Jars of Clay

Jars of Clay is a Grammy Award winning Christian rock band from Franklin, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.

Jars of Clay consists of Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and keyboards, Stephen Mason on lead guitars and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitars. Although the band has no permanent drummer or bassist, Jeremy Lutito and Gabe Ruschival of Disappointed By Candy fill these roles for live concerts. Past tour band members include Aaron Sands, Scott Savage, and Joe Porter. Jake Goss was recently added to the band to play drums for their summer tour. Jars of Clay’s style is a blend of alternative rock, folk, acoustic, and R&B.

The band’s name is derived from the New International Version’s translation of 2 Corinthians 4:7:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

This verse is paraphrased in their song “Four Seven,” which appears on Frail and as a hidden track on the CD release of their self-titled album.

In a 2002 interview with NPR’s Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday, responding to a question about the relatively subtle religious content of their music, Haseltine said, “our songs … [are] not really there to explain our faith,” but are “written about our life that is affected by our faith.” Haseltine explained the decision to “shy away from … traditional religious language” as a conscious one, in part to make their music more accessible to those “put off by religion”, and to “love people in a way that isn’t exclusive to simply people that understand the language of Christianity.”   Haseltine also stated that art can “make people feel what’s true rather than telling them”.

Current members

  • Dan Haseltine – vocals, percussion, melodica
  • Charlie Lowell – piano, organ, accordion, keys, background vocals
  • Stephen Mason – guitar, vocals, bass, lap and pedal steel, national, mandolin, background vocals
  • Matthew Odmark – acoustic guitar, banjo, background vocals

 Former member

  • Matt Bronleewe – guitar (1993–94)

 Current touring members

  • Gabe Ruschival – bass (2006–present)
  • Jake Goss – drums (2009–Present)

 Former touring members

  • Aaron Sands – bass (1995–2005)
  • Jeremy Lutito – drums (2005–2009)
  • Joe Porter – drums (1999–2005)
  • Scott Savage – drums (1995–99)

 Discography

  Studio albums
  • Jars of Clay (1995)
  • Much Afraid (1997)
  • If I Left the Zoo (1999)
  • The Eleventh Hour (2002)
  • Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage (2003)
  • Who We Are Instead (2003)
  • Redemption Songs (2005)
  • Good Monsters (2006)
  • Christmas Songs (2007)
  • The Long Fall Back to Earth (2009)

  Awards

Main article: List of Jars of Clay awards

Jars of Clay has been successful in being nominated for and winning several awards, including prestigious Grammy Awards and several of the Christian music awards, known as the GMA Dove Awards.  Some of these successes have been collaborative efforts, including two City on a Hill albums and the inspired collaboration for the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The group has won five Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) awards.

In June 2009, Jars of Clay was named as one of PeaceByPeace.com’s first peace heroes.[25]

 Blood:Water Mission

Main article: Blood:Water Mission

Lead singer Dan Haseltine visited Africa in 2002, which in turn inspired the founding of Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization created to raise awareness and money for the poverty and AIDS stricken regions of the continent.  The name is derived from, as Haseltine says, “The two things Africa needs most” – clean blood and clean water. The mission has begun the 1000 Wells project, an effort to have a thousand new wells built throughout Africa.

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