Jars of Clay return to Louisville for the first time in over 2 years June 15th. Jars (Dan Haseltine, lead vocals, Stephen Mason, guitar/ background vocals, Matt Odmark, electric and acoustic guitars/background vocals, and Charlie Lowell, piano and keyboards/background vocals) have been on their The Eleventh Hour tour for much of the spring. On the 15th they will perform at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom with Eleventh Hour tour-mate Jennifer Knapp. New artist Shaun Groves has been on the tour as well, but will not be in Louisville, as the Six Flags date is not actually part of the Eleventh Hour tour, but was added on. The "Fusion" worship Band will take Groves place as opening act for Jars and Knapp
Since winning the Gospel Music Association's Spotlight Competition in 1994, Jars of Clay has achieved multi-platinum status and collected numerous awards - including a 1997 Grammy, 4 Dove Awards and 15 Dove nominations. They have also received extensive radio airplay on contemporary Christian, mainstream alternative rock and alternative pop stations. They are one of the few Christian bands that have been on MTV.
Their latest release, The Eleventh Hour, has been receiving great reviews. As I mentioned recently in LMN, the album got 5 stars in CCM Magazine. A New York Post reviewer says, "Jars of Clay is a remarkably good rock band." "The Eleventh Hour is almost certainly the most accomplished of the band's albums to date," says The Tennessean newspaper. The Dayton Daily News says, "The Eleventh Hour is a tasty, balanced feast for the ears, mind and spirit." "The set marks a return to the creative well that fueled the band's successful 1995 eponymous debut," notes Billboard Magazine.
Jars also received a nod for the new album from National Public Radio (NPR). The album and the band was highlighted on NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" March 30. I like it as well, although much of the time I have no idea what they are talking about in their songs. Maybe it's just me!
So critics like the album, but what about the tour? Jars is receiving additional praises from fans and critics alike. "Perhaps the most moving part of Thursday's show came with the live performance debut of `The Widowing Field'," says a reviewer for The Tennessean, in a review after the opening concert on the tour. "The band used moving lyrics, beautiful harmonies and big-screen clips from the movie to really touch the crowd." Jars wrote "The Widowing Field" exclusively for the CD inspired by the Mel Gibson movie We Were Soldiers.
According the band's record label, Essential Records, "the 50-city tour is highlighting the band's career songs that have helped sell more than five million albums, including "Flood," "Crazy Times" and the No. 1 and multi-format radio single from The Eleventh Hour, "I Need You." Unveiling brand new staging and its first multi-media production, the tour also features special guests Jennifer Knapp...".
While in New York, Jars also performed live for CBS' The Early Show and completed numerous other media interviews. Jars fans had an opportunity to see The Early Show performance and interview when it broadcasts nationwide Saturday, May 4. Completing a "live" taping of three songs from The Eleventh Hour, "Disappear," "Revolution" and the band's just released mainstream single, "Fly," the band also performed "Flood," from its self-titled debut.
In addition to the network appearance, Jars of Clay also performed "Fly" April 19 on a top rated morning show in New York, the WB11 Morning News. Other media stops included feature interviews with MTV Radio Networks and ABC Radio Networks, an interview for a July/August Music Biz Magazine cover feature, a Teen People interview that will hit newsstands this month and more.
Lexington mainstream and Louisville Christian radio has been playing "Fly" since last month. "It's about a couple of friends of ours who fell in love," says Haseltine. "The girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer while they were engaged. They still married because they were in love and spent the rest of their lives together in a hospital. It's a true story about loving someone through anything."
Jennifer Knapp, making her first Louisville appearance since last summer's Greater Louisville Billy Graham Crusade, will be playing songs off of her latest release The Way I Am. Already a veteran of the road, Knapp has toured with Jars in the past as well many of the top groups in Christian music like DC Talk and Third Day and has even appeared on the Lilith Fair.
The Fusion Worship Band, the group that has played at the recent "Fusion" events at the Louisville Palace opens the show. The group plays modern praise and worship which is hugely popular right now with all ages.
The concert is at 7:00 PM. Tickets are only $20 and yes that includes admission to the park and the concert. Tickets are available now at area Christian bookstores. A portion of the proceeds go to Youth for Christ. As I've mentioned before I think this is the best concert deal all summer. Hope to see you there!
Also this month, True Vibe makes their Louisville concert debut. The guys will perform June 28th at Evangel World Prayer Center, 5400 Minors Lane.
In a relatively short time, the group has made a big mark in Christian music. Its self-titled recording was the year's highest-selling debut when it released in May and sparked the No. 1 song, "Now and Forever" (The CCM Update).
In addition to Radio Disney Live! World Tour 2001 appearances, True Vibe has also performed sold-out concert tours with Aaron Carter and Destiny's Child. Having performed with Destiny's Child, it is expected that True Vibe's live concert audiences will have easily surpassed the two million mark.
The group has performed the national anthem at ABC's Monday Night Football and other NFL, NBA and major league baseball events, as well as at the Arena Football "Superbowl" in Orlando.
Independent artist and Kentucky native Jason Kennedy is opening the concert. He tells LMN he's excited about the show. "The opportunity...to open for True Vibe June 28th,
is definitely a blessing from God. It is also a great time to present my music to a completely unbiased audience. It is always great to get positive feedback from my family and friends, but this is a chance to see if my music can touch people who don't know my heart"
Kennedy grew up in Kentucky but has been living in Nashville recently, working on his career. "Nashville is a tough place. The music scene in Nashville is more of a production type thing rather than a live music thing. If you are a songwriter, or a budding musician, it is a great place to hone your skills because the talent pool is so deep. Kentucky is more of a live music thing. There are a lot of great bands who are getting signed out of Louisville and for that matter everywhere in Kentucky".
Kennedy says his goal as a singer/songwriter is to be "real". "I strive to write and produce songs that are part of who I am. Music that comes from the heart and will have a positive effect on both saved and unsaved people. I believe that God has blessed me
with a great cd that accurately represents who I am. The CD is called Piece
of Mind and for me that is exactly what it is."
True Vibe and Jason Kennedy perform 8:00 PM Friday June 28th at Evangel World Prayer Center, 5400 Minors Lane in Louisville. Tickets are $8 and are available at area Christian bookstores.