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"Heavyweights Form Band for Jesus"

20:44 - Music Industry Heavyweights Form Band for Jesus
Category: Music

Rockin' For God

Credit: ThankFull music - MCjRecordsCopyright: ThankFull

ThankFull: Music Industry Heavyweights Form Band for Jesus
..> By Paul Bright
Published Jun 01, 2007
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Following your heart is not always an easy decision, but for some people in the music industry, it can end up being the best decision. Do you continue on the commercial road and reap financial success, or do you create your own not-so-popular path and make your heart happy? Mary Cary and Jennifer Newell took the latter road and they have been thankful ever since. In fact, you could say they are ThankFull right now.

Mary Cary is a veteran of several California-based hard rock bands. She's been tapped to play lead guitar in many secular bands to include playing for Simon Stinger. She often wears jeans, sleeveless shirts and displays countless tattoos on her arms, shoulders draped by long, partially-dyed hair. Her guitar playing? Incredible, fast, and furious-with a smile.

Jennifer Newell (sometimes credited as Jennifer Hall-Newell or Jennifer Hall) is a veteran background singer whose voice has been featured on numerous television commercials. You can hear her in the back of albums by Whitney Houston, Lionel Ritchie, Aretha Franklin...just think of a hit Rhythm and Blues artist from the 80's and 90's, and she was probably backing them up with her booming, bluesy voice that can be heard from blocks away.

What in the world brought these lifelong friends to singing for Jesus?

"I came to Christ about a year and a half ago," said Mary. "They (her church) asked me to play in their worship band and I was really excited" I didn't know there was rock music for God. I was so stoked! I went back to play a secular show and my heart felt broken...I really knew I had to play my guitar for God."

She even received a little bit of ridicule from people in her rock community, but that didn't sway Mary from using her pristine playing skills in the name of Jesus. "We don't want to cross back. We like it here. We wanna be all about Jesus."

Jennifer's story isn't much different. She had been working as a vocal coach when one of her students approached her needing help for a special type of music. "I had been going to church for awhile but it wasn't quite connecting for me. I had a student come in and she told me she was a worship leader. I said 'what's a worship leader?' She told me about it and I said 'you mean to tell me you have amplified instruments?' I came from a background of very reserved... excitement.

"My neighbor invited me to go to her church and I saw worship music (for the first time) and I thought "Oh, my God!" The pastor was standing next to me and heard me singing. He said 'would you like to join our worship team?'" She was soon baptized after her worship experience.

There were a few adjustments, but Jennifer and Mary realized this is where they wanted to be. "I'm such a rocker," Mary adds. She was afraid to offend the church so she toned down her normally aggressive playing style. "I was playing really quiet but then they said 'God wants you to rock, Mary. Turn the amplifier up!" Many of their church members even made the hour drive to ThankFull's gig at Stand and Be Counted.

ThankFull haven't left the family out of the business this time around. With their secular work, the ladies had been gone from home many nights which proved difficult. "I toured for many years in secular bands", Mary said. "I missed them so much I was always gone. And now I turn around and they are right there. I'm all about family."

Mary's 14 year-old daughter, Alexis, serves as the background singer for ThankFull while her husband of 15 years, David, works the drums. "I love my husband so much", Jen says with a wry smile. "He's still my boyfriend!" Jennifer's husband is an executive producer in the band.

Hopefully this family affair stays true to the heart and continues on the path of excitement and success. ThankFull's first album is done and is in the manufacturing process as of press time. They look to promote their single "I Believe" which can be found on Mary Cary also has a solo album in the works; many of those tracks- and an electrifying Youtube clip of her rocking to Evanescence- can be found on

- By Paul Bright

"The Candle Interviews and plays Thankfull's music"

Listen to Northern California's Contemporary Christian station for interview and music starting:
Dec. 15th 9:00 a.m. and Dec. 16th at 10:00 - Monika Griffin


"I Hear Your Voice" demo Single available on iTunes
"Pray" 10 Song CD with Songbook available on iTunes. "I Believe" is the single from "Pray" the song has an accompanying video. It has been played on Northern California's The Candle,, Live365, along with raw passionate interview.



Two Hardcore San Francisco Musician Gals ‘Get a Life’
Putting Their Past behind them to Rock for God

Against all odds, not having grown up in any sort of belief system, in an area where only 17% of the population declares any sort of religious affiliation, two hard rocking women come to faith, writing an incredible album for God. Jennifer Newell and Mary Cary, both having struggled with the real, gritty rock star’s existence, found themselves drawn separately to Christianity through a series of personal tragedies, and odd/unexplainable coincidences. Warmed by the uplifting message of worship music, and openly invited to come rock at church, they began writing their spiritual journal which is called “Pray,” their pastor-blessed debut album. This duo calls the band Thankfull, available on iTunes, Amazon, and Like most bands, live show schedule can be found on the Thankfullmusic myspace page along with “I Believe,” their well produced, lush, uplifting first single with accompanying full-on San Francisco location video and EPK directed by D.J. Marini of Combustion Studios and produced by Kristi Jo Volskis formerly of Sony Music Nashville. -

“We’ve seen it all, it’s been pretty heavy duty at times, if you can imagine it, we’ve seen it, we were lucky not to get swallowed up completely like some of our dear friends. Now we’ve been blessed to find the peace of Christ healing our broken hearts” shares Mary Cary, spirited lead guitarist with pink streaked hair, and song writer for the band. “Sure some of our friends in the biz think we are totally nuts, but we feel this is a calling...” Jennifer Newell, Thankfull’s tattooed powerhouse rock vocalist, goes on to say “They say the odds are against people coming to Christ after about age 21, so this truly was amazing! I think we have a fresh look at Jesus and Christianity through new believer’s eyes, its very exciting sharing our music and devotion.” Mary continues with a big smile, “There is so much to celebrate even standing at the edge of life’s hardest times. We’re a work in progress, doing our best to live a joyful life, as close to God as we can by working on humility, sharing our music, Bible study, prayer, and helping those in need.”

These two women, both having extensive backgrounds as session players and live performance, have lent their talents to such national television campaigns as Sega, Nintendo, Got Milk, Herbal Essences, working together and individually with such notables as Aretha Franklin, Huey Lewis and the News, Michael Jackson, Chris Isaak, Whitney Houston, opening for bands like Motley Crew, Rod Stewart, Saxon, Men At Work, Berlin, Metalica, and many more, have put their past behind them, washed clean, focusing all their blessings and gifts on finding ways to share their faith and give back to God for his continuing abundant grace and forgiveness. In short, these two rocking gals got a life!