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Christian Rock

DRP to debut first CD

Death Row Pardon is a local band that's experienced a lot in a short span of time.

The four young men who currently comprise the Christian rock group-Mac Newton, Drew Nelson, Slade Piggott and Josh Davishave found themselves on a roller coaster ride of sorts.

The group, which has only been together since July of 2000, has just produced its first CD.

All of the songs on the new CD emphasize praise, worship and the road to spiritual salvation. All are original compositions written or co-written by Newton, who is the group's lead guitarist.

The group will debut many of the songs on Saturday, February 17, 2000 during the "Disciple Now" youth weekend at Southside Baptist Church. DRP will be performing that evening at an 8:30 p.m. concert that will be open to the general public.

The members are excited about their recent musical collaboration and express enthusiasm over the opportunity to share their music and its spiritual message with an ever-widening audience.

Personnel changes in the band last yeartwo original members left and a new member (Davis) joined DRP in Novemberhave meant a slight shift in the group's musical style.

Newton comments that new drummer Davis has added a much-needed "spark" to the group, which seeks out area youth as its primary audience.

"A lot of traditional church music is not appealing to young people . . . they get bored and turned off by it.

Youth enjoy our musical style and they are still getting a positive message about Christ," says DRP's vocalist, Drew Nelson.

The four band members spend considerable time in the studio putting together the 12-track CD.

"We must have recorded about 15 hours of mistakes . . . we were doing take after take.

Finally Mac suggested we start praying before the start of each song-and you know, things went a whole lot faster and smoother," comments Davis.

When asked which of his compositions is his favorite, songwriter Newton shyly shakes his head and grins, saying, "Man . . . I don't know, it's like someone asking which one is your favorite child . . . I guess "Peace" would be the most fun to play, though."

Vocalist Nelson cites "Infection" and "Forever Saved" as the two songs he most enjoys performing because "they aren't the heaviest or the slowest songs we play . . . they're a good mix; crowd-pleasers that a lot of people can enjoy."

The band members are unanimous in describing the CD project as "a dream come true that God alone could bring together."

You'll often hear this foursome joking around and teasing one another. Nevertheless, they all take their musical mission seriously.

Drew comments on their commitment to the music:

"It is an outpouring from each of us . . . we know if we don't put all of ourselves in it [the music] it just won't come together."

"We've all done a lot of growing up in the past four or five months," comments Nelson. Davis adds, "That's true . . . Honestly, a few months ago, I would have never thought I could be used like this," referring to the band's opportunity to be Christian witnesses on a much wider plane.

The group's debut CD will be on sale for $10 following Saturday night's performance at Southside.

"All the money we make from sales will be going back into the band's account to pay for new equipment, additional CDs, whatever we may need," explains Davis.

"We're hoping some folks out there will be curious enough to come and hear our music-and stick around for the message of Jesus," he adds.