Anthony Evans – Rejoice (feat. Kari Jobe)

(Both projects distributed by INO Records) Anthony Evans:

“I really don’t feel like doing this tonight…” As the words echoed through the concert hall, Anthony Evans gazed out at an audience that was staring, with wrinkled brows, back at him.
In that strangely silent moment there were more than a few furrowed foreheads facing the singer, but the man on the stage was no longer conflicted. In fact for the first time in a long while the expression on Anthony’s face was genuine, without pretense. Tired of the game every human feels compelled to play; that no-win competition to be everything you’re not – in hopes of pleasing everyone you know, Anthony let down his guard.
“My heart was broken,” he remembers. “But in that honest moment I made the choice to worship and we did the concert anyway… It turned out to be the most connected night I have ever had; because I approached the audience –undisguised.”
Letting the mask fall, this singer/songwriter was able to see his life and his relationships with both man and God from a less restricted view.  And enlightened by that perspective, Anthony turned his fresh insight into the words and music of his latest twelve-track collection releasing in January 2010, aptly titled Undisguised.
“As Christian artists we think we can’t be perceived as broken. We have to put up a façade that says we’ve ‘got it’.  But opening up, revealing the truth of who we are and what we’re experiencing, allows God to do what He does best.” — And that fresh concept of ‘revealing the truth’ is evident in every heart-felt lyric of Anthony’s newest offering…
All that matters to me is what You see when You look at me
All that matters to me is how You feel when You think of me
No more distractions my one affection is only you my Jesus now
You’re all that matters  (+)

The compositions are thoughtful, engaging, illuminating. Each one evoking an atmosphere of introspection and inspiration; each one designed with ‘maskless’ worship in mind.
So take me as You find me, all my fears and failures
  Fill my life again
  I give my life to follow everything I believe in, now I surrender   (*)
“…I’ve noticed, in doing live concerts,” Anthony recalls, “that there is something God does between my mouth and the audience’s ears. Somehow He translates my honest emotions and connects them with what is honestly going on inside each listener.”
And through the recorded frequencies of his harmonic voice, that same invisible, yet audible connection is cut into every CD of ‘Undisguised’. All it takes is a press of the button marked ‘PLAY’ for that everyday need for pretense to melodically fade away.
Anthony’s confession to his audience, on that fateful night, took everyone by surprise. But like the crescendo of a song, the reasons for his sudden declaration had been building within him for a while.
“I had people in my life that had no business being there… and I was busy trying to make everybody happy.”
That juggling act began to take its toll on Anthony. And in time, it affected the one human relationship he valued the most – the one with his bride-to-be.
“…Every day, during the engagement, there were disguises and masks; trying to make sure that she thought I was great. I was afraid that she wouldn’t accept me, if she truly knew me… There was a lot of stuff I had to work through…I had to get over… Love doesn’t do disguises.”
All of the masks eventually crumbled into a mess.  But working through the pain of it all not only led Anthony to moment of unexpected honestly with his audience; it compelled him to come face to face with himself. Out of that mess came an intimate message, which he chose to put to words and music.
I said I loved you but I protected, and kept my heart from you
I saw your hurting eyes still I decided to move away keep myself safe.
I apologize cause  I’ve realized… love is willing to get hurt
Love gives needing no return
When Love lives it needs no words I’ve learned that’s what love is  (**)

“Holding up a mask and trying to be everything you’re not is too much work,” Anthony has learned. “Keeping up such appearances is a drain of your time and energy. And it keeps you from doing what you should be doing.”
Taking account of his disguises both personal and professional, and remembering how receptive to worship his audience had been after his public declaration; Anthony re-evaluated what he should be doing.  And the results have been life changing.
Not only has Anthony Evans become a much-sought-after worship leader, with invitations to Franklin Graham events and such venues as The National Worship Leaders Conference, the recording artist has also taken a leading role in producing the very music he records.
Having recently started his own record company, Anthony partnered with INO Records for the distribution of his upcoming project, Undisguised.  For the first time, Anthony, who co-produced it along with Dove Award-nominated Rusty Varenkamp and up-and-coming producer Brandon Hood, oversaw every detail of this collection.  Added to those duties, Anthony penned nine of the twelve tracks with Dove Award winner, Grammy-nominated songwriter (and friend) Jason Ingram – as well as “Wait,” and “You Alone” with Michael Boggs and “Rejoice” – with Boggs and renowned worship leader Kari Jobe.
And if that’s not enough, Evans and company have just put the finishing touches on a fresh compilation of holiday classics called, What Christmas Means. Included are not only timeless versions of such standards as “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “O Holy Night.” But Anthony also covers the contemporary classics of today such as “What Christmas Means To Me,” “This Christmas,” “Immanuel,” “Grown Up Christmas List,” and “Where Are You, Christmas?”
Like most seasonal compilations, this collection conjures that rare, but familiar atmosphere of simple, holiday joy. However, with Anthony Evans’ involvement, it is a given that every track also contains his unique vocal spin, and his signature penchant for looking deeper.
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list (#)
“What Christmas Means…” is not just the CD’s title, it is a question individuals must compile for themselves. Anthony’s definition can be found, not only in the very list of the CD’s compositions, but in every heart-felt note he sings. And what better way to acknowledge Evans’ fresh, maskless approach to worship-filled music than to celebrate, in song, the birth of the One who introduced the world to living truthful; without pretense.
“All that I’ve experienced has led me to this new calling. God is telling me, ‘Anthony, show them who you are. Show them the truth and I will do the rest’.”
Today Anthony Evans is a man without a mask, living without pretense, doing what he should be doing…. ‘undisguised.’
(+)  “All That Matters” – Anthony Evans, Jason Ingram
(*)   “Mighty To Save”  –  Reuben Morgan
(**)  ‘Love  Is’ – Anthony Evans, Jason Ingram
(#) “ Grown Up Christmas List” – -David Foster, Linda Thompson-Jenner

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