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If it was not for Jesus, Dusty Murphy said he would not be alive today.
The 28-year-old Crittenden man was one of four teens arrested in late 1998 for arson at several Grant County churches.
A five-year prison term and a newfound commitment to God has led to a transformation in Murphy’s life.
“Life as a drug-addicted, alcoholic Satanist was one that was devoid of all hope,” he said. “Every dream was shattered at some point, and I had no reason to exist. Now, I have a family, hopes, dreams and in short, a life.”
During his time behind bars, Murphy came up with the idea of creating a Christian hard rock band that he said “did not come off to the listener as arrogant or corny.”
Datum Point was born.
“Many bands seemed out of touch with the issues young people face today,” said Murphy, who added that he sometimes screams his lyrics instead of singing them. “I have always loved heavy music. With the issues that our band tackles through our lyrics, the type of music we play is a perfect fit. Heavy music, heavy issues.”
With Murphy as lead vocalist, he is joined by drummer Kevin McDaniel of Newport, bassist Will Sharkey, of Warsaw and lead guitarist Donny Combs of Dry Ridge.
The band currently has a two-song demo and is hoping to gain more exposure by playing in the Cornerstone Festival this summer in Illinois.
However, in order to get onstage at the Christian festival, the band must be voted one of the top 16 bands in the New Band Showcase.
The top vote getter will play on the festival’s main stage in front of thousands.
To hear their music and to vote for the band, go to www.cornerstonefestival.com/newbandshowcase/DatumPoint.
Voting began in March and ends May 25.
About 130 bands are vying for a spot on the festival’s stages.
“It would be really important for us, for experience, for exposure and to tell people about God,” Combs said about what playing Cornerstone would mean. “It won’t be hard (to win) if our fan base keeps growing and our supporters keep voting for us.”
Playing the festival would be the best thing that could happen to Datum Point, Murphy said.
“There are many souls to reach there and lots of exposure to music industry professionals,” he said. “Plus, we would definitely have a blast.”
Murphy said he feels he has paid his dues for the crime he committed in the past and has done all the repenting he can.
He hopes the people of Grant County recognize that and support one of their own.
“Hopefully, everyone from our county can see those changes that have taken place in me,” Murphy said. “To have Grant County vote for Datum Point and what we stand for would be so awesome. Almost like a real life miracle.”