published Thursday, December 20th, 2012

'A Christmas Celebration'

IF YOU GO

* What: "A Christmas Celebration" tour featuring Sandi Patty and Jason Crabb.

* When: 7 p.m. today, Dec. 20.

* Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

* Admission: $16, $21, $26.50, $31.50 (plus fees).

* Phone: 642-8497 or 757-5050.

* Website: www.etix.com/ticket/online.

Jason Crabb owns a Grammy, Artist of the Year and Soloist of the Year awards, but he admits he was daunted at teaming with Sandi Patty, the most-awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history.

"To tell you the truth," he says, "my stomach was tied in knots until we got together.

"I have a little bit of a country flavor," Crabb says, "and [Patty] has a classic flavor, and I have to play off that. I got nervous because I'm not used to that classical feel. They sent me music to learn with that feel, and I wondered, 'Am I going to do this right? Am I going to be OK with this?' But she knows how to make you feel comfortable. She's quite a singer."

The two will bring their "A Christmas Celebration" tour to the Tivoli Theatre today, the next-to-last stop on a monthlong, 13-state circuit.

Crabb, whose solo career took off in 2009 after touring for years with his family, said he and Patty will sing individually and together. The majority of songs will be Christmas tunes.

"I love the traditional tunes," he says. "I think that's what people really like."

Among those, Crabb says, are "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Mary, Did You Know?" and "The Christmas Song."

He and Patty also will do a few songs from their individual tours. His fans are likely to hear songs such as "I'd Rather Have Jesus" and "I'm Amazed."

Crabb says he and Patty, a Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee, frequently ran into each other at Dove Awards ceremonies or Gaither Homecoming gatherings and always said they should sing, tour or do some concerts together. He says their only previous pairing was in a concert at Estes Park, Colo., about 10 years ago.

Finally this year, the 20-time Dove Award winner says, he was "getting ready to put something together for Christmas" and thought this might be the time. Fortunately, he says, they were able to work out the details.

Crabb, whose new release, "Love Is Stronger," is due out in March, says he and Patty knew when they hit the stage that the collaboration was a good fit.

"I knew it would be good," he says, "but I didn't know it would sound that good. It's glued together. She's just first-class. It's a lot of fun. We laugh, we cut up. There are a lot of joyful moments, but there are also some very tender moments."

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-894-5887. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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