WHATEVER THE ROAD
GRAMMY® winner Jason Crabb is well known as one of the most compelling voices in any genre of music. With his power, range, and passion, he has moved easily among musical styles including gospel, country, pop and southern gospel. With his Reunion Records debut, Whatever The Road, fans of that incredible talent will gain a deeper understanding of the heart behind the voice.
In recording his fifth solo album, Crabb poured himself into his songwriting and the payoff is his most personal album yet. In further expanding his creative resume, the dynamic young artist explores the things that matter most and the greatness of the God he serves. “You have to reach in deeper places to write music, and with songwriting you have to stay there for a little bit,” says Crabb, who co-wrote seven of the album’s ten songs.
Working with producers Jason Ingram (Chris Tomlin, Tenth Avenue North, Kari Jobe), and Paul Mabury (Lauren Daigle, One Sonic Society), Crabb takes a bold new step forward, not just lyrically but stylistically, and has finely honed a collection of anthems for the church that have sophisticated pop sensibilities as well as deep, substantive lyrics.
“I’ve never wanted to be pigeon-holed. I just wanted to make music. I finally found that if you're part of the creative process of the song, then it becomes you. With this record, I feel like it's a little more of who I am than what I’ve been. It’s where I want to be and it's wonderful.”
Crabb unleashes his passionate voice on the most potent collection of songs yet in his already distinguished career. There’s a strong current of hope running throughout the album, particularly with the song, “He Won’t Leave You There.” In the chorus, Crabb sings, “When the darkness overwhelms you and the fear just won’t subside, when your questions outweigh answers on those long and lonely nights, when you’ve got to keep on moving, He is with you in the valley of despair, and He won’t leave you there.”
“I just want to encourage people and give them hope,” Crabb says. “The album is titled Whatever The Road, and I want people to know that whichever direction or whatever road you're headed down, God is going to walk with you.”
Crabb also doesn’t shy away from tackling tough topics such as the album’s first single, “He Knows What He’s Doing,” which was inspired by an 11-year-old fan named Lily. “Lily showed up at a concert and wanted to sing ‘Love is Stronger’ with me on stage,” Crabb recalls, smiling as he remembers their duet. “So this song is about her. She was battling cancer when we first met and she’s gone home to be with the Lord now.”
Another poignant moment on the album is the tender ballad, “Home,” which was written by Jason’s father Gerald Crabb, a Dove Award-winning songwriter. “I had already recorded it and then grandma passed,” he says of losing his maternal grandmother, Billie Richardson, in early 2015. “When I recorded it, I didn't know that that was going to be my song for her at that moment, but you know? I’m thankful. When I sing it, I just close my eyes and think of her in her little blue house, fixin’ everybody something to eat, but I'm not going to see her ever again like that, and that's a big chapter closed.”
Though the album has a few heart-tugging moments, Whatever The Road also includes the buoyant tune, “It’s a Good Life.” Stylistically, the song is reminiscent of Tom Petty’s earthy anthems, but lyrically, it’s strictly autobiographical. “If I Shout” is a vibrant celebration of how Jesus can change a life. “Chance for a Miracle” is a thought-provoking anthem that demonstrates Crabb’s ability to wring every drop of emotion out of a well-crafted lyric. “This Life for You” is a heartfelt declaration of faith with a Celtic-flavored melody that underscores the bold message. The album closes with “Mysterious Ways,” a clever story-song about a young man who survives a car accident with a twist at the end that induces chills. From inspiring ballads to jubilant, up-tempo tunes, the common denominator in every song is the passion and authenticity Crabb brings to every vocal performance. It’s a gift he’s cultivated from a young age.
A native of tiny Beaver Dam, Kentucky, Crabb rose to prominence singing with his siblings as the Crabb Family. The talented, musically progressive family band broadened the scope of southern gospel music and became one of the most successful groups in the genre. When his siblings decided to pursue separate ministries, Jason released his first solo album in 2009, and it earned him his first Grammy the following year. Since then, he’s amassed numerous industry accolades, among them 21 Dove Awards, including wins in the “Artist,” “Male Vocalist,” and “Song of the Year” categories. In addition to his recording career, Crabb is also an actor and author. He shared his life story in the inspiring book, Trusting God to Get you Through, and has written a series of successful children’s books. To honor Jason Crabb, his hometown of Beaver Dam recently named the road adjacent to their new amphitheater after him - “Jason Crabb Drive.”
In everything he does, Crabb’s constant goal is to bring glory to his heavenly Father. He’s always been known as a gifted vocalist, but on Whatever The Road, Jason Crabb reveals more through his songwriting than he ever has before. In an already impressive career, Whatever The Road is a landmark album but recognition isn’t what Crabb is looking for at all. “I love making music. I love singing. I love throwin’ down and having a blast on stage,” he smiles, “but what an honor it was to get to share my life in these songs.”
JASON CRABB QUOTEABLES
A new [music] style – a new chapter…
“I'm very excited. It’s a different place for me stylistically, but it wears well. It feels like an old jacket even though it’s new.”
Goals with this album...
“I want these songs to resonate with people. I want them to walk away saying, ‘Man, that encouraged me! That brought me closer to Christ!’ That’s what I want more than anything.”
A personal perspective…
“On this album, people will see more of who I am than anything I’ve ever done before. When I’m singing these lyrics, I’m more passionate because I know where these songs came from.”
Tragedies are difficult to understand…
“It's hard to explain to the world if God is so loving and merciful and if God is for us, then why do good people have to go through some horrible things, but we have to trust that God knows best. That's the part that's hard, but then again, what He did for us to have hope beyond this life was pretty tough too.”
More about the song “It’s A Good Life”…
“It’s a wonderful season in my life. My wife Shellye and I have two girls, Ashleigh and Emma. They're active in sports and are playing basketball, volleyball and fast pitch softball. It's nonstop at our house. Shellye and I are just watching and helping them experience life and making good memories. The first line of the song says ‘I know it seems crazy the way we're driving round lately, taking kids to the next thing another mile down the freeway. Our lives are like a runaway.’ And it is, but it's a really good life. Shellye and I are enjoying this time in life and I wanted to write that for her.”
More about the song “If I Shout”…
“There’s a neat story behind this song. It’s about this minister who was preaching as hard as he could. He was excited and jumping up and down, then he stopped right in the middle of his sermon and he said, ‘People tell me that I need to calm down and be a little more dignified.’ He said, ‘I had one woman come to me and say, “Nowhere in the Bible do I read that Jesus acted the way you act!” And he said, ‘Ma'am you might be right but everyone he touched did!’ And that's where that song came from. That story that he shared just resonated in my head and just kept coming back and coming back. I couldn't get it off my mind. I knew the song was something special after we wrote it and it really kicks when we do it live.”