Tuesday, April 21, 2015

APRIL 15, 2015
Bryan McDowell, Claire Lynch, Mark Schatz, Jarrod Walker
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. . . but for a few fantastic hours, the storm was inside Nashville's revered home of bluegrass music, the Station Inn! The Claire Lynch Band blew into town from Missouri and before they headed for an extended road trip to Florida and beyond. Just so you know, Claire Lynch and her band mates pick up a storm that would have competed with the weather that night! We came through cloud-to-ground lightning, sheets of rain, and hail in our return home after the show, but it was worth every hailstone!
Claire Lynch has been performing for more than 30 years and she shows no signs of slowing down! The singer-songwriter is widely known for her performances in the Front Porch String Band and now as the lead singer in the Claire Lynch Band. Claire is the three-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year. Her unique interpretation of her own songs and those of others (Dear Sister [written with Louisa Branscomb, IBMA Song of the Year], Kennesaw Line, Wabash Cannonball, Thibodeaux, and Hills of Alabam, for example) put her distinctive style in a class by itself.
Bryan McDowell also has bluegrass music in his blood. The North Carolina native is well-known for his expertise on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. In fact, Bryan took top honors at Walnut Valley in Winfield, KS, in all three instruments. . . and on the same day! And wait 'til you hear his solo and harmony vocals with Claire Lynch!

When Mark Schatz picks up the upright bass, other bass players step back and just give him room. Mark is highly respected for his work on the bass and also on the clawhammer banjo. Lest we not forget, Mark Schatz can hold his own with anybody when it comes to buck-dancing on a plywood board or even a 'Station Inn Customer Parking Only' sign he used to buck-dance at the Station Inn a few months back. Whatever it takes! Mark's wonderful vocal harmony work brings a special richness to the sound of the band.

The newest member of the Claire Lynch Band is Jarrod Walker, a Florida native, who has performed with his brothers Cory and Tyler. Tampa Bay's Bluegrass Parlor Band was his first gig. Jarrod has performed on an ABC special with Ricky Skaggs, Christian Ward, and Sarah Jarosz. NashCamp's promoter, Cindy Sinclair, liked what she heard of brothers Cory and Jarrod. She got the brothers several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. Jarrod has also performed with Missy Raines and Rebecca Frazier. He joined the Claire Lynch Band at the start of their 2015 tour throughout America. Jarrod plays guitar and mandolin and sings harmony vocals in the band.

But enough about these wonderful musicians. We need to tell you what they did at the Station Inn. Before we get too deeply into their program, we should mention the beautifully-carved Station Inn sign that hangs above the stage in this hallowed bluegrass hall in Nashville. Raymond Hunt created the sign. You may be aware of his extensive body of work in art: Bill Monroe Posters, a piece called "No Letter Today," and many more works in pen and ink. Google Raymond Hunt. You will be amazed at what you learn about this incredible man. While Raymond is in ill health, we all have him to thank for some wonderful artwork and memories of the Station Inn. Wishing you the best, Raymond!

Oh, about the program: Couple of warm-ups with Gone But Not Forgotten and Hummingbird. Main program: Doin' Time, My Florida Sunshine (written by Bill Monroe), 40 West, Dear Sister (IBMA Song of the Year (written by Claire Lynch and Louisa Branscomb), Second Wind, Snow Day (written by Henry Hipkens), The Knot (written by Mac MacAnally), Buttermilk Road, Paul and Peter Walked, Crossing Muddy Waters (written by John Hiatt), Hank Williams' You're Gonna Change or I'm Gonna Leave, Leavin' on That Evenin' Train, That's What Makes You Strong (a beautiful version by Claire and Bryan in tribute to the late Jesse Winchester, who performed his song with Claire on her Whatcha Gonna Do album), Mark Schatz's Sally in the Garden/Soldier's Joy, Hills of Alabam (written by Claire Lynch and Mark Fair), and the band closed with Hummingbird (written by Greg Jennings and Tim DuBois).

Claire Lynch's newest release is a wonderful compilation called Hills of Alabam, which draws from three popular releases: Front Porch String Band (1983), Lines & Traces (1991), and Follow Me Back to the Fold (2000). Strong stuff that will have you singing along at the top of your lungs. You already know all the words!

For more information and the band's schedule:  http://www.clairelynch.com

Google each performer to see what is available from their collections of CDs.

Pick away!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015