And on the group's current tour, the players are taking along their church pastor.
The worship band, connected with Journey Church in Franklin, Tenn. brings its "Night of Worship and Conversation" to Life Church in Grand Haven on April 9 (see info below).
"When we go on tour we have a vision of our own church in mind," said singer-songwriter Leslie Jordan, who with fellow artist David Leonard is founder and anchor of the band.
"And we hope that when you leave, you've had a shared experience, a deeper love for each other and the Word, and a deeper understanding of how God moves in community."
Their pastor Jamie George speaks during each event. The tour also includes Sandra McCracken, a music artist who co-wrote one of the songs on All Sons & Daughters' latest self-titled album.
Their song "Great Are You, Lord," now making the rounds of contemporary churches across the country, is in the top 20 on Christian Music Weekly's worship song chart.
TOGETHER ON THE JOURNEY
Leonard (formerly a touring member of the faith-based band NeedToBreathe) and his wife began attending Journey Church more than six years ago. That's where he encountered Jordan, who also has a musical background.
"We actually met through our worship pastor at the time, and we wanted to write songs for our church family. So we started hanging out and writing music," Leonard recalled.
Soon their songs attracted the attention of a major Christian record label. And barely a year into their new collaboration, they signed a recording contract.
Their national platform and rising visibility comes with the band members resolved to stay firmly planted in their church. They lead worship there at least once per month and remain united with its worship and arts community.
"Through this (music) we've been able to connect with a lot of other worship pastors and even churches in general as we see people have found something in the music that's allowed them to connect to God in maybe a different way than they have before."
MUSIC ROOTED IN FAITH AND FAMILY
The "All Sons & Daughters" latest album was co-written with some well-known names in Christian music – among them Jason Ingram, Francesca Battistelli and Leeland Mooring (of the band Leeland).
"I think because we write church music it feels like community," Jordan observed. "It's actually fun for us to come alongside other writers and help serve their vision as well."
Their musical style is best called "rootsy" – a folk-ish mix of acoustic instruments including mandolin, dobro, hammer dulcimer and steel guitar. Leonard plays conventional keyboards and accordion.
Jordan's Appalachian upbringing jives with the sound. "There's a desire for realness. And you can't get more real than an acoustic instrument. It takes you back to a time when we didn't overcomplicate things, and it's an appealing sound for us," she said.
The songs cover different aspects of worship: praise ("Great Are You, Lord," "You Will Remain"), prayer ("Tonight") and confession ("For Your Glory & My Good")
The name of the band developed naturally.
"When we started we didn't even know we were a band," Jordan reiterated. "We were playing for a record label and we had to come up with something and we didn't want to call it 'David and Leslie,'" she laughed.
"Yea, we're a guy and a girl and we're sons and daughters in a band. But it's the idea that we're a church and we're all sons and daughters together."
WEAVING THE PARTS OF WORSHIP
In crafting an evening of worship, All Sons & Daughters goes through the same process as it does at Journey Church.
"What if we viewed the beginning of the morning to the end as a single expression of worship, with multiple areas to express?" posed Jordan. "We started exploring these ideas to get people moving and giving and not simply receiving. There's a beautiful balance in what we give and receive together."
They close each evening with "We Give You Thanks," a song from their album that borrows lyrics from the "Book of Common Prayer."
Meanwhile, Leonard says their church helps keep them grounded amidst their extra duties as recording and touring artists.
"We have the kind of people around us that know to check in with us and have helped us," he said. "We feel really blessed to do what we're doing and it feels like it's in a healthy place."
What: All Sons & Daughters with special guests Sandra McCracken and Jamie George for a night of "Worship and Conversation"
When: 7 p.m. Thurs. April 9 (doors open at 6 p.m.)
Where: Life Church, 12900 US-31 (West Olive St.) Grand Haven
Tickets: $15, available on line via www.itickets.com
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