By Katie Arvia
LANSING, Ill. (May 13, 2021) – In progress since 2019, Lansing musician Andrew Denlinger is releasing his new single, “Alright (Feelin’ Pretty Fine)” on Friday, May 14. Described by Denlinger as “American Rock,” the single’s sound was inspired by a variety of musical genres and experiences.
“The way I describe American Rock is: rock’n’roll that incorporates the mix of cultures and people from all over our country. I wasn’t inspired by just one thing,” Denlinger explained. “My parents introduced me to Southern Gospel. One group of friends introduced me to 90s hip-hop and R&B. Guys like Kurt Cobain and James Hetfield were my teenage idols. And then there’s classic greats like The Eagles, Bob Seger, or Johnny Cash. Put all that in a pot and mix it up; that’s my version of American Rock.”
Denlinger grew up in a very musical family. His father and two sisters all play the piano; his mother plays the viola and performs with an orchestra in Hutchinson, Kansas. Denlinger plays the violin, piano, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar, in addition to being a talented vocalist. He has been in several different bands, including a rock band, and performed with a gospel choir while in college. Most recently, Denlinger has joined Chicago country band Nick Lynch as their bass player.
Full album to come
Denlinger expressed his excitement over being able to share some of his new solo work. “Alright (Feelin’ Pretty Fine)” is just a taste of Denlinger’s upcoming full-length album. After some consideration, he said he decided to release the single to get some momentum building, while keeping in mind that the entire album will take some additional time to complete. The single was meticulously crafted by Denlinger, who recruited several of his musician friends. The full album will follow suit.
“I am being very detailed about everything while we record and mix this thing,” Denlinger said.
While most of the recording is being done at Denlinger’s Lansing home, he worked with guitarist Rex Carroll to mix the album in Winthrop Harbor, a northern suburb located on the Illinois/Wisconsin border. Other “Alright (Feelin’ Pretty Fine)” collaborators include Sam Barsi on the drums (who was recorded back in August 2019), Michael Hartigan on the organ and piano, Patrick Lyons on the pedal steel guitar, and Mandy Barry providing additional vocals.
Denlinger’s upcoming album is a collection of songs that were written over an extended period of time. Some of the songs date back several years, while others, including the single, were written right before Denlinger recorded Barsi on the drums.
“These past seven years touring and playing clubs, honky-tonks, and fests all over the country have helped season me on the road as a musician, push me as a songwriter, and stretch my inspirations and influences,” Denlinger said, reflecting on his time performing with Nick Lynch.
Of course, Denlinger felt the effects of COVID-19 like the rest of the world. The pandemic put his tour life on hold. In an average year, Denlinger plays over 100 live shows with Nick Lynch. In 2020, he estimates the group played about six or seven. Not only were finances stretched, Denlinger said it was difficult to not see his bandmates on a regular basis.
While his music career was temporarily paused, Denlinger said he was blessed to have found a meaningful work opportunity with his church. For the first 20 weeks of the pandemic, he spent about 12 hours a day editing and producing two different styles of online worship.
“The discipline of doing that type of work 12 hours or so a day really stretched and inspired me mentally. No doubt that the same creative flame is pushing me in my current single and upcoming solo album campaigns,” Denlinger said.
The pandemic ultimately pushed back Denlinger’s album about eight months. By the fall of 2020, he was back to work, describing himself as more determined and focused than ever before.
“There are a lot of factors, a lot of life moments that have led to this point. It took all those ‘life’ experiences to even make it possible. There is a lot of inspiration for me this time around. I know I couldn’t have done this album 15 years ago. It needed everything in between, and part of that is COVID-19,” Denlinger said.
Current and future plans
Post-COVID, Denlinger said he would love to tour again. In fact, he is already booking some dates and has started discussions with clubs. He said he is waiting to do a larger push until he has a visual presence and some materials for clubs and fans to check out. After the single officially debuts, he will be able to push the website and music video along with the actual song.
Another unique endeavor that Denlinger is undertaking is what he describes as “Home Shows.” These acoustic sets will be performed at private homes, giving hosts the opportunity to provide their friends and families a fun night. Denlinger said that Home Shows are a great way to throw a successful party while allowing guests to still observe social distancing guidelines. Additionally, these small-scale, private performances give Denlinger the chance to engage audiences and share his songs in an intimate environment.
Living in Lansing
When Denlinger isn’t working on his own music, he does enjoy catching other performances at Fox Pointe, which he described as a highlight of the town and said it would be an honor to eventually play a show there. He said he is also looking forward to this year’s Cruise Nights, as well as other community events. He also enjoys visiting the numerous parks with his family, running along the bike paths, and shopping at the Water’s Edge garden shop on Wentworth Avenue. Denlinger described his fellow Lansing residents as “good neighbors,” and he hopes to further connect with the locals.
Denlinger said he hopes to find a few local spots where he can regularly perform solo or duo acoustic sets. This will give him the opportunity to get to know people and vice versa. Denlinger said the best way to support his music, as well as other local artists like him, is to just come and “[be] a part of the music and the moment.”
As far as plans go for the future, Denlinger is already planning his next project: “I’d like to follow up the album with a single or two, then maybe an EP of five to six songs. I’ve already got songs that I am sure will be in this mix,” Denlinger said.
Listen to the single
Denlinger’s single “Alright (Feelin’ Pretty Fine)” will be available digitally everywhere on Friday, May 14. The music video for the single premieres on YouTube on Friday, May 14 at 1:00 PM. For more information on Denlinger and his music, or to contact him for bookings, go to andrewscottdenlinger.com.