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CD Release Week Part 2: sleep deprivation, Andrew Peterson, and “things you like to sop”

March 24, 2007


Jason Gray & Andrew Peterson

Jason Gray & Andrew Peterson

The second week of concerts celebrating the release of the new CD kicked off on Friday night March 9th in BloomingtonMN. As well as a celebration of the release of the CD, the concert was also a benefit for my dear friend Tim Helmen who’s been battling cancer. The concert was a huge success with a completely packed house of almost 500 in attendance! I was blessed to be a part of this event and grateful for the outpouring show of support for the Helmen family. Tim has co-written some of my most popular songs with me including “A Place Called Hope”, “Curiousity Killed The Cat” and others. For more about Tim, go to

We decided to talk about our passion for child sponsorship through World Vision, too, and announced that we would personally donate $50 to the Helmen fund for every one who sponsored a child that night. 14 kids were sponsored! We were able to give $700 to the Helmen fund, which was matched by Thrivent, bringing it up to $1400! What a gift it was to us to be able to partner with people that night to meet both the needs of the Helmens and also of the AIDS orphans in Africa that we work with. The Kingdom looks like that: everybody wins.

The next night, we drove to the Cup O’ Joy in Green BayWI where I had the honor of opening for one of the best songwriters in Christian music, Andrew Peterson. Andrew is one of my favorite artists and you owe it to yourself to find his music if you’ve never heard him. It’s full of wonder, “harrowing beauty” (USA Today), and a playfulness that is refreshing. Andrew is one of the kindest guys you could meet, but full of a little mischief, too. As I was walking on stage, he said, “have a good show” and tossed a capful of water on the front of my pants for me to explain to the audience (a trick he learned from Michael Card). We laughed and had a great time with Andrew and the rest of his crew. For his part, Andrew put on a great show that stirred the deep waters of my heart – a magical night and one of the best concerts I’ve attended (let alone played for) in a long time.

At the end of the evening, Andrew generously offered to give away one of his CDs for free to anybody who bought one of my CDs. Thank you Andrew. For more about Andrew, check out

Though we both had long drives ahead of us, we all went to Perkin’s afterward for a bite to eat and told “oh bro” stories and had conversations like: “what’s the grossest food you’ve ever had to eat” and “things you like to sop” (you know, like sopping an over easy egg with your toast). We parted ways and drove 3 hours south to Waukesha where I was to play the next morning.

After two hours of sleep, I left for Waukesha First Assembly to share special music that morning in advance of the concert. WFA is a great church that I’ve been playing at for years and I have many good friends there. That afternoon, I got in about two more hours of sleep before the concert that night. The event was hosted by the Fish Milwaukee and we were blessed for the final night of the release week tour to once again be a packed house! After years of playing in the Milwaukee area to tens of people as an indie artist, I was grateful for the radio support that helped bring in a little over 400 attendees that night. It was a good night of ministry and I left Waukesha with a lot of new friends. We were overwhelmed by the show of support from the people.

Still feeling a little sleep deprived, we loaded up the van and drove the 5 hours back home to MN, grateful for the generous support of friends, fans, and radio that made it such a successful release week. 

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