A few more words on Jason Crabb
My passing comment about Jason Crabb’s showmanship seems to have been taken as primarily an endorsement of his singing. Curious. So let me clarify that when I wrote about his superiority as a “singing showman,” the intention was to emphasize that he excels as a showman who sings - not as a great singer who is also a showman. I don’t mind his voice as much as some readers seem to. But it’s definitely not Crabb’s strongest dimension as a performer (vocally I’d put him in Bob Seger/Joe Cocker/Rufus Wainwright camp of purposefully idiosyncratic vocal stylists whose style is as striking in its singularity as it is necessary to take in small doses).
Nor was my point (stated or implied) to endorse Crabb’s serially bad judgment in aligning himself with, and lending his name and reputation to, the rolling calamity of charlatanry and fraud suffusing the entangled worlds of prosperity gospel and faith healing anchored by Our Lord and Lady of the Perpetual Televised Plate Passing, Jan and Paul Crouch, over at Trinity Broadcasting (though they’re not the only perpetrators, of course). And here’s a good time to ask (again): can any gospel performer really, in anything approaching good faith and conscience, defend any continued appearances on or affiliation with TBN after this most recently concluded scandal? Seriously.
Rather, my point about Crabb was - perhaps too obliquely - to gesture toward the ongoing conversations we’ve been having about the long slow death of authentically (a)live music in southern gospel. Where Crabb is strongest is in his self-possession on stage - taking command of the musical enterprise with an impeccable sense of timing, bringing a generous, openhearted sensibility in the pacing of songs and sets, and forging a powerfully warmhearted bond with his audiences with that smile and that sweet-tea southern twang that he lavishes on his crowds.
It seemed to me yesterday and still seems to me now worth expressing a certain amount of ungrudging appreciation for these gifts, and for Crabb’s desire, ability and willingness to put together and put on a first rate live show, surrounding himself with gifted players and singers and arrangers whose work coheres into that increasingly rarest of gospel gifts: a concert with a warmblooded, beating heart at its center.
Now, for real this time: that is all. For now.Email this Post