Claire Lynch has been one of the pre-eminent names in bluegrass and acoustic music for decades. We are pleased to have her help launch our new site. Joining her will be Jim Hurst (guitar), Emma McDowell (mandolin and fiddle) and Michael Gaisbacher (bass).
Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Claire is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. Her career has been decorated with many accolades including three GRAMMY nominations, seven International Bluegrass Music Association awards and the prestigious United States Artists Walker Fellowship.
Dolly Parton credits Claire with “one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.” Her harmonies have graced the recordings of many stellar musicians. Equally gifted as a writer, her songs have been recorded by The Seldom Scene, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes, The Whites and others.
Blazing her own trail in the mid 70’s when there were few role models for young women in the genre, Claire Lynch made history when she led the Front Porch String Band which evolved in the 80’s and 90’s into “one of the sharpest and most exciting post-modern bluegrass bands on the circuit.” She formed her own Claire Lynch Band in 2005 and has since consistently been a top pick of prestigious publications, critics and audiences across the U.S. and beyond.
Claire grew up in Kingston, New York until the age of 12 when her family moved to Huntsville, Alabama. There she began her education in country music and got caught up in the Bluegrass revival of the 1970’s, joining a band called Hickory Wind. Later, the band changed its name to the Front Porch String Band with Claire’s vocals as its centerpiece.
Claire was named the IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1997. She toured as backup vocalist for Dolly Parton and graced albums with her background vocals for Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Pam Tillis, Alison Brown, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Ralph Stanley. Today, the impressive list of other guest appearances continues including spots on albums by Donna the Buffalo, Sara Watkins, The Infamous Stringdusters, the Gibson Brothers, Jonathan Edwards, Jesse Winchester, The Special Consensus and Kristin Scott Benson
Ms. Lynch’s 2012 USA Walker Fellowship Award ($50,000.) was one of 50 salutes given from United States Artists (USA). The USA Fellows represent the most innovative and influential artists in their fields – including cutting-edge thinkers and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts, and visual arts.
In September 2016, Claire released North By South – a tribute to America’s northern neighbor which resulted in her third GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Produced by Compass Records’ co-founder Alison Brown, the recording pays homage to some of her favorite Canadian songwriters, interpreting tracks from greats above the Great Lakes like Gordon Lightfoot and Ron Sexsmith. Backed by the CLB alumni and some of the world’s finest acoustic heavyweights (Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, David Grier), Lynch infuses the collection with her signature Bluegrass treatment producing an elegant blend of foreign songs and domestic artistry.
Lynch’s Canadian leanings all started when a fan’s email suggested places for her to play in Toronto. When she emailed back, it sparked a long correspondence about Canada’s culture, history and diverse art scene. She eventually did score a gig in Toronto and what’s better, she fell in love with her pen pal leading to their marriage in 2014. North By South is the product of a growing love for Canada that is now one of the centerpieces of Lynch’s life.