The Claire Lynch Band will be back in Rolla Saturday for the Lions Club’s Bluegrass & BBQ, bringing along a new recording, “Dear Sister,” that was released May 28.

The Claire Lynch Band will be back in Rolla Saturday for the Lions Club’s Bluegrass & BBQ, bringing along a new recording, “Dear Sister,” that was released May 28.

“It’s going to be even better than last year,” said Ray Heniff, the Rolla Lions Club member who organizes the annual bluegrass festival.

The food will be ready at 2 p.m. at Lions Club Park. Serving will continue throughout the afternoon and evening, so festival-goers will have a chance to eat supper while listening to the music.

The show will start at 5 p.m. in Lions Club Park. Beverly’s Hillbillys, a local band, will open, followed by Lonesome Road, a Missouri band.

The Claire Lynch Band will take the stage around 7 p.m., Heniff said.

“We’ve got a better sound system this year, and we’re doing a full-blown sound check with Claire mid-day Saturday, so they’ll have everything fine-tuned and ready to go.”

The concert will be filmed by the local cable company for broadcast and for sale, just as it was last year.

Heniff said there will be a musicians workshop at 3 p.m. Rolla area musicians are invited to come to Lions Cub Park and ask questions about vocalization, songwriting and instrumentation. That workshop with Lynch will take place from 3-4 p.m. A flyer states that the cost of the workshop is $25. To sign up call 573-368-9222.

Admission fee is $10, and with that you get all the music plus a book of six tickets for the Lions Club’s car drawing, a $5 value. That drawing will take place at the Lions Club Carnival in July.

Admission is free for children 12 years and under.

The food will cost extra.

Heniff said the music festival is a fundraiser for the Rolla Lions Club.

“There’s no profit in it,” he said. “All the money raised goes back into community programs.” Most of the Lions Club-funded programs are aimed at children and youth.

Heniff said he works on festival planning most of the year. “It’s a labor of love,” he said.
The weather forecast is calling for a beautiful afternoon and evening Saturday, so Heniff is expecting a joyous day of bluegrass and barbecue with a lot of people in attendance.

“It will be every bit as big if not bigger than last year,” he said of the expected crowd.

Lynch is looking forward to the concert, he said.

“She liked coming to Rolla last year,” Heniff said. “She’s staying in Rolla Saturday night,” so the second set can be longer than usual.

There’s a lot of interest among bluegrass fans, he said.

“People who came from far away last year are coming back and bringing new people,” he said, noting he has received phone calls from Columbia, St. Louis and even farther.

This won’t be the first time for back-to-back performances by an artist. Kenny and Amanda Smith came two years in a row, too.

“It will be a great night,” Heniff said.

Bring lawn chairs.

Band’s new recording is ‘personal,’ ‘accessible’

Following is the announcement of The Claire Lynch Band’s new recording, taken from the band’s website:

“Dear Sister showcases Lynch and her razor-sharp band (Mark Schatz-bass; Matt Wingate-guitar, mandolin; Bryan McDowell-fiddle, mandolin) on a rock-solid, 10-song set of bluegrassy folk and Americana.

Standouts include "Doin' Time" (with Tim O'Brien on vocals and bouzouki), the title track "Dear Sister"— an anthemic ballad of the Civil War written by Lynch and Louisa Branscomb based on recently-discovered historic letters written by a relative of Louisa's on the eve of the battle of Stone's River — and the Pierce Pettis penned "That Kind of Love."

Taken as a whole, the songs constitute what is possibly Claire's most personal record to date and certainly one of the most broadly accessible albums of her storied career.

Songs include: 1. How Many Moons, 2. Doin' Time, 3. Once the Teardrops Start to Fall, 4. Need Someone, 5. Dear Sister, 6. I'll Be Alright Tomorrow,  7. That Kind of Love, 8. Patch of Blue, 9. Everybody Knows I've Been Crying, 10. Buttermilk Road/The Arbours.