David Crowder Returns to his Blue Grass Roots

Posted by James Warwood  ·  Be the first to comment

The David Crowder* Band disbanded after Passion 2012. So imagine the surprise of many when he returned in 2013 with a new set of musicians and a completely new sound to match his hillbilly beard.

Post-David Crowder* Band

Vowing to take a year off, David claims everything happened naturally.

While the rest of the David Crower* Band, except Mike Hogan, formed ‘The Digital Age’, David vowed to take a year off. For the past 12 years he's found himself tweaking Pro Tools, programming loops and experimenting with electronic bass and even a thermion. So his odd transition into bluegrass and gospel music is, in many ways, hitting his reset button.

Growing up in Texas means David grew up with country music. In an interview, he recalled travelling with his parents in the car listening to country singers - Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Bill Gaither. Now he finds himself travelling back to his musical roots, playing with a bunch of bluegrass musicians and learning the banjo.

The itchy fingered musician led his newly formed band to a festival in June 2012. Calling themselves ‘Crowder’ they began laying the foundations for a debut album due to be released in the autumn of 2013.

‘It’ll Cure What Ails Ya Tour’ Spring Tour

David and his new friends have just finished a 20-stop tour across America. They named it the ‘It’ll Cure What Ails Ya Tour’. Playing at smaller venues, crowds were treated to some new songs included the foot stomping, My Beloved, and the transcendent and mellow, Here’s My Heart, along with stories and his usual dry humour made famous through the ex-bands entertaining YouTube offerings - Rockamentaries.

Crowder is an 8-piece band, including David at the helm. He’s swapped electric guitars for a fiddle and an upright bass, a drum kit for a shuffle kit and synthesizers for a slide lap-guitar. The only thing that seems to be missing is a harmonica and dungarees. But the harmonica will hopefully feature in their up-and-coming album and the dungarees may well come back into fashion by autumn.

Strangely, his vocals suit bluegrass/gospel far more than the electro-rock worship of his past. And this new direction also brings new influences; including a noticeable change in vocabulary connected with his Gaither and gospel roots. I think this musical 180° - from sitting behind a computer to jamming on the front porch, is a welcome relief from the all too familiar sound of modern worship. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it makes me smile: inside and out. Fans of Mumford & Sons, Rend Collective and Gungor will instantly fall in love with Crowder.

If you can’t wait until the autumn, This I Know, the last track on the recently released 'best of' album, All This For A King: The Essential Collection, is the very first Crowder original to make it onto CD. The collection features 15 tracks, including David Crowder* Band classics, remixes (one being particularly special by the ex-members who are now ‘The Digital Age’) and one taste of David’s new musical adventure.

The Illusive Grammy Award

Although the David Crowder* Band were wildly popular and successful, receiving 8 Dove Awards and selling 1.9 million albums, they never quite snatched a GRAMMY. Though twice nominated, they never held that famous gold-plated gramophone trophy.

Of course, it’s questionable whether the award is even in Crowder’s mind. In describing his new musical adventure, David said with a smile: “I’d like to put those two worlds together and I think they can coexist… computers and porch music, that’s what it is.” It seems David wants to harness the power of bluegrass - community spirit, participation and lifting yourself out of suffering, for congregational worship, not to win awards.

You can also catch the new Crowder on ‘Let The Future Begin’, the 2013 Passion album. Unfortunately only one track made it on to the conference compilation: Here’s My Heart - which is a shame seeing as it’s the less bluegrass song. Perhaps Louie Giglio isn’t a big Gaither fan?

11th May

May 11th, 2013 - Posted & Written by James Warwood

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