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David Crowder likes to glean musical knowledge from a variety of sources. And the singer-songwriter – who headlines this year's Winter Jam tour – has discovered a way to get more of his original songs into his limited stage time on the multi-artist concert bill.

"I've learned from the Reach Records guys down here in Atlanta...like Lecrae and Andy Mineo...they're able to run through like 20 of their songs in 15 minutes," said the Crowder of the faith-based hip-hop artists.

"It's all about how to truncate songs and hit spots that feel the moment, get the high points and move onto the next one.

It's a technique he said he'll use in this year's tour which opened Jan. 10 and (landed at) Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Jan. 19.

Crowder, 48, is three albums into a solo career following the 2012 end of his former group (David Crowder Band). But he has numerous song favorites such as "All My Hope" and "Come As You Are" that fans expect to hear on any given night – even on the chuck full Winter Jam lineup which includes nine artists (including Andy Mineo) and two speakers.

"We have spaces where we can let a song breathe in its entirety," he added. "But there's a mid-section that we're gonna keep fluid depending on the night," he noted of the 40-plus city tour.

A GHOSTLY PRESENCE

His most recent collection carries the title "I Know A Ghost" – an album which is nominated for a Grammy Award (winners will be announced Jan. 26).

"I love that opening track – the title which helped me organize how the rest of the album would go," he explained. "It starts with an acoustic guitar and me singing. And then all of a sudden the beat drops and you think you're down in the ATL (Atlanta), with a little trap music," he said of the tune's hip-hop elements.

There are two vocal duets on the release, "Let It Rain," with Mandisa and "Child of God" with Taya-Smith Gaukroger of Hillsong United. READ MORE