Scent of Water may be a Christian band, but don't label it as such.
Lead singer David Daniel Beck said the group wants to get its sound outside the church walls and says yes to what he calls God gigs at fairs and festivals and maybe a bar once in a while. Scent of Water has been heard at coffeehouses, on college campuses and other spots where young adults gather.
"From church pews to bar stools. We are open to playing anywhere," Beck said.
(Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski)
Members of the band Scent of Water are (from left) Shane Walters, bass, keyboard, back-up vocals; Dave Nagle, lead, rhythm, acoustic guitar, back-up vocals; Dave Beck, lead singer; Larry Sprankle, drums, percussion, vocals; and Brett Rodkey, lead, rhythm, acoustic guitar and back-up vocals.
Even prisons. Scent of Water has an engagement at a correctional facility in Bellefonte later his year.
Beck and the rest of the five-piece band believe their message is for everyone, regardless of whether listeners consider themselves spiritual or not.
Scent of Water plays songs made popular by Christian bands, well-known rock oldies and original pieces created by Beck.
At any given gig, listeners might hear the music of contemporary Christian artists like Switchfoot, Third Day and the Newsboys along with songs made famous by the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry or ZZ Top with maybe a tweaking of the lyrics.
Originals are part of its playlist, too, with Scent of Water working on a CD called "Lesson in Love."
Beck of Bellwood originally had no plans to be the lead in a band.
Although music has always been in his soul, Beck's talent laid dormant for years.
"I had a passion for music growing up," he said. "In high school, sports and music was something that I thought I should try."
But he never acted on it.
It was not until he was an adult that he found his voice. After plugging into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ about 10 years ago, Beck began singing in churches, accompanied by music tracks.
It was a chance meeting with Anthony Frazier of Indiana County that took Beck beyond his expectations.
Frazier, a musician and host of "The Christian Acoustic Hour," a radio program heard Sundays mornings on WCCS 1160 AM was performing at the Hope Center in Bellwood.
Beck's son wanted to attend Frazier's concert. Beck, who had other plans for that Friday night, was a bit frustrated by his son's insistence that they hear some singer whose name was not familiar to him.
But meeting Frazier is an experience that he will never forget.
"He was 6-foot-11 and a rather intimidating dude," Beck said.
Maybe that's why Beck agreed when Frazier invited him to accompany him on stage.
"He likes to get people involved [in his performance]. He looked at me and said, 'Come on, sing a song with me.'"
Together, they sang "Nothing Without You" by BeBo Norman.
Frazier learned that it was Beck's first time singing without background tracks and wanted to know why he relied on them. Beck told him he could not find anyone to accompany him.
"You have them. You just don't know it yet," was Frazier's response.
After the impromptu duet, the men became friends.
"He's a remarkable man," Frazier said of Beck. "He's a regular person. He has blemishes like everyone else, but he is determined to answer the call to his ministry."
Frazier said during the band's performances, Beck shares what is in his heart.
"He will share the love of Christ, but will share his struggles, too," Frazier said.
Gifted in helping Christian musicians finding ways to express their talents, Frazier arranged for Beck to sing at a PromiseKeepers event several years ago at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
He also connected him to other musicians from western Pennsylvania who specialized in all sorts of genres from Jamaican reggae to brass to folk.
Through those connections, Beck formed a band and the fledging group was invited to play at Son's Day Festival 2010 in Indiana.
Concentrating on practicing for their premiere, the guys overlooked a matter.
Right before the band took the stage, the announcer asked for the group's name.
Beck had to think fast.
"We didn't have a name. I didn't know what to say. I was attending a church at the time where I was plugged into a gentleman who had a ministry called, 'Scent of Water.'"
"It just came off the top of my head," he said, and the band was born.
Scent of Water is based on Job 14: 7-9 where Job, who has lost his 10 children and all his possessions, is talking about how there is hope for a tree. Job says its roots may grow old and its stump die, yet at the scent of water, it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.
"There is so much passion in that Scripture," Beck said. "The name sort of stuck after that."
Since that debut, the band has gone through a rebirth of its own. Former band members were from Indiana County and left to devote more time to family, to lead a church worship team or other obligations.
Now, talent a little closer to home is allowing Scent of Water to continue.
The musicians are from Blair County with the exception of lead guitarist Brett Rodkey who lives in Huntingdon.
Larry Sprankle of Altoona plays drums. Shane Walters of Hollidaysburg handles the keyboard and bass, and Dave Nagle of Altoona plays guitar.
Nagle, who owns Daylight Sound and Studio in Altoona, got hooked up with Beck in January after meeting him and Frazier at a church where Nagle was doing the sound.
Beck and Frazier were singing at the church, and Beck invited Nagle to join the band.
Nagle said he plays contemporary Christian music with his wife and daughter and has been involved with music for more than 30 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, he and his wife used to perform Top 40s music. Now, he and his wife and daughter minister in music at worship services and other events.
His sound expertise has led to work for nationally known gospel singers Alvin Slaughter and Tramaine Hawkins as well as work with Billy Graham's former keyboardist.
His experience has enabled him to offer suggestions and share tips to help Scent of Water improve its sound.
Nagle said he joined the group because it performs at community events where the crowd is exposed to contemporary Christian music and its message.
"Believe it or not, a lot of people don't know it exists," he said.
Getting the message out is important to Beck and the other band members.
"We share the same vision," Beck said of musicians. "We share a passion to share the gospel and have the same mindset about the music. God has stressed to me that it is all about his word," Beck said, "and he uses the music as a channel."
Beck said he talks to the crowd at every concert, but the message is never the same. He said he has no planned speech.
"I preach full-throttle gospel with all the bells and whistles," he said.