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More Bluegrass on Compass Records Coming this May

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Claire Lynch - Dear SisterNashville, TN -- Compass Records expands its bluegrass and Americana offerings with 3 CDs releasing on May 28th: Bluegrass/Americana singer and songwriter Claire Lynch's Compass debut Dear Sister, the long awaited solo debut When We Fall from bluegrass vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Frazier and the reissue of Looking Forward from rising bluegrassers The Bankesters.

By any measure, Claire Lynch is high on the roots music world’s A-List, with accolades that include two International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year Awards, 2 GRAMMY nominations for Best Bluegrass Album, songs recorded by such luminaries as Patty Loveless, The Seldom Scene, Cherryholmes, Kathy Mattea, the Whites and Stephanie Davis, and now the 2012 USA Artists $50,000 Walker Fellowship.

Dear Sister showcases Lynch and her razor sharp band (Mark Schatz – bass, Matt Wingate – guitar, mandolin, Bryan McDowell – fiddle, mandolin, guitar) on a rock-solid, 10-song set of bluegrassy, folk and Americana cuts. 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 that is 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.” The songs constitute what is possibly Claire’s most personal record to date and certainly one of the most broadly accessible albums of her career.

Rebecca Frazier achieved notoriety in the bluegrass world as the first female musician ever to appear on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, but it is her vocal prowess and songwriting chops that make her one of the most exciting new artists to emerge on the national bluegrass stage. When We Fall is her long awaited solo debut and it is already garnering praise from bluegrass fans and critics in the know. Accompanying Frazier on the album of original songs and tunes are some of the finest players in bluegrass including Barry Bales (bass), Scott Vestal (banjo), Ron Block (banjo), John Frazier (mandolin) and more.

Vocally the album places Frazier solidly in the tradition created by Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch and others with driving tracks like “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow” which are reminiscent of the early recordings of Alison Krauss while instrumentals such as “Virginia Coastline” and “Clifftop” give a tip of the hat to guitar legends Tony Rice and the late jazz guitarist Emily Remler, about whom Frazier wrote her Honors Senior Thesis at the University of Michigan. Taken as a whole, Frazier is a triple threat and her multi-faceted musicianship is sure to place her at the top of the crop of up and coming leading ladies in bluegrass.

Following in the tradition of seminal family bluegrass bands such as The Lewis Family, The Isaacs, and the McLain Family Band, The Bankesters are one of the most sought after new bands on the bluegrass scene. Gorgeous sister harmonies set them apart from the pack (sister Emily Bankester was recognized this year with International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Award for Vocalist of the Year) and the band’s DIY release of Looking Forward has been turning heads in the bluegrass community, leading to the album’s title track claiming the #1 spot on the Bluegrass Today singles airplay chart in February of this year. The retail release of the album should earn more fans for The Bankesters as well as lay the groundwork for a brand new studio project scheduled for release in fall 2013.

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