What Do Claire Lynch, Ranch Romance, and The Austin Lounge Lizards Have in Common?


They were all on Hillbilly at Harvard! Ranch Romance and The Austin Lounge Lizards performed live in 1994. Claire Lynch didn’t show up until 2010, for what we call a ‘chin-and-spin’, to promote a show that evening in Newburyport, and her new Rounder album. But they’re all on this week’s Archival HAH.

We start with the Hillbilly show from October 9th, 2010. It was football season, and HAH had to end at 11:30 that Saturday. So I’ve included the whole show, lightly edited, featuring an extended interview with the delightful Claire Lynch, just chatting about this and that, including her new album, Whatcha Gonna Do? on Rounder. We play songs from the album, and learn a lot about this wonderful performer who, despite her luminous standing and multiple awards, still remains funny and totally free of pretension. I remembered that chin-and-spin fondly, and thought you might enjoy it as well. Claire has the knack for making herself right at home, and putting her interviewer at ease. Listen for her ‘droid’.

After that show ends, we jump back in time to May 1st, 1994. WHRB was preparing to move out of the Memorial Hall basement to its present quarters in Pennypacker Hall, so things were in disarray. Somehow the promoter of a show at the Somerville Theater that evening had managed to get two bands on the bill down to WHRB for brief live sets just before the end of the show. These became, as David Elliott said, the “last live performances in Studio A in Memorial Hall—hosted by Ol’ Sinc.” David had a DAT recording of the event, and gave me a CD with them on it. I can’t find my recording of the whole show, if one was made (did David pull his recording from mine?), so I’ve added these two 15-minute performances to this Archive.

Sinc has a great if somewhat chaotic time with Ranch Romance, a lively band from Seattle that made three record albums in the ‘90s before disbanding, and then with the comical (if sardonic) Austin Lounge Lizards, who returned in subsequent years and remained one of Sinc’s favorite acts. This performance features a preview of ‘Old Blevins,’ a high-(or low-)light of the Lizard’s next album to be.

Apologies for jumping around in time, but since I don’t have the complete show from May 1st, 1994, and needed a half hour or so to fill our current three hours (and if I had the complete show, as I do in most cases, three hours wouldn’t be enough!), this was just the time to titillate you with the “last live performances in Studio A.” Turn up your speakers; you don’t want to miss a minute! /CL

This entry was posted in Administrivia, Bluegrass, Hillbilly History, Hillbilly Journal, Program Notes, Radio Talk and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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