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Interview:
Crowder happy to headline Winter Jam tour
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Think Christian music can't be hip? Don't tell that to David Crowder.

The Texas-born singer-songwriter's folktronica style plays well on both sides of the spiritual/secular divide, fusing together contemporary sonics with an equally modern style of worship. Over the course of two Christian chart-topping albums and an EP of his own and eight with the David Crowder Band, the 45-year-old Crowder is a trend-setting leader, topping the Christian scoring a Grammy Award nomination in 2015 for his single "Come As You Are" as well as authoring a pair of books.

Crowder is still out on the road supporting his 2016 release "American Prodigal," happily riding herd as the headliner of this year's Winter Jam package tour...

After leading the David Crowder Band from 1996-2012, Crowder didn't intend to necessarily use his own name for his next musical project. "I was just bad at naming things on the front end," he says. "After doing the band, this was just going to be me, so what was I going to call it? I just shortened it to (Crowder), which was confusing for everybody on the front end. But I felt like I had been out and exposed for awhile, so it made sense, and by the time I did the two and a half year cycle for the first album (2014's 'Neon Steeple'), I wasn't going to change it again and make it even more confusing."

The success of "Neon Steeple" and the subsequent "Neon Porch Extravaganza" EP gave Crowder plenty of confidence in his new direction. "Moving from the David Crowder Band into a solo version, it felt pretty natural to take that step," he says. "It didn't feel too far away from where it started. It felt really authentic and appropriate to where I had been. At this point I'm a little insulated from all the pressure; I have nice people around me and I just kinda get to make music and don't have to worry about whether it works or not after I make it."

The "American Prodigal" album is more personal than it is political, but Crowder understands that kind of title carries some weight in the current state of the country. "The resonant frequency now is we're closer together than we think we are," he says. "The things that make us feel like we're so divided and so far apart, they're not as real as we feel that they are. The person on the left, the reason they seem so antithetical to (the right) is because their heart is so big and they ant to see everybody taken care of. And the reason you're on the far right of things is you think the way to take care of everybody is a little more logical and rational. But we all want to take care of people, so maybe we're not so far apart."

The electronic aspect of Crowder's music sets him apart from many of his peers, but he acknowledges that it's not been the easiest way to go. "I have many of years of electronics having their own mind, which kind be frustrating," he says. "I remember we were playing baseball game in Houston, and they hauled out our sound system after the game was over and half a song in everything goes down and it's quiet. The crowd is yelling and everything, and all I could think of to do was run and stand on the dugout. Now, it's impossible for the human voice to carry and connect with a whole baseball stadium, but I'm guessing for the 25 people that were close to us it was amazing, and at least the rest of them thought, 'Those guys are funny. At least they gave it a try.' Eventually they got it worked out."

Crowder currently lives in Atlanta, where he's become a Falcons fan. Super Bowl LI didn't work out exactly as he wanted, but Crowder did his part. "That Sunday morning our pastor wasn't there 'cause he's the Falcons team chaplain. How cool is that?" Crowder says. "So I lead (services) that morning. The whole city was going nuts, which is fun. I grew up in Texas; Everybody there was a Cowboys fan, but I liked the (Pittsburgh) Steelers 'cause I really liked the black and gold. I was a hardcore Steelers fan; Everything had Steelers on it -- jacket, pajamas. And all the Cowboys fans hated me. It was great."

Winter Jam Tour Spectacular 2017 with Crowder, Britt Nicole, Andy Mineo, Colton Davis, Thousand Foot Krutch and more.

6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.

The Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills.

Tickets are $10.

Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.


Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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