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Songwriter spotlight: River Lynch


Since 2017, Rochester-based rocker River Lynch — with periodic help from his band The Spiritmakers — has been slowly putting out singles at the rate of roughly one a year. This unofficial series started with “Straight Through" and has continued through to the present, with the release of the latest single, “Blood Thirsty,” on Oct. 23. The differences between these individual tracks are more readily apparent than if they were served up together as an EP.

The fresh “Blood Thirsty” is an acoustically driven, mid-tempo ditty. There’s a tension between Lynch’s voice and loping acoustic guitar and the reverb-drenched atmosphere provided by the electric guitar’s easy presence.

“Trip through Tomorrow,” from 2019, is a happy tune that casts Lynch and The Spiritmakers as eternal optimists beneath a cloudless sky. “This World Now,” also released last year, is an uptempo number with an incredible giddy-up from the drums, while the rest of the band wails. It’s the most rockin’ cut in the bunch.

Complete with 12-string guitar and 1960s-esque psychedelia, 2018’s “Outside the Sun” is a sweet, jang-a-lang number — and favorite of mine — seemingly from an era in which music like this blasted out of transistor radios, making way for artists such as John Cougar Mellencamp and Tom Petty, years later. From that same year, “Straight Through” owes its appeal to Lynch’s stunning range and swaggering vocals.

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at