I cannot quite believe it’s over 14 years since I purchased David Crowder*Band’s “Can you hear us?” album. I remember reading a review at the time where the journalist had dismissed it as a nice album that would get lost in the midst of the avalanche of worship band releases. I thought the cover looked great, and it was on offer in my local Christian bookshop (remember those days…), so I bought a copy anyway. And I loved it…it still gets regular rotation now, and the songs are just as impactive as they were when I was a 20 something drummer.
David Crowder*Band always were a bit, well, a lot different, incorporating all sorts of effects, toys and computers into their music. Their Illuminate album even came with a demo version of Propellerheads Reason on the disc, and when I saw the Remedy: Live DVD and Crowder leading worship songs with a Guitar Hero controller…well I was captivated and excited by it all. (I wholeheartedly recommend you watch it…)And of course great songs with great musicians…but most of all, they were having a ball. They were doing serious music but not too seriously…they clearly understood how to bring a sense of fun into their worship which is a difficult thing to pull off.
Banjos and Moogs
Fast-forward to 2014, and David Crowder*Band is no more, but in its place we have The Digital Age continuing as a band and Crowder, David’s solo career. Neon Steeple was released this year to critical acclaim, and while undoubtedly different, it still possesses the Crowder quirk, instantly familiar music but with an added eccentricity. Crowder calls it “Folktronica”: folk music with a dash of electronica, and who am I to argue. Banjos and Moogs were clearly made to play together, it was just no-one had quite figured out how the pieces fit.
The album is full of great tracks, but the one I want to bring to your attention this week is “Come as You Are”, a glorious and deeply personal song which was on the Passion album this year, which is also where the video comes from. For me, it doesn’t get much more raw than this…the words and the vocal performance are heartfelt and sincere. I used it this Sunday as a response to the talk, and I have also used it recently during communion, as the words are just a perfect fit for such a time.
Lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home, you’re not too far
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are
I am already getting slightly lost in it now. Find a quiet place, press play on the video, and just be.