Nick Lynch Band rocks the new Rocking Horse Saloon in Oak Forest

Review by guest reporter: Mary Compton

Nick Lynch, makes you wanna roll your windows down and take a listen.

Lynch and his band performed at the new Rockin Horse Saloon and Grill in Oak Forest for Valentines night. The crowd of about 300, some dressed in cowboy gear, some in suits, came together to hear the rockin country band.

Nick Lynch is no stranger to the Country Music scene. He was a finalist on American Idol in 2008, played a gig on Windy City Live and performed at Rocking New Year's Eve on ABC in 2013.

As Lynch sung Open Arms during a vocal competition in 2009, a judge remarked he was one of the top 4 in Chicago to hit the mark on the song. From sounding like Steve Perry, Lynch can change it up to sing Bon Jovi in an instant. His vocal range is a perfect marriage for country songs like his The Reason.

Before they performed their first song, Rockin Horse Saloon was almost a full house. Lynch showed his versatility in the first half hour performing the rock song The Boys Are Back in Town to Sweet Home Alabama. Lynch's smooth vocal textures are able to mix his music of Country, Rock and Alternative.

One of the most popular songs that was crowd and band favorite was The Outsiders, which sounds a tune similar to Dead or Alive. Playing a big instrumental section toward the end of The Outsiders were Lead Guitarist Mike O'Meara from Orland Park and Bass Guitarist Andrew Denlinger from Bridgeview. "I hadn't heard this song until I auditioned for the band," explains Denlinger. "It was one of the tunes Nick had me learn for the first rehearsal. It was one of the things that drew me into this band and Nick's brand of Country Rock and Roll."

The Outsider is also a favorite with drummer Keith Homel as well. "My favorite song to play is Eric Church's "The Outsiders." I remember the first time I heard it on the CMA awards, I was blown away. I call it "country prog." It's heavy, has a great groove, and has a crazy instrumental section at the end that I never get tired of."

Lynch continued his playlist through the evening as the crowd danced to Drink In My Hand, My Kind of Party and She Think's My Tractor's Sexy.

A Nick Lynch fan, Raye Ann Saunoris hopes they will get bigger than Texas. "This band is going places, there is a lot of talent. I love the mix of old, rock and country," she adds.

Band members are excited when fans show there love. "I noticed the crowd during American Girl, Chicken Fried, and Wagon Wheel for sure, but there were a lot of big moments," said the Bass Guitarist, Denlinger. "People definitely dug what we call the "She's Country Medley" where we travel through a few songs She's Country (Jason Aldean)-Kashmir (Led Zeppelin)-Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard)-Shine (Collective Soul) and then back to She's Country. It's a rocker and people love the mashup of genre's," he added.

Lot's of applause, other band members who grew up in Oak Forest were happy to come back "home" to the south suburbs to perform.

"Coming back home to perform felt great," says drummer Keith Homel. "I really felt the sense of community not only when we were playing, but also before and after the show, talking to all of the people who were in the bar. I really felt welcome and had a great time."

Nick Lynch has many upcoming gigs in the south suburbs including St. Catherine's Fest in Oak Lawn in July, Taste of Orland in July and Skooters Roadhouse in Shorewood. They will be playing at Toby Keith's at Rosemont next month. You can check out their schedule at

"I'm in the process of having some new music mastered for release in the spring," Lynch said. "We'll have a video made and make a big social media push along with it. I'm really looking forward to getting some new music out there."

Other members of the band are; Pat Lyons who plays the pedal/steel electric guitar and Michael Hartigan who plays the organ piano and fiddle.

Exciting evening full of music, we give this performance 4 guitar rating.
Four guitar rating

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Tags: Nick Lynch, Nick Lynch Band

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