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Concert honors cancer survivors

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This Friday, the Los Alamos County Summer Concert Series presents the Claire Lynch Band. The show is part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. The show is free of charge, starts at 7 p.m. at Ashley Pond.
Claire Lynch is a singer/songwriter and was a rare woman’s voice in the bluegrass field when she first led the Front Porch String Band in the 1970s. The band was very successful, but stopped touring in 1981. Lynch became an in-demand session vocalist backing people like Dolly Parton on her albums and tours, as well as Linda Ronstadt, Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Ralph Stanley and many others. “Claire has a hillbilly angel voice with a sweet high country twang. Her voice reminds me a lot of Dolly Parton and Allison Krauss,” Concert organizer Russ Gordon said.
Claire Lynch has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and has been won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s award for “Top Female Vocalist” twice. She has also won the IBMA for “Best Song.”
Dolly Parton said, “Claire has one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.” Claire sang on both of Parton’s bluegrass albums, “The Grass Is Blue” and “Little Sparrow.”
Lynch will be playing Los Alamos with her band that was formed in 2005., featuring bassist and banjoist Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek, Strength In Numbers, Jerry Douglas, Laurie Lewis and many others), fiddle and mandolin player Bryan McDowell (holder of 21 different picking contest titles) and guitarist Matt Wingate (winner of the 1997 Doc Watson Guitar Championship).
Lynch, the multi-nominated Grammy artist and IBMA winner, won the prestigious annual fellowship of the United States Artists grant in early 2013.
Lynch has been extending her musical boundaries the last few years. Her new album that’ll be coming out in September is a swing CD. She grew up listening to country music in northern Alabama and that is also a part of her repertoire.
“She’ll play a lot of bluegrass Friday night but we’ll also hear some of the swing album, her country music and even some Cajun,” Gordon said. “Bluegrass purists aren’t thrilled with her change in direction but she is an artist that is branching out. She’s an Americana artist.”
Pato Banton, the English reggae superstar who was supposed to play this Friday, had to cancel his performance and his tour. He is back in England and recovering from an illness.