Song of the Day: Jason Gray

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While I was happy with “Better Way To Live” as a pretty solid pop/rock song built around one of the hookier choruses I had at the time, it wasn’t necessarily a song that I was particularly passionate about including on the new record.  I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, but I think maybe it felt to me like a song that I would have expected from my previous record, and I wanted to go to new places.  It also didn’t hit me as an especially singer/songwriter kind of lyric.  But everyone else involved in the project was really excited about the song and it seemed like it could be a potential single, so it made the cut.  It’s the kind of song I rarely do well: a punchy pop/rock song with few words and a big old hooky chorus. I wrote it with my friend Chad Cates and have been blessed to find that my lack of enthusiasm was misplaced as I’ve gotten numerous emails back from people who are fans of this song in particular.  I love being wrong in cases like this.

It turned out to be one of the songs that the players were most excited about and even Jason Ingram, the producer, told me afterward that this song was his favorite drum performance.  I think for the players the song provided the best opportunity for a groove to happen and their enthusiasm and investment in it elevated the merit of the song in my mind, making me grateful for it’s inclusion. I loved Gabe Scott’s dulcimer and lap steel flourishes, too.  Paul Mabury, an amazing drummer from Australia, set up his flip camera to record his performance while we were tracking and sent it to me.  Hearing/seeing this song from the perspective of the drum room gives me a different perception of the song.  Watching Paul play this brings back good memories, I remember how wore out he was after this track – he laid into it, giving every hit everything he had in order to get the tone he wanted.  Here’s his video, I hope you enjoy it!

Better Way To Live
Jason Gray and Chad Cates

How long have you been dreaming
Of a life bigger than the one you lead
Your hurt has left you guarded
But hope is tugging at your sleeve
You were meant for something more

All I know is there’s a better way to live
We were made for so much more than this
It’s not the love you have but the love you have to give
All I know is there’s a better way
A better way to live

All my life looking in the mirror
Praying for the will and wings to fly
But when I saw the world out my window
With a broken heart I came alive
Cause I was made for something more

Chorus

When we step aside
From the center of our lives
When we learn to love mercy
More than being right
Pursuing peace and honesty
Starting down the road of selflessness
And seeing where it leads

Chorus


9 Comments

  1. Aaron Roughton

    Man, when you watch a good drummer it’s like watching a dance. Paul seems to be having a blast. And rightly so. Great song, Jason. Great performance, Paul.

  2. JacobT

    This is a very groovy song, I loved it since I first heard it.

    I agree about good drummers being a joy to watch.

  3. Jaclyn

    I can almost salsa dance to this song! Love it! Especially for lyrics like: “When we learn to love mercy / More than being right”

  4. Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    Pete – I’m so glad you shared this with everyone. We’ve been enjoying this clip for a few weeks. It’s hard to to not love this guy – and he is obviously a legit player who can keep it in the pocket! Is A.P. auditioning for a drummer?

  5. Adam Bennett

    Sorry Jason… but Pete’s clip *totally* stole the thunder on this post. No offense to Chad at ALL, but that is awesome! Ha ha… can’t stop laughing and also really want to see that guy live.

    For what it’s worth, I do love “Better way to live”.

  6. Tim Stromer

    THis is one of my favorite songs Jason, really neat seeing the drummer! THere is so much hope in it, and I feel the Lord’s presence in it, something hard to turn down. Even if I didn’t like you, which I do, I’d like this song.

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