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Jars of Clay is a rock band from Franklin, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.

Jars of Clay is Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and keyboards, Stephen Mason on lead guitars and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitars. Although the band has no permanent drummer or bassist, Jeremy Lutito and Gabe Ruschival of Disappointed By Candy fill these roles for live concerts. Past tour band members include Aaron Sands, Scott Savage, and Joe Porter. Jars of Clay's style is a blend of alternative rock, folk, acoustic, and R&B.

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. "

This verse is paraphrased in their song "Four Seven," which appears on Frail and as a hidden track on the CD release of their self-titled album.

Formation:
Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason and Charlie Lowell formed Jars of Clay at Greenville College, in Greenville, Illinois in the early 1990s. 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 Scott Savage 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, Bronlewee left the band to finish school and settle down with his fiance. He was replaced with Matt Odmark, Lowell's childhood friend.

1990s:
Jars of Clay signed with Essential Records and started recording their first full-length studio album. Former prog-rocker of King Crimson and recent Christian convert, Adrian Belew, heard the band and offered to produce, leading to him producing two songs - "Liquid" and "Flood." The band's self-titled debut released in 1995. When the single "Flood" began to climb the charts on mainstream radio stations, Silvertone Records (Essential's parent 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 has since earned double-platinum certification according to the RIAA.
The band toured in support of other Christian acts, such as PFR, and aside mainstream acts like Matchbox Twenty, Duncan Sheik, and Sting. This resulted in a small backlash from conservative Christian groups. The band released a Christmas EP entitled Drummer Boy at the end of 1995. The EP was re-released in 1997 with a slightly different track listing on Silvertone. The year 1997 also saw the release of the band's second album, Much Afraid, which was produced by Stephen Lipson. The album sold very well and went on to earn a Grammy award. The album has since earned platinum certification by the RIAA.
In 1999, Jars of Clay released their third album, If I Left The Zoo, which was produced by Dennis Herring. The record earned the band their second Grammy award. It was during this time that touring drummer Scott Savage left the band's touring group to play for Jaci Velasquez and was replaced by Joe Porter. Lead radio single, "Unforgetful You", was also featured on the soundtrack to the motion picture Drive Me Crazy.

2000s:
In 2001, the four members of the band received honorary degrees at Greenville College. However, only three of them (Dan, Stephen, and Charlie) had studied at the college before dropping out in 1994 to move to Nashville.
In 2002, the band self-produced and released their fourth album entitled The Eleventh Hour, which earned the band a Grammy award for the third year in a row. Unlike earlier albums, The Eleventh Hour was conceived as a Christian rock album [citation needed], relying on studio musicians and the band's touring musicians to fill in for the band's lack of drummer and bass player.
The year 2003 saw the band taking a look back at their career. The double-disc Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage features an acoustic disc and a live disc. The acoustic disc consisted of reworked and rearranged fan favorites, two The Eleventh Hour b-sides, and a cover of Adam Again's "Dig". The latter was actually intended for a tribute album for Gene Eugene, who had died recently. The live disc features a recent concert recording that include songs from throughout the band's career. The video of this same concert would later be released via DVD on 11Live: Jars of Clay in Concert.
The band continued the acoustic and organic approach that was featured on Furthermore for their fifth studio album entitled Who We Are Instead, which released on November 4, 2003. On the album, the band revisited various styles they had used previously, as well as experimenting with new influences, such as gospel, hymns, and Nickel Creek's "newgrass" style.
In early 2005, the band released Redemption Songs, a collection of hymns and traditional songs. The band wrote new melodies to some old hymns and rearranged the music for several others. "God Will Lift Up Your Head", reworked as an acoustic rocker, was a hit for the band on Christian radio. They also covered five hymns from the Indelible Grace CD series (a series which originated from the work of Reformed University Fellowship). In late 2005, the band announced that the writing process for a new studio album was nearing completion, and that they would be returning to the studio to record the album in the spring. This new project, entitled Good Monsters, was released on September 5, 2006. Backstage at the 2006 GMA Awards, Jars of Clay labelled the album their first ever rock record. In the September 2006 edition of CCM Magazine, the band credited fellow artist Ashley Cleveland with inspiring the improvisational sound of the album. The magazine called it "the most profound album the Christian music community has released in years."
In March of 2007, the band announced at a concert in Des Moines, Iowa that they were no longer on Essential Records and would now be releasing music independently. Later, press releases announced the name of their label as Gray Matters, which would be a partnership with Nettwerk Music Group. Along with the announcement of their new label, the band mentioned that they are planning to record the soundtrack to a documentary about the African village of Lwala. On September 4, 2007, two albums from the band were released simulaneously. The first was a mainstream release of Live Monsters, which is an EP of live concert recordings of songs that were originally recorded for Good Monsters. The EP had been previously released through the iTunes Store and through the official Jars of Clay online store. The second album released on this date was a greatest hits album, entitled The Essential Jars of Clay, which was released through Essential/Legacy. The band's first release through Gray Matters was a Christmas album that was released on October 16, 2007, entitled Christmas Songs.

Blood:Water Missio:
Lead singer Dan Haseltine visited Africa in 2002, which in turn inspired the founding of Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization created to raise awareness and money for the poverty and AIDS stricken regions of the continent. The name is derived from, as Haseltine says, "The two things Africa needs most" - clean blood and clean water. The mission has begun the 1000 Wells project, an effort to have a thousand new wells built throughout Africa.

Beliefs:
In a 2002 interview with NPR's Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday, responding to a question about the relatively subtle religious content of their music, Haseltine said, "our songs ... [are] not really there to explain our faith," but are "written about our life that is affected by our faith." Haseltine explained the decision to "shy away from ... traditional religious language" as a conscious one, in part to make their music more accessible to those "put off by religion", and to "love people in a way that isn't exclusive to simply people that understand the language of Christianity." Haseltine also stated that art can "make people feel what's true rather than telling them".

Members:
-Dan Haseltine.
-Stephen Mason.
-Matthew Odmark.
-Charlie Lowell.
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