something significant changed in the world of christian music the day the David Crowder Band released their first album. i’m not even completely sure how to describe that change. but i’ll try with this: the line between “worship music” and “totally fantastic music i want to listen to all the time” was suddenly blurred.
in fact, i remember very clearly the first time i heard the band live. it was at the NYWC in… actually, i have no idea what year. it was a long time ago. hardly anyone had heard of them. but we were experimenting with a musical style shift at the NYWC after many years with the same worship leader at every convention. and that year we discovered we were going to have to turn away about 1000 people from the san diego location — unless we came up with something very creative. the solution was to run two main sessions concurrently. the main ballroom (set for something like 2500 people, with a massive stage and all the technology would expect) had the older, “contemporary” worship leader. then there was this funky “overflow” stage in a much smaller ballroom. people who registered later, once we expanded the size limit on the event, “had” to attend the main sessions in that ballroom. the speaker’s talk was going to be on a big screen (hey! we were a video venue church before it was such a stupid fad!), but the band was going to be live in both locations.
uh, we had a problem.
during the music parts, the big/main ballroom was empty-ish; and the smaller/ancillary ballroom was pack to overflowing with youth workers who were ignoring our silly little differently-colored armbands or whatever was supposed to designate their assigned space (what? youth workers ignoring the rules?).
somewhere over the years, i got to become friends with david, jack, jeremy (bwack), hogan, and mike d. i even went on a tour with them once for a week or so. and now that they’re two bands, i’ve remained in contact with all of them.
but i’m still a fan.
to me, these songs represent something not many else have come close to approaching: songs i simply never tire of hearing or singing.
so, yeah, i was pretty stoked when i found out a new “best of” album was releasing (it actually releases today, and you can find it on tunes here). someone up the record distribution food chain was nice enough to give me access to listen to it online, starting a couple weeks ago. needless to say, if digital streams could get worn out grooves like vinyl back in the day, these tracks would already be trashed. the songs hold up. and they take me back. both. at the same time. as a bonus, there’s a couple new tracks, and a handful of fun remixes (i particularly got a kick out of the family force five remix of shadows).
ok, this is fun. david’s record peeps are allowing me to give away 5 autographed copies of the CD. here’s how we’re gonna do it: respond with a reasonably short comment about the first time you heard the band, or a funny story from a time you heard them live, or anything else that you think would make me choose you. in other words: convince me to pick you. and just writing “ooh, pick me” ain’t gonna do it. i’ll just give the CDs to my 7th grade guys small group if that’s the best i get!
this isn’t a race. so i’ll give you a couple days, and i’ll pick a winner on thursday or friday.
(oh! and one more thing! did you know that david crowder is one of the 18 presenters speaking at The Summit? yup: he’s not coming as a performer. he’s going to speak to us about “the process of creativity.”)
oops — an offsite retreat, a birthday party, and a holiday weekend caused a little delay in picking winners! sorry ’bout that. this was almost impossible, as almost all the responses were wonderful. but i had to pick five, and five that i really loved were from Darin Brown, Amy Mateer, Mark Seitz, Julie, and Eli Ruggles. i’ll contact you all via email to get your addresses. congrats!