Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks.
Those are some of the iconic artists who inspired Kari Lynch as a child in Clare, Mich., paving the way for what would become her central focus, her passion, her calling.
Now in her mid-20s, the Grand Rapids-based singer-songwriter leads the Kari Lynch Band, an up-and-coming outfit that’s become one of West Michigan’s most popular country music groups.
“It’s just the style of music I fell in love with,” says Lynch, a 2010 graduate of Grand Valley State University. “It sort of hit me the hardest when I was growing up.”
She attests that she delivers “an older-style sounding country voice,” though she’s also been compared to Carrie Underwood and Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry, for whom the Kari Lynch Band has had the honor of opening several times.
The band – Lynch, Ryder Jones (guitar), Matthew Kok (guitar), Sam Briggs (drums) and Jacob Meekhoff (bass) – released a self-titled EP (“Kari Lynch”) last year and plans to return to the studio in the near future to record a new single. And, of course, “another album is in our future,” says Lynch, adding that the band wants to take its time with its next big recording project. “We want to do it right.”
The band also hopes to eventually make its mark in Nashville, where it regularly spends time making contacts and otherwise exploring its musical future.
On Wednesday, Lynch, Ryder, Kok and Briggs popped into the studios of News Talk 1340 AM (WJRW) for my Local Spins Live segment and performed an acoustic version of the original tune, “Gettin’ Gone,” an infectious bit of country-meets-folk-meets-rock.
This weekend, you can catch the band live when it plays the newly opened Back Forty Saloon at 48 W. Fulton St. in downtown Grand Rapids. Admission to the 9 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday is $3.