DIARY - 5 AUGUST 2003
LYON SEEKS JUSTICE BEYOND ONTARIO
Lyon, a Canadian singer-songwriter in exile in Scandinavia, makes
his debut tour of Australia this month.
Lyon, whose touring partners have included 'Blue Rodeo,' 'Oh Susanna'
and Richard Buckner, will perform east coast capitals before playing
the Gympie Muster.
The singer hails from Kitchener in Ontario and has been working in
bands since the early 90's.
He has recorded six albums as a solo artist and with bands.
recent was cut in a 16th century Dutch farmhouse studio at Boeken near
the German border.
Lyon is being brought here by independent Brisbane record company Collision
whose catalogue is available through MRA.
Nu Country TV will film Lyon live at the 'Cornish Arms', Brunswick, or
'Basement Discs' in the Melbourne CBD on Wednesday August 27.
We will have a pre tour interview on this page next week.
Check out our gig guide for full tour dates including the world famous
muster which has featured major artists including Lee Roy Parnell, 'Amazing
Rhythm Aces,' Trisha Yearwood, Pam Tillis and Kevin Welch who is returning
here in October.
Meanwhile here is a short review of Lyon's latest album 'Wandered.'
REVIEW - SHANNON LYON - WANDERED (Collision-MRA)
born troubadour Shannon Lyon first lived on the cutting edge when
he went way out west into British Columbia.
Lyon debuted in 1995 with 'Shannon Lyon Pop Explosion' and later 'International
Harvesters' and 'Strange Days' and recorded for indie label 'Swallow'
before touring with 'Blue Rodeo' and 'Oh Susanna.'
Lyon moved to Holland last year and cut his sixth disc in a 16th century
farm house converted into a studio at Boeken on the German border
was pedal steel player Harrie Brekelman, producer-bassist B J Baartmans,
drummer-organist Stephan van der Meijden and guitarist Robin Berlijn.
The Kitchener kid wrote all 12 tunes here and has been compared to the
late Townes Van Zandt and Richard Buckner but doesn't seem bleak as either.
There's traces of the wanderlust of Eric Andersen, also living in Scandinavia,
and a brace of evocative writers like Calvin Russell.
Especially in Barcelona.
"Dreamers and pickers levelled and wandered/ grinners and highway
men not born to follow/ inside the masses you'll find a hollow/ well inside
this notion you'll find a sorrow."
Lyon's harmonica work impregnates radio friendly entrée tune 'Since
I'm Loving You' which segues into 'Naïve' featuring harmony vocalist
Ellen ten Damme.
But he is at his best on tunes such as 'Yellow' and 'Sad Nights' where
he gives his idyllic imagery a gallop.
"You're all that I want you're all that I need right now/ you're
all that I'm thinking/ you're all that I'm drinking right now/ I'm just
gonna sit here and drink about you"
Another highlight is the powerful 'Sometimes It Hurts' where his metaphoric
skills permeate the evocative tale.
"Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it don't hurt so bad/ sometimes it
ain't what it seems/ it's all in my head/ this killing machine is drinking
me driving slow/ like a hangman on a highway I'm running these rails alone."
Lyon prowls extremities of the heart in power ballad 'In All Honesty'
with hints of Van Zandt in 'I'm Only Falling.'
Wandered is a pathos primed passion play which deserves success and tour
to prove why.
CRINGE FOR KEITH ON MICALLEF SHAM
many thanks to readers for their flood of e-mails about the dork talk
of Nine Network host Shaun Micallef on his faux comedy show.
Yes, the bumbling bore described Keith Urban as a 'Country & Western'
singer in one of those rambling interviews in which he repeated generic
Urban tried to grin and bear it - not bare it, as he did in 'Playgirl'
It would be unfair to blame the disaster on the host's researchers
- Urban's elevation from child prodigy to superstardom is a great
Especially with all the human interest angles.
If the host didn't want to explore Urban's music - despite the fact
that he is a prolific writer and much in demand guitarist - there
was plenty of other sustenance.
He has played on a Brooks live album and the Dixie Chicks have played
on Urban's recordings.
There's some great human interest stuff - the jaded love with a frequent
song source Laura (his former fiancee of many years.)
There's also a later romance with glamorous model and video star Nikki
Taylor who was almost killed in a car accident.
A smart interviewer
might have personalised his new song 'You're Not My God' - inspired by
his cocaine abuse.
Or the biographical 'Song For Dad' about his sire who lives on the Sunshine
Coast of Queensland.
Perhaps a question on whether Garth Brooks borrowed Keith's bio for his
alter ego - rock singer Chris Gaines.
All manna from heaven for ratings hungry hosts and not lost on the print
The singer is also a hotshot guitarist - playing on albums by artists
diverse as 'Dixie Chicks,' Garth and various rock acts - and a distinctive
singer and writer.
Urban has also had his songs in major movies and faced deportation from
And he's also the biggest Australasian country CD seller overseas and
a major artist on the Kenny Chesney tour - one of the highest earning
extravaganzas of all genres in the past two years.
And, the best story of all - he left the radio waste land of Australia
more than a decade ago and worked without a net in the most competitive
music market of all.
The punch line - despite a swag of genuine hits in the U.S. he has won
no commercial airplay here.
Which is why he has to slum it and do national TV shows, knowing some
hosts will try to take the piss out of him.
It's a shame he wasn't offered Denton or Rove where mine hosts are a little
more in touch with the bigger picture.
The good news - at least middle Australia has now heard of Keith Urban.
Whether they will go to see him open for LeAnn Rimes is the big test.
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