Clare Brown was clearly a child prodigy. Her bio claims that she’s been playing fiddle since the age of four, which is a considerable accomplishment by any standard.
Those lessons learned early on are fully realized in Brown’s excellent debut offering, an EP descriptively-titled And That’s OK. Indeed, that title is, in fact, an understatement. The music is more than okay, an enticing array of engaging melodies as expressed in songs that resonate with a genuine effusive enthusiasm. Brown’s vocals are rich and expressive, and while her fiddle playing is sadly confined to only three of the six tracks herein, an all-star backing band that includes mandolin player Joe K. Walsh, guest vocalist Sierra Hull, bassist Missy Raines, and guitarists Chris Eldridge and Grant Gordy more than makes up for any deficit.
Still, the most impressive aspect of all is Brown’s songwriting skills, and her ability to vary her sound from the buoyant, upbeat appeal of Forever to the slow saunter of Love Is Love, the seductive caress of Don’t Change For Me, and the sheer beauty of the bewitching ballad, I Love You More. It’s notable as well that the EP ends with a whoop and a holler, an obvious indication that all involved were pleased with the results.
It’s evident from the song titles that the major theme here centers around love, and the its appreciation and enticement are expressed through a series of songs stirred by pure, unvarnished sentiment. Granted, that’s hardly an original tack, but Brown’s approach is clearly convincing, and it’s hard not to get swept up in Brown’s sincerity, expression, and conviction. The best songwriters are those that succeed in sharing their emotions without restriction or restraint, and the fact that Brown expresses herself so convincingly indicates that not only has she already reached that point in her still-blossoming career, but she also possesses the talent needed to take her talents further.
So while it’s apparent that Brown’s been at this awhile, it’s also clear she’s not simply some old soul inhabiting a youthful persona. Her vibrant delivery demonstrates that she’s as eager to please. That ought to make everyone else eager to hear all she has yet to offer.