The 5-star-acclaimed, multi-artist Beatitudes album made its debut on Yahoo! Music and released to digital and physical retailers worldwide from Stugiology Music with management, marketing and distribution through The Fuel Music. The album, which showcases 18 new tracks (plus 2 bonus tracks) from multiple GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning artists, leaders in their respective genres of Christian/Worship music, is called "uplifting and inspiring" by Entertainment Weekly, is featured along with Sheryl Crow, Incubus, Lana Del Rey and others in Apple Music's April 21 newsletter, and is JesusFreakHideout's first 5-star review of 2017.
"The guitarist and songwriter Stu G has spent the last two decades traveling the world to understand how poverty, prostitution, drug addiction, and sex trafficking have afflicted society globally. But he's turned those learning experiences into something uplifting and inspiring," writes Entertainment Weekly as Yahoo! Music lauds The Beatitudes Project as "inspired by a rock star's two decades of world travel, and his encounters with extreme wealth and even greater poverty -- both physical and emotional."
Along his journey, Garrard met amazing, present day peacemakers in Israel and Palestine and writes about their stories in his "Peacemakers--Living in the Contested Space" chapter of Words From The Hill. The stories include those of Robi Damelin, an Israeli living in Tel Aviv whose son was killed by a Palestinian sniper in 2002, Israeli Roni Keidar, who sees rockets made from lampposts fall on her farmland, indiscriminately killing workers who are like family to her, Palestinian Daoud Nassar, a farmer who refuses to be a victim, refuses to hate, refuses to be an enemy, Palestinian Sami Awad, a Christian and founder of Holy Land Trust, and Todd Deatherage of The Telos Group, which works to equip Americans to build a transformative pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, pro-peace movement.
"We have to walk into the conflicted spaces and face those things and say, 'no, I'm going to create a new future, and a new story.' That's what peacemaking does," says Garrard in a video featured on his Facebook page.
In addition to peacemakers, The Beatitudes 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 mourners, and the pure in heart--as seen, heard and experienced through a 21st-century lens.
Video stories behind several of the songs featured on the Beatitudes album are highlighted on Garrard's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stugworld, including the songs featuring Amy Grant ("Morning Light"), Michael W. Smith ("Carry On"), Martin Smith ("Holy Troublemakers"), Hillsong UNITED ("The View from Here"), Matt Maher with additional vocals by Audrey Assad ("Oh Mercy"), John Mark McMillan ("Heaven Is Around Us") and Propaganda ("Make A Little Trouble").
In addition to the artists aforementioned, featured on the Beatitudes album are All Sons & Daughters, Amanda Cook, The Brilliance, Anthony Skinner, Terrian Bass and Becky Harding. 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.
"The Beatitudes Project is meant to be a reset button in a world plagued with violence and division," says Garrard. "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."