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Rockie Lynne - Passionate about Life 
By Leah Anderson and Helen Peterson, Journalists/Photographers      

The 2006 CMA Music Festival afforded us the opportunity to interview Rockie Lynne. It is an interview that we will long remember as one of the most positive and uplifting experiences of the 2006 CMA Fest; and certainly ranks high as one of the most delightful encounters we have ever had with any artist at any event. 

Lynne is not one of those cookie-cutter country music stars. For example, he points out that when it came time to shoot his first video, the only instructions he received were to “wear something casual” so he showed up at the designated time expecting that wardrobe, hair and make-up people would be there. He certainly wasn’t expecting a huge entourage to be waiting to cater to his beck and call but he had envisioned at least one make-up person and perhaps a dressing room. Instead, when he arrived at the video location, he looked around and realized it was him and the camera crew - no hair or make-up people in sight. This was his first clue that the "big time" may not be as he had always imagined. However, there was consolation in the fact that they wanted him to just look like himself.

Coming up with words to describe Lynne is easy; compassionate, talented, entertaining, engaging, charming, down to earth, funny, but if you had to sum him up in one word, it would be passionate.

He is Passionate about many things but perhaps most passionate about his music. He gets it, he has it, and he does it. His lyrics are all based on real life experiences and they all come from his heart. Lynne has penned or co-wrote all the songs on his recently released debut album from Universal South. He is proud that it is his own music on the album because this is what he most wants to share. And this is just the beginning, he says. He loves writing and he eagerly grabs onto every life experience and transforms it into a song. 

Unlike most newer, or unknown artists, when Lynne performed at major clubs across the country he wasn’t singing Skynyrd or Haggard; no Willie or Waylon cover tunes for him either. Every song in his sets were Rockie Lynne originals. Lynne has compiled a catalog of hundreds of songs. Twelve of those songs made it onto his self titled CD. The first release from that CD, “Lipstick” is currently gaining airplay and is being followed by the recently released single “Do We Still.” The video for “Do We Still” should be released very soon.

He is also passionate about being a father. The golden highlights in his brown eyes sparkled as he talked about his daughters and about the price his family has paid in allowing him to follow this dream of his. He would like nothing more than to say to his daughters, “Pick a school, any school” and be able to pay for their education without having to consider the cost.

Passionate too about an annual motorcycle ride that he started. It is held in his adopted state of Minnesota to honor the local soldiers who have lost their lives. Officially called “Tribute to the Troops”, Lynne organized the ride to deliver a message to families who have lost family members in the war. He is joined by fellow cyclists as they go from family to family presenting them with a plaque, a flag and the emotional DVD with Lynne’s song “Fly Home My Sweet Angel”. He wants them to know, and reassure them, that their loss has not gone unnoticed. Riders sign up for the ride, not always fully understanding what they are getting into, Lynn says. It is awesome to see that moment when they meet their first family and then they "get it.”

As we sat in the room with him and watched the DVD for the first time, we fought back the tears. The video reaches out and grabs onto your heart and doesn't let go. How many times before had we sat at home with a bowl of popcorn on our laps, watching the local news broadcast and those same pictures had flashed across our television screens announcing the recent loss of life but we hardly noticed. But now, we are not only aware of the sacrifice when it is on our TV screens, we stop to think about it often throughout our day; even as we are working and especially when we spend time with our own families. We have a new awareness of how many have lost their lives for our freedom and those they left behind have lost too. They keep cherished memories tucked away deep in their hearts and souls where they can remain safe, because the memories are all they have left.

Tribute to the Troops isn’t about the war; it is about remembering those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and honoring them and the loved ones they have left behind. Rockie Lynne doesn’t want us to forget. After watching his video, we never will.

We will never forget this interview either, or the time we spent with Lynne. He has always had a great fan following, he says, but signing a record deal with Universal South has opened the door to his dreams wider than he had ever imagined. It only took one meeting for us to know that, despite the credit Lynne gives to the label, it was most likely his passion about so many things in his life, and his willingness to share it all via his music and his kindness, that not only opened the doors but will keep them open for a very long time.

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