Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Claire Lynch Band Rolls into Sarasota

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Claire Lynch Band Rolls into Sarasota

Article excerpt

MUSIC

It's rare to find a top-tier touring bluegrass band setting foot in Florida in the heat of summer.

The Claire Lynch Band is an exception, and the group will be wrapping up a three-show swing in the Sunshine State on Sunday with a show at Fogartyville in Sarasota.

Area music fans will get what may be one of their last chances to see Lynch, the three-time International Bluegrass Association female vocalist of the year, fronting her own band. She has announced plans to pull off the road for a spell, to focus on songwriting and other music ventures after 2016.

This year she remains as busy as ever, shuttling between homes in Nashville and Canada.

"I'm putting the finishing touches on an album and album cover. It's been crazy," Lynch said in a recent telephone interview.

She recently remarried, and while spending time in Toronto with her husband, Ian Gray, she discovered a whole new music world. The new album features works written by Canadian songwriters, and also includes "Milo," a lighthearted number Lynch wrote about her Canadian husband.

"I did a lot of research," Lynch said. "It took me a really long time to pick only 10 songs. But I did a really good job and got the cream of the crop, in my opinion."

Lesser-known artists in Canada seldom get airplay in the States, and she said she wanted to share what they're doing with her American fans and friends.

"There's really good stuff up there and we know so little about it," Lynch said.

Signature song

Lynch has a knack for picking songs that suit her. And the Grammy- nominated artist is an even more accomplished songwriter.

She co-wrote "Dear Sister," the 2014 IBMA Song of the Year, with Louisa Branscomb. They based the song on a collection of Civil War letters from an Alabama soldier to his sister.

"Dear Sister" draws on universal themes of separation and loss amid the horrors of war, and a longing for family and home. Even for a seasoned performer like Lynch, the song's impact was surprising.

"Immediately, you see people reach up and wipe tears from their eyes," Lynch said in a 2015 interview about the audience's reaction when she performs the song live. …

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