter and storyteller, he can play his own music, he sings, he has a great stage presence, he’s a hard worker, and on top of all that, is probably one of the humblest and teachable individuals I have ever met.  And if that wasn’t enough, he has a faith and calling on his life that most adults would dream of having. So when I heard that he released a full-length debut album, I can honestly say I was super excited and eager to get my hands on it; and when I did, I was thoroughly impressed with what I heard.

From the very first track to the very last, Dawson takes you on a journey both musically and spiritually. The opening track “The Light’s Battle Cry,” is a great challenge to believers to recognize just how dark and evil this world is and how we need to be ready to take up our armor and fight against the devil and his schemes. A song that could easily be heard on any radio station, “The Light’s Battle Cry” is probably the truest to understanding Dawson’s style as a musician and writer. “Save Me From Myself,” one of my favorite tracks on the album and probably the most catchy on the album, is a fuse of blues and rock that is an honest cry to God to help keep focused on doing what is right when your flesh wants to do otherwise. “Peter Pan” and “Fairytale” are cute love stories of conquest and fight to find the girl of his dreams. “It’s Beautiful,” and “Run Into My Arms” are great examples God’s love for us while “You’re Not Alone,” “Once Again” and “Welcome Home,” share an honest depiction of internal struggle but no matter what we’ve done or how far we’ve strayed, God always is there arms wide open waiting for us. The CD concludes just as strong as it began with “It’s Getting Dark,” a fun upbeat worship song about staying focused on Christ’s light in the midst of the darkness around us.

Overall, this is an amazing debut from Dawson. The fact that he not only played all the music, did all his own vocals/harmonies, wrote all the lyrics, and even recorded it himself is simply incredible for a still young teenager. Though this CD probably won’t win Dawson a Grammy, what I do know is that whether you’re a child, teenager or adult, you will be able to connect with this CD in some way, be encouraged, and hopefully like me, walk away with a huge smile on your face. I truly believe that looking at the big picture, with the help of the right producer or music veteran Dawson can and will be a household name someday.

The highlight tracks for me on this CD are “The Light’s Battle Cry,” “Save Me From Myself,” “Run Into My Arms,” and “It’s Getting Dark.” If you’re a fan of Jimmy Needham, Jason Mraz, Jordan Feliz, Mark Schultz, or Kristian Stanfill, you’ll probably like Dawson Coyle.

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Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at kindredconcerts@gmail.com

Dawson Coyle is Christian contemporary singer from Vineland, NJ. “Battle Cry” can be found on all major online outlets such as itunes, amazon, cd baby etc., For more information about Dawson, you can visit his website at: http://dawsonmusic11.com or his facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/dawsonmusic11

Want to read other reviews by Tim Ewing? Click here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/cd-reviews/469516346430958

Silent Culture - Behind These Walls

Being around music and the music business as long as I have, you come to learn that bands come and bands go. However, if you were to tell me that in what seemed to be the height of their music careers, Above the Fall and Faith Beyond Fear would decide to part ways, I would have said you’re crazy. But that’s exactly what happened to the surprise of many, including myself. However, for lead singer Jesse Fryson, Above the Fall, wasn’t the direction and calling he felt God was taking him on, so he mutually agreed to close that chapter in his life to pursue a new one, combining forces with Matt Urgo, Juan Vera, Ryan Ippolito and Justin Meehan of Faith Beyond Fear to create a new band, with a new direction and a new mission they felt God was calling them to do.

Simply titled, “Silent Culture,” as a band, they wanted to be more issues oriented and in touch with what’s going on in the world this time around and to be a “Voice for the Voiceless.”  They want to speak up for people who don’t fit in or haven’t been represented because they haven’t had their voices heard. Formed in November of 2015, the guys in Silent Culture spent several months collaborating together to write new songs they felt represented their faith, their mission statement and their cause. In July of 2016, they released their first EP entitled, “Behind These Walls,” a six song EP that showcased not only their incredible musical abilities and ability to create something that is fresh, new and exciting, but also something that lyrically made a bold statement that they are not going to sit idle as things are happening around them.

The opening track, “State of Emergency,” orchestrated by Chris Orazi, a multiple Telly and Emmy winner for scores he has done on documentaries and for PBS, is an incredible spoken word documentation of the current state of our society, and really sets the tone for the EP as a whole. Discussing how “something must be done because our world is dying,” State of Emergency tackles the issue that enough is enough, we need to take a stand and do something to change the current state our society is in. As the track ends the next track, “This is My Life” beautifully transitions and continues strong the point that enough is enough… this is my life and I’m not going to sit idly and allow society to dictate how I’m going to live my life. The lyrics proclaim, “I don’t care what people say, I can’t wait another day, I’m taking back the fight. I don’t know what you’ve been told. I’m not gonna be controlled cause this is my life.”

As the EP progresses the next song we get to is “Cattus Island,” an extremely upbeat high energy song that is probably the most radio friendly and one of my favorites on the EP. Though I’m not quite sure of the exact meaning of this song, after asking the group about it, they said that it’s a metaphor that is really in the eye of the beholder and can be whatever the listener wants it to be. From there, we transition into a slightly different direction with their song “Hallelujah.” “Hallelujah” is a fun sing a long worship song of thanks for God’s love and sacrifice on the cross, while “I Will Carry On” definitely gets my vote for the highlight track on the CD. Mixing classic and modern rock riffs with a fuse of spoken word, this track not only is extremely entertaining and catchy, but lyrically is a great encouragement for anyone who has ever struggled, to know that you don’t have to give up. When one door closes, another door will open up. The EP closes with “Don’t Turn out the Lights,” an honest cry for hope in the midst of darkness and despair. Once again, the idea goes back to keeping your head up in tough times, never settling, but striving towards overcoming.

Overall, this is a wonderful preview of what’s to come for Silent Culture. The songs are catchy, the lyrics are smart, and I truly believe that they are on the right track towards tremendous success in the industry. The highlight songs for me are I Will Carry On, Cattus Island, and Halleljuah, however, all the songs are worth the listen in their own right. I will go on the record to say that if they stay true to their mission statement and continue to stay focused on the bigger picture in their ministry, they will obtain huge success in all they do.

If you’re a fan of Relient K, Sanctus Real, About A Mile, or Ashes Remain, you will probably enjoy Silent Culture.

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Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at kindredconcerts@gmail.com

Silent Culture is Christian indie rock band from Vineland, NJ. “Behind These Walls EP” can be found on all major online outlets such as itunes, amazon, cd baby etc., For more information about Silent Culture you can visit their website at: http://silentculturemusic.com/ or their facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/silentculture/

Want to read other reviews by Tim Ewing? Click here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/cd-reviews/469516346430958

original-poyntblankAs a reviewer and critic of music, in my opinion, one of the most undervalued, underappreciated, and most understood genres of music is rap/hip hop. When it comes to being a great rapper/emcee, you either have it or you don’t. I learned this first hand, when I failed miserably at attempting to start a career as a Christian rapper. But even though I don’t have the gift for rap, I still know great writing, musicianship and presence when I see it.

Growing up in the 80’s/90’s, I was spoiled with the ability to experience amazing rappers and artists who not only created well-crafted beats and musical backgrounds, but had a flow that was smooth and a storyline that actually had meaning and purpose. But as time went along, the more I invested in the rap scene, the more I grew to be disappointed, for the newer artists and emcees didn’t come with the same fire, intensity and passion. The message became dumbed down and it became more about the money than the love of the art. But just when I thought all was lost in the world of rap/hip hop, I came across a rapper that not only captivated me with every word, and verse he spit, but had such a passion and love for his art that he literally invested every minute of free time he had available to not only improve his own craft but the industry as a whole. The fruit of his hard work produced a product that exceeded anything I had ever heard before and got me excited for music again. That artist was Brandon “Poynt Blank” McKenzie.

For over a decade I have followed the career of Poynt Blank as an artist, producer and performer. Though this review is a long time coming, I truly believe that when it comes to creating music and lyrics that are truly unique, original, and inspiring, Brandon has a special gift from God that is unlike I have ever seen before and maybe will never see again. This is truly the case with his debut CD release Poynt of No Return. From beginning to end, you are not only taken on a musical journey, but are treated with a superior sense of word play, punchlines, style and flow that is rare for any rapper, let alone one as young as Brandon is.

For me, each track is amazing in its own way, but a few songs stand out to me that are worth mentioning in this review. First, “More Than Entertainment” is a wonderful musical composition that shares Brandon’s vision not only for this CD but for his life and ministry as an artist. “Earthsuit” challenges the idea of stereotypes and why we shouldn’t base opinions of a person and their character primarily on the outward appearance. “Man Like Me,” probably one of my favorites of all on the CD, provides a glimpse into the integrity and respect Brandon has for the opposite sex. It not only sets a high bar for any guy interested in dating, but also is a great reminder to any female to not settle, but to expect this behavior for anyone perusing a relationship with them. I also have to mention “Armageddon,” because for me, it not only is a song that could be heard on a regular rotation on any mainstream radio station, but is probably one of the most solid songs from a lyrical prospective as well. The last song I’d like to mention briefly is “Salvation.” I love this song because it’s a great reminder of the amazing love that God has for us and ultimately the amazing gift He gave us through Jesus.

Once again, I can’t speak highly enough about this CD or about Brandon “Poynt Blank” McKenzie. From the catchy and fun background tracks, to creative word play and lyricism, to the ability to relate to anyone, no matter what background they come from, this CD has it all. If you are a rap fan, this is a must have for your collection. If you’re not, I would challenge you to give this CD a chance. You might just find a new prospective and appreciation for Christian rap. I truly believe that Brandon’s passion, gift and drive for excellence is going to take him far not only in music, but in life. If you’re a fan of Lecrae, Kendrick Lamar, LL Cool J, KRS One, Andy Mineo, or Bizzle, you’ll love Brandon “Poynt Blank” McKenzie.

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Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at kindredconcerts@gmail.com

Brandon “Poynt Blank” McKenzie is Christian rapper from Haddonfield, NJ. “Poynt of No Return” can be found on all major online outlets such as itunes, amazon, cd baby etc., For more information about Poynt Blank you can visit his website at www.iampoyntblank.com or facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/iampoyntblank?fref=ts

Want to read other reviews by Tim Ewing? Click here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/cd-reviews/469516346430958

Broken Ones CD Image

When it comes to the music world, opportunities to study and learn from some of the most influential and recognizable names in the industry come few and far between. For Renatah Rae, she not only had this opportunity, but has devoted her life to music and singing from as early as 8 years old. Studying under gospel legend Julius Brockington and working with John Payton & Company for over ten years, she got to watch firsthand how much and ministry can go hand and hand to make a huge impact not only locally but globally as well. During this time, she was not only learning the ropes, but preparing herself for a journey not even she quite knew would take her.

With the release of her EP, “Shades of Grey”, in April of 2013, Renatah got her feet wet as a recording artist, and showed that she has not only an incredible voice, but a very unique and fresh approach to music and songwriting. Now with the release of her first full length self-produced album, “Broken Ones,” she has taken her gift and craft to a whole new level. Incorporating musical styles of traditional and modern gospel, contemporary, rock, dance, and a whole lot of soul, Renatah brings a new style of music she aptly calls “ChristoSoul.” And what I love most about this release is that with the CD she also bring back the art of storytelling through her songs.

From the very first tracks, you get to hear the heart and soul of the message of this CD as she shares her story of brokenness (“The Broken Ones”), but ultimately her redemption (“Changes”) and newness through Christ (“24 Chances”). As you get to the fifth track on the CD “Greatness,” you begin to realize that you don’t have to be the best to be great. If you can see your life from God’s eyes, you would know how valuable and loved you are.

Tracks seven and eight share a self-reflection and self-discovery of who she really was in Christ. In the song “Still” Renatah sings, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made…. I am still God’s vessel, I’m still His lady.” This idea continues in the next track “Made Me Queen” where she sings, “Queen in Your eyes, such perfection. I can see a crown on me.” Then in tracks nine through eleven (“Wake Up”, “Pray They Knew” and “Home,”) she flips it from how God sees her to how God sees each and every one of us and how special we are to Him.

The CD then moves to a powerful song called “Never Knew You” which comes from the prospective of God. In the song, God questions the listener to evaluate their relationship with Him and the way they live their life daily. In the song, God pleads with the listener to choose the right path so that in the end, He won’t have to say “I Never Knew You.” “Home” and “Dying To Live,” finish the CD with a reflection on coming back to a restored relationship with God and the desire to continue to live for God despite pain and brokenness of life.

Overall, this CD is a wonderful portrayal of the heart and soul of Renatah Rae. She brings an innovative approach musically and lyrically takes the listener on a journey of emotions and faith. With her powerful voice and heart of worship, she has proven that she is not only versatile, but ready to take her gifts and talents to the next level. The highlight songs on this CD include, “Broken Ones,” “Changes,” “Greatness,” and my personal favorite, “24 Chances.” If you’re a fan of Mandisa, Dara McClean, or Francesca Batistelli you will probably like Renatah Rae.

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Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at kindredconcerts@gmail.com

Renatah Rae is contemporary Gospel singer from Philadelphia, PA. “Broken Ones” can be found at all of her live shows, on all major online outlets such as itunes, amazon, etc., and at on her website. For more information about Renata Rae you can visit her website at: www.kissthesonrecords.com

3 shades of blueHey everyone. I know it’s been awhile since I posted anything but I wanted to make you aware of a huge local story happening right now. If you have been following my posts on the Kindred Facebook page you have seen me tell you about the journey 3 Shades of Blue has been on over the past month on NBC’s top rated summer show America’s Got Talent.On Tuesday, September 8, 3 Shades of Blue will be competing for a chance to perform in the finals for a chance to win $1 million and a headline act in Las Vegas.

As you may or may not know, 3 Shades of Blue is a Kindred Award Winner and an amazing local Christian rock band. Making it to the finals and even winning the competition would be a huge opportunity to share their faith and the gospel with millions of people all over the world. So, I am writing this blog on behalf of the guys in 3 Shades of Blue to ask that on Tuesday you show your support by voting for them to get to the finals and watching the live semi-finals on Tuesday night.

The event details are as follows:

The live semi-final event happens this Tuesday September 8, on NBC starting at 8 p.m. Voting will go from 8 p.m. to noon on Wednesday. 3 Shades of Blue will be performing against 10 other acts and only 5 acts will move on to the finals which will take place Wednesday September 16.

Voting can be done a few different ways:

1. Vote with your phones with the 800# that will be given on the show Tuesday night.
2. Download the AGT app (it would make it easier if you downloaded the app now) and vote there.
3. Google AGT on the night of the show and vote on the widget that appears (here’s a link that explains how to do this:https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/6245497?hl=en ).
4. Vote on AGT’s website (http://m.nbc.com/ ).
You can vote 10 times per voting method until noon on Wednesday for a total of 40 votes. We would love to have as many of your votes as possible go towards 3 Shades of Blue.
May God bless you and thanks in advance for your support
Sincerely in Christ,
Tim Ewing and 3 Shades of Blue

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Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at kindredconcerts@gmail.com

3 Shades of Blue is a pop rock band out of the Philadelphia area. For more information about 3 Shades of Blue you can go to their website at: http://www.3shadesofblue.org/

Want to see 3 Shades of Blue’s journey thus far on America’s Got Talent? See all the videos picture and more by going here:
 http://www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent/cast/season-10/3-shades-of-blue
Also check out what we really think about 3 shades of blue in our cd review:
http://www.sjchristianevents.com/3-shades-of-blue-love-will-sing-outcolors-ep-review/