Jars Of Clay's The Long Fall Back To Earth debuts at No1

Published 06 May 2009
|PIC1|Propelled by a new multi-format radio hit, a national tour, ubiquitous coverage on The Gospel Music Channel, and, most importantly, an ardent fan base, three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-Platinum band Jars of Clay once again finds itself at the very top of Nielsen SoundScan's Christian Albums chart.

Jars of Clay's No 1-selling The Long Fall Back to Earth (Gray Matters/Essential) debuts on the chart this week after a landmark album launch which included the soaring single "Two Hands", a personal media blitz by the band, a performance at an All-Star Benefit, a special tribute to the band during the nationally-televised Dove Awards, and the launch of Jars' 23-city coast-to-coast tour.

"It has been an amazing week," said Dan Haseltine. "We could not have imagined the response we have gotten from fans who went out and bought the record. The most exciting part is that we are already hearing powerful stories of how these songs are resonating with people. We are so grateful!"

The lead single from The Long Fall Back To Earth, "Two Hands" continues to generate an overwhelming response from Christian radio. This week, the song not only jumped into the Top 15 among reporting AC stations, "Two Hands" is already a Top 5 hit CHR radio.

The song has been the greatest gainer in spins the past two weeks and was the fastest-gaining single at AC radio during the month of April. This past week alone, "Two Hands" was added by influential stations in Minneapolis (KTIS), Atlanta (WVFJ), Kansas City (KLJC) and Orlando (WPOZ) where the music director has been listening to The Long Fall Back To Earth "from start to finish repeatedly".

|PIC1|As WPOZ's Jeff Cruz puts it himself, "I am particularly excited about 'Two Hands'." "The song not only has a fun, radio-friendly sound and great hook, but it is probably the most vertical single they have done in a long time." K-LOVE programmer and on-air personality Scott Smith, meanwhile, explains why the song is vintage Jars of Clay thematically. "'Hands' challenges all of us as believers to look for opportunities to serve one another and not just offer someone lip service," he says.

Jars of Clay released The Long Fall Back to Earth, its 10th album, on April 21 and, at the invitation of host Big Kenny (Big & Rich), performed the following night at a fundraiser for the African Children's Choir with Faith Hill, Third Day, Keith Urban and others.

Respected for their humanitarian efforts as much as its innovative, intellectual brand of rock, Jars of Clay was honoured the night after the benefit during the 40th Annual Dove Awards for the band's relentless commitment. Jars of Clay, who presented on the show, was bestowed with a Gospel Music Channel Gospel Angels Award during a special segment of the live broadcast. The band was recognized for its work in Africa through its Blood:Water Mission organisation which has built more than 650 clean water wells positively impacting more than 500,000 people in 11 African countries.

Immediately following the Dove Awards, Jars of Clay hit the road to kick off its 23-city spring 2009 "Two Hands Tour". The run of dates, which will conclude in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee on June 19, also features special guests Seabird, the emerging Credential Records rock act recently honoured by its hometown as the "2008 Artist of the Year" at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. The "Two Hands Tour" itinerary and ticket information is posted on www.JarsofClay.com.

Even as Jars' tour kicked off, media outlets started going public with their praise for the band's new album. A full-page spotlight in Performing Songwriter highlighted The Long Fall Back To Earth's "shimmering melodies" and "unlikely inspiration in everyday struggles". Meanwhile, Relevant Magazine responded, "Jars of Clay is one of those tempest bands ... never content to follow anyone else's lead ... On The Long Fall Back to Earth, the band is still in top form." The band's local press got in on the action as well with Nashville's The Tennessean proclaiming Jars of Clay "found great freedom" creating "a new sonic identity".

Thematically, Jars of Clay artfully explores matters of relationship and community through the songs on The Long Fall Back To Earth. The musically sophisticated 14-track project was co-produced by Jars of Clay and veteran helmsman Ron Aniello (Guster, Lifehouse, Leigh Nash). The Long Fall Back To Earth expands on the musical palette developed for Jars'last project, Good Monsters: driving songs with more synth, beats and loops, but keeping the band's hard-won appreciation for rock guitars intact. The effect is a sweeping musical landscape full of detail, contrast and richness.

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