Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 4 Reviews

Sunday, October 3, 12:30 p.m.
Rooster Stage
Reviewed by Aimee Spanier

It may have been Claire Lynch's first time in San Francisco, but she has us pegged. "Everyone here sure is good looking" she cooed from the stage. Though really, she had us from her opening song, "I'm Moving." The crowd was firmly wrapped around her pinkie by song two, Hank Williams' "I Can't Get You Off of my Mind." In her sweet, soaring voice. Not much movement between sets for the Rooster stage crowd this morning, and not much chance there would be while our Claire was up there.

Relationships such as ours, though, aren't always happy bunnies and pretty flowers. "Jealousy," a song Lynch wrote with Irene Kelley, is all about "negative emotions, the evil kind." It had to happen sooner or later, but the bluesy thread helped us get through the pain.

Her band was nothing to sneeze at either. Banjo great Phil Easterbrook (also expertly manning the guitar), veteran Dave Harvey on mandolin and fiddle, and Canadian favorite son Rick Taylor on upright bass made for a tight, energetic team on old favorites and original songs alike.

By the end of the set, we'd experienced "an unnatural act on the fiddle" (Harvey set aside his bow and went at his fiddle to plucky, picky effect), a Civil War-era tune "about necking" ("Missionary Ridge"), good ol' boys' songs and Lynch originals. Like so many good things, it was over too soon. Lynch sucked us in from song one, and left us wanting more.

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