ML: Jason, thanks for talking to me, today. Let’s dive right in. Tell us about your family and ministry, along with it’s history.
Jason Griggs: This group got started in 1971 by my in-laws, Perry & Nell Wimberley. The group went by the name “The Joylanders” for about 45 years or so until we changed our name a couple of years ago. Pretty much every family member has been in the group at some time or another, but the group that you see today has been traveling as we are for the last 24 years or so.
ML: Your family is known for live music. What instruments does everybody play?
JG: We are all musicians. In our typical concert setting, I play acoustic guitar and bass guitar, Jay plays upright bass and electric bass, Allison plays mandolin and acoustic guitar, and Van plays acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo. We do play other instruments. I also play drums, bass guitar (my wheelhouse), acoustic guitar, and occasionally play keys, although not very well! Jay plays bass guitar, but he loves to play drums at home and does it frequently and LOUDLY! Van plays acoustic guitar, lead guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass guitar, steel guitar, and she can even play drums. It’s really noisy at our house.
ML: You guys have been in the studio working on new music. Can you share some of that?
JG: We actually have 2 new projects. We just released an EP at the end of February called “Countless.” Jeff Collins did a great job producing this project for us and it is more of a story-themed project with a 90’s Country sound. We were given some great story songs from amazing writers like Kenna West, Lee Black, Don Poythress, & Kristi Fitzwater. We specifically wanted to do this project for new material that we will play live in our concerts. We also just finished another new project that Wayne Haun is producing for us. We love a variety of styles of music and this project is full of variety! We literally finished our vocals the week that COVID-19 shut everything down. Orchestrations have been delayed because of the shutdown, but now that things are opening back up, orchestrations should be completed in May. We should have the project by late Summer or Fall. We are excited about this project and can’t wait for you to hear it! We have lyrically strong material from writers like, Joseph Habedank, Scotty Inman, Lee Black, Wayne Haun, Geron Davis, and none other than … Matthew Lawson! This was our first experience working with Wayne Haun and it has been a thrill! Wayne has done an amazing job with the music and vocal arrangements! Our Southern Gospel Industry is blessed to enjoy his loyalty and contributions.
ML: What is one thing God has taught you during this time?
JG: One thing that God has shown me through the COVID shutdown is that I had been too busy for too long. I have allowed too many things to consume large amounts of my time that were not necessarily profitable to me personally or spiritually. A lot of those things ceased to exist once the pandemic shut us all down. I’ve had so much less stress and I’ve enjoyed being with those whom I love and spending an enormous amount of time with them doing things I wouldn’t normally get to do! With a clear schedule, I’ve had more time to study the Bible, seek God, and prayer walk.
ML: If you could say one thing to someone reading this, what would you say?
JG: Above all, know Jesus and trust him with everything! He’s already demonstrated His love by dying in your place and enduring the full wrath and punishment of God the Father to pay for all the wrong that you’ve committed against Him. He also has the full resources of Heaven at His disposal to meet your every need. He has a perfect will and plan for your life. Know Him and trust Him!