Performance by Jars of Clay »

Summertime heat in Texas has a way of dictating lifestyle. It suggested to us, for example, that a Box Canyon Session with Jars of Clay in June might best take place under the relative coolness of night.

Of course, filming at night in a remote canyon introduces a whole new set of constraints, including darkness, bugs, slippery rocks, and a host of unseen hazards waiting to strike. Compounding the risk was our decision to invite all the retreat guests to tag along.

Despite all that (plus a last-minute line of severe thunderstorms that nearly derailed the entire endeavor), we all made it. Guests took up seats on rocks. Others stood in the shadows of the overhanging canyon walls. Dan, Matt, Charlie, and Stephen found some sure footing and started in with “All My Tears.”

It was then that the power of The Box Canyon quietly asserted itself. With cell service long left behind, with nothing to see outside the glow of the string lights, the space focused our collective attention to the moment unfolding before us. Here were four friends who have been making music together for over 20 years, singing for all of us, in this most unlikely of locations.