Just about every band plays cover songs when they start. Some bands have big hits doing cover songs. Cover songs are usually easier to do since the hard part is done for you. We started out recording 25 or so cover songs and printed a few CD's to give to friends. You can't sell cover songs without a mechanical license. We purchased mechanical licenses for Jim Croce's 'You Don't Mess Around With Jim' and 'Hey Joe' for the Barn Dawgs' Off The Leash CD. At that time, we purchased license to sell 500 copies as that was the minimum. Now you can purchase as low as 20 CD sales, but there is a different one for downloads that must be renewed each year. Depending on the cost, the cover songs might change. I think it would be cool if someone from Casting Crowns heard our version and gave me an opinion. If they see this on Facebook, who knows? If you are looking to purchase a mechanical license, I'd go to hfa.com and use the Harry Fox Agency. It's easy to look up songs and do it all online.
'Who Am I' is a great song. We play it like Judas Priest wrote the song. It's heavier and guitar oriented, but we keep the vocals in front as the words are the best thing about the song. We added a solo section and the song goes almost 7 minutes. We recorded several Casting Crowns songs to do for special music at church. I use a backtrack CD with bass and rhythm guitar. We do the vocal and lead live until we can find a drummer.
'Noah Found Grace' is a song that I heard on Tennessee Ernie Ford's 'Spirituals' album when I was a little guy listening to my Grandparents record collection. That song has stuck with me for 40 years and when I started the Christian Metal music, I knew I had to play it. I never found a chord chart for it, so I made it a blues based 1-4-5 progression. I'm hoping that it will be in the public domain so I don't have to pay for a mechanical license and just use it. I couldn't find it on the Harry Fox website, but I'll keep looking on other websites. Don't need lawyers contacting me looking for money.