Who is The Union of Sinners & Saints?
Petra and White Heart. The two top selling and most well-known Christian bands from the 80's and 90's, and arguably the most popular Christian arena rock bands of all time. Neither band makes music anymore, but the former members of both groups have been active throughout the years. And last year Petra lead singer John Schlitt and White Heart founder and guitarist Billy Smiley started writing songs together, and that collaboration grew into a partnership and then into a full band. They recruited two other White Heart members, drummer Jon Knox and bassist Anthony Sallee, and then filled out the rest of the lineup with Jonathan Crone and Jason Fowler, and call themselves The Union of Sinners and Saints. The band's self-titled debut album mixes a lot of new with a little old, and breathes new life into the classic arena-rock sound both bands were so well-known for. # 1 songs like Beyond Belief, Independence Day, and the Petra/WhiteHeart Medley, plus new hits “Rise Up”, “Lone Soldier”, and “Old Guys Rule” are new fan favorites.
What's this new tour all about?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 19, 2019) - The Union of Sinners and Saints “Storyteller” Tour kicks off May 2019…
Few artists have been more influential in defining contemporary Christian rock 'n' roll than Petra and WhiteHeart, so fans of the genre will likely jump out of their skins when they hear that John Schlitt, lead singer of Petra, and Billy Smiley, guitarist, singer, and founder of WhiteHeart, have teamed up for a new tour for 2019. The Union of Sinners and Saints features members from two of the best selling Christian Rock bands of all time, with sales of over 15 million records between them. Collectively they have generated more than 25 #1 songs and earned more than 15 Grammy and 40 Dove nominations and awards.
"The idea of this new tour really intrigued both of us," Schlitt declares. "With our histories, it only made sense to feature Petra and WhiteHeart favorites along with the new songs that we were writing in the studio, but give it an “MTV Unplugged” sense of style that lets the audience feel a part of the band. The intimacy and stories have been an incredible journey for us so far”.
Smiley adds, "John and I got together and just started writing
songs and reminiscing over both of our histories and journeys. With the chemistry and friendship that developed, we had a tour last year in Canada last was so incredible that we wanted to bring it to the states”.
Fans can look forward to the release of the new CD project, available exclusively at Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes worldwide.
It is also available at www.theunionofsinnersandsaints.com
Featuring eight new compositions and updated versions of Petra and WhiteHeart classics, the CD has been a fan favorite. The New Record Vinyl features some of the same songs as the CD, but with a bonus 11 minute “Group of Songs” of some of the #1 songs from both White Heart and Petra, but done in a new way.
“With the advent of the popularity of Rock coming full circle to festivals and theatres this year, the timing is right for some new material and shows coming to you this year”, explains Smiley.
“A lot of the fans of White Heart and Petra are bringing their kids to the shows, and many people had never seen us live, and so we are seeing a lot of interest around the US, Brazil, the UK, Canada, and Australia to try to get us back there where we played so many shows in the 80’s and 90’s.”
Joining Schlitt and Smiley in the studio is Anthony Sallee of WhiteHeart on bass, new artist Jason Fowler on guitar and vocals, Jon Knox of White Heart on drums, and Jonathan Crone on guitar. "This is an incredible band,“ Smiley states. “From the beginning of White Heart to the very end, the caliber and musicianship of this group of guys is up to the task of the quality we always strived for! I am so honored to have them out with us.”
Smiley produced the record and brought in an all-star cast of musicians including Bob Hartman (Petra), Dann Huff (WhiteHeart, Giant), Brian Wooten (WhiteHeart, Trace Adkins) on guitars, Michael W Smith on B3, John Lawry (Petra on B3), Chris McHugh (WhiteHeart, Keith Urban) on drums, Brennan Smiley (The Technicolors) on guitars, Peter Furler (Newsboys) on drums and vocals, and Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) on bass.
Richie Biggs (WhiteHeart, Petra, and The Civil Wars) is mixed the record along with Jonathan Crone. New singles will be mixed by the legendary Mark Needham (Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham).