From CityPaper, Baltimore, MD - May, 2010
"...it wasn’t just her warm, welcoming soprano that captivated the crowd but also the terrific picking of her supporting cast...But there was no upstaging Lynch, a charismatic presence with wavy red hair falling over a perforated white blouse..."
- Geoffrey Himes
From The Nashville Scene - January 2010
Ms. Lynch has been hitting the road in the last couple of years with enough enthusiasm, energy and enjoyment to give the most boisterous youngster pause, and she’s done so with a crackerjack band that…has been exquisitely attuned to her signature blend of strength and delicacy, melancholy and gentle good humor, folk overtones and bluegrass drive.
From The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) -
February. 19, 2010
"It's no longer unusual to see women picking the tunes that Bill Monroe and his generation made standards of male-centered bluegrass.. . . Claire Lynch and other talented women have led their own bands, creating some of the most memorable music of the modern age."
From Country Universe - Best Country Albums of 2009 - by Dan Milliken
Whatcha Gonna Do
Grammy nominee and IBMA award winner Claire Lynch was performing progressive bluegrass well before its recent commercial expansion, experience that serves her well on her latest album, Whatcha Gonna Do. Produced by Lynch herself, Whatcha Gonna Do is an eclectic gathering of well-written material that ranges from the unrecorded “A Canary’s Song,” co-written by Garth Brooks, to the more traditional “My Florida Sunshine,” written by Bill Monroe. Perhaps most impressive is Lynch‘s “Woods of Sipsey,” a haunting song written for her grandmother-in-law that shows the extent to which she continues to be a progressive voice in acoustic music. – WW
From Nashville Scene - August 2009
By Edd Hurt
An intelligent interpreter and a sharp tunesmith, Claire Lynch comes across like an ace singer-songwriter on her new full-length Whatcha Gonna Do. As is the case with many current artists identified as bluegrass, Lynch is a classic folkie, right down to her artfully employed vibrato. She can sound a little pristine, but she's never prissy, and Whatcha Gonna Do rolls out a dozen first-rate songs held together by Lynch's sense of domesticity's more perilous aspects. Her cover of Garth Brooks and Buddy Mondlock's "Canary's Song" illustrates the collection's strengths - it's an understated account of the loneliness of big-city life. She sounds contented in the country in "Great Day in the Morning" and says her piece about male self-sufficiency in Susan Werner's "Barbed Wire Boys." Her tight, terse band plays it close to the vest, which only adds to the record's emotional impact.
From Blog Critics.org - August 11, 2009
By John Taylor - - -
Claire Lynch’s music comes from a crossroads where folk, bluegrass, and pop meet, with elements of all three creating an enchanting musical hybrid that’s difficult to pigeonhole but delightful to listen to.
On her latest outing for venerable Rounder Records (her first since 2006’s New Day), Lynch applies her astonishingly clear, pure voice to a carefully-chosen collection of tunes that positively pulse with a joyous celebration of life.
Lynch puts her cards on the table with the leadoff track, “Great Day In The Morning,” an unabashedly optimistic greeting to a new day’s possibilities and potential. With its lilting melody and Lynch’s soaring vocal, it proves an uplifting and inspirational opener, setting a sunny mood that prevails throughout.
Indeed, Lynch seems possessed of rare grace and wisdom, able to accept the inevitable, learn her lessons, and shoulder on with an eternally hopeful smile. Even when love’s gone astray, as in “The Mockingbird’s Voice,” Lynch tempers the mildly melancholy mood with almost cheerful resignation and acceptance.
“Face To Face” is a buoyant and bouncy declaration of faith seemingly infused with pure sunshine, while folk legend Jesse Winchester guests on his own “That’s What Makes You Strong,” another thoughtful tune that looks at life with gently homespun wisdom, enlivened by utterly gorgeous fiddle from Jason Thomas.
Even when Lynch is exploring darker subject matter - "Whatcha Gonna Do" poses the ultimate question as judgment looms, and the traditional sounding "A Canary's Song" and "Widow's Weeds" deal with death and the dark despair of a coal miner's life - there's an inescapably sunny quality to her delivery.
And any darkness Lynch delves into is more than dispelled by the sheer jubilance of such fare as "My Florida Sunshine" and "Barbed Wire Boys," both nostalgic but avoiding sappy sentimentality. The disc's darkest moment, in fact, comes with the final track, the mournful and dolorous "Woods Of Sipsey," though here, too, Lynch finds comfort in the promise of rest rather than despair at the oncoming darkness.
Production this time out is deliberately sparse, showcasing the talents of Lynch’s touring band. On hand are Jim Hurst (guitar, banjo, mandolin), bassist Mark Schatz (who also contributes clawhammer banjo), and Jason Thomas on fiddle and mandolin. All three contribute harmony vocals along with supple and irresistibly propulsive accompaniment.
In lesser hands, the almost unrelenting optimism Lynch displays could get cloying. Here, though, it’s simply an accurate reflection of a genuinely warm and wise personality, brought to delightful life through music that’s both heartfelt and expertly executed. Recommended!
From The Nashville Scene - June 2008
By Jon Weisberger
Recent Nashville transplant Claire Lynch is one of the classiest acts in bluegrass today, capable of turning bona ﬁde classics like Jimmy Martin’s “Hey Lonesome” and the Osborne Brothers’ “Up This Hill And Down” into her own even as she pays homage to the brilliance of the originals. Her inﬁnitely expressive voice has earned her guest appearances with the likes of Dolly Parton, but it’s best heard in front of her own band—anchored by senior member and award-winning guitarist Jim Hurst, it has recently incorporated underrated ﬁddle and mandolin player Jason Thomas and redoubtable bassist Mark Schatz, most recently of Nickel Creek. That’s a formidable lineup, and Lynch wisely gives them plenty of room to shine, but in the end, it’s her sensibilities—and talents—that shape the sound into one delicious whole.
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (PDF - 42 Kb) - January 2008
WHO: Claire Lynch
WHAT: GREAT 'GRASS: Lynch is the perfect mix of that famed trio Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. She's got the interpretive skills of Ronstadt, the clear and pure voice of Harris and the bluegrass soul of Parton. She's received Grammy nominations for best bluegrass album and a female vocalist of the year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 1997, but she deserves all the accolades we can toss her way. Her latest album, "Crowd Favorites," is a compilation of the cream of her recent recorded output along with re-recordings of a few songs she did in her days with the Front Porch String Band. It's a fine starting point for those unfamiliar with Lynch's work.
From Asheville, NC: - January 2008
Bluegrass star Lynch returns to road with mix of old and new
by Carol Mallett Rifkin,
published January 11, 2008
Best of '07 Folkwax "Best of 2007" picks - "Crowd Favorites, A Claire Lynch Collection"...more
Bluegrass Music Profiles Review - "Crowd Favorites"
Jan/Feb 2008 Issue...review by Gracie Muldoon (PDF - 113kb)
More Crowd Favorite Reviews from 2007
Bluegrass Now Magazine, Dave Higgs - April 2006
Listening to Claire Lynch sing is not something to be undertaken casually. Her songs and stage presence demand the listener’s rapt attention. She’s an intensely soulful singer, whose distinctive voice resonates with power and strength, yet retains an engaging innocence and crystalline purity. She’s also a songwriter of extraordinary ability who can bring listeners to their feet with her buoyant rhythms or to their knees with her sometimes almost unbearably poignant and insightful lyrics.