- reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Nov
- A Better Cup of Wine
- In the Middle of the Trek
- Innocent Man
- Faces Without Names
- Later On
- Little Flower
- My Love He
- Plant Seeds
- River Music
As Janice Joplin proved back in her heyday, life's hard knocks often lead to great art. It's probably the same reason that Amy Winehouse was 2008's Grammy darling. Happy music is great, but for some reason, songs from a place of brokenness are even more affecting. Thankfully, that soulful "I'm-a-survivor" vibe doesn't need to come from a background of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
Take the story of singer/songwriter Lynne Clarke. When she was just six years old, her parents left everything behind and immigrated to the United States from Venezuela. And while that was certainly a leap of faith, Clarke couldn't help but admire how her mother multi-tasked once she arrived on U.S. soil. Not only did she raise five kids, but the former elementary school teacher worked as a maid while taking college classes to pursue a career in nursing.
With her mom's stalwart faith and incredible work ethic to inspire her, Clarke hoped to follow in her ambitious footsteps by sharing how God can help anyone through the darkest, most challenging times that can come our way. And for Clarke—whose influences include Mahalia Jackson, Steve Wonder, and Tennessee Ernie Ford—music is the perfect way to communicate her life-affirming message.
The songs of
Getting her start in the elementary school glee club, it's clear from the buoyant opening track "A Better Cup of Wine" that Clarke loves what she does. With vocals that sound like a cross between Natalie Merchant and Bob Dylan's early muse Joan Baez, Clarke's voice isn't what you typically associate with Christian music. That, along with her strong world-weary delivery, is just part of her charm.
Like many indie offerings, the production values are often lacking due to limited budget and resources. But the project's imperfections in a way underscore its theme: We're not perfect people, but there's a perfect Redeemer, and knowing that gives us hope.
For more information on Clark, check out http://cdbaby.com/cd/lynneclarke.
Attn: Independent Christian Artists
300 E. 4th St. Suite 406
St. Paul, MN 55101