*Summer tour schedule
*Fall tour with PFR
*Jars folder/write to Jars online
*Live vs. studio players (by Steve)
*Billboard Single Review
*A historical review of Jars
Hello and welcome to the Jars of Clay email news! Finally! Thank you all for your patience. I was getting it approved by the guys before sending it out. We all look forward to many fun discussions about the band and their ministry. All comments,criticism and questions are welcome! I'll do my best to include anything people send me. If you know of anyone else who would like to receive this publication, please send me their email addresses. We are now at 80 subscribers! All correspondence will be answered. If there are problems with you receiving any issues or wanting back issues, please email me and I'll do my best to provide what is needed. If you terminate your email account, please unsubscribe first so the mail doesn't all bounce and come back. Thanks!
In this introductory issue, I have tried to include a sampling of what I know of the band and how everything is going for them, I hope it provides some insight for those of you with questions. If there are more, I'll email them and we'll do what we can to answer them together. The guys are online, so will be contributing to many issues, but unfortunately the best I could do for this one is a copy of a message from Steve left on AOL in their folder a while back. They've been quite busy the past couple weeks!
Summer tour schedule: Here are the known summer dates for Jars. There should be more poppin' up all the time, and we'll keep you posted!
6/3 Kettering, OH
6/16 Atlanta Fest, GA
6/23 Coconut Creek, FL (opening for Code of Ethics)
6/29 Heritage USA, SC ("Lifeweek")
7/8 Valley Park, MO
7/15 Tampa, FL
7/17 San Marcos, TX
7/22 Springfield, IL
7/29 Tuscumbia, AL
8/2 Highpoint, NC
8/5 Amarillo, TX
8/18 Bolivor, MO
9/2 Steubenville, OH
9/8 Marion, IN
also-we are playing Cornerstone this year- the 7-ball stage, not sure which day. this is probably a partial list. please inquire about specifics-i.e. where, what time,etc. hope to see you this summer. keep in touch!! Charlie
Fall tour with PFR: Jars will be appearing again on a series of dates with PFR! If you didn't catch the show the first time, don't miss it! And don't forget to bring a friend who may not have had exposure to the Gospel...
There are 32 dates currently listed. There will be 40, or more. We'll get you the info as it develops. (Remember, all dates are subject to change, especially this early in the process.):Sept. 22.............................Baltimore, MD
America Online News Brief:
There is now a folder where you can post your comments on Jars and read others' here on AOL. It is located under Christianity Online section, then under Yakety Yak-Student Talk, then go to Music, movies, etc. and there is a Jars folder located there. There are about 70 postings now and it is one of the most active folders I have seen in that area. Check it out! Also, take note that Matt, Dan, Steve, Charlie and Scott (live drums) are all online. You can reach them at clayjars or they have individual screen names: Pdljmpr7 (Charlie), IDrumToo (Scott), Snack75 (Steve), PlumbersC (Dan), and ODIE74 (Matt). Remember they keep a busy schedule but they welcome your comments and they'll do what they can to respond!
So far, Flood, the first release, has reached number 4 on the CHR (Christian Hit Radio) charts. It has been released for radio on a CD that contains a gatefold cover and has the original version and a shorter edit. There is also a video for Flood that is currently on the ccm-tv playlist for Saturday nights (midnight on the Family Channel) and includes artistic shots of the guys flailing in the water and walking around an old mansion, and Dan throwing mud all over himself. Love Song for a Savior has very recently been released and hasn't had time to climb the charts yet as far as I'm aware. The song Liquid has not been released for airplay but can be found on last month's 99 cent Release tape (designed to accompany Release magazine May/June '95 issue). There is also a compilation CD available "free" (+P&H) from ccm-tv, advertised in Shout. Around Christmas time, there will be a 3-song EP with 2 Christmas songs (Little Drummer Boy and one other) and also a live or acoustic version of "He" or another song off the debut disc. Plans to release future songs are as of now unknown. Apparently, they are now playing Flood on the local Nashville *secular* radio station! Please pray that this ministry will continue!
Concert Review: 6/3/95: Kettering, OH
Date: 95-06-07 17:14:23 EDT
Well, what I thought of the concert. It was AWESOME! Truthfully, I will say that I enjoyed it more than the previous one, due to the fact that I knew the songs. As a matter of fact, Steve mentioned to me that he saw me singing along and appreciated it. :) I really think that good things are ahead for the guys. And I will say that I appreciate how they took the time to talk to everyone that wished to speak to them. That means so much to people. I think it lets them know that the guys really care that they are there and that they appreciate them listening to their music.
The following message was downloaded from Internet:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Shannon Lee Lewis)
Date: Tue, 23 May 1995 05:13:01 GMT
i'd have to agree with the original person who posted this-
this is good, and i've only heard 1 song...
i dislike almost anything "poppy",
so how did they do it...
well, their demo was good...kinda a bit "scchapman"for my tastes, but...
then i hear the title track of their new release...
then i rewound it and heard it again
this has NEVER happened to me before...
they perfectly blend alternative, folk, dance, and pop...with violins and all!
it helps that their producer is an x member of King Crimson...
well, they're back together now, so i guess not...
all i've got to say is
Due to the many questions I've had about finding Jars memorabilia, here is a quick listing of what they have available at their live shows. There is not currently a mail order system, so you must purchase these at live shows or have someone who is going purchase them for you. Here's what's out:
Shirt #1: Album cover front, tour dates with PFR, back (white) $15 sold out!
Shirt #2: Jars of Clay written with Jar on front, II Cor. 4:7 on back (earthy off-white color) $15
Caps: white with Green Jar embroidered, or Green with white Jar embroidered. $10?
Poster: This is the promo picture of Jars standing/crouching in the old house with pieces of broken jars on the floor. $5
Poster #2: small promo poster that says "choice of a new generation" and has a Jar on a white background. $2?
CD's available at all live shows for $13.
8 x 12 promo picture, standing in a field, $2 each.
The press kit includes a cardboard fold-out jar, a "beatlesque" pose of the guys faces, and a recycled-looking guide to all the songs, etc. and interview segments.
Steve posted the following note in their folder on AOL. Thought I'd reproduce
it here for your interest.
Subj: Re:A fan!
Date: 95-05-31 23:15:24 EDT
Thanks for posting! You asked some good questions which I would love to respond to.....
How do you write songs?
Musically,our songwriting usually starts on the acoustic guitar. Then comes the piano or hammond organ, and that followed by melody and lyric. All the lyrics, with the exception of a few, have been penned by Dan, our lead singer. Then we'll discuss what kinds of percussion, drum samples, and live drums we would like to have in the song. Finally, other instruments are added- on the album, Ron Huff did two string arrangements, and we had various other session players handle cello, fiddle, penny whistle, oboe, and others...We felt very blessed to work with such talented people. From a spiritual standpoint, Dan has referred to Max Lucado, John Fischer, and Brennan Manning as writers that have influenced his lyrics. Above all, we believe that all musical creativity is divinely inspired by God. :)
What is the concert setup?
The live band is composed of:
Matt Odmark- acoustic guitar, bgv
Charlie Lowell- piano, organ, bgv
Dan Haseltine- vocals
Scott Savage- drums, percussion
Stephen Mason- acoustic guitar, bgv
We also run some drumbeats and samples you would hear on the album on an ADAT machine. Also, for simply financial reasons, we run bass guitar on the ADAT. This is temporary, because our desire is to have a bass player, but we are a young band, and don't have the $$$$$$ to hire one. :) --all vocals, guitars, drums and keys are LIVE.
Who is not in the picture but given album credit?
The man you refer to is Tim Smith, Dan's uncle, who played all the live drums on the album. He is an extremely talented drummer, but, not a member of the group. For concerts, Scott Savage plays with us- he's an amazing drummer, and he's got a great vibe live.
How have you been received?
We have been amazed at the things God is doing with the group. We have had the opportunity to go on tour with PFR, and we'll be going back out with them in the fall. Overall, the response has been encouraging! Some have shared how a song has touched them or spoken to them in a way that draws them closer to God....that is what's truly important to us...'cuz we realize this "band thing" will fade away, but the only things left standing are the things of eternity. :) It's really important that we stay focused on things of eternity- don't let me mislead you into thinking that's easy!....please pray for us!
Lastly, thanks so much for your encouragement and your questions...we love to answer them.
Billboard review of Flood: This is from Billboard's Single Reviews column,
from the May 27, 1995 issue:
Jars of Clay: Flood (3:15)
Producer: Adrian Belew
Publishers: Bridge Building/Pogostick, BMI
Essential 5012 (CD single)
This quartet cryptically takes its name from the Bible verse 2 Corinthians 4:7. While the music is not exactly religious, it is definitely inspirational. The lyrics are a celebration of life, as an acoustic chorus and compassionate vocals unearth a handsome harmony. Modern rock radio should check out this Adrian Belew production.
History of Jars:
I have included below an article by the youth leader (Jack Cleveland) of Charlie and Matt, to help explain the changes in the band. Jack printed this in the church bulletin to enlighten the congregation on what exactly took place. It has been edited so that it won't take an hour to read, and I hope that it sheds some light on what the guys have gone through in the past year and a half or so. Enjoy!
"Jars of Clay began with Charlie Lowell and Dan Haseltine, two college sophomores who had a vision to be parts of a band. Charlie, whose major at Greenville College was CCM, had studied II Cor 4:7 in high school, and he liked the Jars of Clay title as a name for a band. As this came together, it evolved into a four-piece group with Charlie on keys, Dan Haseltine on vocals, Steve Mason on guitar and Matt Bronleewe on guitar. They performed on campus and surrounding areas and were very well received. Last April they submitted a demo tape to the judges of the Gospel Music Association, and they were selected to be one of ten bands slated to compete in the Association's Spotlight '94 talent competition, attended by a number of Music Industry people. Jars of Clay ended up taking the competition by storm - essentially, GMA was naming them the best unsigned band in the country. Their achievement naturally led to a flurry of attention: many of the top record companies in the Christian music industry wanted to sign this talented foursome.
The group's members decided to put their college educations on hold, and they began to explore the possibility of moving to Nashville and committing themselves full-time to the band and its potential ministry. One of the band's members decided to leave the group at this time to pursue his business degree, and Charlie thought of his friend Matt Odmark as a new guitarist (they had played in a Christian band from 1987 to 1990 called Simple Truth). Matt had just completed his second year at the University of Rochester. He was serving the Church as an active volunteer youth leader and he also gave himself away to the kids as a leader with the Gates-Chili Young Life Club. After praying for 2 months over Charlie's offer, Matt decided to accept and move to Nashville.
Since that time, Jars of Clay has had an exciting ministry in Nashville and around the country. They have finished an 8-week tour with PFR and there is a massive marketing plan in the works designed to keep the group current with the American public.
What touches me is not the hype and publicity, but their amazing love for their God. Even the group's name makes it clear that these guys know whatever success they have is theirs only because God has chosen to bless them. And their constant desire is to challenge people to consider Jesus Christ as the key to the abundant life we all seek. In a recent phone conversation, Matt told me, "This is about the ministry of Jesus Christ, and if it stops being that, I will be done." Matt and Charlie (as well as Dan and Steve) have learned in their 21 years that life is about serving and loving Jesus Christ. That is what they want to be about.
God is doing great things through the ministry of Jars of Clay and their lives. Please pray for them that their focus might stay on Jesus, and that their ministry would be fruitful.