When David Crowder began his solo career, he had a big decision to make: What style of music would he sing?
He had an answer: "porch music."
"I want group sing – you know, porch music, where everybody comes over, hand and foot stuff where we're all having a good time," Crowder said last month following the Dove Awards. "It's tough to argue with one another when you're trying to harmonize. I just want some porch music where you've got your buds around."
One of his friends and co-writers, Solomon Olds, told him, "Well, you can't have a proper porch without a proper dog."
So Crowder – always eccentric – began carrying around a stuffed arctic fox he named "Kenny Rodgers." He even filmed comical YouTube videos with Kenny. They shop together. They eat together. The videos are called, Adventures with Kenny Rodgers the Arctic Fox.
"The best is checking it on airplanes. When you pick it up. And you get it back. You look at the Delta employee, you're like, 'What did you do to my dog, man?'" Crowder said, laughing.
Crowder may enjoy "porch" music, but he won a Dove Award this year for a hard rock song – Higher Power – that saw him placed alongside Skillet in the list of nominations. The song won for Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year and is part of his 2021 album, Milk and Honey. The tune features rapper, Hulvey.
He wrote it with Olds. "I was like ... I need to get on the rock side of things. We need some hype," Crowder said. "And this dude, him and his wife Lauren, are just the most fun people to write with ever since I've been doing this Crowder deal," he said. "Every time I come around to writing season, the first couple of days I spend with them – just because it sets a great tone of where the album can go."
The song testifies to the power Christians have through Christ. Thanks to the song's catchy rock sound, though, it has been featured on mainstream television, including on ESPN.
"Seeing it on ESPN when my favorite college football teams are playing is like – you don't understand the feeling," Crowder said. "It's been a fun song to get to carry in this season that [is] the Milk and Honey deal. Solomon Olds and Lauren – they bring the heat. It's wonderful."
Meanwhile, Crowder credits his wife, Toni, for his clothing style. He's known as one of CCM's best-dressed artists when in public.
He calls her his biggest inspiration.
"She is wonderful," he said. "... Everybody is like, man, you look put together. I'm like, I just do what she says. So these are the shoes she picked out, the jacket she picked [out]. So yeah, she's running the whole deal."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Staff
Video courtesy: ©Crowder
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.