Many of today’s top recording artists, leaders in their respective genres in the field of Christian/Worship music, have been tapped for Beatitudes, a full-length album releasing from Stugiology Music April 21 with management, marketing and distribution through The Fuel Music. The first single from the project, “Oh Blessed,” releases today to iTunes, Spotify and everywhere great digital music is sold, while the artists, album cover art and track listing are being revealed for the first time.
The recording is part of The Beatitudes Project, which is also a book, Words From the Hill (An Invitation to the Unexpected) from NavPress releasing in April, and a documentary film, View From The Hill, currently in production. The project reveals a wide world of connected stories: real people from all faiths and walks of life who embody mercy, poverty, meekness, the hungry and thirsty, the peacemakers, the mourners, and the pure in heart - as seen, heard and experienced through a 21st century lens.
Featured on the Beatitudes album are Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Hillsong UNITED, Matt Maher, John Mark McMillan, Audrey Assad, All Sons & Daughters, Amanda Cook, Propaganda, The Brilliance, Anthony Skinner, Terrian Bass and Becky Harding (spoken word), as well as Martin Smith and Stu Garrard (Stu G), which marks the first time these two have recorded together since their band, the RIAA Certified Gold-selling, GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning British band Delirious?, disbanded in 2009. Collectively, these artists have sold more than 62 million records, won 11 Grammy, 90 Dove Awards and amassed dozens of hit songs and millions of followers on social media.
In addition to Garrard and cowriter Skinner, the first single from Beatitudes, “Oh Blessed,” features The McCrary Sisters, widely known for singing backup with Elvis and Bob Dylan.
“‘Oh Blessed’ is the introduction song to The Beatitudes Project and is the only song so far that speaks of all the themes in the Beatitudes,” says Garrard. “When things are broken and when things aren’t working out, God is on our side and fully present with us. We can lift our heads and hear the invitation to carry on.”
Over a decade in the making, The Beatitudes Project is the culmination of guitarist, songwriter and author Garrard’s excavation of these “blessings at the bottom of life.”
“The Beatitudes Project is meant to be a reset button in a world plagued with violence and division,” says Garrard, who also authored the book. “These upside-down Jesus announcements on a hillside by the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 5 where Jews, Greeks, Romans and people of all ethnicities were gathered are a reminder that there is another way.”
Representing the Beatitudes visually, noted musicians/artists Jimmy Abegg and Cory Basil collaborated to create eight different paintings that became the basis for the Beatitudes cover art and most of the artwork for the project.