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Bluegrass Monday presents Claire Lynch Band May 14


The Claire Lynch Band will perform a concert of bluegrass music on Monday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at the Collins Theatre, 120 West Emerson Street, in downtown Paragould, Arkansas. The concert is part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by KASU 91.9 FM. KASU will pass the hat to collect money to pay the group. The suggested donation is $5 per person. Typically, Bluegrass Monday concerts are on the fourth Monday night of each month. Due to the Memorial Day holiday, May’s concert will be on the second Monday.

Claire Lynch is a two-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” award, and she has been nominated for that honor a total of 13 times. She has been a trailblazer for women in bluegrass music, beginning her career in the 1970s with the Front Porch String Band. Lynch began a solo career in the early 1990s, producing a string of successful CDs for Rounder Records, two of which were nominated for Grammy awards for Best Bluegrass Album.

Lynch is also an in-demand harmony vocalist. She toured with Dolly Parton in support of her “The Grass Is Blue” and “Little Sparrow” bluegrass CDs. Lynch has also appeared on albums by Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Ralph Stanley, and many more.

In addition to being an acclaimed vocalist, Lynch is an accomplished songwriter, recording and performing many of her own compositions. Her songs have also been recorded by Patty Loveless, the Whites, the Seldom Scene, Kathy Mattea, Valerie Smith, and many more.

Lynch has also appeared on numerous television programs on PBS, The Nashville Network, Country Music Television, and the Great American Country cable channel.

The Claire Lynch Band features musicians who have won an astounding number of awards. In the span of only two years, mandolin and fiddle player Bryan McDowell won 21 first place awards at various national and international contests including Merlefest, the Galax Fiddlers’ Convention, the Rocky Grass Festival, and the Georgia State Championships.

McDowell also won the Doc Watson Guitar Championship in 2010, a world-renowned contest recognizing the best guitarist playing in the flatpicking guitar technique. In 2009, McDowell entered the fiddle, mandolin and flatpicking guitar categories at the Walnut Valley National and International Championships in Winfield, Kansas. That year, McDowell became the first person ever to win first place in three categories in the same year at that storied 40-year-old festival.

Also featured in the Claire Lynch Band is guitarist and mandolin player Matt Wingate. He won the Doc Watson Guitar Championship in 1997. He began his musical career playing in his family’s band. He later was the lead guitarist for Valerie Smith, and he spent three years performing with the Lovell Sisters Band. Wingate was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine in 2009, being praised not only for his skill as a flatpicking guitarist but also for his vocal abilities, his songwriting, and his skills playing numerous other instruments.

Band member Mark Schatz is a two-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Bass Player of the Year award. He has worked alongside musicians including Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice, John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Nickel Creek. Schatz, McDowell, and Wingate all have recorded CDs individually in addition to working with Claire Lynch. For more information, visit the Claire Lynch Band online.

In addition to the concert, Terry’s Café, 201 South Pruett Street in Paragould, opens on Bluegrass Monday nights to welcome bluegrass music fans. The café serves a buffet meal beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the evenings of Bluegrass Monday concerts. Concessions will also be available at the Collins Theatre.

Bluegrass Monday concerts are typically held on the fourth Monday night of each month, but due to the Memorial Day holiday, the May concert will be held on the second Monday of the month. These non-profit concerts are presented with support from Backbeat Music, Main Street Paragould, Hollis Bee Company, the Posey Peddler, the Northeast Arkansas Bluegrass Association, and KASU.

KASU 91.9 FM is the 100,000-watt public broadcasting service of Arkansas State University. For more information, contact KASU program director Marty Scarbrough, (870) 972-2367. Visit Bluegrass Monday on Facebook.