On April 11th, recording artists The Martins joined the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Nashville list of tandem jumpers as the Army Golden Knights returned to middle Tennessee. The multi-GRAMMY® and Dove-nominated trio took to the air together, rising to an altitude of around 12,500 feet above the earth and performed tandem jumps from their plane, falling at speeds in excess of 120 mph.
The siblings--Judy Martin Hess, Joyce Martin Sanders and Jonathan Martin--collectively known as The Martins, enjoyed smooth landings and found they were "still standing," as they applauded the Army Golden Knights team and also announced their all-new studio recording entitled Still Standing (Gaither Music Group).
"One of the things that's amazing to me is that we are still creating music that we love," stated Joyce. "We are not tired of doing this; we love being together; and we still have the capability to communicate what we want to say and to see those things come together in a creative and inspiring way. We are grateful to have recorded some good things in the past that we have loved singing. To still be able to record new music and be proud of it is exciting. It's the same story...but a new chapter for us."
This new chapter, set to release worldwide on July 13th, showcases the soaring vocal stylings and impeccable blends that have transcended musical genres and garnered The Martins two GRAMMY® nominations and eight GMA DOVE Awards and made them a household name among Christian music enthusiasts. Still Standing, produced by award-winning singer/musician/producer Gordon Mote, finds the group continuing to explore musically while maintaining the three-part harmonies that have taken them from the stages of Carnegie Hall to the White House.
"We have worked with Gordon for years--on stage, watching him do what he does," described Joyce, "but working with him behind the board was completely different. He hears things we don't hear--even the 'Martin harmonies.' We had to learn how to do those a little bit differently. He would show us parts he wanted--still three parts and still tight, but he made them fresh and new."
"It's always exciting to have something new to sing and new to say," stated Judy. "It doesn't take away from the old, but it always feels good to be moving forward."
That "move forward" with Still Standing includes the uniquely-penned song "Beautiful," written by Joyce, Kenna Turner West and Don Poythress. "It was written from the perspective of me singing the first verse to Jonathan about Jonathan," Joyce described. "Jonathan and I sing the second verse to Judy about her. Judy sings the third verse to me about me. We are singing it for other people but also to each other. I knew that's what I wanted to write, and I co-wrote it with Don and Kenna. They understood my vision and helped me craft it perfectly. It's us singing our stories. God has taken all of our valleys and turned them into something beautiful. He is still using us."
"I think one of the reasons we are out here is to tell our story," stated Judy. "We want to let other people know that God is what they are looking for, whatever they are going through. He has the answers to all of our questions. He has done so much for us. We are singing to each other about personal circumstances with the song 'Beautiful.' I'm so glad we recorded it. It's not just a blanket statement. It's our stories."
Jonathan's story also seems to be captured with "Good," a song written by Dave Barnes on which Jonathan is featured. "God truly has been good to me," he shared. "I am glad to have my children, my wife, my family and my sisters. As I look at my life now as a husband, a son, father and brother, I can say that life has not always been easy; but it has been good. This song expresses what I've experienced better than I could have said it.
"We need to be reminded that God's hand has been in our lives in the twists and turns. I think this recording will also remind listeners of that. We want them to know that He uses everything for good and to develop the character of Christ in our lives."
The new recording follows the group's recording A Cappella (Gaither Music Group), which received a 2015 GRAMMY® nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album, debuted at #2 on the Southern Gospel chart and landed at #17 on the Contemporary Christian Music chart according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Still Standing will be exclusively distributed by Capitol Christian Distribution and Universal Music and will available in the general marketplace and at retail and digital outlets worldwide including iTunes, Amazon, www.gaither.com and www.martinsonline.com.
The new recording will air as part of a special TV offer on RFD-TV, TBN, Gaither Television Network, PBS, DISH TV, DirecTV, FamilyNet, CTN, GMC, GMTN, Guardian, Liberty, TCT and TLN. It will air in Canada on Vision TV, CTS, The Miracle Channel and Hope TV. It will be promoted via a social media campaign, positioned in retail/e-tail outlets everywhere, featured in the Gaither Catalog Collection and on the Gaither web site and aired on the "HOMECOMING Weekly" program on Sirius XM.