PRESS

 

SHORTER BIO, edit for length; see QUOTES/ENDORSEMENTS at bottom of this page

With his positive, life-affirming songs and happy vibe, singer-songwriter Phil Lynch is widely known throughout the region for his ability to entertain and inspire. Phil's original songs are piano-based pop -- think Billy Joel or Sara Bareilles -- and his voice is often compared to Randy Newman. Phil's "Upper Michigan Christmas" has garnered considerable regional radio airplay during the holidays since its premier in 2018. His release of "U.P. Love Letter" during the height of the pandemic resulted in his being featured on WLUC-TV6. As leader of the Phil Lynch Quartet (jazz) for 15 years, Phil has played many area venues. Two career highlights are an appearance at the Calumet Theatre, where the quartet premiered his "Upper Michigan Suite"; and performing at Nashville's vaunted Bluebird Café. Phil's appearances always combine a mix of his original, encouraging songs plus some familiar classics ranging from Sinatra to Disney to the Beatles. A portion of Phil's revenue always goes to benefit the Tri-County Safe Harbor, a domestic abuse shelter, as part of his mission to use music to lift people up.

 

LONGER BIO/BACKSTORY, edit for length  [QUOTES/ENDORSEMENTS follow, below]

For 30 years, Phil taught high school social studies in Escanaba, Michigan. 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? Phil started to plan for retirement in 2018 and was able to do so in 2020, to concentrate on lifting people up through music.

To put it mildly, 2020 was 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 vital cause as part of his mission to use music to life people up.

 

QUOTES/ENDORSEMENTS

"You're bringing happiness into our living rooms!"
- Elizabeth Peterson, WLUC-TV6 News

You can't help but sway like a muppet to his infectious, smiley groove!"
- Steve Goodie, host of Nashville's Bluebird Café

"Songs that hit your heart!  You'll find meaning in his lyrics, which are related to everyday things we all experience."
- Nick Nolde, Lake Shore Live festival organizer

"Phil’s gifts as a teacher, musician and inspirational orator shine through in his presentation.  'Live Like Louis' captivated our audience!"
- Carolyn Stacey, Escanaba Public Library Director

"WOW!!  Exceeded our expectations -- we couldn't imagine anything more perfect -- great, timeless music."
- Matt R., following his wedding reception

"The thanks goes to you, Phil.  Your music and voice are wonderful and just perfect for last night’s reception."  - Nancy W., private party client