Interview With Beverly Crawford
Now That She's Back...
From front and center with Bobby Jones and New Life to her two solo projects on Warner, Evangelist Beverly Crawford has always commanded attention for the unadultered anointing that sears through every single one of her vocal runs and riffs.
— interview by Stan North —
Since the closing shop of Warner after her 1998 project Now That I’m Here, it’s been more than a minute that we’ve heard solo material from Crawford. But she hasn’t really been laying low.
“I’ve been busy! The last album is still alive, so I’ve been involved with several conferences and revivals, doing concerts, and focusing on my own ministry. I’ve recorded some albums with Bishop Carlton Pearson (see review of Live at Azusa III). So the calendar has just been very busy.”
Now with 2001 off and running, we suddenly see her back in the musical spotlight with appearances with Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Potter's House Choir, both on both the soundtrack to the HBO film Boycott, and on the choir's sophomore project. To top it all off, Crawford is newly signed to Jakes’ new label venture, EMI Gospel/Dexterity Sounds.
So how did that all happen? Well, ministry is definitely a family thing for the dimunitive powerhouse. Together with her husband Todd, the Crawfords established their Potter's House Ministries before anyone ever connected that phrase with T.D. Jakes.
“We’ve had that evangelistic ministry since 1993, since we lived in Nashville. Bishop Jakes hadn’t started anything called 'Potter’s House' at that time he was still in West Virginia. Then he moved to Dallas [in 1996 to start up his Potter’s House church]. Now [with the similarity in ministry names], it’s amazing that we’re together!”
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“I wasn’t involved on Jakes’ first album. But we’ve been in Texas for about a year now. Bishop Jakes is our pastor, and we attend the church. I was in his Woman Thou Art Loosed play, and we were talking about my album. Then he asked me to be a part of his [sophomore] album for Potter’s House.”
Crawford ‘handles’ the lead solo on the song “Marvelous” on that new album (The Storm Is Over). But perhaps ‘handle’ isn’t the best way to describe it. If you watched the Stellar Awards presentation earlier this year, you’ll certainly know what we mean, as you’ll remember how she took it song to rafter-rattling heights.
“That song, it’s really very powerful. It has the familiar sound to it, the traditional Gospel drive, and Potter's House Choir are SANGING! It goes, ‘it is marvelous in my eyes when I look back at all the things He has brought me through.’ It’s wonderful!”
Crawford also sets off the soundtrack to the soundtrack for the HBO docu-drama Boycott, which profiles the Montgomery bus boycott story, centering around Rosa Parks and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.. The event served as spark for the civil rights movement. Again with Potter’s House providing mass support, Crawford dips into a classic from an unexpected source.
“I sing on “Gotta Serve Somebody”, a remake of one of Bob Dylan’s songs. I remember Bob doing it a while ago, and then Shirley Caesar covering it a while back too. When I heard that this was a song they were asking me to sing on, I was excited. I’ve always liked the song, it’s like a sermon being preached, it has a great message. So I had absolutely no problem doing it.”
“To be involved in this film soundtrack about Rosa Parks, what an honor. This is history, something she would ever even have dreamed of. To remember where she came from, and to be able to give back something, that’s important. We need to know our history, we need to build up the young people. We need to know about those who’ve paved the way for us.”
With this taste of what’s to come, all ears are tilting all that more for her next solo project, her debut on EMI Gospel/Dexterity Sounds. Beverly dropped us a few tidbits about what to expect, and especially addressed the word through the grapevine that this time around, we might be hearing a bit more of her contemporary side.
“Well, I’m going in studio now, working on songs, because we’re aiming for a summer 2001 release.
We’re going to bring it up to that 2001 [sound], but it’ll still have ME in it all the way. We’ve got ballads, worship and praise and some upbeat styles.”
“As for producers, I’ll be working with Sanchez Harley, Cedric and Victor Caldwell and also Kevin Bond. We’re still seeing if we want to fit a choir into the album, or a small group or something. Versatility! It’ll be a studio project, but we plan to do a live video recording to accompany the album.”
And you can hardly let an opportunity to speak with Beverly Crawford to gain as many voice care tips as you can. She has plenty of advice:
“The main thing has got to be rest. I drink herbal teas, but the best thing is rest, because you can drink all the tea you want, take all the lozenges, see the doctor, but REST is best! It’s best to sleep well every night. And when I’m tired, I try not to talk as much.”
So, she's back, and she's evidently ready for much activity in 2001. We can hardly wait!
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