Tenth Avenue North Tops New Christian Artists of 2008

With nearly 60,000 in physical sales, Tenth Avenue North was the best selling new Christian artist of 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The CCM band was also the only new artist in 2008 to break the 100,000 digital download mark since the May 20 release of its debut album, Over and Underneath, and the only new artist to have claimed two No. 1 radio singles (with "Love is Here" and "By Your Side").

"We're just trying to find our way in the Christian music industry, 'dodging traffic at the intersection of art, faith, and commerce,' as Jon Foreman once put it," states the four-man band consisting of lead vocalist Mike Donehey, drummer Jason Jamison, bass guitarist Scott Sanders, and electric guitarist Jeff Owen.

"What we're hoping for with this music that we're making is to not just entertain people. I think it's safe to say that we already have plenty of that," they add.

"What we're wanting is to see people encounter truth."

Since meeting at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla., the four bandmates have gone from booking themselves at churches and camps to touring with the David Crowder Band and MercyMe, as well as headlining their own dates throughout the United States.

"We're pretty eclectic," Jamison told Christianity Today magazine in an interview last year. "A little bit of country, folk, rock, singer/songwriter acoustic, mainstream pop, hard rock to mid '90s bands like Pearl Jam. We really have a very strange conglomeration of musical interests."

As the band readies for a busy 2009, a major spring tour announcement is expected early next week, according to record label Reunion Records.

The band is scheduled to perform later this week at the Student Venture Conference in Indialantic, Fla., and next week at the Winter Blitz Conference in Louisville, Ky.

Last year, Christianity Today declared Tenth Avenue North the winner of the 2008 Readers' Choice Christian Music Award for "Best New Artist." The award winners were voted on by some 6,000 Christian music fans.