CLAIRE LYNCH, “Whatcha Gonna Do,” Rounder. 12 tracks.

For Claire Lynch fans, the long wait is almost over.

On Sept. 15, Rounder will release her first studio album in three years and the second in nine years.

There was a greatest hits album — “Crowd Favorites” — in 2007. But two new albums in an entire decade is a long time for fans to wait.

“Whatcha Gonna Do” returns Lynch to her rightful place as one of the best voices in bluegrass and acoustic music.

At 55, her voice is still as clear and pure as ever.

Lynch never was a traditional bluegrass musician — and nothing has changed.

She still blends bluegrass, folk, country, pop, rock, swing, gospel and a smidgen of blues into a contemporary sound that straddles a few borders.

The only traditional bluegrass on “Whatcha Gonna Do” is Bill Monroe’s “My Florida Sunshine.” It’s enough to make you long for an entire Lynch album of pure bluegrass music.

But that doesn’t detract from this album.

It kicks off with Mark Schatz’s heavy bass beat on “Great Day in the Mornin’,” a happy song that’s bound to put a smile on even a grouch’s face.

Lynch wrote one song, “Woods of Sipsey,” and co-wrote three others — the jazzy gospel “Face to Face” with Donna Ulisse, “Highway” with Irene Kelley and “Widow’s Weeds” with Jennifer Kimball.

Liner notes say “The Mockingbird’s Voice” is the first cheating song Lynch has ever recorded. Let’s hope it opens the door for more.

“Barbed Wire Boys,” one of the album’s highlights, is a salute to the men of the World War II generation, who came home to work hard and raise their families without complaining. But there’s a sorrow there for what the men missed.

“You never heard him speak, you never saw him cry,” Lynch sings. “But where do the tears go, that you never shed/Where do the words go, that you never said/Well there’s a blink of the eye, there’s a catch in the voice/That is the unsung song/Of the barbed wire boys.”

Good album by a great artist.

Hopefully, the wait won’t be so long for the next one.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.rounder.com.

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One Comment on “”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Or by it direct from the artist: http://www.clairelynch.com. (Release date is in early Sept., so presales should be available from the artist by Sept. 1 or earlier).


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