Words and music from a life lived “On the Back 40”
Jason Craig grew up in a tiny north Missouri town of 50. That’s 50 people—not 50,000, not 500…just 50. He spent much of his young life shooting baskets on a rusty hoop and barnwood backboard nailed to an old telephone pole. After school, he stocked shelves, swept floors, pumped gas, delivered groceries, and hauled feed for his family’s general store. His teenage summers consisted of building fence, baling hay, and clearing brush. Free time was spent in the pastures and woods, riding motorcycles, camping with the neighbor boys, drinking water from the creek, catching and eating fish from the pond. Looking back, it was a good life.
Like so many small-town boys, though, he dreamed of getting out…of “making it”…of realizing success. Moving from gravel roads to paved streets…from a single flashing yellow light to real stoplights at the end of every block...from a single movie screen 30 miles away to movies viewed on a big screen in the comfort of his own home.
Now, by most accounts, Craig has done just that—he’s succeeded. He holds down a steady job, his salary pays the bills and puts a reliable car in his garage. He even got that big TV he’s always wanted.
But something's missing. He needs to create something from nothing; needs to entertain; needs to feel like he's taking a risk now and then...so he moves forward with a new creative outlet. He starts jotting down things he finds funny, and before long he finds himself turning those funny phrases into funny songs. After a while, he starts playing them for his friends. They laugh...then they spur him on to write more. He does, and some of the songs start taking on lives of their own. Before too long, he's playing the regional BBQ circuit, and some of his stuff even makes its way to the internet.
It’s not all laughs, though. From time to time he’s compelled to capture something serious and heartfelt. The woman he’s loved since before he knew her. The light and life in his daughter’s eyes. The honor and dignity of a life well spent. The grace and mercy of a loving God.
So he writes songs. At home at night when the family is asleep. On a plane 36,000 feet in the air. In a hotel room on yet another business trip. In the invisible hours between today’s accomplishments and tomorrow’s challenges—these are the opportunities he gets to write, and he takes them. His creative process is simple: He lets his mind wander and it leads him to something interesting. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes not. He takes it all in, gives it all its due, and lets the words come out without prejudice or pretentiousness.
This is why Jason’s music covers the full spectrum of entertainment and emotion. It fulfills his desire to put words and music to paper and tape and move someone to feel something. These are songs that bring laughter and tears…and both are offered intentionally. In the end, the type of emotion isn’t as important as freeing people to feel these things in the first place. He wants to help you find a different place in your head and heart…not better, not worse…just different—because that’s what keeps our time on this earth interesting.
Will this pursuit lead him anywhere? Will this music resonate with anyone? Will you want to hear more? These questions are yet to be answered…but we’ll see soon enough.