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Summer Concert Series: Crowder Songs

It seems many of the great songwriters and performers come from Texas. Two of my favorites are Don Henley, of Eagles fame, and this artist David Wallace Crowder. Also from this great state are accomplished musicians, and also personal favorites, Roy Orbison, George Strait, Meatloaf, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, and Willie Nelson.

Whether it be the “David Crowder Band,” a name the group actually did not want or recognize, or the newer formed band, “Crowder,” the music coming from this band and performers has been stellar since their inception. I have seen “Crowder” perform and have followed David on many social media platforms and there is something so real and genuine about him and his music. Regardless of which band, the music is heartfelt and true to Jesus and His teachings, and a great media to learn more about the Bible. There is a passion and honesty about his performances and I, for one, can truly feel and experience his true dedication and emotional commitment to Jesus and God, every time I hear him sing.

The so-called “David Crowder Band” began when David Crowder realized that almost half of the students at Baylor University, a Christian university, were not attending church. Finding this very surprising he and Chris Seay started University Baptist Church, in Waco, Texas, in 1995, while he was still a student. Crowder became pastor of worship, at the church, and led worship and continued to do so throughout the year. The church's congregation grew, as did the band's lineup.

Crowder began writing songs to incorporate into the worship times at the church and eventually the church released an independent CD, Pour Over Me, followed by All I Can Say in 1999. The CDs brought the band to a wider audience and invitations to festivals and events followed. Although the band toured extensively, they made it a point to be back at their home church UBC in Waco Texas, for most Sunday Services.

They disbanded in 2012, with David Crowder pursuing a solo career under the name Crowder and the rest of the band, except for Mike Hogan, forming the group “The Digital Age.” However, the end of this band immediately transformed into the new band, “Crowder” and quite frankly the music, messages, and performances continued to excel, and even got better than ever before. Their first album, “Neon Steeple,” launched three hits which included their first chart topper; “Come as You Are,” along with "Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)" and the near number 1 hit “I Am,” which topped out at number 2 on the charts. Their next album, “American Prodigal” featured several really good songs such as "Run Devil Run," a great tune that did not see much success, on the charts, only topping out at number 26, but is a personal favorite of mine, as this song can really rock! Also on the album are hits "My Victory" and "Forgiven" which hit number 7 and 8 respectively, as well as "Back to the Garden."

Their next release was actually a single, but what a single. This huge hit, “All My Hope” with an assist from the co-vocals of Tauren Wells, went straight to the top of the charts and reminded us all of how deeply moving and true Crowders music was/is. This Crowder style remake of the classic Christian hymn, was just perfect for a country struggling with countless challenges in 2017.

Their next album, I Know a Ghost,” did not have a chart-topping hit but, in my mind, it’s their best work to date. This album features great songs, "Let It Rain (Is There Anybody)" featuring Mandisa, "I'm Leaning on You" (featuring Riley Clemmons), and "Night Like This." But for me, the best song, on this album, is one of the greatest Christian songs ever written, “Red Letters.” The best this song rated, on the charts, was number 5, but I don’t know how this song isn’t a consensus number 1, on every chart. In the song, Crowder paints the picture of how everyone of us has been condemned, like death row prisoners, due to our sinful nature. But as dark as this may be, he turns the song to the truth of Jesus, that by His words, we can all be saved, from this condemned life. As you likely know, “Red Letters” is a reference to the words of Jesus, in the Bible, as they are usually printed in red type, and thus God sent His Son, Jesus, to teach us in/with red letters. The song emphasizes for us that God’s Will and Jesus’s Words, are the only things that can free us from this prison and ultimately save us all. Such a brilliantly written and performed song. If you have not heard it, check out this YouTube link: “Red Letters.”

The next album, and most recent, is “Milk & Honey.” This is the feature of the band’s current tour and also launched their current number 1 hit, on every Christian chart, “Good God Almighty.” Another great hit from Crowder and just another, in a long line, of hits that truly show David’s passion for God and His Son Jesus. If you get a chance, go see Crowder, when they come to a venue near you. You will have a magical evening being entertained by the most passionate of believers and genuine people.

On a personal note, Sarah and I have seen Crowder, on the very same night we saw MercyMe – What an incredible show, a wonderful night, and such a great and moving celebration of God!!!

If you love, true, meaningful, caring, loving, and clean music, you cannot go wrong with music from/by Crowder. The hits, the songs that weren’t hits, or even his social media posts. He and his band are true Christians that simply want to share Gods love and message without being pushy or righteous know-it-all religious fanatics. They are everyday humble people, like you and I, with a simple talent to share God’s love, in a very unique musical way.

If you read the Red Letters, you will truly know to Hold Onto Jesus and God, and then you can Come As You Are, knowing the All Your Hope is in Good God Almighty!

***Disclaimer – The above interpretations are my feelings of what these songs mean. I honestly don’t know what messages the writers intended to convey, but these are my feelings when I hear these songs.

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