Claire Lynch – Crowd Favorites
Two albums in two years is a welcome change for Claire Lynch, from whom so little had been heard either on record or on the road for the last half-decade. Her fetching vocal instrument — high, dulcet and clear, with a girlish pinch — is a most welcome sound. As the title suggests, Crowd Favorites is mainly culled from Lynch’s previously recorded and most often requested material, showing the breadth and appeal of her stylistic reach. There’s sweet, mooning acoustic swing (“Fallin’ In Love”), driving bluegrass (“If Wishes Were Horses”) and a Cajun-pop two-beat (“Thibodeaux”). But Lynch is at her finest during poignant and bluesy balladry. Her voice keens during “Hills Of Alabam” (a wistful, nostalgic excursion first done with the Front Porch String Band but newly recorded here with current bandmates Jim Hurst, Missy Raines and Jason Thomas), seduces during “Jealousy” (from Love Light), and soothes during “Silver And Gold” (from the album of the same name).