Yesterday I went in to our local all-things-Christian store, Christ Centered Books and Music. I made a B-line to the music section in search of one and only one CD: David Crowder * Band’s “Give Us Rest.”
Upon finding said disc, I was quite flooded with nostalgia – almost in an instant. I remembered being a college student and going to a similar book store up in MD. I would spend hours there browsing the CD’s and books, and planning my next purchase. On more than 1/2 dozen occasions, I came across this really interesting CD – the cover art featured a girl’s profile – she was listening to head phones. The title of the CD: “Can You Hear Us?” The first time I saw it, I thought, “hmmm…this looks like a techno album.” I passed it up. A few months later, after passing it up a bunch of times, I gave it a listen and was hooked…instantly! Songs like “Our Love is Loud” and “Undignified” became regular songs of praise that said exactly what I wanted to say to God. As I played this disc hundreds of times, I noticed – something was different about this music, this band, and the movement they were a part of.
As we began working with teenagers in 2003, we introduced many of these same songs to our students. “Undignified” became a youth group staple, and I’ll never forget dancing to it in a massive crowd of brothers and sisters at Creationfest. The next album they released was “illuminate” which remains one of my top ten favorite cds of all time. Songs like “Intoxicating,” “Deliver Me,” and “Coming Toward” took me deeper in worship to God than ever before. Sometime around this CD release, the band also released David’s first album, “All I can Say.” This was a nice addition to the world of worship music as well – songs like, “He Was There” and “Cry Mercy” were exactly what I needed in many valleys.
Some time after that, DC*B released “The Lime CD” which was a cool EP of some live songs and other studio songs. The “End of October” instrumental track was used on many a mission-trip photo presentation and other Christian-videos.
Then, as with most bands, there was a period of music where I “got-away” from the Crowder band for awhile – to put it nicely. The “B Collision” album made no sense to me at all – but then again, I don’t like death…or bluegrass. The Remedy album, just got annoying really quickly because during that season, I somehow saw Crowder live about 3-4 times over a period of 2 years and the live set almost never changed – it just frustrated me how predictable they had become. I had all but given up on the Crowder band to ever make another “illuminate-esk” record, and then I heard A Collision – which of course came before Remedy. If you are reading this and have no clue who the David Crowder Band is, their most popular song of all time is on that album, “O Praise Him.”
I will not take much time to talk about the “Sunsets and Sushi” album because it was just horrible. Techno remixes of Crowder-hits, not well-done at all. Straight up weak. I have never met anyone who liked it…ever. But enough about the negative.
I don’t remember the first time I saw DC*B in concert, but all in all, I’d say we have worshiped with them live more than 15 times. We have been to the Youth Specialties conference the past 7 years in a row and DC*B has been a staple there! I’ll never forget the time we saw their promo video and David was wearing a “Big Daddy Weave” shirt and pretending to be Big Daddy himself.
Anyone who knows anything about the Crowder band knows that they are quite obscure in their technique, humor, writing, etc. and they don’t really care what anyone thinks or says about it. If you try to figure them out, you won’t. (See also: Crowder’s second book about Bluegrass and death). Speaking of books, Crowder’s first book, “Praise Habit” was a GEM! I gave a copy to every guy in my wedding party! I have read that book many times and it never gets old. I rarely eat a ChickFilA sandwich without thinking about the first chapter and Crowder’s analogy of how he found God in a CFA sandwich – I’m not joking! Read it!
Some time in 2010, I think, DC*B released the long awaited cd: Church Music. It was different than anything they ever came out with – a reinvention of worship music all over again! I loved every track, unlike some of my friends! Songs like “The Nearness” and “Eastern Hymn” were again, not like anything I had heard before, and one of my favorite concerts of all time was when our friends, Al & Lisa Patterson took us to the Church Music tour. Danyew opened, Seabird was next and then the DC*B. This was the tour with the drum-set that played itself – super fun and that night at that concert, I got to see the words on the screen and I can remember how much they ministered to me. That night was instrumental in God’s having Jeremy Willet and I write a book together.
A few months ago, DC*B called it quits. I don’t know that I’ve ever had such mixed emotions about a band breaking up. After releasing 11 albums and being a part of just about every Passion compilation ever, the band members did this crazy thing that I know a little bit about: they got married and had kids. I don’t know the details but I am proud of them. I am thankful for the way they exited. I am thankful for the creativity that God has birthed in each one of them and the sacrifices they made in the past decade to share it with the world.
Finally, I had the honor of worshiping along with Mr. Crowderband Sir at the 7 Tour – their final tour after 10+ years of music. David shared testimonies and about one of the first songs they ever wrote, “You Alone.” This song was crucial to my walk with Christ and learning what it means to worship Him. Then, I got to worship with them again, along with my wife, at the Youth Specialties conference in ATL. It was an emotional moment for sure.
Oh, by the way…The final DC*B cd is as big as texas – literally. 34 songs on 2 discs, I don’t know if anyone has ever done this! Buy it. Love it. Let it bring you to the cross of Jesus Christ – where freedom reigns.
He alone is holy, He alone Most High, to God be the glory, to God be the glory, Spirit, Father, Jesus Christ!!! from the new song, “There is a Sound”