Legendary Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman will release a brand new Christmas project, Joy, on Oct. 16. Joy will showcase seven new, original Christmas songs penned by Chapman and six classics. The lead single, “Christmas Time Again,” goes for radio adds on Nov. 16.
A collaborative effort with friend and producer Brent Milligan, this is Chapman’s third career
Christmas record following The Music of Christmas (1995, RIAA certified Gold), Christmas is All in the Heart (2003, a Hallmark limited, sold-out run of 400,000) and All I Really Want for Christmas (2005, RIAA certified Gold).
This Christmas CD, however, is particularly meaningful to Chapman: “Many know that the last few years have been a difficult journey for my family and me following the loss of our daughter Maria,” says Chapman. “So many have prayed for us and encouraged us, and having the opportunity to write, record and share this new music really feels like the beginning of a new season...a season of joy.”
“Even as hard as things have been, it’s like the sweet is starting to outweigh the bitter for us
more and more,” Chapman explains. “Christmas is becoming a less hard thing for us each year. It’s not that it’s easier to get through because we are forgetting. It’s like we can remember now without it just being so painful and the memories can be sweet.”
Among the album’s 13 tracks are six new songs including first single “Christmas Time Again,” “Christmas in Kentucky,” inspired by Chapman’s home state, and “Christmas Kiss,” written for his wife Mary Beth. Recording Joy also gave Chapman a chance to record some of his longtime favorites like “Joy to the World,” “We Three Kings,” “What Child Is This?” and “Christmas Time Is Here,” from the animated classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” A complete track listing is as follows:
1. Joy To The World
2. Christmas Time Again
3. Christmas In Kentucky
4. Do You Hear What I Hear?
5. Christmas Kiss
6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
7. Christmas Time Is Here
8. What Child Is This?
9. In The Bleak Midwinter
10. Christmas Card
11. We Three Kings
12. I Am Joseph (God Is With Us)
13. Happy New Year
*sequence subject to change
In recording Joy, Chapman, Milligan and some of Nashville’s finest musicians traveled to a studio in Lexington, Ky. to allow for total focus on creating the right Christmas vibe. “We found this great studio in Lexington, Ky. (my birth state!) and gathered together some of my favorite players, slept over in the rooms there, set up a Christmas tree (I wore my favorite Charlie Brown Christmas t-shirts everyday) and went at it.”
Audiences will have the opportunity to hear Chapman perform selections from Joy live on the “12 Gifts of Christmas” tour this November and December. He joins Laura Story, and speakers including New York Times bestselling author Mary Beth Chapman (his wife), Patsy Clairmont, Luci Swindoll, Marilyn Meberg, comedienne Anita Renfroe and illusionist Harris III. For full tour information, visit www.12gifts.com.