Claire's singing and interpretation of traditional, contemporary, and original songs is a joy to hear. With her voice, clean and clear as mountain water, she sends me to a beautiful place, every time I sit and listen. – Sara Watkins
Whatcha Gonna Do
1. Great Day in the Mornin’ 2:50
2. Highway 4:00
3. The Mockingbird’s Voice 3:05
4. Face to Face 3:55
5. That’s What Makes You Strong 3:46
6. Whatcha Gonna Do 3:29
7. Crazy Train 3:38
8. A Canary’s Song 4:17
9. My Florida Sunshine 3:00
10. Widow’s Weeds 2:54
11. Barbed Wire Boys 3:36
12. Woods of Sipsey 3:54
UPC number 0-11661-0606-2-3
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For me, selecting songs is one of the most difficult steps in the process of producing an album. I ask of each song: Is it great lyrically? Does it capture the heart and delight the musical senses? Does it evoke a fresh, inspired interpretation from me and the band? As the list narrowed down to these twelve, surprisingly, I found a common thread weaving through them: choice and consequence. Our lives are a fast-flowing river of choices, from the momentous to the trivial, each choice followed by consequences, predictable or not, intended or not. Whatcha Gonna Do turned out to be the ideal title for this collection of compelling songs. Here they are – I’ve made my choices! I hope you’ll find them not only entertaining, but a worthy soundtrack for your own river of choice and consequence.
1. Great Day In The Mornin’
Drunk Eye Music, BMI
Here’s to making each day the very best it can be. Special thanks to Paul Craft – who has always known a good song!
Irene Kelley and Claire Lynch
Chrysalis Music, ASCAP; Universal-Songs of PolyGram International, Inc./Butter and Egg Music, BMI
Funny how heartbreak can turn into a journey of endless freedom…
3. The Mockingbird’s Voice
Pal Alger & Kent Agee
Rosebriar Music/Scout And Jem Songs, ASCAP; Songs of RPM/Lucky Daddy
Music, BMI (admin by Songs of RPM)
The first cheatin’ song I’ve ever cut – I love its earthiness. Sad set of circumstances - but a superb song, nonetheless.
4. Face To Face
Donna Ulisse & Claire Lynch
Uncle Hadley Music, ASCAP; Thrill Hill Music, BMI
I may not be able to see God or tangibly prove His existence, but I still believe…and it really feels good.
5. That’s What Makes You Strong - With special guest, Jesse Winchester
Bug Music, ASCAP
Ever been smitten by a song? I was by this one! You choose to love, become weak, find strength! Thanks, Jesse – not only for having a heart as big as Memphis – but for gracing my album with your voice.
6. Whatcha Gonna Do
Russ Pahl & Rich Wayland
Cristofori Music/Bright Like The Sun Music BMI; Russ Pahl Music BMI
I know one thing I’m “gonna do”… enjoy playing this song!
7. Crazy Train
Anna Owens, Georgia Middleman & Gary Harrison
Sony/ATV Melody/Treehugger Tunes, BMI; Green Hills Music/Traveler's Ridge
Music, ASCAP; Sony/ATV Melody/Frayserman Music, BMI
Many of us have been on a train like this before…it’s a hard choice to “jump” – but you may be glad you did!
8. A Canary’s Song
Garth Brooks/Buddy Mondlock
Major Bob Music, Inc./EMI April Music, Inc./Sparking Gap Music, ASCAP
What beautiful language from Buddy and Garth in expressing a miner’s mindset of hope and destiny.
9. My Florida Sunshine
Bill Monroe Music, BMI
Florida was one of my early musical stompin’ grounds. Loved this song from the first moment I heard it on an 8-track tape – eons ago!
10. Widow’s Weeds
Jennifer Kimball & Claire Lynch
EMI Blackwood Music, Inc./Garden Angel Music, BMI;
Songs of PolyGram International, Inc./Butter and Egg Music, BMI
Poor Ivy! We all think she’s making the wrong choice… Reckon it’s up to her, though.
11. Barbed Wire Boys
Frank Chance Music, ASCAP
Susan Werner’s eloquent portrayal of a generation of men from the rural Midwest easily translates for me to those in rural Alabama or northern Ohio. Although my dad was a computer programmer, he was very much a “barbed wire boy”. His choices blessed me, and it’s hard to put a price on that…
12. Woods Of Sipsey
Thrill Hill Music, BMI
Clara Phillips (“Granny”, as we called her) had lived the city life, but preferred her beloved home in the backwoods of central Alabama. There she lived and died with no qualms whatsoever.
The Claire Lynch Band:
Jim Hurst - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin on “Great Day in the Mornin’”, vocals
Jason Thomas – mandolin, fiddle, vocals
Mark Schatz – bass, clawhammer banjo
Kenny Malone – percussion
Erick Jaskowiak – percussion on “Great Day in the Mornin’”
Jesse Winchester – vocals on “That’s What Makes You Strong”
Produced by Claire Lynch
Production/Arrangement Assistance by Jim Hurst, Jason Thomas and Mark Schatz
Jesse Winchester appears courtesy of Appleseed Recordings
Recorded and mixed by Erick Jaskowiak at Compass Sound Studio, Nashville TN
Additional recording by Kyle Ford at Compass Sound Studio, Nashville TN
Mastered by Toby Mountain at Northeastern Digital Recording, Southborough, Massachusetts
Mike Melnyk, San Francisco, CA
Jim McGuire, Nashville, TN
Stan Tomczak, Bayonne, NJ
James Madison Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL
Additional assistance - Jonathan Hobson, Nashville TN
Album Design by Beth Thomas
notes by Jim Hurst
This time around, I set out to make a recording that would showcase the three amazing players who stand by me night after night on stage – Jim Hurst, Jason Thomas and Mark Schatz. This is a magic moment in my musical history and I am thrilled to be able to document their individual awe-inspiring talents and the synergy that occurs when we collaborate. There are a number of people who have helped to make this happen, so let
me give my heartfelt thanks….
…to Jill Stargardt for making sure we’re in the right place at the right time!
…to Jennifer Hardiman for pitching in and taking charge
…to Susan Stewart for keeping me STRAIGHT!
…to Nora Jane Struthers for “lackey” detail
…to Beth Thomas for amazing talent and kindness
…to Betty Wheeler for being a genius and granting valuable time
…to Eileen Carson, Judy Hurst, Patti Petow, Suno and Jenchillla for friendship, love and
…to Jim, Jason and Mark – for the respect, the kindness and care, the talent and sacrifice, the creative ideas, the inspiration, the passion, the commitment, the laughs, the painstaking angst, the hard work and endless travel arrangements, …. Shall I go on??
…to Team Rounder – for giving me a break as always
…to Erick for turning me on to green curry chicken and that little Greek place… (cha cha
cha!) Seriously, though… you’re an amazing engineer – I’m honored.
…to Alison and Garry for your generosity and friendship
…to Tim Drake, David Tamulevich and Charlie Dahan – for taking us on and keeping us
And a personal thanks…
…to Christy and Kegan– for pursuing your destinies - you make me proud, my loves!
This album is dedicated to two people we lost in 2009 – they were dear to me and I’ll
always remember …
…Jerry Hinton – my very first bluegrass fan – Horsepens 40, 1975 – you never lost
your love for the music and all of us!
…Ed Dye – friend, educator, mentor, advocate, humorist. You’ll be much missed,
Remarkable. Memorable. Astonishing. These words are sometimes overused, but in Claire Lynch’s case, each word is perfectly suited to give you a hint at what you’re about to discover. I’ll let you choose your own, and I suggest you start writing them down from the first note. And if you’re like me, you’ll remember this day.
My first experience hearing Claire’s voice was in 1986, and those words came to mind. Astonishing. Remarkable. Memorable. I’ve never forgotten it. Never will.
Astonishing. Her voice so elegant and pure, unlike anyone I had ever heard until that moment. I was immediately taken with the sweetness of her tone and delivery on the ballads and tender songs. I enjoyed her playfulness and energy with the up tempo tunes and felt the band almost dancing around her.
Remarkable. She has a way with words that allow the listener to absorb the story right along with the performance. She seemingly has the ability to convince me that each line of each song is personal to her, as if she lived every word and note, and that adds an extra dimension that can’t be bought or sold.
Memorable. Similar to the feelings of a first bicycle ride, a first date, or holding a baby for the first time, Claire’s voice has one holding their breath for a few seconds… then a few seconds more. Such a rare occurrence to hear such fresh sounds and tones. It has kept me captivated for a good while now.
Since 1995 (when I was pleasantly surprised by her phone call inviting me to audition for her band), I have shared the stage with Claire across the country and in some parts of the world, and it has been a wonderful musical adventure for me. From my first appearance with the five-member Front Porch String Band at a festival in Ohio, until today with her four-member Claire Lynch Band, I have learned, grown, shared joy and art, experienced happiness and angst, and done my best to handle disappointments and successes while sharing this odyssey with Claire and her band members. That FPSB quintet was a homecoming of sorts for me personally, as I had played in the bands of some big name country music acts before coming back to bluegrass. And what a way to come home, working with this wonderful artist with this amazing voice and delivery.
Claire is the leader of the CLB and she is the reason we are all here. While she is the producer of her last few recordings, she allows our musicianship an opportunity to shine through. She has faith that we’ll approach her art with a sincere respect for the lyrics, melodies, and her vocal maneuvering while adding our own musical ideas and energy to help complete each song.
Those of you who are hearing her for the first time will want to discover her other recordings and her story. Happily, there is much more to enjoy.
Many of you already know Claire’s music and talents, and I’ll bet you also remember when you first heard her voice. You are her fans and eagerly look forward to her next musical effort.
Well, here it is: Whatcha Gonna Do.
This recording is a stellar display of Claire’s breadth of talent as well as her ability to maintain her distinctive musical identity that you’ve loved from that memorable day one. This is essentially a Claire Lynch Band project, with Claire engaged in a musical dialogue with her band members, Jason Thomas, Mark Schatz, and me. Claire has added Kenny Malone on percussion on a couple of songs, and the legendary singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester joins Claire on one of his gems: “That’s What Makes You Strong”.
While you are listening you’ll hear what I hear each and every day - I have a great job - and I think your reactions to the stories, melodies, and grooves will place you in a state of mind that will for a few moments allow you to forget about anything outside of this experience. And, if you’re like me, you’ll find this occurs every time you listen to Claire’s voice. I watch as audience members are deeply immersed in Claire’s music and their emotions come to the surface in wonderful moments as they share Claire’s art. Remarkable.
I’ll tell you that people all over the world have the same reaction as I did, and as we all do now. They are elevated by the beauty, intelligence, and sincerity of the lyrics and stories. They are moving and dancing with the grooves and feels. And they are transported to memories and past experiences – real and imagined – while sitting in their seats in concerts, in the car, or at home. Astonishing.
But, the real one-word description here is Memorable. This is something that you’ll never forget. This musical experience, this emotional voyage, this audible immersion, this voice, this day… Memorable.
The Claire Lynch Band exclusive representation:
The Roots Agency
CLB on the web:
also available on Rounder:
Rounder 11661-0335-2 Friends for a Lifetime
Rounder 11661-0355-2 Moonlighter
Rounder 11661-0415-2 Silver and Gold
Rounder 11661-0464-2 Love Light
Rounder 11661-0563-2 New Day
Rounder 11661-0600-2 Crowd Favorites
By Pierce Pettis and Claire Lynch
Universal-PolyGram International Publishing Co., Inc., ASCAP;
Universal-Songs of PolyGram International, Inc./Butter and Egg Music, BMI
The inspiration for this song was taken from an old abandoned grocery store in north Alabama – Moontown Grocery. It speaks to me of a small-town, Southern mentality that is precious and rare. Pierce Pettis knew exactly what I was talking about when we put our heads together on this one…