Saturday night the traditional Cathedral of the Ozarks stage was covered with wooden pallets and a flurry of Christmas lights as the worship duo All Sons & Daughters took the stage at John Brown University. Though Leslie Jordan, the female half of the group, stayed in bed sick for most of the day, University alum David Leonard took some time between sound check and dinner to answer questions.
Q: Your EP “The Longing” came out in September; can you tell me a little bit about it?
A: We do EPs, and they kind of move around with the seasons of our church and where our church has been. “The Longing” has been one of those albums that’s been so fun with just the amount of energy. We have a new season that’s kind of a celebration. There are songs like “Oh How I Need You” that are songs that we haven’t done before; the foot-stoppin’ and clappin’ kind of songs. It’s been exciting to… move forward in this journey that God is moving our people and our body. And we’ve kind of seen this progression from brokenness to the recognition of Christ and the need of Him and now celebrating the goodness and the greatness of Him. This record has by far been my favorite one, and it’s been a lot of fun.
Q: You mentioned your church a lot. All Sons & Daughters actually came to be through your church. Can you tell me how that happened?
A: We’re still on staff there at Journey Church in Franklin, Tenn. It’s just a very, very cool place that solely wraps around community that’s vulnerable and authentic with each other. And it’s a place both me and Leslie really found something that we never experienced before. It’s a lot like a college experience where you are constantly around people. You kind of have that camaraderie that goes on. I went to school here and that’s the only other time I can say that I felt the feelings I feel now, with the body and the people that we’re living life with. We just simply started All Sons & Daughters by trying to write songs and resource our church with songs that were specifically for them. I had no idea that God was going to do some of the things He has done, and would kind of like it to stay that way, to stay pleasantly surprised and continue to serve our body and just serve their journey. It’s really been good so far.
Q: You actually graduated from John Brown University. Do you have any good stories from your time here that you’d like to share?
A: I skipped a lot of class. I was put on probation a couple times. I was intramural champion—a lot of times—for flag football. That was one of the things. I took flag football pretty seriously. Do they still do the ERP weekend? The freshmen would come in and I’d show up and be looking to see all the good football players, kind of scope them out. But no, my experience here was amazing. I met my wife and made a great group of friends that we played music together (with) for several years. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the things that happened here. I am very, very thankful for this place.
Q: Do you have a favorite song off the new EP?
A: I think “Oh How I Need You” would have to be my favorite off there. My wife just had a baby girl. She’s 14 months old. It’s one those times when you realize the need for Christ. Not only in so many other areas of your life, but in raising a child, things become more real. It comes to life a little bit more. I need (God) more than ever. I have no idea what I’m doing. The thought of doing it on my own is completely paralyzing. And I think that song and the recognition of the need for him is something that kind of sums up my life right now.
Q: What is next for All Sons & Daughters?
A: We’re releasing a live record in April. We shot live DVD and filmed a record with both songs from all the other EPs and new songs. We invited our church body into this recording studio and we filmed the whole thing. It was such a special night to get together with family and sing these songs. We’ve been able to travel a lot over the last couple of years. We lead [worship] at home, but doing all the songs at one time, we haven’t been able to do. So to sit in a room with all the people we wrote these songs for, to sing them all and for them to sing them as loud as they can, and for them to get it on tape and on video is something that is a ton of fun. We are really excited about putting it out. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of people, a lot of moving pieces. Excited to show the world our church and the worship that is coming out of it.