Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Quite a few rock careers started out with singers just entertaining friends with their own compositions. Stephen Lynch got his start by amusing his college housemates.
At Kalamazoo, Mich. — where, coincidentally, he was last week when this phone interview took place — Lynch recalled his days living in a house off campus in the not-so-nice part of town. “At any one time there were 10 of us in the house,” he said. “There was beer drinking, bong-passing, you know. I decided to pick up the guitar and make them laugh.”
From college, it was on to New York City, where Lynch continued having fun writing comedy songs while waiting patiently for an acting break that never came.
“All of a sudden it took off. I started performing in small clubs,” he said. “I quit my day job in 2000. Now I’m in rock clubs, theaters, big venues, and it’s a career. It’s a lot of fun.”
His comedy music is bringing him to Little Rock for the first time. Lynch will perform at the Clear Channel Metroplex on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22 by calling Area 51 at 537-0051 or online at www.ticketalternative.com/tickets/event/hitchhikerentertainment.htm.
Lynch’s typical show, he says, is 90 to 120 minutes of rock ’n’ roll and comedy. “It’s basically me and a guitar, having fun, and a couple of buddies of mine do their thing. We have audience participation, take requests, just have fun with it. I don’t do parody songs, just all original music.”
Appearances on Comedy Central have bolstered Lynch’s name recognition, even if his usual songs aren’t the typical “hits.” “I do a lot of morning and afternoon drive appearances and that helps. My songs are not going to be hitting the Billboard Top 40 chart anytime soon. When you sing what I tend to sing about, it tends to freak people out.”
Some of Lynch’s song subjects include Jesus’ hard-partying, weed-smoking brother Craig you never knew about, a homeless French guy Lynch knows in New York, his girlfriend who he suspects is a neo-Nazi, and his childhood best friend who hasn’t been right since he was dropped on his head.
“I’ve got about 50 or 60 songs and each night I pick out a setlist and some of the audience will shout out what they want to hear,” he said.
The 34-year-old Lynch has a CD that was released Oct. 4 and also has a live concert DVD out. His wait for an acting job will finally end in April when he’ll star in the Broadway musical version of “The Wedding Singer.”