Just when you thought the world was “full” of Christmas music, artists release amazingly well-crafted advent albums that take our breath away.  This is one reason we love supporting and highlighting new holiday releases, and not just focus on our nostalgic favorites.  Graham Jones wants to share Luke’s narrative on Christ’s birth in a musical way, and he’s raising support on Kickstarter right now to help him create an advent album for Fall of 2021 called Good News, Great Joy.  We had a chance to catch up this week.

UTR: How important is the Advent & Christmas season for you?
Graham:  Ever since I was little, Christmas has been my favorite time of year. I love the cold (in TX, that’s usually the closest to snow we get), the lights, the decorations, the music…everything about it. But as I’ve gotten older and grown in my faith, it has evolved into one of the most vital seasons in my yearly worship of Christ. I’m still finding myself surprised at the humanity that I encounter at celebrating his incarnation each year, his humility and ordinariness, and yet, embedded in the heart of that small child is the power of God to save the world. Each Advent gives me the opportunity not only to celebrate his miraculous salvation, but also long for the day when he will come again to make all things new.
UTR: Your current Kickstarter is in the “home stretch”. How does it feel to have such a strong response the first few weeks?
Graham:  I have been so encouraged by the show of support I’ve already seen with this Kickstarter. I wasn’t sure how running a crowdfunding campaign during Christmas at the end of 2020 would go, but I felt like it was the right timing for this important project, so I stepped out in faith. The immense generosity and encouragement I’ve received has exceeded my expectations, and I’m excited to see what these last couple weeks will bring.
UTR: What is your vision for the new album Good News, Great Joy?
Graham: We all hold Christmas traditions near to our hearts during this season in the form of albums, movies, devotionals, calendars, and even decorations. My hope with writing Good News, Great Joy was to take the wonder of the story of Christ’s incarnation found in Luke’s gospel and present it as a yearly tradition for our church to hold onto as a reminder to stop, listen, and worship during this season. Now, with the opportunity to get it recorded and put out into the world, I just want to share this tradition that has meant so much to our church with others who might also come to embrace it. I believe these songs balance the truths of the incarnation well in ways that can be helpful to us during the Christmas season. I worked as hard to write soaring melodies to depict the angel chorus as I did to craft real lyrics that depict the heart of the hurting, doubting, and downcast. Much like the diverse cast of characters involved in the coming of God’s Son into the world, I hope these songs can reach a diverse audience each year and draw us all together to see the Christ child in his glory.
UTR: If you surpass the goal, do you have plans for any stretch goals?
Graham: I do have several stretch goals in mind! For every $1K we raise past the $12K goal, I have some additional items planned. For example, I’d love to be able to expand the 12-day devotional into a full 24 days, and to add lyrics in liner notes in the CDs. Should the Kickstarter stretch beyond those, I’d love to be able to offer some additional music I have in mind.
UTR: Even though this project is all originals, is there a classic hymn/carol that is your favorite this time of year?
Graham: Ooh, great question. I really love asking other people about their favorite songs, movies, etc., but admittedly, I have trouble selecting my own, especially with Christmas music. “The First Noel” has long been a favorite of mine, but “The Holly and the Ivy” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” are close favorites. This season, I’ve been enjoying the lyrics of  “Angels From the Realms of Glory” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in a fresh new way. So many wonderful songs!
Graham Jones resides in Arlington, TX.  To participate in his Kickstarter before 12/31/20, CLICK HERE.