Hear Christian music’s rockabilly king – Crowder – live in concert on the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular this fall on the West Coast as he and nine other bands hit 10 dates on the abbreviated fall tour. Winter Jam is billed as 10 artists for only $10 at the door! Then catch him on the Winter Jam Tour Spectucular Spring 2017 tour that kicks into gear on Jan. 6 and crisscrosses the nation for 46 dates and 13 weeks through April 2 . Check out this great feature article published by Contemporary Christian Music Magazine last week.
– By Caroline Lusk, contributor to the Nov. 1, 2016 issue of CCMMagazine.com (excerpted)
The human voice is not a color. It’s not an ethnicity or a race.
The voice transcends all of that.
There are some voices that bear the soul of the singer from which they originate. Every word, every note drips with a passion and urgency that is visceral. When people like this get a hold of a song worth singing, the outcome could become a soundtrack to the most important moments in life. These moments remind us how to cry when our eyes are dry. They remind us what hope feels like in the midst of darkness and depth. They not only allow a glimpse into the heart and soul of the singer; they pierce the heart of the listener in places and ways unlike anything else in the world.
David Crowder has one of those voices.
The words that flow from his pen and the voice that delivers his melodies meet us at our most vulnerable and from there, extend a hand to continue the journey with us, exploring new territory and challenging our most long-held understandings of the world.
That’s been his style, his creed and his mission throughout his lauded career. And on his second solo offering, American Prodigal (buy), he’s not only joining us for the journey; he’s leading the way.
“My insides are different after being in Atlanta for four years. My peer set is different. My music is different,” he says. “We have to get past the things that divide and blur the lines somewhat. I mean, the banjo is an African instrument. It’s just a sight twist of the dial to go from southern gospel to Black spiritual gospel. They are tributaries of the same stream. rock ‘n roll-appropriated culture. Bluegrass-appropriated culture. To sing about death to life, I think spirituals announced the freedom in a way that understood longing.”
Over time, Crowder gradually turned that dial, the result of which is American Prodigal—a melting pot of color, history, style and tradition that is American in its truest form. Of course, with the current political climate and the tragic, inexplicable loss of life blowing up cable news channels seemingly every day, Crowder knew that this was a delicate but necessary chance to take.
“The tension and nervousness and the heightened political and social conversations make it hard to build bridges,” David continues. “It’s rare that you could change someone’s mind about something by simply presenting to them what’s in your mind. But if you can show them, if you can model for them a thing, if you can make visible the truth that the only real line that exists is the one between death and life and someone has already stood there for us and spanned that divide, that’s a transcendent conversation.”
And it’s community that brings it home for American Prodigal. With songs featuring Tedashii and KB, the album is an amalgamation and integration of sound and spirit that calls to the prodigal in us all—and does so seamlessly.
“At times, I’m not sure if Tedashii is in our band or we’re in his,” says David. “Those guys, KB and Tedashii and Lecrae and the rest of the 116 Reach Records crew are talking about things that are so suitable and convicting and freeing for the Church in this present tense we are attempting to navigate.”
Pretty soon, everyone else will be talking about it too. Track after track, the gripping American Prodigal holds the listener tight from beginning to end. The surprisingly gentle, welcoming opener “American Intro,” to the crunchy, up-tempo “Keep Me,” (that could easily be featured on any Waking Dead episode), to “Run Devil Run” with echoes of Ryan Adams, and the captivating single, “My Victory,” American Prodigal contends to speak to everyone.
Without a grand ovation or pointed intention, Crowder has done on American Prodigal what few artists can ever achieve—he has evolved without losing himself. In taking on the influences and colors of each other, he has discovered his most vibrant self yet.
“I think I rediscovered myself in Atlanta,” he concludes. “Miraculously, God moved me to this spot of earth and when you sink your roots into a place, you can’t help but take what’s in the soil.”
With roots down deep, and the soil rich for planting, Crowder is primed to reap a harvest that is as bountiful and colorful as it is harmonious. After all, a voice isn’t black, white or yellow…or any color in between. The voice, the music—that’s the bridge.
“At the end of the day it’s not about me,” says David. “Without much effort, music invades your insides and finds its way into the deepest parts of the human and brings with it transformative things. Whatever it is that divides us, the story of God set to music can be a thing that brings us back home—together.”