Claire Lynch has announced that Matt Wingate is her new guitar player. He steps into the void left when Claire’s long-time guitar man Jim Hurst stepped aside, leaving young Mr. Wingate with some extra large shoes to fill.
But based on his resume, and the fact that Lynch chose him after an exhaustive round of auditions, it would seem that he is more than up to the task. Matt won the Merlefest guitar championship in 1997 when he was 15 years old, and has spent time on the road with The Lovell Sisters, Valerie Smith, and The Greencards. He learned to play as a teen in his family’s band, and released his debut solo CD, A Good Dream, in 2008.
Wingate graced the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine in the Spring of 2009, and the accompanying profile praised his high level of musicianship and his considerable skills on a variety of stringed instruments. Matt is also a fine singer, and will contribute as a vocalist in the Claire Lynch Band as well.
Claire has come up with a clever way to welcome Matt into the band. She is inviting all her fans and friends to submit a welcome message online. By passing along your message, you’ll also be entered into a drawing to win a copy of A Good Dream.
If you are not familiar with this talented young musician, here’s a video of him twinning with Brian Stephens on Salt Creek. Matt is on the left.
The Claire Lynch Band is Jason Thomas on fiddle and mandolin, Mark Schatz on bass and banjo, Wingate on guitar, mandolin and resonator guitar, and of course, Claire Lynch on guitar and lead vocals. You can find their tour schedule online.