One Camp Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Kerry Dexter
Grace, intelligence, a sense of humor, incisive views of life's lighter and darker sides-you'll find these on Claire Lynch's latest disc along with Lynch's distinctive voice and fine acoustic musicianship provided by The Front Porch String Band: Jim Hurst, Michael McLain, Missy Raines and Larry Lynch.
Through the twenty years they've been making music, Claire and Larry Lynch (and various configurations of the FSPB) have been "skipping back and forth across borders, I guess you could describe it," Claire says. "But I always have to remember the bluegrass market. What we do has to work for them, or we won't have anywhere to go. So that's kept us streamlined in our presentations and helped give us an identity." On Silver and Gold they use that identity to handle the driving rhythm and intricate call and response design of Hitchcock Railway as well as the spooky bluegrass ballad Death Angel. McLain's banjo kicks on a bluegrass tinged version of Gretchen Peters' If Wishes Were Horses, and the group has fun with the swing tune Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring? and Jimmy Martin's I-told-you-so story, Hey Lonesome. The title track, a thoughtful love song, is a Lynch original. The characters and situations in Out Among the Stars will linger in your mind next time you watch the news. I'm Goin' Up shows Lynch and the band at their best handling a song with a mixture of humor, hope, and insight.
Lynch produced the album with Rich Adler. "This is really a band album-I think you can hear that in the record. We had a good time with it, and there's a lot of rapport between us." She adds, "We set out to structure it like we would a set, to show a lot of different things, to keep the audience's energy up, to interest them-to entertain, really." From the thought provoking to the amusing, from bluegrass to ballad to swing, Claire Lynch and the Front Porch String Band have succeeded. If you enjoy great acoustic music give Silver and Gold a listen.
Edited by Paula Gregorowicz