Bringing it back to the glory days of country love songs, Richard Lynch’s new single ‘Hurtin’ Cheatin’ Lyin’ Country Song’ pines after the era where sadness, hurt, and heartbreak were at the forefront of the genre. And he makes no qualms about it.
At the ripe age of 58, Lynch’s storied career has lasted over 30 years and he’s flown the flag for his brand of country for that entire duration. Self-styled as “pure country, showcasing elements of western swing, honky-tonk and outlaw country”, Lynch upholds the traditions of classic American country artists like Keith Whitley, Conway Twitty, and George Strait, and proudly asks: “Would it really be a sin, to make country music sad again?”
The authenticity shines through in Lynch’s lyrics and that’s what he’s searching for in country songs nowadays, hinting that modern artists don’t quite possess the same emotional pull. He wants artists, like himself, to hark back to the golden age of Haggard, Strait, Jackson, and Jennings, or in his own words: “someone who lived through every life, and meant every word he sang.”
Lynch has always recognized the value of hard work and life experience – the owner of Keepin’ It Country Farm with his wife, Donna, in Waynesville, Ohio, the country singer born-and-raised in Lebanon, Ohio was also brought up on a family-run farm, so he inherited that tireless work ethic which is so deeply entwined with country music. And it’s country music that remains his lifeblood to this day.
The track’s verses see Lynch yearn for the traditional country music storytelling for the purists, as though an artist is confessing his heartbreak to you around a campfire beneath the stars – usually via the guise of a character he’s created, which is likely himself. Though there’s only one place this song belongs to be performed at, and that’s the rodeo. Especially with the chorus’ infectious melody and the beautifully interwoven lap steel lines that help punctuate it.
Lynch has a knack for writing sing-a-long-able lyrics, that mix humour, regret, and passion, whilst always bringing the listener on for the ride: “You can feel the misery. I gotta know right now, it ain’t just me?”. It’s that connection with his audience that makes Lynch a force unto his own. Aside from country music, Lynch holds dear his love and respect for God, his family, and the sacrifices of servicemen and women. He cares immensely for his community.
That’s why he co-founded the Love Tattoo Foundation which assists with veterans programs, and thirsts for a genuine, bonafide heartbreaking country song rooted in the time when country music was an outlet or conduit of emotion for men. The emotions that are seldom spoken about but need to be spoken about, and Lynch understands that.
As ‘Hurtin’ Cheatin’ Lyin’ Country Song’ comes to a close, Lynch bookends the final chorus with one final plea for a “lustin’, cussin’, painful country song”. Here’s to hoping he’s the man to write it.