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Maurette Brown Clark - By His Grace
Maurette Brown Clark is back. The Washington, D.C. - based gospel artist burst on to the gospel music scene a few years ago as a featured soloist with Richard Smallwood & Vision. A few years later, she felt the calling of the Lord to start her own ministry and blessed the gospel community with her Verity Records debut project, How I Feel. The project catapulted Maurette to instant gospel stardom status and garnered her a Stellar Award in 1999 as Best New Artist. With the overwhelming success of her debut project, the gospel community has been anxiously waiting for her return. Although it’s been a few years since she’s recorded her own project, she’s been busy. Her vocals can be heard on Integrity’s Worship In His Presence and Harborwood’s With This Ring compilation. Currently she’s on the road as part of the line-up of The Alliance Tour featuring other gospel notables such as Maurette’s mentor, Richard Smallwood, Karen Clark Sheard, Donald Lawrence, Ted & Sheri and fellow Vision member, Vanessa Williams.
Ms. Brown Clark has returned with her sophomore follow up to How I Feel called By His Grace. And let me tell you, this is a GREAT PROJECT. Her AIR Gospel debut starts off with a groovy, up-tempo title tune. By His Grace, a feel-good, head-bobbin’ jam sets the theme for this project. Where would any of us be without His grace?
One of the strongest cuts on this CD is Even In The Rain. Co-written by Maurette, Even In The Rain is sung from God’s point of view and speaks of how He is working “even in the rain”. The song, a smoothly inviting tune wrapped in a smooth jazz sound, showcases Maurette at her best. Her improvisational vocal stylings move the listener far beyond just a pretty melody. Unlike many in gospel, she can adlib better than the best. She truly ministers with words that let you know she’s serious about what she’s saying. With her, it’s obvious that it goes far beyond just singing; it’s about sharing the gospel and encouraging those going through to “hold on”.
Come See About Me is another relaxing track that many will be able to relate to. The lyrics go something like this:
I need Your help
I can’t turn to no one else
It looks like I’m at the end of my rope
Can’t feel You but I’m wise enough to know
It’s not based on a feeling
Hey, if you don’t mind taking out some time
To come and see about me
Come and see about me
The project continues in a relaxing mode with One Prayer Away. Maurette wrote the song in response to the shaking of her own faith in the wake of September 11th. “I had just been telling people that God is in control. Now I was like, ‘how can I keep saying that?’” And God said, “If you need an answer, pray”. Maurette says, “So I did”. One Prayer Away lets us know that no matter what happens in life God is always as close as the next prayer.
Another jewel on By His Grace is the Kevin Bond-penned song, You’ve Been Good To Me. Bond, producer extraordinaire and an incomparable songwriter, is known for writing such hits as Yolanda Adams’ “In The Midst Of It All” and Donnie McClurkin’s “I Do, I Do”. The ballad is a heartfelt thank you to God for all the blessings in Maurette’s life. Ballads are obviously where she shines most, which is evident on a song she wrote called You Saved My Life.
Taking the beat up a few notches, Brown Clark covers a Winans’ hit, Restoration. Bringing it into the millennium, she adds a little funk and some hip hop to this well-known hit. Lean On You, a moving testimony complete with organ and strings, is simply a beautiful song. Maurette has Dottie Jones, an original member of the Richard Smallwood Singers, join her on Lean On You. Written by Steven Ford, an exceptional writer and producer in his own right, the song includes rousing, backing choir vocals. And the vamp will find you lifting your hands in worship to God. Staying right in the presence of God, Maurette follows with the reverent King of Kings.
She also includes a song she’s recently made popular, Just Want To Praise You. Originally included on Worship In His Presence, the song reveals the sincerity of her praise, which comes through loud and clear on this praise team worship anthem. Calvary, an incredibly melodic song, is breathtaking in its simplicity –just Maurette’s beautiful voice and a piano. Calvary, and the entire set of songs on By His Grace, is filled with so much emotion and sincerity. Encouragement and hope permeate each note.
Maurette says, “I want people to know that things will get better. No other religion offers that hope. He is real. He can save you. Let God drive and He will take you where you never imagined.”
Maurette Brown Clark fans, it’s been well worth the wait!