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Cultural News
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01 April 2005

Grammy winning, multi-platinum band Jars of Clay will follow an explosive promotional run this week with a tour featuring friends Ashley Cleveland and prolific songwriter Christopher Williams. The tour, booked by CAA, is launching April 14 in Spring Arbor, Mi. will visit 15-20 cities. Audiences will be treated to intimate performances featuring acoustic versions of songs, and stories behind these songs, from each artists’ new album, in up close and personal settings. (As dates are added, they will be noted online at www.jarsofclay.com.)

The tour supports Jars of Clay’s 3/22 release Redemption Songs, a worship project offering ancient, timeless hymns, some more than 200 years old, revived and infused with the modern, Jars of Clay signature sound and Ashley’s 2/15 hymns collection titled Men and Angels Say.

Jars’ lead vocalist, Dan Haseltine, comments, “We have been pouring our hearts into this tour. Over the last few shows we have experienced a connection with the audiences that we have not fully experienced before. As everyone sings these songs band and audience, it is something amazing. We can not wait to add Ashley Cleveland and Christopher Williams to the stage with us. It is a tour of friends singing songs and holding up the great history of the church and the authentic voice of hope, restoration and redemption.”

Acclaimed two-time Grammy winner Cleveland notes, “I love Jars of Clay, I love who they are musically and personally, I love how instantly relevant they have made me to my children. I think the distinctions between us in our approach to music will make for some inspired performances which is the goal for me every time.”

Already receiving acclaimed by media outlets including the New York Daily News, USA Today, LA Times, CCM Magazine, Relevant Magazine, R&R and CRW, Jars of Clay’s Redemption Songs released this week (3/22) with its first radio single, “God Will Lift Up Your Head,” already in the Top 20 on the R&R Christian CHR chart and upcoming Top 20 positioning on the AC Indicator chart.

Jars of Clay has amassed more than five million albums, 16 No. 1 singles, multiple GMA Music Awards, BMI songwriting honors and three Grammy Awards over its 10 year career. It’s most recent single “Show You Love,” from Grammy nominated Who We Are Instead, was used in a variety of television shows and was incorporated into the promotional trailer for feature film, “Spanglish,” starring Adam Sandler. In addition, the song ranked in the top 20 on the Hot AC charts.

An artist beloved by fans and critics alike, Rambler Records recording artist Ashley Cleveland's voice has been called "one glorious instrument" by Billboard Magazine. Says Christianitytoday.com, "Her powerful voice can stun you with its depth and originality, and her vocals...have an elegant beauty that graces each note." Cleveland was the first woman ever to be nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rock Gospel Album category, the first woman to win that award and the only woman ever to receive the award twice. In addition, she has won two GMA Music Awards and a Nashville Music Award, and has toured with artists such as John Hiatt, Rich Mullins, Amy Grant and Margaret Becker. Her vocal talents can also be heard on over 300 albums for artists including Emmylou Harris and Etta James.

With seven years of nonstop national touring and playing more than 120 shows a year, Singer-songwriter Christopher Williams, a New York born, Bucknell University Religious Studies graduate and former Seattle pre-school teacher, has built a faithful following of listeners around the country and independently sold more than 21,000 records, primarily off of the stage. Williams writes songs that are honest and confessional, yet never overbearing, and performs with an appealing mix of intense passion and humor. He is a songwriter and an entertainer, engaging audiences with what the Boston Phoenix calls “lush guitar work, sweet soaring vocals,” and sometimes the added percussive vulnerability of a single djembe hand drum.

And in a newly discovered, Dylan-esque manner, Williams has been telling stories from the stage in between songs. “It just started happening, this musical story spilling,” Williams explains. “They have always been a part of my show, but never sung spontaneously without direction. Of course, it doesn’t always work, but that is the joy of performing. Receiving the grace of an audience there to experience the spontaneity of a real live show…I love those moments.”

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