Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 7
Songs for the soldiersRockie Lynne brings his military inspired Americana rock to the Strawberry Festival
BY JOE PAYNE
The many branches of the military have always seen each soldier as a member of a band of brothers and sisters, all connected to each other by a common commitment. Even after a tour of duty—or even a whole career —is complete, the feeling of dedication doesn’t end.
That feeling inspired Rockie Lynne to compose some of his most celebrated songs, such as the ones featured on his album Songs for Soldiers. Lynne served in the Army’s 82nd airborne for three years; ever since he got out, he’s been performing his original music, climbing the charts, and garnering a loyal following.
“I gained a lot of skill sets in the military that I didn’t know I would use so much,” Lynne said. “I just continue to try as hard as I can, and I think I got that from the military.”
Lynne, who will be performing as part of military appreciation day at the Strawberry Festival on April 27, grew up in an orphanage. When he was 4 years old, a man came to the orphanage with a guitar and sang some songs. It was a transformative moment for Lynne.
“I knew immediately from the moment I saw that guitar that I was going to do that for the rest of my life,” he said. “Other than my time in the military, that is all I have done, is play guitar and sing.”
The ensemble Lynne brings along includes bass guitar, drums, acoustic guitar, and keyboards. Lynne handles lead guitar and vocals. He joins the roster of country singers who not only write and sing their own songs, but play their own lead guitar as well.
“I’m crazy about guitar, I have been my whole life,” he said. “For many, many years, from the moment I wake up and the moment I go to sleep, I am playing guitar.”
Songwriting has also been a big part of his life. His first self-titled album climbed high in the country billboard rankings. He was inspired to write his latest album, Songs for Soldiers, after a tour overseas, performing for the troops.
“There’s been a lot of good patriotic albums,” he said, “but in general most of those albums are kind of slow paced, and the songs are sad. I wanted to do the opposite.”
Lynne set out to make an album of fun, upbeat music to which veterans could relate. The next time he toured overseas, he gave copies of the album to the veterans for whom he performed. Now, because he sells the album, part of the proceeds go toward veterans’ charities.
“It’s not just songs about soldiers, but songs about being patriotic and being American and being free,” he said. “There’s enough negativity out there, people trying to put stuff down, but we are just trying to lift things up.”
The concert at the Strawberry Festival is free with an admission ticket to the festival. Lynne is performing on Military Appreciation Day, which offers free admission to veterans. During the show, Lynne will also have a special tribute to Vietnam veterans in particular.
“I think it’s great that charities like the one that sponsored this show welcome troops home,” he said, “but that didn’t happen to the Vietnam vets when they came home. In our show, we make a point to say to those specific veterans, ‘Thanks, and after all this time, welcome home.’”
Besides acting as a tribute to the troops, Lynne hopes to provide a good time to his audience, no matter what their background.
“I don’t know how I became the guy who gets to do all this stuff, but I’m glad,” he said. “We have a great time, we have cheerleaders come out, we have an honor guard, and we release some doves on one song.”
Connecting with people, and capturing what it is to be American, is at the heart of country music, and Lynne focuses his art in that direction, favoring the intimacy that a great song can give.
“Country, especially, is so lyric driven, and it’s about everyday life and everyday experience,” he said. “For many people, country music is like a blueprint or manifesto for their life.”
A mic always open
Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 East Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.
Get down at Addamo
The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro presents “Wine Down Wednesdays,” featuring live music on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 400 E. Clark, Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or Bethany@addamovineyards.com.
Centuries of music
The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society presents the final concert of its 2012-2013 season, including selections from Franz Joseph Haydn, Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov on April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church on College and McCoy in Santa Maria. More info: 925-0412 or santamariaphilharmonic.org.
Live from L.A.
O’Sullivan’s Pub presents a “Ska Spectacular with the Suppressors” on April 27 starting at 9 p.m. at the pub, 633 E. Main St., Santa Maria. More info: 925-0658 or osullivanspub.net.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including country by Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols on April 26 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring the Agin Brothers Band is April 27 at 3 p.m. Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols perform live on April 27 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.