The Lynchs July 28, 2012Posted by admin in : News , trackback
Shelley Lynch may be from a small Canadian town but there is nothing small about the talent this singer-songwriter has been blessed with.
When the album “Walk through Life” came out in 1996 Shelley was described as having a clear voice and upbeat style. The style continued in the next album “Dream Big,” a collection of songs she wrote and performed that exploded with lyrics as honest and as personal as life can get.
Shelley poured heart and soul into this album building a profound connection to a growth process that began in childhood and continues on to the present, always “dreaming big” throughout life, striving to make her musical vision a reality.
“Young and foolish, I’ve been through it all”, she croons on the title tune. In another she says “Life can get you down, but you can still smile. If you look back what you see may just hurt you, plowin and cryin till the cows come home, now and then, crying plowin and cryin songs”.
Shelley, an attractive blonde, was born in Fernie, British Columbia, fifth of six children of longtime residents Frank and Mary Lynch.
They were a business-orientated family with a deep faith and a strong love of music that led to dedicating part of their living room to drums, guitar and organ giving the family ample opportunity to sing and entertain together.
By age ten Shelley was playing guitar with older sister Kim. At 12 she wrote her first song titled “Spring.” In a high school competition that included teacher contestants she performed an original song that got her the top prize. This win served as the impetus to bolster her confidence to perform publicly.
Shelley loves to write, sometimes spontaneously producing a song in minutes. Songs picked for distribution by RDR Music in Toronto realized some success at home but real triumph came when the album reached number one on the charts in Denmark, Holland, Sweden and other European countries.
Incredibly January 1998 saw her song “Walk Through Life” at number four on the charts in Holland while Shania Twain’s tune “Man, I feel like a Woman”, was number ten.
News that three of Shelley’s songs were in the top six of charts in Denmark and Holland spilled exciting ideas and thoughts in her mind that had her head spinning for days.
One dream realized was attending the Canadian Country Music Awards held in Calgary where she met famous stars. Another was performing live on Cable TV and on the Nashville North stage during Stampede Week in Calgary, getting great reviews by the local press.
People celebrated her success and predicted a bright future. However without a record label to market her music Shelley took the independent leap to create CDs under her own label Lynch Records. Les Bolen of Lizard Mountain Music in Jaffray produced, mixed and engineered the selections. Shelley and Bolen work well together and he knows the sound she wants to achieve. Musicians included steel guitar by Ollie Strong of the Tommy Hunter show, fiddle by Gordie Merrill of the Edmonton Symphony and Gordon Clark of Cranbrook on keyboard. Being independent is difficult but if successful then it’s easier to attract a label. Shelley is aware that talent is only a small part of success in this business. Management, direction, image, persistent determination and a record label are the true requirements.
For fifteen years Shelley instructed and trained as first responder, she was Captain with the fire department in the Jaffray/Baynes Lake area where she resides. She let this interest slide during “The Dutchman’s Garden”, a home delivery business of organic products and produce she and Frank managed and owned that served customers in BC and Alberta.
A couple of years ago she threw in the towel after struggling for nine and a half years to make a success of the endeavour. The Dutchman’s offered the only certified organic produce available but Shelley’s promotion and story of how the business came to be proved so popular that local grocery outlets offered competitive products. Downturn in the economy coupled with the competition and stress of the physical and clerical work caused her to say “That’s it; I can’t do it one more day”.
She took a month “Getting my thoughts in order, eating proper nourishment, cleansing, regrouping and preparing to get over the loss of the Dutchman’s. It was either fight it or get over it, reality is that I had to go with it, go with flow.” Shelley recognized that despite how much heart and hard work she and Frank had put into their business it was time to let go, “No regrets, we learned a lot ” she says. Frank went back to his old job in the Tembec Woodlands Division, but there was the question of where she was now going. The answer was easy, throw herself into something she knew well. She signed on with Janie Dickinson of EMP Priority Action First Aid and trained for the advanced ticket as emergency medical personnel, took another course in urine analysis, took a first responder level three course, in the meantime she was instructing at the fire department and working back at the Line Creek Mine, instructing first responder courses and evaluating first responder instructors, recertifying her ticket in surface mine rescue, “Doing so much was my way of surviving” she says. It also provided no time to think about music.
While pregnant, Shelley was putting together a deal with Miles Goowen of April Wine fame, to procure mechanical rights to the song “Like a Lover, Like a Song”, when she felt a lump on the inside of her left knee. Not wanting to put her unborn child through chemical treatment Shelley kept the lump a secret. Those months were “hell” she says as she points to a long scar and adds that during therapy and convalescence she took time for a “Good break, to think”. The song “Let Me Stay” was written during that bleak time.
A couple of years ago Shelly’s CD caught the eye of Jerry Duncan of Jerry Duncan Promotions from Nashville. Duncan has worked with serious talent jumpstarting careers for big stars such as Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss.
Duncan is highly respected in Nashville, successfully promoting 60 number one hits; his marketing of Shelley’s single Plowin’& Cryin’ resulted in Shelley’s music finding its way on the top 100 on the Music Row Charts and also on the Canadian charts.
The “Dream Big” album released internationally got lots of attention again in European countries and the “Plowin & Cryin” single released to radio plus being distributed on iTune and CDBaby.com, myspace.com, payplay.fm and trade bit MP3 download market place got Shelley lots of attention.
Today, Shelley has organized a personal office in her home, she has literally covered the walls with framed certificates dealing with her work as a paramedic, first responder, supervisor open pit mine rescue, audio metrics, business school, even the first cheque for royalties from Socan for air play of songs and her high school medals in sports.
She says she has done this as a form of encouragement to “realize you can achieve tangible things, it just takes dedication and time. Everything is in one room, only for me to see, not for anyone else to.”
Shutting down the business was difficult but she says emphatically “I’m not done yet, I count my blessings each day. When my songs were on the chart of Music Row I really enjoyed the moment, when it’s gone you have to remind yourself, you have come this far, now you have to take it to a new level, we are all born with a gift, it’s wrong not to do what I’m gifted to do, I asked God for a sign as to whether I belong in music, the phone rang and it was my sister-in-law from back east telling me that my song Dream Big from 2007 was playing on Canadian radio, for it to be still playing that was just amazing.”
Shelley has persistence, a positive outlook and a desire to give it another go. She knows the music business needs to be balanced with her family life, but she says her sister Cathy Follet has lit a fire under her. Cathy knows her sister well and she believes in her talent.
Shelley has now joined forces with her talented daughter Sadie to form The Lynchs. This spring they recorded songs in Nashville that aren’t yet ready for release. The duo sang publicly for the first time at the Arts Station on Wednesday July 11. They were accompanied by Little Sand Creek, a band with lots of talent in its own right. The duo was greeted by much enthusiasm by the large group of people that came out to listen to them perform. If hard work and ambition is any indication this daughter/mother team should do well.
To join the Lynch fan club and for booking information write Lynch Records, Box 342, Fernie BC V0B 1M0