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Sounds from a dynamic duo

Claire Lynch to let her voice shine at Crimson Moon Café

POSTED: February 23, 2011 5:54 p.m.
/For The Times

Matt Wingate will play with Claire Lynch at the Crimson Moon Café Saturday.

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Dahlonega’s Crimson Moon Café will host award-winning bluegrass vocalist Claire Lynch Saturday in a rare duo setting with acclaimed guitarist Matt Wingate.

Lynch recently won the title “Bluegrass Female Vocalist of the Year” for the second time, adding yet another notch to her belt that’s already filled with two Grammy nominations and many other specialized awards.

“My greatest accomplishment is to have a career of longevity. Many people in this business have ‘one-hit wonders,’ and the rest of the time it’s a struggle,” Lynch said. “I’ve had a steady-paced career. To be recognized by my peers and people of other genres as someone of merit is fantastic.”

Though a decorated vocalist in the genre, Lynch did not begin her career with bluegrass in mind.

“I never knew much about bluegrass, but the first time I heard it, I sat down and my mouth fell open. I was fascinated by it,” she said.

Saturday’s show will be different than the usual Claire Lynch concert — there will be no band. In fact, the last time she played the Crimson Moon, it was also a duo with her last guitarist.

“Saturday’s show will be unique in that it’s a duo — the nature of having it stripped down to the bare bones forces a lot of things to come out because it’s more intimate. The songs are heard differently because there’s not as much coming to the listener,” Lynch said. “That, and Matt has instrumentals he’s written that are stunning.”

Lynch and her band have formed a family hand-picked with summer picnics and all; however, show business is not always hunky dory.

“The hardest part is no sleep, no food,” she said. “You’re on the road without sleep in order to make the shows and get the job done. We often play one town per night when we’re out and it’s very taxing when you’re not at home and in your own environment. We learn to cope, but it can be physically and mentally exhausting.”

Once home, the work isn’t over.

“When I’m home, the worst part is taking time to do administrative things,” she said. “It’s frustrating not being able to work at your craft, and instead doing ‘business.’”

“Whatcha Gonna Do,” Lynch’s most recent album, was released in September 2009 and made The Huffington Post’s “Best of 2009” list.

“My best songs are ones from my own true life experiences — those are the ones that write themselves better,” she said.

Though her life is not exposed as much as other celebrities in recent news, Lynch does not hide a secret life. What you see is what you get.

“I’d want my fans to know that I’m just one of you guys; that’s the way I view and portray myself. I don’t have a secret world,” she said.

As a songwriter and vocalist, Lynch has to play many roles to create music that speaks to a wide audience.

“Songwriters can be like actors; they can put themselves in a situation, draw from their own arsenal and write from their heart. A good writer can do that like an actor,” she said. “All of us as songwriters are somewhat contrived — something has to be a little less true about ourselves to write a great song.”



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