Local musician Andrew Denlinger brings ‘Americana’ to Lansing

Country, alternative, rock, blues, and more

by Jamilyn Hiskes

LANSING, Ill. (June 29, 2019) – Andrew Denlinger already looked at home sitting at a table in Troost Coffee and Tea (18155 Roy St.), even though he’s only lived in Lansing since last fall.

The self-proclaimed rocker moved here from Midlothian with his wife and two daughters. He said they were looking for “somewhere that still felt like home,” and they found that in Lansing.

Andrew Denlinger and his family moved to Lansing last fall. From left: younger daughter Olivia, wife Rayann, older daughter Evelyn, and Andrew. They were looking for a place that felt like home. (Photo: Mary Compton)

“We checked out the Cruise Night on June 8, and there seems to be a lot of cool people and a lot of fun stuff going on,” Denlinger said.

So many styles

When he’s not at home enjoying his new neighborhood, Denlinger is either leading a modern worship service at Trinity Lutheran Church in Tinley Park or working and touring the country with local country band Nick Lynch. Even though his solo music leans more toward the rock and roll end of the music spectrum, Denlinger says he has a taste for lots of music types.

“I’m all across the map when it comes to styles that I like and play,” he said. “I was classically trained on violin and piano when I was four years old. I will say my heart doesn’t go to classical music in the way it goes to rock and roll, but there’s still some pieces I enjoy.”

A third type of music eventually caught Denlinger’s attention about five years ago: country. He’d recently left the food service industry to devote more time to his work at Trinity Lutheran, and one day he got a text from a friend asking if he wanted to play bass in a country band.

“Nick’s manager at that point was out searching for another bassist to up the style of the band, make it fresher,” Denlinger said. “I had played bass, but it had been quite a few years since I’d played regularly in a project. …Nick and I had our first conversation that day. Right off the bat I could tell we both had the same passion.”

Realizing a love for country

Even though he’d gone through a phase of “snobbishly” disliking country music, Denlinger said playing in Lynch’s band has been a great experience. Playing in honky-tonks and other country music venues is now something he’s accustomed to.

Denlinger and Nick Lynch recently played at Bourbon Street. (Photo: Mary Compton)

“The thing I love about country music now is it’s still a genre where people will come out to see a live show,” Denlinger said. “I’d been playing original music in Chicago forever, and it’s demoralizing sometimes, begging your friends to come to shows.”

Denlinger said he enjoys the touring life he experiences with Lynch’s band, and he enjoys touring with Lynch specifically.

“Nick and I really connect,” Denlinger said. “We see life very similarly. Over the time we’ve been in the band together, we’ve both had two kids, so we’re both trying to figure out how to make it work.”

Albums

Denlinger released a solo rock record in 2016 titled Sixspeed. Despite its recent release, he said he actually recorded it 10 years ago following a stint as a screamer in a hardcore band. It was made available electronically only this year.

“I’m really bad at business,” Denlinger said with a laugh. “I [released the album digitally] to kind of re-start things, since I’m planning on recording another full-length record in the fall. …As a time capsule, I still think Sixspeed holds up.”

As for what we can expect from his next album, Denlinger said it’ll be a mix of styles that he’s come to call “Americana”—blending elements from country, alternative, rock, and blues, among other genres. He’s working with a recording engineer he’s known for 20 years, and the concept for the record—as yet unnamed—is becoming more and more concrete, despite shirking traditional notions of genre. He’s even considering releasing a short EDM EP at some point.

“I’d say the stuff I’ve been writing for the last ten years is a departure from the sound of the last record,” Denlinger said. “I don’t know if anybody really knows what “Americana” is, but I’ve now grabbed onto it because I like it. People want to know what style this album is going to be: it’s American rock. What is our country but just a mix of a ton of other stuff?”

The Fox Pointe question

There’s one more thing Lansing residents might want to know about Denlinger: will he be playing Fox Pointe with Nick Lynch anytime soon?

“One of the first things I did when I moved here was hit up Tony [Troncozo, Director of Fox Pointe,] and ask about it,” Denlinger said. “We actually played the Autumn Fest a few years ago when that space was just a lot. …The band’s booked up through September, but we’re thinking about it.”

For more information about Denlinger and to listen to his solo music, visit www.andrewscottchicago.com.

About Nick Lynch

Nick Lynch is a local Chicago country band that plays a mix of covers and original music at events all around the country. Their new single, “I Call Shotgun,” is a catchy summer tune that you can’t help but sing along to, according to Denlinger. For more information about the band and to listen to “I Call Shotgun,” visit www.nicklynchmusic.com.

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