You never know how a piece of paper you find lying on a copier could change your life. . .

For 30 years, Phil Lynch taught high school social studies. It was fun and rewarding. And by all accounts he was good at it: asked by the students three times to give the commencement address, receiving his county’s Excellence in Education Award, and named an Outstanding Person in Education.

But music was always calling to him too.

A lifelong musician, Phil wrote and performed his own songs in churches throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and in Chicago. He worked with students after school on songwriting and improvising. He led the Phil Lynch Jazz Quartet for 15 years, touring widely and premiering original works in the historic Calumet Theatre.

All while being a full-time teacher (not to mention husband, and father of four!)

Everything changed in 2016 in the copy room. A colleague had left an original on the copier:

“If you’re lucky enough to get a second chance at something, don’t waste it.”

Phil made a copy for himself and taped it to his computer monitor. And dreamed. And planned.

And wrote more songs. These were non-religious songs, but songs that would still serve to build up and encourage people. “Songs that hit your heart,” in the words of festival organizer Nick Nolde.

Opportunity knocked and preparation paid off: in 2018, a hard-to-get solo slot at Nashville's vaunted Bluebird Café. Then in September, a festival slot for which Phil assembled a backing band, the Red House Revelation. Positive reviews and word-of-mouth brought more appearances in 2019.

So, what was that “second chance” the mystery copy had spoken of?

In 2020 Phil retired from education to focus on music. 2020 . . . not exactly the best year to be a musician.

Undaunted, Phil pressed on, doing multiple Facebook Live sessions, and releasing recordings direct to social media. A video to accompany his heartfelt “Upper Michigan Christmas” reached 35,000 people with over 700 shares. "You're bringing happiness into our living rooms!" said TV host Elizabeth Peterson.

Perhaps most importantly, his Facebook Live sessions were structured as fundraisers. Viewers donated over $1,000 to the local domestic violence shelter. A portion of Phil’s revenue now always goes to this important cause. 

With a song style similar to Billy Joel and a voice often compared to Randy Newman, Phil is known for his happy onstage vibe, and spoken introductions to the songs, which help audiences relate. 

 In addition to his originals, he is very well-versed in “the standards” (Sinatra-era songs). Most appearances also include some songs people already know and like to sing along to, such as "Let It Be," and "What a Wonderful World." 

Phil would love to work with you and your venue to create an event especially tailored to your audience. Please don't hesitate to click on the “contact” tab above to discuss possibilities.