Crabb Concert Set For Nov. 20
Christian music’s Jason Crabb will be performing a concert Nov. 20, 7 p.m., at the Lewis Wetzel Family Center in New Martinsville.
Tickets are $15 and available in advance by calling 304-386-4999 or they can be purchased at the door. Rob Campbell, a local recording artist, will be the opening act, singing about 15 to 20 minutes before Crabb takes the stage. Tri County Young Life will be selling concessions, including pizza. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for first come, first serve seating.
“If you haven’t heard Jason, you are missing a wonderful opportunity,” said concert organizer Carla McBee. “I have many messages from people asking me how I ever got ‘Jason Crabb’ to come to New Martinsville. I respond with, ‘It was the Lord’s will and it was a leap of faith that if it’s for good, it will work out!'”
Crabb, longtime powerhouse lead vocalist for The Crabb Family, was born to sing. Baptized in a God-given talent pool, weaned on the hymnal and mentored by Bill Gaither himself, Crabb hit the road at age 14 and, alongside his family, has pursued his calling full-throttle ever since.
He’s performed at Carnegie Hall, become a ‘fan favorite’ at the Grand Ole Opry, appeared regularly on the Gaither Homecoming Series videos, and was honored to sing for the Rev. Billy Graham’s farewell crusade in New York City. His voice has echoed in churches great and small at home in the U.S. and around the world.
But in 2007, the Grammy nominated, 10-time Dove Award winner, felt the winds of change blow in, and he knew it was time to pursue a new path-solo.
The eclectic, even stunning result was “Jason Crabb”, a 12-track collection of authentic, lyrically rich songs delivered by one of the finest voices of his generation. Certainly one of the most acclaimed voices in all of Gospel music.
Produced by Grammy Award-winning Tommy Sims (Michael W. Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Amy Grant) and Norro Wilson (Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Shania Twain), Crabb showcases this one-of-a-kind vocalist in all his stylistic glory. From driving full-country tunes to R&B-infused gospel to reinterpreted southern gospel classics, the recording features cameo appearances by country music legend Vince Gill, southern Gospel mainstay The Gaither Vocal Band, and acclaimed songstress Sonya Isaacs.
Crabb puts to flight the wings that grew out of his deep roots in gospel. “I love singing with my family,” says Crabb of his journey. “So it was always good to travel with them, and they remain some of my closest friends today. We approached our music as a team, which was effective, and I am so grateful for all we did as a family, but there was always this sense of ‘I’ve got so much more in here that I want to get out of me.'”
When The Crabb Family decided to officially retire, his siblings followed their dreams, but Jason wrestled with how he could chase his own and still be accepted by the audience that knows and loves him best.
“To be real honest,” he says, “I was a nervous wreck. It was like throwing sand into the wind; I didn’t really know how it would turn out. But I just relied on the truth I’d known for many years: The songs pick you. And once they do, if you just let the song be the song, you will know what to do with it. You’ll know where to take it to best connect with the audience.”
And while that can’t be said of everyone who considers himself a performing artist, it is certainly true of Jason. He’s that rare breed of artist whose best gift is his ability to interpret a lyric. To wrap his soul-patina’d voice so completely around the message that what is heard transcends the mere marriage of poetry and sound.
Continuing the tradition his father, Gerald Crabb, taught him so well-that the best lyrics are rooted in real life, where real people live-Jason’s solo debut paints with broad strokes: authenticity, hope. faith, and humanness.
With songs like “Walk on Water” (written by Bobby O. Pinson, Trent Tomlinson, Vicky McGehee) and “Sometimes I Cry,” (written by Gerald Crabb, one of the most prolific songwriters around with 22 #1 southern Gospel hits), Jason both acknowledges and encourages hurting people, leaving something more substantive that ‘feel good entertainment.’
“People everywhere are hurting,” he says. “Their backs are against the wall. They’ve lost their jobs, their 401Ks. Big corporations are shutting down… We’re human and we stumble over everything we’re trying to be, to live up to…. ‘Sometimes I Cry’ is different from 98 percent of everything I’ve sung before. It’s a slow song. There’s no modulation at the end, no rousing note at the end; but the first time we did it live, people stood to their feet. They needed to hear it, to be reminded that’s it’s okay to be honest about where they are.”
McBee said she believes the message delivered by Jason Crabb is exactly what the local community needs during a rather difficult time in its history.