Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

As we've been talking about for several months now, Steven Curtis Chapman will be at Cardinal Stadium August 22. The concert is free (you do have to a buy a ticket to get in the fair). Southern Gospel's The Crabb Family will open again this year. See you there!

Louisville's Esther's Request (Daniel Dabney - vocals, Dave Weir - guitars, Steve Kohlman - drums, Brad McMahan - bass) recently released a new CD, Identity. Lead singer Daniel Dabney gave me his thoughts on the new CD and a few other topics as well.

Louisville Music News: Tell me all about your new CD!

Daniel Dabney: Some of the songs were written over a year before we recorded and others were finished up the week before we went in the studio. In fact, some of the lyrics were finished in the studio. We co-wrote a few of the songs with our producer, Jared Depasquale. He and Ron Bennett produced our CD. We spent about four days in Nashville at the Castle Recording Studio recording all the bass and drum parts. And then we spent about two weeks after that recording in our bass player's parents' basement. There we recorded all the vocals, guitars and some keys (our good friend Shane St. Clair recorded some keys/piano with us).

LMN: You had a CD release party/concert at Southeast Christian Church. How was that?

DD: We had a great CD-release party. Probably about 500 people showed up and we had a great time. People were catching on to the words of the some of the new songs and were singing along. I know we had some goofs in a couple of the songs, but we'll just look at each other and laugh and wonder if anyone noticed. But we sold a good number of CDs and they are still selling at a couple places in town.

LMN: What is the band hoping to do? Are you looking for a record deal?

DD: A couple of years ago we were hoping for a record deal, but these days, we are all so busy with our personal lives and careers, etc, that we are just thrilled to have the new CD and will hopefully go around and play when the opportunities arise. Our drummer, Steve Kohlman, is married and has a little baby girl and he is the college minister at Southeast. Our bass player, Brad McMahan, is married and just took the youth ministry position at Adventure Christian Church. I'm actually getting married on August 5th and I'm still working with the Vine at Southeast. And Dave Weir, our guitarist, is busy working and also traveling with Across the Sky playing guitar for them. So our four schedules are super busy, but we'll never lose the bond we have with each other and we're so grateful and thankful for the journey God has allowed us to travel and also the way He has blessed our personal lives.

LMN: Run down each song on the new CD for me and tell me a little about it.

DD: "Freedom" - We sing a lot about freedom and this song is the opening track. It's a very upbeat, electric song that speaks of how things are changing and freedom is rising up. The chorus sings, `We have found our freedom, we found our way to heaven, You are all we've got.'

"Wake the Dead" - This is another melodic song and it's a cry for reaching the lost. It also speaks of freedom and sings, "Freedom is our fire, Burning deep desire, It is time we go and wake the dead. Jesus, with Your power, lead us in this desperate hour, its time we go and wake the dead."

"Kingdom Come" - This is a fun song and we love the way it grooves.

Our buddy Shane put a lot of piano on to this song. It's about praying for God's kingdom to come as we run this race. This one was a lot of fun to record.

"You're So Lovely" - Probably the fullest rock song on the album, the electric guitars go all the way. It's a song about grace and how lovely God is to us because of His mercy and His holiness. A song we love to play.

"Identity" - This anthem is the track title to the album. It's a song about our identity being found in God and how the world can't stop that. And the song prays for the world to be revived to the one true God.

"Sounds of Heaven" - Another big, electric song, with a sound that is really pushed from what we usually do. It's about how we are living proof that God makes all things new.

"Mystery" - This is a more laid-back song that sings of how the King robed in majesty loves us and the mystery of that.

"Upside Down" - Probably our favorite song to play live, this is a very upbeat song that almost feels like a roller coaster. It's based out of the story of Job and the chorus sings, "You give to me, You take away, No matter what, Your name be praise."

"Glory" - Many people have told us this is their favorite song on the album. Starts off real slow and builds and it's all about giving glory to God for who He is. We were so excited with how this song turned out. We sing it at the Vine and even recorded it on the new Vine CD.

"Wondrous" - The closing track of the CD, it's a very gentle song about the beauty and wonderfulness of God and His leading us in life.

We'd had this song for a while and decided to put it on the CD.

LMN: OK, how about some lighter stuff. So what is in your CD player right now?

DD: Coldplay's X&Y CD and the Saving Private Ryan soundtrack.

LMN: Here's some word association. I'll give you a word and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind. David Crowder Band.

DD: Amazing on and off the stage.

LMN: NBA Arena in Louisville

DD: No, this is Cardinal country!

LMN: Big Churches.

DD: I've experienced both big churches and small churches that have sought to honor God and I loved both experiences. We as the body are one big church, but hopefully will keep growing.

LMN: Live 8.

DD: Inspiring and doing a great thing. (It's) bringing water to the thirsty.

LMN: Delirious? (the band).

DD: The best out there.

LMN: Bono.

DD: Intriguing and amazing songwriter.

LMN: Michael W. Smith.

DD: Legendary.

LMN: "Rock Star: INXS"

DD: Well, I've only seen the ads on the commercials.

LMN: Daisy Duke.

DD: She wasn't on my lunchbox, but Bo and Luke were.

A Dukes of Hazzard product without Daisy - that's just crazy! Anyway, thanks Daniel Dabney for answering some questions and putting up with some silliness as well.

The CD is available at the Living Word Bookstore inside Southeast Christian Church on Blankenbaker Parkway, The Wellspring Christian Book Store on Shelbyville Road, www.esthersrequest.com and Sunday evenings at the "Vine" worship service at Southeast Christian.