Adam Crabb brings old-time revival to present-day world and is ready to hit the road with The Gaither Vocal Band
By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com
MT. STERLING, Ky. — When he took the stage at Life Impact Church Saturday night, Adam Crabb didn’t appear to be someone who had been largely shut down for more than a year. He didn’t look like someone exhausted after returning from vacation to his Nashville home little more than 12 hours earlier.
As The Coffmans’ Louis Coffman had predicted earlier in the program, he was ‘Bringin’ it!”
Going solo as he has usually done for the last 14 months, the seven-year veteran of The Gaither Vocal Band delivered 90 minutes of high-octane gospel ranging from house-rocking versions of “I’ll Fly Away” and the Crabb Family standard, “Through the Fire,” to reflective classics such as “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” and “Through It All,” which he performed with The Coffmans.
It was the old-fashioned revival meeting the 2021 crowd thirsting for the message of the gospel.
Adam Crabb was just itching to share that message Saturday night.
“I love singing, doing solo work,” Crabb said before the concert. “And I am all about helping people and Child Fund and what they do is amazing.” Child Fund, headquartered in Richmond, Va., partners with Crabb and The Coffmans for the Something Good Tour.
“I grew up in a little small house. Mom and Dad divorced when I was a kid and my mom, we really didn’t have much,” the native of Beaver Dam, Ky. “I got to go see these other kids and I realized I was more blessed than I thought. I thank God for what I have and I want to help these kids.”
What Crabb has began with his family’s explosion into the Southern Gospel scene in 1994. When The Crabb Family members decided to go their different directions in 2007, Adam kept singing, eventually joining forces with the legendary Bill Gaither in 2014.
After enjoying a successful life on the road, Adam was abruptly home with few places to go when COVID-19 largely shut down all forms of the music industry.
“I remember going home and thinking, ‘What am I going to do? This is all I have done my whole life. I started getting like everybody else and ‘poor, pitiful me’ and ‘how will we do this?’
“I have to say God provided. He blew my mind with people. I had someone say, ‘Hey, I want you at my kid’s birthday party.’ He had people come up and blessed me really good. Just little things like that.”
Adam reflected a bit on one of the few trips he was able to make in 2020. “I went to a church in Texas. A guy saw me singing on Facebook and he said, ‘You are so anointed. I want to have you come and do some live recordings for our services. That blessed me really good,” Crabb said. “Through all of that, I have to say God provided. That’s how He works. He’s a provider. He’s a way maker. He’s a problem solver.”
I could not help but ask “Chain Breaker?” in reference to the Gaither Vocal Band cover of Zach Williams’ hit. Adam takes the lead on the song.
“He’s a chain breaker!” Adam said. “He’s an awesome God and we should never put limits on what He can do.”
Crabb performed “Chain Breaker” midway through the concert and a near full house reinforced Crabb’s belief that the church could be on the cusp of powerful growth and witness. And he believes it is the result of a reliance on God for the last 14 months.
“I think sometimes that for us to grow in Christ, for the church to grow as a body, we have to go through these types of things,” he said. “We have to face these challenges. That’s what makes us stronger and better. It pushes us to faith that we didn’t even know we could do. So I thank God for these moments.”
That doesn’t mean everything in Crabb’s career came to a standstill. It’s just not possible as a member of one of history’s most popular gospel groups.
“There’s a lot of good stuff going on,” he says. “We have been recording. We didn’t have a lot of dates on the road.
“We have been in the studio, literally. We have done about five albums already. Bill wants to get stuff done. He doesn’t like to sit around and I love that about him. He’s a motivator. He pushes you. He pushes the limits a lot of times, so I love that about him.”
Part of that studio work resulted in the recently-released album, “That’s Gospel, Brother” which provided a welcomed surprise while Adam and his family were vacationing.
“Bill called me,” Adam said breaking into a broad smile. “I had been on the beach with my family for six days and Bill called me and said, ‘Hey man, did you see the new video we put up on Facebook?’
“It was ‘How Beautiful Heaven Must Be.’ It’s an old classic and it had two million views in a week’s time.”
The Gaither Vocal Band’s version features Adam on the lead with Reggie Smith and Wes Hampton joining in on harmony. As of this writing the video had been viewed on Facebook over 2.3 million times. (You can watch the same video on YouTube here.)
“First of all, I didn’t expect that,” Adam admits. “It’s an old classic, but sometimes when you strip things down, you make it more intimate and personal, which is what I think Bill was going for. Sometimes you can have too much going on that people don’t really grasp the words. I think what made this special is like my brother (Jason Crabb) sings a song, ‘Sometimes I Cry’ that is so stripped down that people really listen to the lyric.
“And I think that is what happened with this song. People love this song. We tried to put a different twist on this song.”
Which is what being a part of the Gaither Vocal Band has done for Adam Crabb.
“It’s been a thrill and, honestly, I have learned so much from Bill. He’s a coach. He likes to teach and he likes to work to everybody’s strengths,” Adam says. “He knows the switch box for our voice. He knows the right keys for us to record in. He’s an incredible arranger.”
The Vocal Band will be heading to Florida this weekend (May 13-15), hitting the road for the first time since the pandemic sent the group home.
“The experience of being with The Vocal Band has been a learning experience for me. There have been so many things to make me better,” Adam says.
And he was mighty good Saturday night.