Jason Crabb: A country boy at ease with Lady Gaga

A Grammy Award adorns Jason Crabb’s mantel along with numerous Dove Awards, but the Gospel music artist is not slowing down, even after garnering eight Dove Award nominations this year.

“Oh, no, now is not the time,” Crabb said of taking a break. “These things fire me up. We are working on a special family album, with songs we grew up with – hymns, special and regular church services. I’m preparing songs for a solo project. And I’m working on another book – a children’s series. So I’m thrilled about that.”

But wait there’s more on Crabb’s schedule.

“And what I’m really hyped about is working on a positive film. It’s my first acting part,” he explained, “and my family has a small part in it, and boy, they are all hyped. The kids are telling their friends they are going to be in a movie.

“It’s a great story with a positive message. I play an artist that encourages a young man,” Crabb explained. “And that’s really me and how I live. I like sharing and encouraging people. God gave you your dreams to work toward. Not to ignore them. God gave them to you to work on. So go after it. Live out your life’s dreams. Go after them. You can make them happen.”

Growing up in Beaver Dam, Ky., a town of about 3,000, Crabb can relate to the young man chasing his dreams in what can seem like an insurmountable challenge.

“If you look at my surroundings and where I grew up you would think you would never be able to be successful,” Crabb said. “Living in a town that didn’t have a lot to offer – but it taught me how to treat people — there were no record companies on Main Street. All we knew was coal mining and working at the lumberyard. But you can’t let your surroundings dictate your dreams. You got to make it happen. Never give up.”

But those dreams were almost derailed by a rebellious period in Crabb’s life when he was in his early teens – a time he writes about in his book “Trusting God to Get You Through.”

“When I was 13, I turned down a rocky road,” he said. “My dad and mom got divorced, and it was a rough deal for me. I used it as an excuse to be rebellious. And you know, a lot of people who are rebellious are looking for an excuse. I didn’t want to take responsibility for my actions. I was frustrated. I was bitter. I was running with the wrong people.

“Thank God, he kept his hand on me through a lot of praying by my family members. … And I said this prayer, ‘God I’m sorry. Take all my life.’ And that’s when things changed. My dad remarried, and my mom remarried. … I’m very thankful for the Crabb family. God pulled me back through music. I knew I had to change and change friends, and He did that through music. And I share that with people. I try to push people toward their dreams. Something to work toward, and I pray with them. I’m here to help them. And share my story about my life.”

Crabb’s life took a U-turn back to the positive as his family pushed him into singing with his siblings and forming The Crabb Family, which has won more than a dozen Dove Awards and garnered three Grammy nominations. After 15 years together, Jason and his siblings took a break. And in 2009, Jason won a Grammy for his self-title debut album. But winning the coveted award didn’t change this country boy, who found himself in a humorous position on the red carpet.

“Oh that was a fun trip,” Crabb explained. “Here I am a backwoods country boy with a country twang, and my English is butchered. And I remember I wanted to do everything right, rented a limo. … And there, EVERYBODY walks the red carpet.

“And I remember telling my wife when we walked out of the limo, ‘Baby, I don’t want to stick out with my talking. I don’t want to come off like a country bumpkin.’ Well, as soon as we were walking down the red carpet, Lady Gaga pulls up. And she gets out with this huge outfit. She had a scepter and this big ol’ dress. And this big hat that looked like the Statue of Liberty. And I said to my wife, ‘Baby, I don’t think we stick out nearly enough.’ It really eased my thoughts. It was funny in itself. It was a great moment just to be there and represent Gospel music.”

Along with feeling at ease because of Lady Gaga, Crabb found himself a fan when he met Eric Delko, aka Adam Rodriguez.

“My favorite show is CSI,” Crabb said. “And I got to meet Eric Delko! I wanted to take pictures with him, but the battery on my phone was dead. So he said he would take the picture and text me. So not only do I just get a picture, but I got his phone number. Now tell the people back home that,” he said as he chuckled. “It’s kinda cool.”

Kinda cool. Yes, Jason Crabb is just like the rest of us. A fan of TV shows, a teen who struggled when his parents got divorced, but what sets him apart is he followed his dreams and didn’t let his surroundings or the naysayers stop him from achieving his goals.

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