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North By South

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Customer Reviews

Bluegrass on Ice

Among Claire Lynch’s many talents is an uncanny ability to embody a man’s song—her angelic voice not imitating the opposite sex but simply erasing the importance of gender. She memorably personified a Civil War soldier in Kennesaw Line and on her latest album she’s a deckhand-turned-ship’s captain who spends 50 years with the love of his life, the Molly May. The song—written by J.P. and Gervais Cormier—is bittersweet, like any story of passion, and no one does bittersweet with a richer blend of radiance and nuance than Lynch. But Molly May, it turns out, is a love story within a love story: One day this bluegrass queen of Nashville got a fan letter from a man in Toronto, suggesting she fly north to perform. She did just that—and also fell in love with her pen pal and married him. In the process, she discovered what she describes as “a community of songwriters that hadn’t been on my radar.” Nine of the 10 tracks on North By South are by Canadian artists. To help import country, folk and pop songs, Lynch is aided by a who’s who of bluegrass guest musicians like Jerry Douglas on dobro, Béla Fleck on banjo and Alison Brown on guitar. The one song penned by Lynch herself, Milo, is inspired by her own story of Tennessee mockingbird meets Ontario loon—and how they work out the harmonies. There’s nothing but meat on this Grammy-nominated album, with Gordon Lightfoot’s It’s Worth Believin’ dazzling; and Old Man Luedecke’s Kingdom Come especially sweet. Bluegrass has been enriched many times over by Lynch, and now it has its own North


Born: February 20, 1954 in Kingston, NY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With a high-pitched voice that's been compared to Nanci Griffith and Alison Krauss, Claire Lynch has successfully fused a background in popular music and a love of bluegrass. Born in Kingston, New York, Lynch moved with her family to Hazel Green, Alabama at the age of 12. Inspired by the pop songs of Joni Mitchell and the Beatles, Lynch sang as a youngster in an informal trio with her sisters, but it was as the singer for the bluegrass outfit the Front Porch String Band that finally brought Lynch...
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North By South, Claire Lynch
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