Jars of Clay brings Christmas tour to Fox River
|By TOM JOZWIK - Special to TimeOut||
December 13, 2013
WAUKESHA - Jars of
Clay, a Christian rock band with three Grammy Awards to its credit,
brings its Christmas tour to Fox River Christian Church on Sunday.
The 7 p.m. concert
will benefit Blood: Water Mission, a charity established in 2002 by
the band to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. Band member Charlie Lowell, who
has visited Africa several times, told TimeOut that its people are
“amazing, dynamic (and) very hopeful” in spite of the severe
hardships they experience.
will combine Christmas tunes with songs from the band’s recently
released “Inland” album and other Jars of Clay numbers. John Mark
McMillan, an alternative rocker perhaps best known for the song “How
He Loves,” will be special guest performer.
Jars of Clay’s
list of accomplishments is a long one. The band - consisting of lead
singer Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason, Matt Odmark and Lowell - has had 16
No. 1 songs and sold 5 million records. The band has collaborated with
Joanne Cash, Art Garfunkel and Carole King and shared the stage with
Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge and Lenny Kravitz. TV appearances have
included “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Entertainment Tonight” and the
David Letterman and Conan O’Brien shows. Jars of Clay songs can be
heard in various movies.
Jars of Clay has
existed nearly 20 years, a musical group’s equivalent to an
individual’s lifetime. Three of its members have performed from the
beginning, when all were students at Greenville College in Illinois.
Only Odmark is not an original.
concerts tend to be the most creative events of the year for Jars of
Clay,” Haseltine noted through a publicist. “We incorporate toy
pianos, concert bass drums, mini-bass, xylophones, strings and bells,
along with all the usual instruments, lights and presentation to shine
a warm light on a season of peace and joy.”
By telephone from
the Nashville area, where all the band’s members reside, Lowell, 40,
indicated Fox River concertgoers will listen to “some quirky,
interesting arrangements” of songs of the season. Among the melodies
likely to be heard Sunday: “Fall Asleep,” an Inland piano ballad.
All proceeds from this single are reportedly being used to support the
Red Cross in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
represents the last leg of the Jars of Clay tour, Lowell told TimeOut.
The schedule was
to have included three stops in Texas (until the Dallas concert was
snowed out) and performances in Kentucky and Ohio. Lowell, who plays
piano, organ and synthesizer besides providing background vocals,
identified the irregular “coming and going, the sort of wear and
tear on (one’s) family” that touring causes as the hardest part of
his professional life. The best aspect, he said, “is the creative
process. It’s just a ride!”
charitable efforts, which have also included affiliations with Amnesty
International and Habitat for Humanity, have been influenced, Lowell
said, by members’ “favorite artists” from their younger days.
Artists like U2, Peter Gabriel and Sting, performers who were
generously “involved in something bigger than their music.”
established, 20 years is a long, long life for a band. But no plans
for Jars of Clay to cease and desist came to light during the Lowell
interview. “We’re certainly enjoying this process,” he said,
noting that the bandmates still manage to “laugh a lot” among
themselves. Then again, Lowell added, “the business is squeezing and
shrinking. It’s making (being a band professional) more difficult
At a glance
What: Jars of Clay
with John Mark McMillian
When: 7 p.m.
Sunday (doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Fox River
Christian Church, S46-W24130 Lawnsdale Road, Waukesha
Saturday, tickets are $18 for the artist circle and $12 for admission.
At the door, the prices are $20 for the artist circle and $15 for