While touring schedules have come to almost a complete halt, Christian artist Jason Gray found a way to deliver intimate, small, live performances that he said met a need for community and connection.
Videos by American Songwriter
Gray, who’s latest EP titled “Reorder”, is the third in a series leading up to a complete record, had past experiences of playing smaller gatherings with a more stripped back instrumentation.
Gray told American Songwriter it was these past experiences that set him up to be able to help organize and plan a series of shows starting in the fall of 2020.
Going back to these smaller live experiences is an act of “going back to his roots,” Gray noted, and refamiliarizing himself with a performance layout that acts less as a production and concert and more as a simple sharing of songs, many new and never played before.
“It’s perfect for what is needed right now,” Gray said. “We couldn’t have predicted it. The idea was, I’m going to do a limited run of dates, on a more personal level, with anyone who wants to bring me in.”
Gray emphasized the songs he will be showcasing were originally written with the intent to work in a both a full production setting and a more simple environment. In fact, Gray noted, all his songwriting revolves around the thought of crafting a melody and sonic moment that can be diverse in its execution.
“Because I build my songs that way, I think it’s very easy to go on the road in this way,” Gray said. “What I hear from most of my fans is that they like the records, but they almost prefer the more intimate experience of the solo acoustic show.”
“Because of the emotional climate we’re in right now,” Gray continued, “there is this sense that we’re banding together, so there’s been a sweet spirit about these events.”
Songs that contain glimmers of hope are like railings to hold onto during a storm, Gray said. That picture is what he feels songs have been for his own heart and thus he hopes to provide the same encouragement for listeners.
“I wanted to build handrails for people in the storms of life. Hand rails to give them a sense of being secure and anchored, something to hold onto that hopefully might reduce their anxiety and sense of confusion,” Gray said. “In my own experience, when storms are raging all around me, if I’m overwhelmed by anxiety, I become the worst version of myself, I make decisions that make things worse. So if I can write songs that can help center people and help them to not lose their head, cause that’s what I need from songs, and help them navigate through the storms, that’s meaningful to me.”
The power of language to bring clarity is striking, Gray emphasized. Therefore, the power of a song is equally as strong.
“When you hear the right words at the right time, all the sudden it brings clarity to your mind,” Gray said. “I build all my songs hoping to do that kind of thing.”
The complete forthcoming album, released October 23, 2020, titled “Order, Disorder, Reorder,” Gray noted will unpack those themes and speak to how the difficult disorder is necessary to bring about, in turn, the new EP: Reorder