Faith Grace grew up in Cochrane, Ontario, Canada. She has been playing piano since she was 7 and began playing on a praise team at church when she became a Christian at 16 years of age. In 1999 she moved to Kitchener, Ontario to attend Emmanuel Bible College, where she met her future husband Dan Grace. They enjoy being in music ministry, playing at churches, weddings, camps, etc. They both work for Christian Horizons and have two kids. Every February, they embark on a mission trip to the Czech Republic with SOS Canada. Faith Grace was the deserving winner of Faith FM 94.3’s Shining Star competition in 2012. She has opened for Downhere. Now, hot off the presses, comes her debut album FREE (2013). It was produced, mixed, and mastered by Brad Dugas of Revelation Sound. Faith Grace is responsible for vocals, keys, and accordion. Her husband Dan is on guitars, drums, bass, and backing vocals.
Grant Howard is one of the instrumentalists on the album opener ‘Always Good’. Faith has a warm and inviting voice and this song has a childlike optimism to it: “Flowers bloom, winter fades/I’m feeling like the month of May/When flowers bloom all around me/New life born almost daily/Can’t wait to see what morning brings/You’re always good/Always so good/You’re always good/To me.” The album’s first single ‘I Just Want You’ has adult contemporary radio written all over it. The song finds Faith longing for her Lord: “I need You, every day, in every step I take in faith/I need You, every way, more than water fills the ocean, more than the air in my lungs/More than each word that jumps off my tongue/More than money in my hand, more than my own plans/I just want You.”
‘Lead Me’ is a song of spiritual surrender: “How could I stand in front of You and how could I choose my own way when love is here right before me?/You’ve never left/Grace is free/Where You lead me I will go/Lead me I will go/Where You lead me I will go.” ‘Whom Shall I Fear’ is a tender song of testimony: “You’re stronger in power than my mind can conceive/You stood in my place/Oh, You’ve broken every chain…/You are my God, all consuming fire/Only You are worthy of honour, praise, and glory/All authority in heaven and earth belong to You.”
On ‘Shine’ Faith is nicely accompanied by Derrick Drover on vocals. It is a wonderful song that would fit great on Life 100.3’s ‘Praise and Worship Sunday’ format. It speaks of God’s unique ability to transform our inner being: “Your Spirit dwells within me and I’m changed by the power of Your blood/Oh, and when I’m at Your feet Lord, I can’t recognize the person that I was/And I lift up my hands to the God who provides and I see in His light that all darkness will hide.” ‘When Wells are Broken’ is remarkably the only song Faith did not write. Brad Dugas penned this one. David Wilkinson joins Faith on vocals. This song builds into an upbeat pop number with techno influences. It speaks of the triumph of believers through Christ: “You reign victorious and now our hearts can rest!/When I am taken, don’t you weep/Cause where I am, I’ve longed to be/I’ll someday see you and always loved you/When the trumpet sounds/We will sing around His throne!”
‘You are Good’ is essentially a heartfelt praise and worship song: “There is freedom in Your kingdom and there’s mercy in Your eyes/I will rise on wings like eagles/I will soar in the love You have for me/And when this life is washed and worn like sand upon the shore/All that’s left within me cries/’You are good!’ (2X).” ‘Raindrops’ is a mellow song that speaks of God’s faithfulness: “Raindrops, raindrops, falling on my head and where are You?/Sunshine, sunshine shining on my face and where are You?/You’re everywhere, filling every square inch of my world, this beautiful world.” Derrick Drover joins Faith again on ‘We are Saved’. The song also uses a vocal chorus to good effect. Here are some of the words of this song of celebration: “Even rocks cry out at the mention of Your Name/The mountains bow, all nature will proclaim the glory of Your Son who is risen from the grave/We are saved!/We are saved!/We are saved!/You have a plan for us (3X)/We are saved!”
The title track ‘Free’ is the album’s second single. It is a strong light pop song that finds Faith in a spiritually intimate place: “Your Word pierces my heart/I fall into your presence/And hold these empty hands up/I have nothing left to give/But my broken hearted body/A life surrendered fully/And I am free in You/I am free in You/For if the truth has set you free…/Oh, you are free indeed!” ‘Wisdom’ draws from Biblical principles: “A warrior, all the power at the end of a sword/But better still slow to anger/Show your self-control/Hold your tongue, hold your lips tightly as not to offend/Search her out, search her in, wisdom as a friend/Wisdom is calling out/She’s standing at the crossroads/Run after her as silver and gold.”
Faith Grace’s debut, FREE, sounds very mature, artistic, and seasoned. This is a deeply personal album that is both thoughtful and thought provoking. This CD is soothing and calming. Faith has a sultry quality to her voice. This album would make a good backdrop for a new mother rocking her baby, or a college or university student studying late at night. This is music that is a quiet refuge from our hectic, fast-paced, over-stimulated society. The sky is the limit for this new artist whose work is marked by such honesty and vulnerability! Fans of JJ Heller, Sara Groves, Twila Paris, and Colbie Caillat should pick this one up. I’m rating it 90%. Faith Grace’s CD release concert will take place on Wednesday, November 13th at 7:30pm at the Emmanuel Bible College Chapel located at 100 Fergus Avenue in Kitchener, Ontario. You can also acquire this album on itunes or through cdbaby.com. It is also available at the Gospel Lighthouse locations in Cambridge and Waterloo. For more info visit: www.facebook.com/faithgracemusic, www.faithgrace.ca, and www.revelationsound.ca.