New album targets multiple formats.
With singles aimed at three different formats, Jason Crabb’s new album, “Love is Stronger,” covers a lot of diverse territory. But that’s nothing new for the Gospel Music Association’s reigning Male Vocalist and Artist of the Year. Crabb’s 2009 self-titled solo debut won a Grammy while artfully appealing to his longtime Southern gospel fan base and simultaneously courting the mainstream country crowd.
On his new album, “Love is Stronger,” Crabb takes it a step further as Gaither Music Group is also working singles to Christian AC radio.
“I hope and pray that we get on R&B next year because that’s one radio format we haven’t been able to get yet,” Crabb says with a laugh. “I love all styles of music, always have, and always will. I want to appeal to everybody. I’m just enjoying this ride.”
The Kentucky native first rose to prominence in the Southern Gospel field performing with his siblings as the Crabb Family. The group’s youthful appeal and progressive sound made them one of Southern gospel’s most awarded acts before they amicably disbanded in 2007 to pursue solo careers.
Last year, Crabb produced the family’s reunion album “Together Again,” which peaked at No. 6 on the Top Christian Albums chart and was accompanied by a brief reunion tour before the siblings returned to their solo endeavors.
In recording his second solo project, Crabb worked with three very different producers: Jay DeMarcus, Ed Cash and Wayne Haun. Each is known for their respective resumes in country, Christian AC and Southern Gospel. DeMarcus, who produced six tracks, began his career in Christian music as a member of the duo East to West, but is best known as a member of the multi-platinum country trio Rascal Flatts. Cash’s credits include Amy Grant, Kari Jobe and Chris Tomlin. Haun has produced such noted Southern Gospel acts as Greater Vision, Janet Paschal and the Perrys and has worked on arrangements for Celine Dion.
“These are the most talented guys I’ve ever seen,” the 17-time Dove Award winner says of his producers. “God gave them a great ear and a great talent. They can play everything that’s in the studio.”
Crabb worked with Haun on some string arrangements for previous Crabb Family record, but it’s the first time they had worked together on vocals. “As far as producing the whole song,” he says. “I’d never worked with him before, until this and he’s the top of his game in orchestration. That’s just his deal “If you want a big ballad and want it to sound like the walls are getting ready to come down, there you go! He’s got that, so it was great to hear what he did with a 40-piece orchestra.”
Haun utilized the orchestra in producing “What the Blood is For,” which is the single Gaither Music Group is working to Southern Gospel radio stations. Cash produced “Near,” which is being promoted to Christian AC stations and Crabb says they are planning to take the title track to country radio. “We’re getting ready to really work ‘Love Is Stronger’ to country radio,” he says. “Who knows what God has in store for this one because it’s one of the strongest songs that I’ve ever been dealt to sing. I’m just really, really excited about it.”
Crabb has been performing half of the new record each night on his current tour. The weekend before the March 12 street date, Gaither Music Group ran spots for Crabb’s new album on CTS, Family Net, FFE, GAC, Grace, Vision, RFD, TNN, TBN, Airtime, CTN, Gaither TV, The Walk TV (formerly Legacy), Miracle, TCT and TLN.
He also recently filmed a TV special at Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA, which will air April 2 on TBN, which reaches 120 countries. During street week, he also made appearances on FOX News and the Grand Ole Opry.
“I feel like it’s what God has placed me on this Earth to do and it just feels right,” Crabb says. “I don’t think I can be happier doing anything else. I love watching people’s lives be changed for the better and maybe encouraging somebody to go, ‘Hey, keep fighting. I know your life is tough right now, but I’m going to tell you something: love is stronger and it will pull you through every time.’ I just love watching people’s lives be changed. There’s nothing in the world like that.”
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