Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

The Passion Experience Tour comes to Southeast Christian Church, 920 Blankenbaker Parkway on November 9th. The tour will feature amazing speaker Louis Giglio, along with music from the David Crowder, Chris Tomlin and Charlie Hall. I've heard Giglio speak several times and have been moved each time. As far as the music of this event goes-it must translate well live. The last time Tomlin played at Southeast, about 5,000 people showed up. This event promises to be huge-and it's free!

This event and the artists involved are certainly about more than money and album sales-but I had to share this. David Crowder Band got the No. 1 position for the first time on the SoundScan Christian Retail chart. The band's sophomore recording, Illuminate, released September 16 and sold nearly 14,000 units in its first week at retail.

David Crowder Band songs are featured on two additional projects landing on the Christian Retail Top 10 sales chart this week. The band's fan favorite, "Our Love Is Loud," on Wow Worship Yellow, lands at No. 4, while the band's live versions of "Stars" and "O Praise Him (All This For A King)" are on Passion: Sacred Revolution- Songs From OneDay03, which is No. 8 on the chart and has remained among the top 10 since its August 19 debut. Local artist Casey Page has been getting some attention lately! Recently the 17-year-old singer/songwriter opened for Derek Webb and Christine Dente in Louisville. Ms. Page has also been down to Nashville and to North Carolina over the last year to play. In addition she's been busy with her own shows and, of course that little thing in her life called high school. Recently she paused to give me her two cents on a few topics.

Louisville Music News: So how did you get your start singing?

Casey Page: My parents are into music...my dad plays the piano and guitar and my mom sings, so I've been surrounded by music since before I was born! The first time I sang in front of anyone was when I was four...I sang "Puff the Magic Dragon" at a piano recital. However, I didn't start writing songs and playing the guitar until I was 13. I basically got my start online, e-mailing people who I thought might be able to help me get a "gig" or just give me advice. I would go to Christian websites, search engines, musician websites, etc. trying to find names of people who I could e-mail! I took guitar lessons at Mom's Music and cut my first three song demo there when I was 14. Around that time, I started playing on WAVE 3 TV when they would need a teenage musical guest for their teen, Christmas, or Easter shows. I got a great contact in Nashville from all my e-mailing who was starting a music conference for Independent artists called the 2NMC Music Conference. I went to the conference in the fall of 2001. I learned so much about the music business and left extremely motivated to work harder at getting opportunities to play. I then came across a website advertising a youth conference in Dallas, TX and saw a contact number. I had my mom call the coordinator and Winterfest in January of 2001 was my first real big gig. There were 3,000 kids at this conference and I was one of the openers for a signed act. My parents and I drove about 15 hours in a rented van to get there and once I got there I had no idea what I was going to do...I had only played a few times before and didn't have much experience. But, I did it and it was one of the coolest moments of my life. It was the time when I knew that I belonged on the stage and once I got under the lights, I was able to just relax and be myself in front of 3,000 screaming youth. That was really the starting point of two years of craziness! I've played at churches, youth conferences, music festivals, youth groups, music events, coffeehouses...you name it and it's all been because God opened the doors.

LMN: Do you plan on making singing a career?

CP: I definitely hope that singing will be a career for me. I want to go to college in the fall to better prepare myself to be the best singer and musician I can be. I feel that God has called me to be a minister for Him...I believe that one of the avenues of that ministry is singing and writing songs. More than anything, though, I feel that God wants me to help His people...that's a universal calling. I'm only 17, so I have no idea what God is going to do in my life and I'm trying to stay as open about it as I can. I hope that He uses my music, but if He has another way that would be better suited for the people He wants to reach, so be it. Music will always be a part of my life and an avenue for me to minister. I can't plan for it to be a career, but I am pursuing it as far as God allows.

LMN: Any thoughts on the state of Christian music today?

CP:I think Christian music is a great thing. It's a way God can touch His people. Christian music speaks to me all the time. I'll be listening to the radio or listening to a CD and a lyric will just hit me that deals with exactly what I'm going through at the moment. However, Rich Mullins said that we'll pay $15 to hear a flashy Christian band say Jesus is Lord when people in foreign countries don't have enough money to buy a Bible...or when people in non- Christian countries don't even have one minister who can tell them about Jesus. I think that even though Christian music is a great thing for us here in America and around the world, we sometimes get caught up in the Christian rock and pop star image of the musicians instead of realizing what it's all about and instead of concentrating our efforts on reaching the lost for Christ.

LMN: What do you think about Stacie Orrico and Mercy Me getting so much attention from mainstream radio/TV?

CP: I think it's awesome! I was listening to 99.7 DJX a while back and heard Mercy Me's "I Can Only Imagine" being played and I about flipped out! It's the coolest thing to hear such a hopeful song proclaiming the Gospel on a secular radio station! Hey, Stacie Orrico and Mercy Me are being positive influences in a music environment that is full of negative connotations, so I say more power to them!

LMN: You opened for Derek Webb recently in Louisville. How was that?

CP: Opening for Derek Webb was such a great experience! I bought his CD, She Must and Shall Go Free a few weeks before the concert and fell in love with a couple of his songs, "Wedding Dress" and "Beloved." His focus is on the church and how Christians need to love and support the church: basically, support and love each other. "Wedding Dress" talks about how we put Jesus on like a wedding dress or a ring of gold representing our marriage to Him and how it covers all of our sin. It is such a powerful song. "Beloved" is Jesus talking to us and saying not to believe what the world is telling us and to not let anyone tell us that there's anything we need but Him. It was great meeting with him and talking to him about the songs he has written and also about my music...I encourage anyone to buy his CD, his songs dare you to be loud for God.

LMN: Finally, what is your "goal" as an artist?

CP: My goal as an artist is, as a mentor of mine once put, to "Connect people's heart with God's heart." When I sing, sometimes this happens...and Unfortunately sometimes it doesn't. It all depends on how much of me gets out of the way. My goal is to get me out of the way so much that when I sing, people don't see "Casey Page" up there; they see and hear God. I just want to be an empty vessel for Him to use. I want to get to the point where I don't care about the glory and the fame and where everything inside of me just wants to glorify Him. I want to be a reckless worshiper. That's my goal.

There's much in store for this young artist! Get more info on Casey page at caseypage.com. Locally: Harvest Café is a Christian venue located at 8901 Blue Lick Road. Some of their upcoming events include: November 15 - Singer/Songwriter Night November 22 - Alexis Shay & Straightway November 23 - Southern Psalms.