Crossroads Offering Online Video

Crossroads has started offering online video.  They currently offer 4 concerts: NQC Highlights 2009 and 2010, as well as Balsam Range and Darin & Brooke Aldridge.  The single song videos can either be rented for $1.29 for 14 days as a streaming video, or can be purchased as an mp4 video clip for $2.99.  It will be interesting to see how well this does for them, it’s a great idea.  You can read their press release with details here.

New Free Singles by Crossroads

I noticed this morning that there were some new offerings on the Free Singles page at Crossroads.com.

This is a great benefit to all the members of their site and I wish other labels had this available as well.  If you don’t already have an account, sign up and go here for your free music.  Be sure to check back on occasion, they typically update them every few months.

http://crossroadsmusic.com/freesingles/

An Interesting Experiment With Radio Singles

I’ve been meaning to comment about this, but if you sign up for Crossroads‘ email list, they actually offer free downloads of selected singles from the label.  They ask you to be their radio and encourage you to share the songs with friends and family.  Of course, the idea being that if they like the songs, they will seek out the artists and songs and purchase additional music from said artists.  It’s a great idea in theory, and it will be interesting to see just how well it works in practice.  In the meantime, head over to their site and sign up!

Some Questions Answered About NQC Live

Daniel Mount again has a fascinating blog post up.  This was actually contributed by Chris White of Crossroads Music, and in it he explains some of the rationale behind the NQC Live series, and how artists/songs are chosen and/or omitted from the lineup.  White’s post came from some recent discussion on Daniel’s site about the lineup for the new addition to the NQC Live series.  This is candid information that a lot of times fans are not privy to, so I applaud Chris and Crossroads for their transparency and willingness to answer some of the questions that the SG fans/customers have regarding said product.

Two New Releases Available Digitally On Crossroads’ Site

Though the official CD release dates are not until later on (Aug. 15 for the Kingsmen, Oct. 15 for the Talley Trio), both the Kingsmen’s Missing People and the Talley Trio’s Songs You Know By Heart are now available for download on Crossroads’ site.  Find the Kingsmen project here and the Talley Trio project here.  As the disclaimer states, the Talley Trio project is officially available for pre-order, but the digital version is already there.

Crossroads’ Soundtrack Demos

Nate had tipped me off to this a while back, but neither of us had really checked it out much until yesterday afternoon, but Crossroads’ soundtrack demos can be previewed in their entirety and can even be purchased at their normal price of $0.99 per song.  Most of you are probably thinking, why would I want to download soundtrack demos?  The answer is this:  Most of the demos feature Arthur Rice, and others have vocalists like Lauren Talley, Jodi Hosterman, David Sutton, Jeff Chapman, and Eric Bennett.  Here are some of the most impressive ones I’ve heard so far:

  • God Handled It All” – Features Arthur Rice singing the top 3 parts of the quartet and Jeff Chapman (I’m guessing) singing bass.  Rice absolutely drills the high D that Jay Parrack hits on the end of the song.  Incredibly impressive.
  • Mary Knew” – Jodi Hosterman sings the demo for this Brian Free & Assurance song beautifully.  He needs to cover this song sometime on a proper recording.
  • Are You Ready” – David Sutton does a great job on this Gold City hit.
  • I’m Rich” – Lauren Talley steps up to the plate and does a nice job on this tune.
  • I’ll Tell It Wherever I Go” – Lauren Talley nails this GVB hit song.  It really fits her voice well.
  • Healing” – Eric Bennett and Arthur Rice team up for this Cathedrals song, with Rice again handling the 3 top parts.

Incredibly gifted athletes are sometimes referred to as “freaks of nature”, so to extend that metaphor, Arthur Rice is definitely a “freak of nature.”  And I mean that in the nicest, most complimentary way possible.  There are plenty of other great soundtrack demos on the site, so spend a little time checking them out.

Debut Single By Archie Watkins Releases To Radio

Crossroads sent out a press release to their radio list today that announces the release of the debut single from Archie Watkins.  For the record, the song is called “He Will Remember Me” and was written by Lance Carpenter and Ricky Atkinson.  This is significant in several ways.  First it’s the kickoff single of Archie’s solo career since resigning from The Inspirations earlier this year, and it will be interesting to see how the song does, and by extension, Archie as a solo artist.  Secondly, and perhaps even more significant, is the fact that this is being released digitally to radio as a “one-off” from Crossroads’ monthly releases (which occur on the 25th of each month).  In fact, Archie’s CD hasn’t even been shipped yet to manufacturing, yet thanks to the new digital media push by Crossroads, the song is now available for SG radio.  A little birdie also told me that the entire album should be available for download well before the physical CDs make it to the store shelves as well.  This is what is good about the digital media revolution.  Congratulations to Archie, and to Crossroads as well for another pioneering move.

Crist Family Promoted To Horizon Records

One thing that I noticed, but failed to mention in my review of the Crist Family’s latest, Declaration, is that it was released on Horizon Records, which is the label for Crossroads’ top groups (Kingsmen, Kingdom Heirs, etc.) and I wondered if their previous were on Horizon or the development label, Crossroads.  My question was answered in the latest press release from Crossroads.  They have promoted the Crist Family up to Horizon Records, and as I’m sure you can tell from the review I gave the CD, it’s a well deserved promotion.  Congratulations to the Crist Family.

Here’s the press release:

Thursday, April 23rd was a day of celebration at Crossroads as The Crist Family were promoted within the company to the Horizon Records label. Their new recording, Declaration has just released this April and Crossroads anticipates an incredible positive response to this exciting family’s new material. “Rich Crist and I wanted to continue to move the Crist family further out of the box, showcasing the Crist Family’s ever-growing talent. We’re all very pleased with the outcome and have been overwhelmed at the positive response from buyers already,” states co-producer Jeff Collins. “I also recently had the pleasure of seeing the Crist Family live in concert as they premiered much of the new material. The audience response was phenomenal!” Mickey Gamble, A&R Director for Horizon Records remarked, “several years ago, I knew there was something very special about the Crist Family when I first met them. They are a class act and represent integrity and quality for our industry.” The Crist Family’s Declaration, released in April, is available through Crossroads via digital download and compact disc.

Crossroads Radio Single Distribution Goes Digital

Crossroads Records recently launched a site for radio types that provides a digital download of current single releases from their artists, as well as a few independent releases.  Information is present about tempo, length of intro, and a short blurb about the song.  I spoke with Mickey Gamble and Jim Stover at Crossroads.  Jim has been heading up the effort, and said that all the initial feedback from DJs has been positive.  He was kind enough to forward me some of the comments they have received from DJs:

Congratulations on the Download Site, it’s great.  Thanks, I love the CDs for backup but will certainly be using the downloads from this site also.

I tried the download site. Absolutely awesome! SOMEBODY did their homework.

Great idea!

I’m so glad that you all have started this service.

Obviously this has been a big hit so far.  One of the big advantages in using this system is it cuts the lag between the chart peak of one single and the release of the next.  Instead of a 6 week lag time or so, as the new comp CDs are manufactured, the new single can be released via download almost instantly.  I’ll be interested to see if that is reflected in the chart action for their singles.  One would expect Crossroads’ singles to be turning around much faster on the charts than labels that still use comp CDs.  Jim also stated that they will be updating the site with new singles on the 25th of each month and that they will continue sending out comp CDs for now, but they will be pushing this digital method as their preferred method for releasing their radio cuts.

Crossroads has really been embracing the concept of digital music, which I think will really serve them well long term.  SG will make it to the digital age.  They may come kicking and screaming, but they will come.

Digital Christmas Music From Crossroads

Crossroads Music has a new digital only release called A Crossroads Family Christmas.  It’s actually a two volume set that is available.  This quote about the songs on the project is a little interesting:

These are Christmas favorites taken from several artist Christmas projects and radio singles and put into 2 volumes. Also featured is a great new version of Jingle Bells done by the Crist Family.

If some of these songs were simply radio singles recorded for Christmas time, they may not be commercially available elsewhere, which puts an interesting twist on this project.  It appears that Crossroads and Canaan are going to lead the rest of the SG industry kicking and screaming into the digital age. 🙂

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