This week's time travel takes us back to the early 90's to feature the CCM band, Jars of Clay. Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason, Charlie Lowell and Matt Bronleewe formed Jars of Clay in the early 1990s. 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.
Charlie Lowell first met Dan Haseltine after noticing that he was wearing a Toad the Wet Sprocket shirt. Pursuing a career in music together was not necessarily their original goal; some of the first songs they wrote together were for music and recording classes they were taking at the time. Their second guitarist Matt Bronleewe joined some time later, and drummer Joseph Quevedo occasionally joined them for some of their early public performances.
In 1994, the band submitted a demo to a talent competition run by the Gospel Music Association and were selected as finalists. They traveled to Nashville to perform and won the contest. Back in Greenville, they self-released a limited-run of the same demo, which they named Frail, after their song of the same name. The buzz from their performance in Nashville and the demo's popularity resulted in offers from record labels, so the band decided to drop school and move to Nashville. At this time, Bronleewe left the band to finish school and settle down with his fiancée. He was replaced with Matt Odmark, Lowell's childhood friend and fellow McQuaid Jesuit High School alum.
The band signed with Essential Records and started recording their first full-length studio album, Jars of Clay. The band's self-titled debut was released in 1995. One of my favorite Jars of Clay songs was off this album entitled "Like A Child":
When the album single "Flood" began to climb the charts on mainstream radio stations, their record company started to heavily promote the song, turning it into one of the biggest mainstream hits ever by a band on a Christian label. The album, Jars of Clay has since reached multi-platinum certification according to the RIAA. "Flood" peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 12 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart, and was the band's only secular radio hit. I'm sure that anyone who listened to the radio in the 90's will remember this song.
The band has gone on to release 10 studio albums, 2 live projects, and 10 EPs, along with three compilations. The majority of their albums have charted in the top 10 on numerous charts, including Billboard's Top Christian Albums and the Billboard 200.
Jar 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. You can check up on Jars of Clay at their current website.