Country Music News /December issue/ CD Review (written by Larry Delaney)

Mike Lynch – Road Map ; Produced by Brian Allen

Mike Lynch is the ‘real deal’. A hardcore, country singer and songwriter, with material not unlike what we hear from Tim Hus, Corb Lund and other ‘troubadour’ styled artists.  This latest collection of tunes by the St.Catharines, Ontario-based artist is truly a standout piece of work; thanks to his edgy songs and the crusty vocal delivery that gives them a contemporary twang.

There are several songs here that really standout. Songs About the Road, lives up to its name, utilizing ‘road song’ titles to get the message across (it is patterned similar to Gary Allan’s Songs About Rain lament from a couple years ago.)  In the same vein, the title track tune Road Map covers that rocky road in life and love that most everyone travels (especially ‘troubadours’). Another winner here is the hardcore traditional country tune Old Fashioned Side of Me; while the hurtin’ country  song  House Full of Mirrors is given a neat Dwight Yoakam fell.  There’s quite a variety of material on the album.  Check out the bluesy ballad Will To Survive, with Mike Lynch sounding not unlike Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy; while Turn On The Evening News, with its radio/TV news clip intro makes an interestion political statement – intended or otherwise.

Shot of Whiskey and Baby’s Long Gone are a couple of ‘drinkin’ songs that fit perfectly into this off-beat collection of songs…with none more off-beat than God Locked The Keys In Her Van, a fun tune about a good time gone bad.

Road Map, Mike Lynch’s Sixth album release, was produced by Brian Allen, and features session support from the likes of Doug Johnson (pedal Steel) , John P. Allen (fiddle), Wendell Ferguson (guitars), and a host of other top notch players.  (For info/copies vist www.lynchmusic.ca)