Following two back-to-back Billboard Top 200-selling, GRAMMY Award-winning solo studio albums, Israel Houghton returns with New Breed for their first live recording in five years, Jesus At The Center, releasing Aug. 14 on Integrity Music. Recorded live with thousands of worshippers at Houston’s Lakewood Church, this double-CD, 17 song album with three additional studio singles features Israel & New Breed returning to their roots, delivering new anthems for the modern day church. The recording follows the group’s critically acclaimed, GRAMMY Award-winning, A Deeper Level (2007).
Joining Israel & New Breed to produce the studio version of the soon to be released Christian AC single from Jesus At The Center, “Your Presence Is Heaven,” is hit maker Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Britt Nicole), while acclaimed vocalists Jason Nelson and James Fortune are featured on the studio version of “It’s Not Over (When God Is In It).” Other guest vocalists featured on the live recordings are Aaron W. Lindsey, Michael Gungor, T-Bone, Bishop Michael Pitts, Jeremiah Woods, Daniel Johnson, Charlin Moore, Adam Ranney, Tina Baker, Onaje Jefferson, Krystle Harper and Israel’s daughter, Mariah Houghton.
“The overarching story of the album is that sometimes we can be so ‘churched’ that we can lose sight of the ‘who, what, why’ of worship,” says Israel Houghton. “This project simply places Jesus where he is supposed to be. We intentionally removed the metaphors and simply focused on his name.”
Co-writing all the songs, except the Bob Dylan cover, “To Make You Feel My Love,” and “You Have Me,” by Michael and Lisa Gungor, Israel said that it was time to do another live album with New Breed. “We’ve always been known for what we do live and we felt like we had songs that could serve as a resource to the church worldwide.”
It was that spark that ignited the recording. “The concept started with the title track, ‘Jesus At The Center.’ We felt strongly that it was necessary to make sure that these were all Christ-centered songs that would, for the most part, find a place of effectiveness in the worship experience of any church. ‘Rez Power,’ ‘Your Presence Is Heaven,’ ‘Speechless,’ ‘Jesus The Same’ – these songs accomplish that and resource worship teams and listeners alike,” notes Israel.