Jason Crabb, Christian music’s reigning Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year, is set to release his all-new, sophomore studio release, Love Is Stronger (Gaither Music Group), on March 12th. The follow-up to his GRAMMY®-winning, self-titled debut, this 11-song collection finds Crabb working with an all-star cast of producers including Jay DeMarcus (producer and member of country super group Rascal Flatts), Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe) and Wayne Haun (Celine Dion, Earl Scruggs), each of whom produced Crabb for the first time.
“This is a dream come true!” exclaims a wide-eyed, smiling Jason Crabb. “I mean--to get to go into the studio with these three producers and to have them make you better at what you do is unbelievable to me. All throughout the recording process I would find myself thinking, ‘Really? Is this happening? Am I getting to do this?’ This is a record I’ve been waiting to do my whole life, and I’ve never been more excited about a group of songs.”
That group of songs was written by some of the music industry’s most respected writers including Ronnie Freeman, Tony Wood, Sarah Hart, Marc Byrd, Jimmy Yeary, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, Connie Harrington, Mia Fieldes, Seth Mosley, Michael A. Mobley, Geron Davis and Barry Weeks among others. The recording found Crabb taking a bit of a different role inside the studio.
“I wanted to be hands off this time,” he recalls. “I’m usually involved directly or indirectly in the process, but this time I wanted to let people whom I respect guide me. The label and I discussed the song choices, of course, as well as what I wanted to say; but overall, I said, ‘I’m going to let you take the reins.’ I told all three of the producers, ‘I want to walk out of here feeling like I’ve run not just a half-marathon, but the whole thing. I wanted to be put to the test--to go to the mat, so to speak. And they pushed me! Whether it was ‘backing off’ on some things or ‘giving more’ on others, they pushed me.”
The result from this 17-time GMA DOVE Award winner is a body of work that finds Jason at the top of his game and making new friends along the way. “Working with Jason was just an absolute true joy,” describes Cash. “He’s one of my favorite people I’ve ever met. He’s such a genuine guy and so real and sincere; and that’s rare to find, particularly for someone who’s had such great success. I was absolutely blown away by how Jason was so vocally flexible...not only was he technically able to stretch vocally, but I feel like the sincerity in his voice was absolutely maintained, and I think that’s just a testament to his character. Whatever he’s singing—whatever is coming out of his mouth--it’s believable because he’s believable.”
Jay DeMarcus agrees, “As a producer, I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some of the best singers ever; I would certainly put Jason on that list! It is such a joy to work with someone that is so talented and driven. We've had a blast working together, and I think he has stretched himself creatively to the point to where he even surprised himself. I cannot wait for people to hear this record!”
One of the songs that DeMarcus produced was “There’s Not a Crown,” a song previously recorded by Michael English and later by The Martins with English producing them. This new rendition brings the story full circle as it features guest appearances by English and Joyce Martin Sanders, of the Martins, who join Jason for an all-new version of this song.
Crabb’s voice has been heard on Christian AC radio in recent months surrounding “Let Mercy Hold You,” a song produced by Cash and written by Fieldes, Mosley and Alexa Willis, that has turned heads at this format. “What the Blood Is For,” produced by Haun, is a power ballad that includes a 40-piece orchestra and features an unmistakable vocal from Crabb indicative of the sound that has made him a household favorite. "What I've always loved about Jason's vocal performance is the passion you hear and feel from the first note of each song,” describes Haun. “You have no doubt that he really believes what he's singing. You can’t miss that powerful interpretation with this song."
The title cut is a favorite of Crabb because of his own family’s journey over the past two years when his wife, Shellye, suffered some health issues that led her to several specialists to seek advice before she was able to get back on her feet. Jason recalls what day-to-day life looked like for their family as he describes this song, “This was a hard road for us. There were days she couldn’t get out of bed, and I watched her struggle as she was having trouble being the wonderful mother that she is. It was difficult and heartbreaking. But then I watched her fight back. I watched what happens when love is stronger. I watched God move and her persevere. When I heard the lyric to ‘Love Is Stronger,’ I knew immediately this song was for us. It was like the writer knew our story.”
And that story continues to unfold as Crabb’s career continues to reach new heights. In 2012 he toured over 150 dates; released Together Again (Gaither Music Group) with The Crabb Family; appeared regularly internationally on tv; performed on Marie Osmond’s Hallmark Channel Show, “Marie”; prepared to make his film debut in the movie “Inspiration Pop”; contributed the theme song to the film “Finding Faith”; co-hosted the GMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and appeared several times on FOX News Network. Crabb was able to participate in Nashville’s annual Bella Bash supporting The Angel Wings Foundation, Nashville’s annual The Bridge to Christmas event as well as a Christmas benefit concert alongside Sandi Patty in New York that benefited the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Love Is Stronger, exclusively distributed by EMI CMG Distribution, is currently available for pre-sale at www.JasonCrabb.com, iTunes, Amazon.com and atwww.gaither.com. At LifeWay Christian Stores, consumers can purchase an advance “single CD sampler” and return to the store on March 12th to obtain the full release. The release will be positioned prominently in stores nationwide in the months ahead and will be featured on CTS, Family Net, FFE, GAC, Grace, Vision, RFD, TNN, TBN, Airtime, CTN, Gaither TV, The Walk TV (formerly Legacy), Miracle, TCT and TLN.