Master Songwriting Class to be Taught by Claire Lynch

To call Claire Lynch a first-class songwriter is a serious understatement.  We once said that if Ms. Lynch had been born a hundred years ago she could have stopped old A.P. Carter from tramping the hills looking for good material for the Carter Family to record – meaning that she could just write all they needed and we believe they’d still have produced the enormous catalog of wonderful songs.  Of course that’s much like going back in time and meeting a direct ancestor whom you then influence to the degree that you are never born.  None the less, suffice it to say that the caliber of Ms. Lynch’s songwriting, albeit influenced by the Carters and everyone afterwards,  still has that cut-to-the-bone, I-know-exactly-how-you-feel type of emotion crafted into every line.   

We can only imagine what it may have been like to work with A. P. Carter as he collected material and subsequently crafted it into any one of those great Carter Family songs.   So,  to see a post in the Boston Bluegrass Union Newsletter regarding an upcoming Songwriting Class taught by Ms. Lynch may be about as close as one could get.  

Songwriting taught by Claire Lynch
TImage634596353959580905he songwriting class with Claire Lynch will cover tips and information for writing a solid song. Some subjects covered will be line construction, focus, lyric relation to melody, rhythm and rhyme, the re-writing process and simplicity of communication.

Additionally, Claire will offer insights on staff writing for a publisher, pitching your songs and business aspects of songwriting. Students will be allowed to present their songs for helpful comments and constructive criticism. Q&A and group discussion will also be encouraged.

Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. The current Claire Lynch Band is a powerful juggernaut, a quartet that has the innate ability to perfectly interpret the beauty, subtlety, and genre-defying sophistication of Claire’s music.

Claire’s career is fittingly bookended by two IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards:  in 2010, in recognition of her current work with the Claire Lynch Band, and in 1997, for her influential work with the Front Porch String Band, and as a solo artist. Claire was nominated for the 2011 IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Award. As a songwriter, her tunes have been recorded by such luminaries as Patty Loveless, The Seldom Scene, Cherryholmes, Kathy Mattea, the Whites and Stephanie Davis.

For registration, email Claire: clairelynchband@gmail.com

The class is part of the Master Series Classes taught at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. 

  • Master Classes meet from 11 AM-1 PM and from 2-4 PM, on Friday, February 17th before the festival begins.
  • Tuition is $60/$65 early bird before January 1st, and $70/75 thereafter.
  • BBU members receive a $5 discount.

Please register by writing to individual instructors. It is strongly recommended that you send in payment ahead of time to hold your slot, as many classes fill up in advance. Class size is limited to 15 participants. Early Bird discounts expire January 1st.



Bass Master Class taught by Mark Schatz

This class will be open to bass players of all skill levels and we will explore the following: right and left hand technique, various options for getting from one chord to the next to add variety and color to the bass line, walking bass lines, and slap bass. We will also touch on bass set up, amplification, and tips for playing both onstage and in the studio and onstage. When folks send their payment in to me they are welcome to let me know what areas they especially want me to address and I will do my best to accommodate these requests.

If anyone wants to get a head start on the class they can purchase my two Homespun bass instructional videos from me. I will waive the shipping charge and charge a total of $50 for both. These will provide a good follow-up reference after attending the class as well. We’ll cover a lot of ground so feel free to bring recording devices or note pads. Looking forward to digging in and having fun, too.

Mark is a prominent figure in the new acoustic music scene. Twice named IBMA Bass Player of the Year, and currently nominated for the 2011 Award, he has worked and/or recorded with an impressive variety of artists including Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Maura O'Connell, Tony Rice, John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Tim & Mollie O'Brien and most recently, Nickel Creek. He also acts as Musical Director for the internationally-acclaimed Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, which showcases his other talents - clawhammer banjo and Southern Appalachian clog dancing.
He has two solo recordings, Brand New Old Tyme Way & Steppin' in the Boilerhouse, both on Rounder Records. He's also released two instructional bass videos on Homespun. .

Contact Mark Schatz mark@footworks.org

Bluegrass Fiddle Master Class Taught By Darol Anger 11-1pm

Darol's Bluegrass Fiddle Session: Greetings, fiddlers! This will be a 2 hour roller-coaster ride through the world of Bluegrass fiddle. We will be working with our instruments, and with our ears.  I hope to, first, have fun playing. That’s the most important thing, since none of us are gonna get rich doing this, I guarantee it.
We’ll think about and play with soloing, backup, tonal concepts, phrasing, rhythm techniques, blues stuff, harmony and harmonizations. We'll probably take apart some standard tunes to see if we can make them fresh, polish them, make them our own, then ruin ‘em.   I also hope to touch on “problem” areas of the fiddle, such as those pesky keys like B, C & C#minor, high positions, intonation issues, things that might be diminishing our ability to have fun because they are difficult.
There will be some handouts, but we’ll mostly be going by ear. That means bringing the usual stuff: a recorder, a pencil, some music paper just in case, chocolate, legal drugs (such as coffee). Hope to see you there!

Exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, Darol Anger has helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his involvement with numerous pathbreaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, the Duo and other ensembles. Today Darol can be heard on NPR's "Car Talk" theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice. He has recorded and produced scores of important recordings since 1977, is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants. He has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks. 

Contact Darol at darolfmu@gmail.com

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