Never expect the normal standard from the talented Jason Gray, as his first Christmas project presents a deeper story celebrating the birth of Christ. Christmas Stories: Repeat The Sounding Joy offers a 14-song collection that includes 11 original songs that are interwoven with several carols, and tells the miraculous Christmas story through the eyes of the wisemen, the innkeeper, the shepherds and others in order to focus on the details inside the Christmas narrative. Produced by Cason Cooley (Andrew Peterson, Katie Herzig, Matthew Perryman Jones), Gray’s new project also features collaborations with Nicole Nordeman, Joel Hanson, Andy Gullahorn, and Randall Goodgame, that so effectively describe the joy that is encapsulated within a somber dramatic story.
“The real story of Christmas can get lost in the shuffle,” Jason explains. “But when I had the idea to create a collection of songs that tell the very human stories of the characters we’re so familiar with, I was instantly intrigued and excited, and maybe a little daunted, by the prospect. I wanted to bring them back from just being iconic story characters and to consider who they really were, what events were unfolding in their lives, and how they as human beings in extraordinary circumstances were responding.”
Gray’s first Christmas offering is already receiving strong support as the best-selling author and pastor, Max Lucado says, "I love Jason's voice, his songs, and most of all his heart. This Christmas release is a Christmas gift for us all!"
The album kicks-off with the Christmas standard, Oh Come All Ye Faithful and segues into Christmas Is Coming that launches the narrative into the lives and thoughts of the story’s characters. Other original songs include; Gloria (The Song Of The Shepherds), Rest(The Song Of The Innkeeper, and the story of the Magi, Easier. The most personal song for Gray on Christmas Stories: Repeat The Sounding Joy is the song written with Nordeman, Christmas For Jesus. It features Jason’s older twin sons, Kipper and Jacob, providing background vocals and handclaps on the album, but it’s Gray’s youngest son, Gus, who takes the lead vocal.
“Someone in our church shared about their granddaughter,” Gray says, “and how she asked, ‘I know Christmas for us is when Jesus was born into our world. Is Christmas for Jesus when we’re born into his world?’ I loved that idea and I wrestled with it for months trying to turn it into a full blown song. Eventually I realized it might be better as a shorter little musical poem, sweet and simple, and it became the song, "Christmas For Jesus." It was such a childlike perspective that I, as a grown man, felt weird singing it. So I thought ‘Hey, what about Gus?’ He came into the studio and sang it with his feet up on the wall, playing around with the mic as he was singing, jumping up and down—but he got it! And it’s pretty beautiful, I think. My older boys, Kipper and Jacob, got to sing and do handclaps on the record too, so it was a really special thing to me to have all of them involved.”
Gray will headline The Christmas Stories Tour in December and the first single from Christmas Stories: Repeat The Sounding Joy will be serviced to radio in October. But coming up first, Gray will hit the road for An Acoustic Evening With Jason Gray and Todd Agnew in September. Please visit Gray’s website, www.jasongraymusic.com, for tour updates and Gray’s latest blogs, videos, and information.
Track Listing For Christmas Stories: Repeat The Sounding Joy
1. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
2. Christmas Is Coming
3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
4. Rest (The Song Of The Innkeeper)
5. Ave Maria (A Song For Mary)
6. Forgiveness Is A Miracle (A Song For Joseph)
7. Man Of Mercy
8. I Will Find A Way (The Song Of Emmanuel)
9. O Holy Night
10. Gloria (The Song Of The Shepherd)
11. Easier (The Song Of The Wiseman)
12. Christmas For Jesus
13. Children Again
14. Joy To The World