Michelle Lynn performing at The Mill tonight

BY ELLE WIGNALL | JUNE 14, 2012 6:30 AM

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From booking to traveling to taking the stage, singer/songwriter Michelle Lynn is a self-made musician.

"I book my own shows. I do every single aspect of it," she said. "There's enough room to have both aspects in your personality."

Lynn's flexibility and eagerness to create have helped her build a name for herself over the last seven years while still staying close to the music she loves.

She began creating music right after high school in 2005, she said. She started performing locally in the Decorah area, and now, her music takes her all over the Midwest.

She has long been drawn to experimenting with aspects of creating art, and it keeps her music fresh.
"I always really liked to write, and I think the idea of writing music was really intriguing to me because I liked to write poems," she said. "It became this natural transition of always liking to create things. [Music] became my favorite thing to create."

When Lynn takes the stage with her guitar, she produces what she calls folk-rock.

"I think it's a little bit more aggressive guitar playing than typical folk," she said. "I like a lot of rhythm in it, but it still stems from that folk idea of one person telling a story."

The most recent two of Lynn's five albums since 2005, Without an Outline (2012) and Sundial Tree (2010), come from a "very spiritually oriented place," Lynn said, and their songs have a sound that she is "proud to communicate to other people."

"I really like to write music that, you know, just makes people feel outside the normal realm of their days," she said.

She is in the process of learning how to play other musical instruments in addition to piano and guitar in order to keep growing as a musician, she said.

"I'm taking a year here and learning more about music theory, and the piano, and the tech skills before I attempt to write more," she said. "I think it's necessary for anyone to do that to not become redundant."

Most of the time, Lynn travels solo with her guitar, she said. But on the occasion that she plays with other musicians, her band becomes Michelle Lynn and the Bad Passengers, featuring Adam Ptacek on bass and Matt Olson on drums.

"It's a lot of fun," Olson said. "I know a lot of musicians, and she's probably the only person I know who can perform and not have another job."

Lynn is willing to put in a lot of time and effort to make her music happen and get it in front of an audience, he said.

Lynn has been performing around the Iowa City/Coralville area since Tuesday, and at 8 p.m. today, she will take the stage at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St.

Chris Wiersema, the Mill's talent buyer, said he is excited to have Lynn perform in Iowa City.

"You really couldn't ask for a better summertime show," he said. "She is just sort of perfect for the upcoming summer weekend."

Audience members can expect a unique blend of folk-rock that Lynn has made all her own.

"Just me and the guitar," she said.

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