I’ve scheduled a gig for next month, and I’m particularly looking forward to it. But first, the backstory… and for this one, we’ve gotta really crank up the Wayback Machine,* almost to full power.
Back in 1984, when I was an undergrad at the University of South Carolina, I managed to worm my way into a non-paying “job” at a place called the Quarter Moon in Columbia. Quarter Moon was a “listening” bar… in other words, the focus was on performing and live music, rather than consuming mass quantities of beer and bad-judgement hookups. I did the work mainly to avoid going broke on cover charges, as I was always going there to listen to bands.
One weekend Claire Lynch and The Front Porch String Band was booked to play, and I was absolutely hooked. Claire’s singing voice is so beautiful that, given some time and a good pair of speakers, it could turn a militant splinter cell into a Shriner’s club temple. And I’m not the only one with this opinion… Emmylou Harris has said, “I’ve always thought Claire Lynch has the voice of an angel.”
Jump ahead 26 years or so to 2010. Claire (winner of the IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year) comes to the Barking Legs Theater, a small performance space in Chattanooga, and I went to hear her and say hello. The Front Porch String Band morphed into the Claire Lynch Band years ago, and her voice is just as pretty as ever… even more so. Her years of experience songwriting, recording, and performing have refined her natural talent to a remarkable degree. Her band is equally phenomenal, and hearing her in such a small space is a real treat… a little like back in ’84. (See Claire’s complete song catalog here)
When I heard she’d be returning to Barking Legs in February, I took a chance and emailed her. The result is I’ll doing a live recording when she performs here on February 25th. It will be a little experimental… The evening will be a duo with Claire and her new guitarist Matt Wingate (winner of the Doc Watson Guitar Championship in 1997).
I’m really looking forward to doing some music recording again, especially with an artist of Claire’s caliber… we’ll see how it goes! If you’re anywhere near Chattanooga on Feb 25th, be sure to come down to Barking Legs (1307 Dodds Ave, Chattanooga, 37404… directions are here) to hear Claire live… tickets are $15.50 in advance. (You can listen to some of her songs here, with the Front Porch String Band.)
*The Wayback Machine is a reference to a segment from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show in which Mr. Peabody and Sherman use a time machine called the “WABAC machine” to witness, participate in, and, more often than not, alter famous events in history. (from Wikipedia)