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What Lies Ahead for America?
What Lies Ahead for America?

~ NEEDTOBREATHE ~
Success and the challenges that come with it

by Alan Sculley

   Success, obviously, has its perks. But it also brings a few challenges.

  Needtobreathe discovered that firsthand in touring its 2014 album, "Rivers In the Wasteland." As the venues got bigger, the group's show and performing style had to change with it.

  "The struggle or the difficulty of the last tour was, as the venues got bigger, you're playing to 7,000, 8,000 people, sometimes you didn't feel like you had that same intimacy with the people in the back as the front," singer/guitarist Bear Rinehart explained in a recent phone interview.

  The venues aren't getting any smaller as Needtobreathe tours behind its new album, "Hardlove." The group's tour last fall played mainly arenas and outdoor amphitheaters holding 10,000 or more fans - a sure sign that the group's popularity is continuing to expand. Now Needtobreathe is opening select shows on the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill tour - another arena/amphitheater outing.

  They also recently played at Suntrust Park in a Braves postgame concert.

  "Hard Love" won the Dove Award for For Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year and Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year .

  The group is trying to make sure people in the back of venues get the same experience as the lucky fans sitting close to the stage by adding video when possible to its stage production.

  The group members have also learned how to tailor their performing style to help make sure what they're expressing on stage reaches throughout the venue.

  "I think one thing is you have to be a little more deliberate," Rinehart said. "I think sometimes I feel like I'm putting a lot of passion and energy into my vocal performance. Maybe you can see the veins in my neck popping out, that kind of thing. In a theater that really comes across. In a big amphitheater you've got to do some bigger arm motions to get that across. It's got to be larger than life."

  Wha's also getting more difficult as success allows Needtobreathe to continue making albums is deciding what songs to play in a concert - a challenge that will be a bit greater on the dates with McGraw and Hill since the set will be fairly short.

  "I would say this is the hardest set list we've ever had to make," Rinehart said. "When you've got this many records, six albums now, it's like how many songs can you fit in in that period of time?"

  Needtobreathe is taking some steps to keep as many songs as possible - particularly from the back catalog - in it show.

  "We're trying to do a few medleys and maybe shorter versions of songs," Rinehart said. "Let's give people a chance to sing along to the choruses they know."

  The group is also trying to make room for songs from "Hardlove." The title track is currently #7 on Billboard's Contemporary Christian Music charts. (click here).

  "The record's vibe is a pretty fun record," Rinehart said. "It's probably the most dance record we're ever going to make, and so that's really easy to translate live."

  Don't get the idea, though, that Rinehart is complaining about the side effects of Needtobreathe's continued success. He's seen much bigger problems than writing a set list or figuring out how to connect with fans in the nosebleed seats.

  Go back five years or so and Rinehart didn't know if Needtobreathe was even going to remain a band.

  Formed in 2000 in Seneca, South Carolina when Rinehart, his brother Bo Rinehart (guitar), Seth Bolt (bass) and Joe Stillwell (drums) were still in college, the group made a quick impact in Christian music with its first two CDs, "Daylight" (2006) and "Heat" (2007). With the 2009 album, "The Outsiders," that popularity began to expand to the mainstream market, as that album reached No. 20 on "Billboard" magazine's Top 200 album chart.

  Then, the 2011 follow-up, "The Reckoning," hit No. 6 on the "Billboard" album chart and topped the magazine's Christian music and rock album charts.

 But within the band, tensions between the Rinehart brothers were building to a boiling point. The two split songwriting duties, and rather than pushing them to write better songs, the competitive approach they took to songwriting was corroding the brothers' relationship and the dynamic within Needtobreathe as a whole. Stillwell, in fact, left the group in 2012. (Keyboardist Josh Lovelace completes the current lineup.)

  "We were in different dressing rooms. We wouldn't talk much on show days. We were doing a lot more fighting than creating," Rinehart said, describing the place he and his brother had reached. "I think probably a lot things contributed to (this), but I think the biggest thing is when you start seeing music as a means to an end, you start valuing the success of things or how many tickets you sold, whatever it is, over relationships or the reason that you do it. Then things are going to go bad."

 Fortunately, Bear and Bo Rinehart realized what was happening, and came to each other to say their relationship as brothers was more important than Needtobreathe.

  They would either find better ways to work together or they would move on to separate musical projects.

  "It's a strange thing when you're in a business with your brother because there's pressure," Bear said. "You both have families and it's kind of like you feel this thing like I can't quit because he depends on me. I think both of us at that time gave each other permission, and said, hey, if you don't think this is right or we can't make this work, let's move on. It's OK if you want to do that. I think even just that, taking that pressure off, changed a lot (of things)."

  What emerged was a far more supportive songwriting dynamic between the two brothers for "Rivers In the Wasteland." And the brothers' rel-ationship only improved further in making "Hardlove" - even though they evolved the band's sound notably on the album.

  The melodic and punchy rock-pop sound of earlier albums remains, but where the earlier music was guitar based, "Hardlove" brings more synthesizers and a far bigger synthetic sound into the mix. Songs like "Money & Fame" (with its faux horns and slick groove), the title track, with a soulful vocal that fits with the big programmed beats and cascading synths in the tune, are prime examples of the new Needtobreathe sound.

  Bear traced the decision to explore the synthier/more synthetic direction back to a remix of the hit single song "Brother" (from "Rivers In the Wasteland") that was done by Dave Tozer.

  "He had done a lot more real kind of R&B/soul stuff," Rinehart said. "And he kind of put a clap track in our drums and we were like 'Huh?' At first, we were like "I don't know.' But that really grew on us and we really liked it. I think that sort of maybe opened up that can, if you will, for us."

  But while the sounds and tones on "Hardlove" are different, Rinehart said the songwriting approach and fundamentals stayed pretty much the same.

  "What's really refreshing about this record is that we can still play all of the songs acoustic and the songs are still there," he said. "At the base of it is just hopefully good songs."

~ from theplanetweekly.com ~

The Harbinger captured the attention of more than 1 million people this year with its prophetic warning to America. But the book’s ongoing implications should be the real concern behind this profound revelation.

What happens when a nation ignores God’s warnings and the call to return to Him? What happens to nations that actually return to God?

Regardless of how much the world mocks Christians for believing that God’s Word is absolute truth, there are biblical principles and patterns concerning the judgment or redemption of nations—and this revelation holds profound meaning for America.

I wrote about these principles in The Harbinger, a prophetic wake-up call for America released in January 2012 that has since sold more than 1 million copies. The message has obviously resonated with people from all walks of life (it spent the entire year on the New York Times best-seller list), yet there is far more to this continuing story.

It begins more than 2,700 years ago, when God repeatedly called ancient Israel to return to Him after the people He birthed opted to turn away from their God. The very words of the Torah, spoken through Moses to their ancestors in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, were His first call and His foretelling future calamity if they failed to repent. When the people of Israel’s northern kingdom ignored those words, God sent His prophets to confront them face-to-face with their transgressions.

Even then the people and their leaders refused to listen, hardening their hearts to His message and persecuting the messengers. God finally allowed Israel’s enemies to breach His protective hedge around the nation. Though the subsequent damage was significant, it was limited—proving that even in judgment God was calling the nation to wake up, turn from its self-destructive course and be reconciled to Him.

Israel’s defiant answer to God’s final call is found in Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” Despite being in ruins, Israel vowed to rebuild itself stronger than ever—and without God.

Verse 11 describes the beginning of the tragic consequences of that defiance, the nation’s progression to judgment: “Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on.”

The answer continues in the verses that follow: “And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. ... The land is burned up. ... What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help?” (Is. 9:12, 19; 10:3).

Thus, Isaiah 9:10 leads to a prophecy of national destruction, fulfilled when the Assyrians returned, laid siege for three years and destroyed the northern kingdom in 722 B.C., and exiled its people.

- See more at: http://www.charismanews.com/culture/38176-what-lies-ahead-for-america#sthash.9IWT8R1M.dpuf

The Harbinger captured the attention of more than 1 million people this year with its prophetic warning to America. But the book’s ongoing implications should be the real concern behind this profound revelation.

What happens when a nation ignores God’s warnings and the call to return to Him? What happens to nations that actually return to God?

Regardless of how much the world mocks Christians for believing that God’s Word is absolute truth, there are biblical principles and patterns concerning the judgment or redemption of nations—and this revelation holds profound meaning for America.

I wrote about these principles in The Harbinger, a prophetic wake-up call for America released in January 2012 that has since sold more than 1 million copies. The message has obviously resonated with people from all walks of life (it spent the entire year on the New York Times best-seller list), yet there is far more to this continuing story.

It begins more than 2,700 years ago, when God repeatedly called ancient Israel to return to Him after the people He birthed opted to turn away from their God. The very words of the Torah, spoken through Moses to their ancestors in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, were His first call and His foretelling future calamity if they failed to repent. When the people of Israel’s northern kingdom ignored those words, God sent His prophets to confront them face-to-face with their transgressions.

Even then the people and their leaders refused to listen, hardening their hearts to His message and persecuting the messengers. God finally allowed Israel’s enemies to breach His protective hedge around the nation. Though the subsequent damage was significant, it was limited—proving that even in judgment God was calling the nation to wake up, turn from its self-destructive course and be reconciled to Him.

Israel’s defiant answer to God’s final call is found in Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” Despite being in ruins, Israel vowed to rebuild itself stronger than ever—and without God.

Verse 11 describes the beginning of the tragic consequences of that defiance, the nation’s progression to judgment: “Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on.”

The answer continues in the verses that follow: “And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. ... The land is burned up. ... What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help?” (Is. 9:12, 19; 10:3).

Thus, Isaiah 9:10 leads to a prophecy of national destruction, fulfilled when the Assyrians returned, laid siege for three years and destroyed the northern kingdom in 722 B.C., and exiled its people.

- See more at: http://www.charismanews.com/culture/38176-what-lies-ahead-for-america#sthash.9IWT8R1M.dpuf

See Needtobreathe's live acoustic performance of "Hard Love" -  Click Here

  South Carolina rock band NEEDTOBREATHE has seen their fair share of ups and downs over the course of their career, but their latest chapter left them on a particularly high note unmatched by any of their previous work.
  Their blockbuster 2014 album Rivers In the Wasteland landed the band their first-ever Grammy Award nomination, topped Billboard's Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts, and earned their highest-charting single yet with the RIAA Gold-Certified Top 10 hit "Brother (feat. Gavin DeGraw)."
  But when it came time to record its follow-up, the Charleston, South Carolina-based band decided to completely alter their creative approach and break into entirely new sonic terrain.

  Building off the impassioned, anthemic alt-rock dynamic that's come to define the band, brothers Bear Rinehart (vocals, guitar) and Bo Rinehart (guitar, vocals), bassist/vocalist Seth Bolt, and keyboardist/vocalist Josh Lovelace brought their sixth studio album, Hardlove, to life by delving into the world of electronic effects and instrumentation.
  The result: a sublimely crafted and expansive sound that still reflects the larger-than-life intensity of NEEDTOBREATHE's unforgettable live show.

  With its lavish arrangements and sweeping melodies, Hardlove radiates an unbridled energy that's got much to do with the pure joy that powered the making of the album.
  "Working with synth for the first time, there was a sense of wonder that was almost mystical," says Bo. "It was like when we first picked up our guitars and every chord we were striking had this huge impact on us."

  Adds Bear: "The unfamiliarity led us to rely totally on feeling, and we all felt inspired in a whole new way."

  Along with dreaming up that vital new sound, NEEDTOBREATHE instilled each of the songs on Hardlove with a resolutely hopeful spirit.

  "We were in a dark place when we made the last record, but to me this album is mostly a story of redemption," says Bear. "Most bands would've broken up ten times by now if they'd gone through what we went through, but I think it made us stronger than ever."

  "Mountain, Pt 1," the album's opening track, is unlike anything the band has previously done and immediately sets the tone. Urgent yet soulful, Hardlove's exhilarating title track perfectly embodies the album's theme of redemption through perseverance.

  "If there's a greater good that you want to be a part of, you're gonna have to suffer some punches in order to get there, and the song "Hardlove" is partly about recognizing that," says Bo.

  On the lead single "Happiness," with its soaring vocals and Southern gospel flavor, NEEDTOBREATHE gives a closer look at the personal toll of pursuing that greater good.

 "Every dream costs you something, so it's incredibly important to chase it for the right reasons," says Bear. "'Happiness' is about how the people around you are the ones who get hurt the most by you going after your dreams - but it's also about knowing that the people who really love you will stick by you through it all."

  With its fiery horns and Motown-esque backing vocals, "Money & Fame" finds NEEDTOBREATHE joyfully defying the pressures of success.
  On "Great Night," the band keeps up that triumphant mood and joins Charleston-based folk duo Shovels & Rope in delivering a bold and bluesy party anthem.

  Switching gears, "Let's Stay Home Tonight" unfolds as a tender tribute to the simple pleasure of hiding away from the world with the one you love, while the powerfully charged "Testify" offers an intimate meditation on restored faith.
  And on "Clear," NEEDTOBREATHE closes out Hard Love with a seven-minute-long epic shot through with ethereal harmonies and cascading guitar work.

  "When I first wrote 'Clear,' it felt almost like a wedding song, but it ended up becoming something deeper than that," says Bo. "Instead of some fairy-tale, dreamlike thing, it's more about the focus and clarity of realizing what's most important to you in the world."

 Co-produced by the band, Hard Love sees NEEDTOBREATHE teaming up with producers like Jon Levine (Melissa Etheridge, Cher Lloyd) and working again with "Brother" producer Dave Tozer (John Legend, Kimbra).

  But before heading into the studio, the band spent nine days writing and demoing at a rented house tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina. Working from sunset to sunrise every night, the band set up four recording stations throughout the house and dedicated themselves to pursuing any song idea that sprung to mind.
  "You could be eating breakfast and hear someone playing guitar upstairs.

  Suddenly, you get a spark of inspiration, and go running to their nearest station to get that idea down," says Bo. After coming up with nearly a dozen new songs in those nine days, NEEDTOBREATHE threw themselves into another intensive writing session back home in Charleston, before settling in at their own Plantation Studios to start recording.

  "Once we got in the studio, we went from being a bunch of redneck hippies jamming around the mountain house to buckling down and focusing on nailing the exact sounds we were looking for," Bo recalls. That included tapping into new inspirations like the bright textures of modern pop, as well as mining longtime influences like "old church music and soul and gospel and all that rock-and-roll stuff that's got a certain level of swampiness to it," according to Bear.

  NEEDTOBREATHE first began exploring those influences back in the early 2000s, soon after the Rinehart brothers left their rural hometown of Possum Kingdom, South Carolina. In addition to releasing a half-dozen studio albums and one double live album - all with Atlantic Records - the band has devoted the last decade and a half to incessantly touring, building a devoted and growing fanbase that has followed them from their early days playing small clubs to outdoor amphitheaters and arenas they sell out today.

  Throughout their journey as a band, NEEDTOBREATHE have strived to create music that's part of an ongoing, all-encompassing conversation on life and love - an ambition that's even inspired details like the stylization of their new album title. "There's something very tough and bold about the concept of Hard Love - it's about full-on commitment, and it's a statement that we want to sing proudly and loudly," explains Bo.

  "When people listen to our records, it's like being invited into their home, and we take that very seriously," adds Bear. "We want to make the kind of record that impacts people's lives, the way they love and work and dream and live. We hold that in our mind when we're writing, and we keep on refining everything until we feel like it's in a place that absolutely deserves to be a part of that conversation."

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NEEDTOBREATHE
(Hard Cuts: Songs from the HARDLOVE Sessions)

Amazon Discount Price
as of 9/23/2017

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On Hardlove's first birthday, Needtobreathe reveals Hard Cuts: Songs from the Hardlove Sessions EP. Includes Hard Love (feat. Serena Ryder), Waiting, Count on Me, Walking on Water, Cages and Hard Love (feat. Andra Day)
 
NEEDTOBREATHE
Feat. ANDRA DAY

(Hard Love)

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The sixth studio album from the brothers Rinehart and company finds the group reflecting on the tumultuous seasons behind their recent albums Rivers In The Wasteland and The Reckoning, enjoying unprecendented success while undergoing personal conflict. Recorded at the band's own Plantation Studios in Charleston, SC, Hard Love broadens the band's established sound with synths and electronic elements, fusing the styles of modern pop with strains of gospel, soul, blues, country, and rock. This twelve track collection includes lead singles "Happiness" and "Money & Fame," plus "Mountain Pt.1," "Great Night" (featuring Charleston duo Shovels & Rope),
and more.

NEEDTOBREATHE
(Rivers in the Wasteland)

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NEEDTOBREATHE is an American Rock 'n' Roll Band from South Carolina, effortlessly woven from the musical traditions and faith of their upbringing in the Deep South of the United States. Rivers In The Wasteland is the follow up to their acclaimed album The Reckoning, which saw the band spend over two years on the road in support of a collection of anthemic rock that caught the attention of The New York Times, NPR, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today. "We've come through some rough moments and some amazing moments," says guitarist & vocalist Bo Rinehart. "We're the most energized we've ever been. The band is young again. We've got a new sense of purpose and we believe in what we're doing. We just fell back in love with the idea of what we get to do." Includes the hits, Brother," "The Heart," "Multiplied," and
"Difference Maker"

Needtobreathe
(The Reckoning)

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The 2011 Dove Award-winning group captures the on-stage energy of their exhilarating live performances in this highly anticipated release! Includes the arena-ready "Drive All Night," a swaggering "White Fences," the hit radio single "Slumber," "Wanted Man," "Keep Your Eyes Open," "Angel at My Door," "Learn to Love," "Devil's Been Talkin'," the epic title track.

Needtobreathe
(The Heat)

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South Carolina-based quartet needtobreathe, led by brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart, returns with a sophomore project that fully embraces their Christian faith with unashamed lyrical content throughout the album, including the lead radio single "Signature Of Divine ('Yahweh')". Their powerful compositions evidence a wide range of rock and pop influences, culminating in a stellar new set of sparkling originals.

Needtobreathe
(The Outsiders)

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The Outsiders is the follow up to the South Carolina quartet's best-selling release The Heat. Known for their second-to-none live performances, profound lyrics and song arrangements, NEEDTOBREATHE delivers on all fronts with stand outs "Lay 'Em Down", "Something Beautiful," "Let Us Love" and "Garden".

Needtobreathe
(Daylight)


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The debut release from South Carolina's needtobreathe features gigantic hooks and sing-along choruses, spread out over a variety of sounds and styles. Daylight features eleven songs total, including "Don't Wait for Daylight," "You Are Here," "Shine On," "Streets of Gold," and more.

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