River Lynch & The Spiritmakers
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River Lynch & The Spiritmakers

Rochester, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Rochester, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Blues




"River Lynch's "All This Time" Named October Best Song Of The Month"

River Lynch, a rock/pop singer/songwriter based in Rochester, NY, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for October, for his song “All This Time.” This song is included on his debut EP There Goes The Heart, which he released independently in April (2016). Lynch now fronts his group, River Lynch & The Spiritmakers, which consists of Lynch on guitar & vocals, Schuyler Skuse on bass and Tim Leverett on drums.
“All This Time” is a rollicking, high energy cut which is in the musical vein of bands like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers. The music arrangement features multiple guitar tracks, strong lead vocals by Lynch, and a propulsive, full-band sound. This recording was expertly produced by Lynch and Doug Zogby at GFI Studio in Rochester, which is owned by Tony Gross. On this cut, Zogby also played guitar and contributed backing vocals.
Lynch grew up in upstate New York, where he learned to play guitar at age 12 and started writing songs when he was 17. He was inspired by listening to classic rock artists such as Bob Dylan, The Doors and Tom Petty, and more recently to Gary Clark Jr. and Ryan Bingham. During high school, he played in a rock band and was the lead singer.
After high school, Lynch seriously began focusing on music. “I started to work on my skill level—singing, guitar playing and songwriting,” he said. “I would play solo gigs, mostly around Rochester, Syracuse and Baltimore.”
It was in 2014 that Lynch wrote “All This Time,” which has a lyric story about the end of a relationship. “This song is partially about a breakup I had,” explained Lynch. “In the song, she (bluntly) says ‘All this time with you meant nothing to me’.” Lynch was able to write this song quickly, coming up with the chord structure, lyrics and melody on the same day.

Lynch then recorded “All This Time” plus three more songs for his EP, There Goes The Heart. Some of the songs have received airplay on local stations, WBER and WAYO. The first single from the EP was “Don’t You Bother,” for which he filmed a video. Lynch is currently working on a video for “All This Time.”
Lynch is continuing to promote his EP, and he’s looking forward to playing live shows with his band, The Spiritmakers. “I’m really happy to have Schuyler (Skuse) and Tim (Leverett) playing with me,” he said. “We have a full set of original music. We’re hoping to set up a Northeast tour, playing more cities outside of Rochester.” - Dale Kawashima (SongwriterUniverse.com)


Posted on 28th October 2017

River Lynch and The Spiritmakers have dropped their brand-new track ‘Straight Through’ complete with a stunningly visual video that’s a serendipitous dream for all of my fellow rock revivalists. Their combination of Rock n’ roll, blues, and folk rock is insatiably delectable combined with the charisma of one of the most charming front men that’s graced the rock genre.

Originating from Rochester, New York; Lynch has his work cut out for himself contending with a drift of musicians that are all as heavy as the snow fall. Fans all across NY who have had the pleasure to witness this enigmatic foursome live, all know that they transcend the typical Rochester noise.

The band exude the same style of The Black Keys, Black Rebel Motorcyle Club & The Jim Jones Review, but with so much soul and modern energy behind their music the comparison hardly seems fair. Their debut track is packed full of resonant reverb from the effortless talent of lyricist, vocalist and guitarist River Lynch. There’s not many guitarists that are blessed with the ability to create the jingle of Johnny Marr, the guitar solo is everything you’d expect from a band that exudes vibrantly vintage nostalgic sound.

From start to finish the track is a true audiophiles delight. Undoubtedly by far my favourite element of this track was the lyrical diversity from Lynch as he transgressed from graunching gravelly vocals to hitting the resonant highs, whilst drenching you in gloriously riff heavy ensembles combined with piercing drum rolls and a uniquely delectable organ infused sound - A&R Factory

"Chatting With River Lynch from River Lynch And The Spiritmakers"

Hello, River, thanks so much for speaking with me. I appreciate you taking time out of your day. I promise there aren't too many questions; shall we begin?

Cliché, I know, but can you tell our avid readers how River Lynch and The Spiritmakers came together and how you came up with the name of the band?

It started in 2015 when I decided to record a four-song EP of my originals. These songs were begging to be played with a band. Through a mutual friend, I met our bassist, Schuyler Skuse, and was re-introduced to our drummer, Tim Leverett. After a really successful set at the EP release show in 2016, we felt like we had something good and just started booking shows from there. The name Spiritmakers comes from my song of the same name. My definition of Spiritmaker is 'someone who lifts the human spirit through the power of rock ‘n’ roll music'

River, you began your musical career as a solo artist before 'rallying the band' - a direct quote from your Facebook. Do you find being in a band more challenging or easier than performing on your own? How so?

‘Rallying the band’ is code for ‘Let's roll!’. I wouldn’t say there are more challenges being in a band compared to performing as a solo artist, just different challenges. With the band, it’s things like working around each person’s schedule and making time to accomplish everything we hope to. When performing solo, not having the band there to rely on can be tough at times. They’re different but I really enjoy both. My introverted self is a solo artist, and my extroverted self is the frontman of a rock ‘n’ roll band.

Do any of the band members have a musical background?

Schuyler began playing upright bass in 3rd grade, and electric bass in 5th. After performing throughout high school in an orchestra, jazz band, and the rock band The Absolutes, he went on to pursue a degree in Music Management at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. At Hartt, Schuyler studied the bass with world-renowned jazz bassist, Nat Reeves, and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music.

Tim is a multi-instrumentalist, played piano since he was 5, picked up the drums at 13, and guitar at 18. Tim is also a composer and songwriter who has created full-length orchestral ballets and instrumental pieces for TV and film, as well as writing over 100 songs.

As for myself, my musical experience started with the trumpet in 4th grade playing in the school band. Around 12 years old I got my first electric guitar and was part of a rock ‘n’ roll band in high school. At 17, I wrote my first song.

You are releasing a new single in March called 'This World Now'. What can you tell me about it?

It’s the heaviest song we have recorded so far. I hear it as a ‘psychedelic-western’.

What was the inspiration behind the new track?

The inspiration for 'This World Now' originated with an overwhelming feeling of personal injustice. Wanting to help someone who needed it, but not actually being able to help them. I see the song as sort of a thriller short film. There are three characters: the victim, the assailant, and the anti-hero. It’s dark and heavy, but speaks to the side of human nature that just wants things to be right. I’m really excited for people to hear this one. It’s a different side of us.

What was the recording process like for 'This World Now'? Did you experience any problems?

No serious problems while recording, fortunately. A while back, the guys and I laid down the foundation for the song; bass, drums and some rhythm guitar. More recently, I went back with our producer, Doug Zogby at GFI Studios, and began filling in the colours with vocals and lead guitar parts. We’ve been playing this song live since our first show, so it’s been a lot of fun to bring it into the studio and really explore its full potential. I am really pleased with the way this song turned out.

Could you briefly describe your song-writing process for us? Does each band member have a set role or is it a big ol' jam session?

I write the songs and then bring them to practice and show the band. I’ll play them through a few times so they can get a feel for the structure, and then they start playing along to see what feels right. In most cases, it only takes a few practices for a song to be stage ready. It’s all about the song with our band. Whatever we are playing, it’s to serve the original vision of the song.

When you mention rock 'n' roll to someone, the associations range from Elvis to Nirvana or Deep Purple and Guns 'N Roses. What is your definition of rock 'n' roll?

For me, rock ‘n’ roll should be dangerous, rebellious, loud, and dirty. It should have grit, passion and attitude. It should swing, boom and groove. It should make you move, make you feel, and make you think. It’s a mystical force that lives in your soul and is available to everyone.

Rock ‘n’ roll is a symbol of freedom. Any band or artist that creates a genuine display of that, I would call rock ‘n’ roll. Chuck Berry, Elvis, Little Richard, the Stones, Hendrix, they are all prime examples of just that.

How do you feel rock 'n' roll has changed over the years and has the change influenced your music?

The basic fundamentals of rock ‘n’ roll really haven’t changed much since its birth in the 1950s. I personally think in the past few decades it began to lose it’s ‘roll’, becoming stiff and uninspired. Of course, there has always been a handful of great artists keeping the flame burning in every generation.

Right now, I hear a lot of bands with similar influences as myself. I’ve noticed that a lot of people my age grew up listening to music from the 60s and 70s, and I think that is reflected in today’s rock ‘n’ roll. There are some really great bands right now that capture that genuine rock ‘n’ roll sound. It keeps me hopeful for the future. It’s not heard that often on terrestrial radio or in the mainstream. Fortunately, there are so many other ways to discover new music today.

Are there any bands or artists that inspire your sound?

We have a wide range of influences from all different times and all different artists. With that said, our sound has a 60s and 70s vibe for sure, so we are heavily influenced by a lot of bands from that time period. On a playlist, we are placed with bands like The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Alabama Shakes, Ryan Adams, and Gary Clark Jr. to name a few. We’re just trying to do our own thing in our own time.

Grassroots music receives more promotion now than in previous years with the help of the internet, so what is it like being an independent band in the 21st century?

Being an independent band in the 21st century is empowering but also very challenging. You have to do a lot of things you never thought you would have to do - one part musician, one part businessman. On the other hand, you have complete freedom with your creative path. There are also more resources for independent bands to use now, than ever before. That makes some stuff easier, but also brings along an entirely new set of challenges.

It’s good though, there are a lot of opportunities. I also think the general public is much more aware and supportive of independent artists nowadays. It’s all about building a fan base of your own.

What advice would you give new bands?

Remain true to your creative vision. It’s easy to forget why you’re doing all this in the first place.

Other than the upcoming single, 'This World Now', what can we expect from River Lynch and The Spiritmakers in 2019?

We’re focusing on playing in new places. Over the past two years, we’ve done multiple 3-day tours in Canada and on the East coast. We would like to do more of that. We’re also working on booking more festival shows, and we will have even more new music as the year goes on. We have had some good fortune come our way since we started. We’re taking that with us as we head out through 2019.

Thanks so much for speaking with me, River. Wishing you the best for your new release and all your future endeavours! - The Old School Project / Nicole Mendes

"River Lynch & The Spiritmakers Drop New Video "Straight Through""

Rochester rock and roll upstarts River Lynch and The Spiritmakers have teased us with a video for their latest single “Straight Through” that is pure, organ soaked, riff heavy goodness. These guys are clearly on a mission, and this song and rock-band-in-studio-recording video definitely qualify as a call to arms to fellow rock revivalists ready to reassert the primacy of rock music, for good or ill, in the crowded modern marketplace. With more new music on the way, it will be most interesting to hear what they’ve got to back all of this up. - Buffablog / Cliff Parks

"River Lynch and The Spiritmakers "Don't You Bother""

River Lynch and the Spiritmakers could be a lot of different genres, but we’re going to call them Americana. They have the ability to rock, for sure, but there’s also a driving momentum to their style that seems like it would be comfortable on the streets of New Orleans. In other words, the sound transcends what we think of as a typical rock outfit. The message of the song is spiteful and angry, which works really well with the aggression found in the guitars, drums, and vocal. - Ear To The Ground Music

"ALBUM REVIEW: "There Goes the Heart""

On "There Goes The Heart," River Lynch balances lyrical weight with instrumental dexterity and flight. The music, with or without the words, paints its audience and its needs vividly. That's right, Lynch is singing to you. There are myriad influences rearing their heads in the mix, like The Drive-By Truckers, The Bottle Rockets, and The Beat Farmers — bands who all sling the honky-tonk unapologetically.

Lynch and his band harness the urge to horse it into the boat with a thick, juicy, and appropriate guitar attack, and leaves room for the songs to do what they do. This record is rockin' with heart and soul and just the right amount of grease. — BY FRANK DE BLASE - Frank DeBlase (Rochester City Newspaper)


This World Now (Single) (2019)

Outside The Sun (Single) (2018)

Straight Through (Single) (2017)

There Goes The Heart EP (2016)



"Every night, we set out to wake the spirits of the past, create music for the future and remind people of the power of rock & roll music" states River.
After deciding to leave college, singer-songwriter River Lynch got to work on his career as a solo act. Playing shows in and around upstate New York for roughly 3 years.  "Songwriting is a sacred thing to me" states River, "You must be blessed with the ability to write and disciplined enough to see it through".  After years of performing solo, River decided it was finally time to go electric.  In 2015, he joined together with some local friends that shared the same energetic love for Rock & Roll. 
Introducing...River Lynch & The Spiritmakers.  Tim Leverett, drums, and Schuyler Skuse, bass, brought the rhythm section that would drive River's original songs to their explosive potential.  The name Spiritmaker comes from River's song of the same name, meaning 
'someone who lifts the human spirit through the power of rock ‘n’ roll music'.  The band's sound is sixties influenced.  A unique mix of the rock 'n' roll vibes of Tom Petty but with a modern edge, comparable at times, to bands like The Shelters and Alabama Shakes. Wonderfully rich, bluesy, hook-filled rock & roll.
Following the release of River Lynch's first official EP, There Goes The Heart (2016), the band has been performing all across New York, the East Coast, and Canada.  River's original song "All This Time" was named "Best Song Of The Month" by SongwriterUniverse.com (Oct. 2016).  
Buffalo music blog, Buffablog.com, described the band as "a call to arms to fellow rock revivalists ready to reassert the primacy of rock music".  River Lynch and The Spiritmakers have opened for Rusted Root, Jesse Dayton, Starship, The Blue Stones, and The Legendary Shack Shakers.

"Rock & Roll music became a large part of my identity at a very young age" River states.  "The radio volume went up, the school grades went down.  I feel that new Rock & Roll does not currently receive the attention it deserves.  We aim to remind those that forgot and introduce those that have not yet experienced, just how powerful this music can be.  So I grab my guitar, rally the band, and we head for the stage".

Band Members