Point of Grace: Now a Trio
By Christy Biswell
The 700 Club
AUDIENCE EXPANDS TO COUNTRY
For those fans who have followed Point of Grace’s success in the gospel market it should be no surprise that the gifted group has recently seen their audience expand to the country music arena with the hit How You Live (Turn Up the Music). The song is the focus of Point of Grace’s How You Live Deluxe Edition featuring a newly recorded acoustic version of the multi-format hit.
“We couldn’t have planned it. It’s a natural progression for our music,” observes Point of Grace’s Shelley Breen.
Through the years the group has continued to make the same positive, uplifting music with beautiful harmonies and compelling lyrics.
“What we’ve always been doing as Point of Grace, we are finding that country music is beginning to embrace even more, especially lyrically,” continues Breen. “Many of the lyrics you hear on country radio are so much more faith-based. There is definitely a place there now for the music that we’ve been singing for a long time.”
“With the state of the world, people want to be encouraged and they want to believe in God, something that’s more powerful than ourselves,” says Point of Grace’s Denise Jones. “That’s why country music has really embraced lyrics that have values, faith, and God -- things that Americans care about. At the end of the day, a great song is a great song. If you have a great melody and a great lyric, that’s all you need. That’s what we strive to continue to do.”
The group says they will definitely keep on making Christian records because it is important to them. At the same time they are excited about the new doors that have opened so they can take their music to a wider audience.
In May, they made their musical debut at the Grand Old Opry and performed the new acoustic version of How You Live.
“It was our first performance at the Opry House. It was great just to have those players behind us. Plus Restless Heart was one of our big inspirations and they were on the Opry the night we were. It was awesome,” says Breen.
NOW A TRIO
After 15 years, Point of Grace has recently become a trio. Heather Payne left the group in June 2008 after having her fourth child. She decided to leave the group and spend more time with her family. The remaining members of the group are: Shelley Breen, Denise Jones, and Leigh Cappillino. Since the group was built on friendships, Point of Grace decided to keep the group a trio instead of selecting another vocalist.
Shelly Breen and longtime friend Denise Jones began singing together at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., forming a group that caught the attention of Word Records executives. After moving to Nashville, they met Leigh Cappillino, a great vocalist and kindred spirit who fit perfectly with the Point of Grace sound. Cappillino began her career singing in a duo with Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town. She graduated from Anderson College in S.C. and went on to finish a bachelor’s degree in religion at Charleston Southern University.
The talented trio has been busy recording three new songs to add to their award-winning How You Live Deluxe Edition. The title track took home the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year. In the deluxe edition, a new rendition of How You Live is featured as well as two new songs: I Wish and King of the World. The song titled I Wish, is penned by Cindy Morgan, who also wrote How You Live.
“We love her,” gushes Jones. “She’s very much where we are in life. She’s a mom with kids. All the things that we think in our brains, she puts on paper.”
When the group heard I Wish they all just fell in love with it.
“I Wish is one of those songs that you can so relate to. It’s about things that in your heart you yearn to see happen. It’s a statement that I think women especially would want to make,” says Cappillino.
The group tries to limit their schedule to five or six days a month in order to spend time at home with their families and still do what they enjoy doing which is sing.
Whether on stage or in the studio their signature style brings something unique to each song they sing.
“Our voices are our instrument. They are the one true instrument that we have and we use those to make the Point of Grace sound, which is filled with harmonies,” says Cappillino. “I think where we find the excitement is in the harmonies. It’s just something glorious.”
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