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Shannon Lyon

Canadees Shannon Lyon nam vorige jaar samen met Leon Bartels (sound) Joost Kroon (drums) en Mike Roloefs (hammond) een onwaarschijnlijk mooi CD op met bewerkte covers van Townes van Zandt. Lyon weet op dit album met zijn stem en soms ziedende electrische gitaar de juiste snaar te raken en Kroon en Roelofs tillen het geheel naar een heel hoog en vrij improvisatie niveau in soms zinderende uitspattingen. Maar bovenal geven de heren de werken van Van Zandt een nieuwe dimensie en een nieuwe plek. Vraag de CD bij ons aan en overtuig uzelf. Binnenkort ook een videoclip beschikbaar.

shannon lyonShannon Lyon puts it simply: "Townes represents freedom for me." The decision to record an album consisting solely of Townes Van Zandt compositions has seemingly been a long time coming for Lyon, whose own work since the early 1990s has been heavily influenced by the late Texas troubadour’s unique combination of gritty storytelling and graceful poetry. Now with Sorrow & Solitude, Lyon has finally paid his tribute, while at the same time reshaping the nine songs he chose according to his distinctive musical vision. Lyon had begun experimenting with the material in 2006, soon after he had set up a home studio in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, he lost these initial tracks when his hard drive crashed. Nevertheless, he wasn’t about to abandon the project. Upon moving to Berlin, Germany in early 2008, Lyon started from scratch, recording at Léons Farm in Holland with drummer Joost Kroon, keyboardist/bassist Mike Roelofs and with long time friend and producer Léon Bartels at the helm. Lyon calls the results "a mix of country-punk with psychedelic tendencies."

And although Lyon chose to reinterpret a couple of Van Zandt’s best-known numbers – "If I Needed You," and "Waiting Around To Die," the bulk of Sorrow & Solitude leans toward the more obscure, such as "Buckskin Stallion Blues," "Snowing On Raton," and "The Catfish Song." "I chose these nine songs mainly because they've been apart of my live shows over the years," Lyon explains. "I couldn’t sing a Neil Young song, or an Elvis song, but I could sing a Townes song. There was something natural about his writing that drew me in…..the sadness and the sorrow."



Those last two adjectives have often been used to describe Lyon’s own extensive catalogue, which includes the acclaimed albums Wandered (Inbetweens/ V2, 2003), and Safe Inside (Inbetweens/Busted Flat, 2006). He has also shared stages around the world with Lucinda Williams, Jay Farrar, Ray LaMontange, Richard Buckner, Blue Rodeo, Fred Eaglesmith, and many others.



Yet, it was during his first trip to Holland a decade ago that he fully fell under Van Zandt’s spell. "I discovered Townes at a time when I was living on the road," Lyon says. "Travelling throughout Europe, and Holland in particular, I found myself standing on a lot of the same stages where Townes had stood. He got into my blood. I was following in his footsteps. I was also meeting people who knew Townes, hearing their stories, and feeling the warmth and admiration they had for the man. It was a magical time. It still is."



Now, Lyon and his Townes Trio are ready to get back on the road to bring the voodoo they concocted in the studio to audiences. He plans on retaining a level of spontaneity on stage, something he expects true Van Zandt fans will appreciate.

"Most of the songs were recorded in one take," he says. "I wanted to elevate them, bring in some kind of maniacal force. That’s how we approach playing live too. We don’t over-think things; we bypass the intellect and go straight for the jugular."


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