John Lyons grew up on a farm in South Haven, MI, but moved to Zurich, Switzerland, in 2001. He is a very eclectic songwriter, a very expressive guitarist, and quite the observer of the human condition. For his third album, “Sing Me Another Song,” he lets his storyteller’s soul run free on thirteen original songs that draw from everyday life that all listeners can relate to, mostly dealing with themes of love, loss, and hope for a brighter day further on up the road.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this set is its incredible diversity, almost as if you are listening to two different albums within the context of one. The initial cuts, such as the leadoff “Another Wave,” “Beautiful,” “Believe,” and “Helengeli,” find John painting sonic pictures of wistful places and sandy beaches where love is encouraged to develop and grow. But, as the album progresses, the subject matter becomes decidedly darker, the “cheatin” thread develops, and John’s vocals and playing follow suit.
The title cut begins this bluesier journey of sorts. “Sing Me Another Song” is the story of the nightly cat-and-mouse game played out by men and women in every bar in the world, built around an undeniably catchy riff. “Dear James” has John finding out the hard way that his lover is cheating, as she writes a letter to “the other man” that John finds, sadly, while “lookin’ for my smokes.” And, what could be more pure blues than “She stole my guitar/ran away with my friend/The night she moved out/The Blues Moved In.” The set closes with an uplifting gospel rave-up, reminding us all to hold on to Jesus’ hand and “keep the Devil way down in the hole.”
Hands down, tho, “Blink Of An Eye” was our favorite. An acoustic affair that is part Dylan and part John Prine, the song follows another pair meeting in a bar. The married female rejects the male’s advances, and the story takes a tragic turn as we are all reminded that nothing is guaranteed.
John Lyons has that rare gift to “tell stories in great detail” that not only capture your attention but also captivate your soul. For a shot of something a little tastier than three chords and a cloud of dust, give a listen to “Sing Me Another Song.” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.
John Lyons is a Michigan born Swiss resident who could well be described as a “storyteller” blessed with a wistful and soulful voice that complements the mainly laid-back, lyrically fascinating, songs that permeate this album.
All of the numbers are self-written originals that seem inexorably to have been culled from personal experience, such is the intimacy and honesty that pervades the lyrics and the melodies. Numbers like ‘She’ll Tell You No Lies’ and ‘Sing Me Another Song’ are invested with a Claptonesque melancholia that is accentuated by wistful vocals echoed by hypnotic guitar and bathed by haunting organ.
‘Waiting For You’ is a loping country styled ballad replete with pensive steel guitar – the sorrow that permeates ‘Dear James’ is accentuated by cascading piano – whilst @The Blues Moved In’ is a meditative blues fuelled by percolating organ and shimmering guitar. Add in the driving ‘Bluestar Highway’’ with it’s heavy backbeat and slide guitar – and a compelling “hidden” gospel inflected blues, which may well be called ‘Gotta Keep The Devil Way Down In A Hole’, and you have a set that will grow on you with repeated listening. (www.johnlyonsband.com)
Mick Rainsford - Blues In Britain
John Lyons - Sing Me Another Song: The first thing you will notice about this guy is that he has a real knack for catchy hooks and melodies. You will find yourself humming a lot of these tunes after the fact. He's not just adept at playing the blues, but he also dabbles in rock, pop, and soul. I can see Lyons easily moving into several different genres with relative ease.
His songwriting deals mostly with various affairs of the heart and his soulful delivery makes great songs sound even greater. Lyons is a Michigan native who relocated to Switzerland over a decade ago, and over time he has developed into a fine singer/songwriter. With any luck, this fine release will get the attention it deserves.
Blog source: Friday Blues Fix
click on April 25, 2014 -
John Lyons may be Michigan born, but his brand of Americana has been based in Switzerland since 2001. Not that stops him from turning out an excellent collection of songs designed for wide open spaces.
He is an excellent songwriter who specialises in songs of the heart, a universal theme that should draw in the listeners. He kicks things off with the poppy ‘Another Wave’ before getting more rootsy on ‘She’ll Tell You No Lies’. Then it’s time for the simplest song on the record, and my favourite, the acoustic ‘Believe’.
He channels the seventies on ‘Waiting for You’ before the delightful title track. The rest of the album is just as strong, and you could stick your needle in any groove, and find a winner.
A new name to me, but one that should be a lot better known.
"John Lyons was quietly bubbling under until the release of his current album, 'Sing Me Another Song' late in 2013. I was lucky enough to hear the tunes ahead of release and it struck me right away how good the songwriting was. As more and more radio shows picked up on the release, the songs became more familiar and grew in stature even more. The sign of a great album!
There really is something for everyone on here and it will appeal to any open minded music lover. My personal favourite is the title track but have a listen and choose one for yourselves!"
-Dave Watkins, Blues & Roots on Frome FM, U.K.
John Lyons is one of us. He works as a web designer 9 to 5, but unlike most of us he is also a great singer, songwriter and guitarist...
“To be very honest I’m 44 now and I’ve been chasing this music dream most of my life, but with little commercial success,” John said. “I just keep on making music because I believe in my- self and I know I have a purpose in my life and an obligation to myself. I write this music for me. And for you. Some days, it’s the only thing in my life that makes sense.”
This latest project, Sing Me Another Song, his latest CD has been in the making for about a year. In the songs, you can feel the blood, sweat and tears the songwriter has poured into the 12 cuts.
“I spent more than one night sleeping on the sofa in the studio, and more than one night not sleeping at all but working 24 hours through, grabbing 4 hours sleep and then continuing. It was really a lot of work but it was a labor of love,” he said. “When you care about something and have a vision, a plan, a goal — then the time doesn’t matter, it goes by quickly and you find yourself able to work more than normal.”
His background in audio engineering helped. After laying down some guitar and vocal tracks, he assembled a cast of seasoned musicians including Gabriel Spahni, bass and backing vocals; Matthew Savnik, organ and piano and Simon Britschgi, drums.
One of the key tracks is “Believe.” “This is simply a song about hope. ‘Everything can get messed up, but as long as I got you - it’s going to be ok,’” John said.
My personal favorite is the title track, “Sing Me Another Song.” Check him out.
Review bei Rolf Winter - Bluesnews.ch
Der in der Nähe von Zürich lebende John Lyons ist der Frontman einer Band, die seit 2005 mit gewissen personellen Wechseln süffige und eingängige Musik spielt. Rechtzeitig zum Ende 2013 legt John Lyons seine neue CD Sing Me Another Song vor, eine Sammlung von 12 selbst verfassten Titeln, in zwei Studios aufgenommen und gekonnt zusammen montiert.
Am 19. Dezember ist die CD-Taufe im Nordportal in Baden. Zeit also, das neue Werk vorzustellen. Im Begleittext zur CD auf der Website des Vertriebs schreibt Lyons, dass er durchaus den Blues zu spüren bekam, denn der Job, mit dem er die Brötchen verdiente, ging nicht weiter und auf der mühsamen Suche nach einer neuen Anstellung wurden die Songs für dieses Album verfasst. Sing Me Another Song ist aber nicht düster oder traurig, vielmehr bietet Lyons mit seiner aktuellen Band eine Reihe von Aufnahmen, die Ohrwurm-Qualitäten mitbringen und fliessend gespielt werden, mit tollem Groove. Stilistisch zwischen Rockballaden und Soul-Material beheimatet, bietet die CD nur hin und wieder eine eindeutige Referenz an den Blues. Damit hat sich John Lyons definitiv vom Power-Trio-Format abgewandt und er präsentiert hier seine eigene und gereifte Stimme als Songwriter.
Nach dem Erstling, einer CD mit dem Titel John Lyons Band liegt nun hier mit Sing Me Another Song eine CD als Hardcopy oder Download bereit, auf der Lyons, ein Musiker aus Leidenschaft, der aus Freude und musikalische Passion neben seiner Arbeit und seiner Familie auch noch eine Musikerkarriere verfolgt. Der aus Michigan gebürtige Amerikaner ist mit seinen Songwriter-Qualitäten eine unverwechselbare Stimme in der Schweizer Musikszene geworden, auf dem neuen Album zeigt er sich musikalisch weiter vom Blues entfernt, hier präsentiert er Lieder wie das akustische Helengeli, in dem er auf der Basis des Blues ein Slide-Stück zur akustischen Begleitung spielt, das aber harmonisch so weit vom Delta entfernt ist wie nur denkbar.
Stilistisch vielseitig, hat John Lyons Rock- und Popsongs mit vielseitigen emotionalen Schwerpunkten geschrieben. Die Songs sind enorm radiotauglich und eingängig. Manche Titel sind Rock, andere wie Under the Stars sind näher am Blues, wenn auch ein durchgängiges Charakteristikum des Albums eine gewisse Balladenhaftigkeit im Ausdruck der Titel ist. Insgesamt erinnert sein Stil stark an Chris Rea, auch der Sound der Gitarre. Waiting for You ist ein Titel mit viel Slide-Einsatz, Believe eine Ballade. Aber als grobe Richtung ist die Vorstellung von Chris Rea hilfreich.Bluesstar Highway ist zum Schluss der CD ein Texas Shuffle mit Slide-Einsatz.
Die Schlagzeug-Begleitung wird von Simon Britschgi beigesteuert, Gabriel Spahni spielt auf allen bis auf einem Titel den Bass und Matt Savnik ist an der Orgel zu hören, etwa auf dem Opener Another Wave. Simon Winiger spielt im Song Believe den Bass.
Das Album wurde in seinen Grundzügen im Krienser Soundfarm Studio von Marco Jencarelli mischte, in dem Lyons als wahrer All-Rounder einspielte, engineered, produzierte und die Titel fertig schrieb. Die Zeit zwischen dem 19. und 26. Mai wurde hierfür eingesetzt. Die drei Titel Waiting For You, Helengeli and Believe wurden dann Anfang Juli an zwei Tagen im FM-Studio in Wetzikon aufgenommen.
Alle Parts wurden einzeln eingespielt und zusammen gemischt, es ist also ein Studio-Album im besten Sinn und insofern kann man gespannt sein auf den Live-Auftritt, wenn die Titel auf der Bühne zu hören sind. Die Produktion der CD ist beeindruckend, die Titel sind wie aus einem Guss und perfekt produziert.
Songtexte, Bilder und Infos zu Sing Me Another Song und der Band insgesamt gibt es auf der selbstverständlich grossartig programmierten Homepage. Der Musiker bittet darum, die CD möglichst bei ihm direkt zu kaufen, wenn sie auch auf Amazon und Itunes verfügbar ist.
A metà tra sogno e realtà, la biografia di JOHN LYONS pare quasi una fiaba, trovando un senso nella passione musicale dei genitori biologici rispetto a quelli della famiglia adottiva. una passione innata per il R&B, il rock, il Chicago Blues e lo Spiritual, John forma la propria identità musicale già da bambino. Il trasferimento dagli States a Zurigo è la chiave di volta che permette a Lyons di iniziare seriamente la carriera musicale, della quale il terzo album SING ME ANOTHER SONG rappresenta l'ultimo in ordine di tempo, registrato a tempo di record in Svizzera nel 2013.
Le passioni musicali coltivate fin dalla tenera età si colgono tutte, con un mix di tracce tra il blues rockeggiante e le ballad, dove John pare essere maggiormente a proprio agio, con una voce che in alcuni casi richiama l'Armstrong dei brani più easy dei Green Day.
Ottimo chitarrista oltre che vocalist, si pone come artista di punta nel panorama del blues rock europeo, impegnato anche in Live per tutta la Svizzera e la vicina Germania.
Il risultato ottenuto è decisamente di ottima fattura.
Link to original review of John Lyons album Sing Me Another Song on bluestime.it
The following English text is a result of Google translate:
Somewhere between dream and reality , the biography of JOHN LYONS seems almost a fairy tale, finding a way into the musical passion of the biological parents than the adoptive family . a passion for R & B, rock, Chicago Blues and Spirituals, John shaped his musical identity as a child . The transfer from the United States in Zurich is the keystone that allows Lyons to seriously begin a career in music , of which the third album SING ME ANOTHER SONG is the last in order of time , recorded in record time in Switzerland in 2013.
The musical passions cultivated from an early age we capture them all, with a mix of tracks between the rocking blues and ballads , where John seems to be more at ease, in a voice that sometimes recalls the Armstrong songs more easy of Green Day
Great guitarist as well as vocalist , stands as flagship artist in the landscape of European blues rock , also involved in live throughout Switzerland and neighboring Germany .
The result is very well executed.
Let’s make a promise…
To live our lives most joyfully
Don’t be a part of inequality
Open your heart…
Just a sample of some of the smart lyrics from Switzerland-based singer-songwriter John Lyons. The first song on his new album, Sing Me Another Song gets right into the groove, a bit soulfully, a bit funky and certainly with a cool blues vibe. The album could not be said to be a blues album – it has more a melodic soft rock feel to it – but it has its solid blues moments, on the title track, on Dear James, on The Blues Moved In and on Bluestar Highway.
The rest of the songs are a kind of soulful Americana and, having listened to the album on a few occasions, I can say that it’s definitely a grower – the more you listen to it, the more you appreciate the lyrics and arrangements, and the more enjoyable it becomes. Shot through with cool melodies and borne along by Lyons’ laid-back, but well measured vocals. Not having heard him before, I was reminded of Jackie Greene – his voice has a similar tonal quality and the songs are well-crafted and engaging.
Lyons’ band consists of a international set of talented musicians, including Gabriel Spahni on bass and backing vocals, Simon Britschgi on drums and Matthew Savnik on piano and organ. Lyons has suggested his music is hard to put a label on and might best be characterized as “Soulblues.” That’s probably about right, although there is much more going on in the album that just soul and blues. Aside from the music there is some great storytelling in songs like Blink of an Eye, Dear James and Sing Me Another Song. And Lyons gives us a few more serious things to think about too – “What’s wrong with people today they’re acting so crazy, running for the money,” or “Learn to let it go, Learn to let love show.” And, then, possibly my favourite, from The Blues Moved In – “She stole my guitar, And she ran away with my friend.” Now that really is the blues!
Link to original review
on downatthecorssroads blog
Thank you, Mr. Gary Burnett
Interview with guitarist/songwriter John Lyons - lived on the road and played the blues with heart and soul
"People can identify with the blues because it is mostly simple themes and real stories. Also the music is simple and it more or less pushes a button in people and evokes emotions of certain feelings."
Link to original interview: http://blues.gr/profiles/blogs/interview-with-guitarist-songwriter-john-lyons-lived-on-the-road
on downatthecorssroads blog
Thank you, Mr. Gary Burnett
Check out the interview with T.C. Tony Corner on Blues Corner radio in U.K.
Part 1: Feb 2, 2014
Part 2: Feb 9, 2014
Review by Jill Jacobs at bluesrockreview.com
Sing Me Another Song is a catchy and ear-pleasing collection of well-crafted songs that seem woven around an unquenchable passion, a broken heart, a hopeful and wistful outlook; whatever John Lyons was feeling at the moment of each musical and lyrical creation, the songs are an open book of honesty, held together by melodies that seem just as inspired. The beautiful and actually highly unique aspect of this album is that nothing seems forced or conformed to a style or a sound; rather, Lyons seems to have written purely from a songwriter’s perspective, with a naturally keen sense of perception and any inhibitions out of mind.
He was born and raised in Michigan and has lived in Switzerland since 2001. His musical influences come from a wide variety of the colorful musical spectrum, from heavy rock to hippie generational anthems, from heartfelt soul to ’70s disco; in his music, one can hear unique notes fleshed out in a new way of legends such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Black Sabbath, and his music certainly proves (in a wonderful way) that the artist doesn’t fall too far from his inspiration.
The album starts off with the catchy, pop-infused track “Another Wave,” a song written of the past and of a newfound longing for the time he and his significant other were once able to spend, time that is now just a piece of the past. “She’ll Tell You No Lies” follows, a track that seems as though it could be found on an Elvis Costello record; a tune of acceptance and regret, this song is the story of losing the woman he always knew he couldn’t keep. The acoustic track, “Believe,” is a plea for the one he loves to believe in their relationship as much as he does. Sweet and hopeful, the song asks her, “Can we try to just get back / Back to simple things, back to you and me / Where it all started from?” because “In this life of mass confusion / We’re tied up in illusions / But there’s still a chance for you and me.” “Waiting for You” is a song written around Clapton-like wailing guitars and yet sings of the mundane routines of daily life, paired with the ongoing impatient desire and hope that one day, he’ll have the woman he patiently waits for. The fifth track of the record holds the album’s title, “Sing Me Another Song;” undeniably catchy and memorable, the song’s melody and seductive story line will hold the listener for days. “Beautiful” is like a ten second moment in time that was remembered and magically crafted into a haunting, 4-minute arrangement – “A warm wind is blowin’ / Through your hair / Sounds of laughter / Fill the air / Sunlight smiles / On your face / I can’t find the words to say it, so I’ll sing it / I can’t find the courage to tell you that you’re beautiful.”
“Helengeli” is a mellow, acoustic song formed around the lyrical promise that his love is undying and unquenchable, no matter where she goes or who she becomes. “Under the Stars (Dancing Again)” is another ballad of a song written around a short yet unforgettable moment in time between two inseparable lovers. “Dear James (She’s Cheating On Me)” is the diary of a breakup, the discovery of the most heartbreaking realization and feeling of deception any man or woman could have – “I found a letter from my baby / While I was lookin’ for my smokes / ‘Should I read it’, I thought, ‘Yeah, maybe’ / Here’s how the story goes / It said ‘Dear James,’ that was my first clue / That this letter was not meant for me.” “The Blues Moved In” is the reality of what it’s really like to be alone – “That night that she moved out / The blues moved in.” “Blink of an Eye” is a folksy song with Dylan’s style, a tune with a story-like lyrical style supported by a light acoustic guitar and a bright harmonica. The final track, “Bluestar Highway,” is a grungy, distorted blues rock masterpiece that closes the album out with a bang.
John Lyons is a melting pot of style and inspiration with a collection of stories to be told. His talent is raw and his passion is like a burning fire. With a classic appeal and the obvious desire to communicate that perception, those tales, and the emotion that rules his music, John Lyons will surely be making album after album into the future. Perhaps, too, like the many musical legends that continually inspire him, he will leave his mark on the future with the music he wrote in the past.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
- Another Wave
- Sing Me Another Song
- Under the Stars (Dancing Again)
The Big Hit
Sing Me Another Song, Eigenvertrieb 2013
John Lyons ist ein amerikanischer Gitarrist und Sänger, der mittlerweile in Zürich lebt. Die Wurzeln seiner Musik liegen im Blues, doch Lyons scheut sich nicht, Soul, Rock und klassische Singer Songwriter-Elemente einfliessen zu lassen. Sein neues Album “Sing Me Another Song” deckt entsprechend ein breites musikalisches Spektrum vom radiotauglichen “Believe” über den rockigen “Bluestar Highway” bis hin zum balladesken”Under The Stars” ab.
Als hidden track wartet Lyons am Schluss zudem noch mit einer bluesigen Coverversion von Tom Waits’ “Way Down In The Hole” auf. Unterstützung bei den Aufnahmen erhielt Lyons unter anderem von Pegasus-Bassist Gabriel Spahni und DJ Antoine-Produzent Maurizio Pozzi. Blues-Puristen werden hier sicherlich die Nase rümpfen. Wer aber auf melodiösen, handgemachten Bluesrock im Stile von Chris Rea, J J Cale oder Clapton steht, wird an “Sing Me Another Song” sicherlich seine Freude haben.