After a decade of living and releasing albums overseas Shannon Lyon returns home to Canada and finds himself in Lost Creek.
The new album 'The Lights Behind' from Canadian songwriter Shannon Lyon is a stunning collection of seventeen songs (some older & some newer) that are both mesmerizing and transporting.
The Lights Behind takes us on a journey into the heart and mind of one of Canada's most endearing troubadours. Lyon's songs are always vulnerable and always sincere as he shares with us his insights on lost love and self-inflicted isolation. With his deep swaggering voice and melancholic minor chord songs, The Lights Behind is one of Lyon's most evocative collections to date.
Handpicked by Canadian producer Rob Szabo the songs on The Lights Behind span 20 years of material culled partially from Lyon's hefty back catalogue as well as 4 new songs written over the past year.
"Most people haven't heard my early recordings. The record companies are no longer in business and the albums are no longer in print. My producer (Rob Szabo) basically said to me 'listen man, I'm familiar with your back catalogue of songs, so send me your new songs and I'll choose my favorites out of the whole works'.
The title track (and album opener) ‘The Lights Behind’ showcases Lyon’s ability to write catchy, memorable melodies wrapped inside confessional lyrics that stir the mind and settle deep into your heart.
"I started recording and touring in the late 80's with my first band 'Strange Days'. 'Last Time I Cried' and 'Cornerstore' were among the first 20 songs I'd ever written and (to my surprise) Szabo chose them for The Lights Behind."
"It was really kind of frightening (and healing) venturing back inside the head and heart of my younger self (I was 21 when I wrote 'Last Time I Cried' and ' Cornerstore'). One thing I did notice is that I'm still using a similar set of chords and chord patterns on the guitar."
Newer songs like 'Nobody Else' reveal Lyon's continued affection for the darker edges of country & bluegrass music with the tenor banjo taking center stage. Thematically 'Nobody Else' touches on the isolation of lost love and a desire for authentic sharing. (you said you'd be home by morning, I left the light on, but you never came back. so I moved up into the mountains, to see if I could heal myself, but you never came back.)
Lyon is a connoisseur of finding cool places to set up shop and with The Lights Behind he moved into a century old cabin tucked away at the edge of the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia.
"It was a bit tricky getting the right takes. I live in a old log cabin that relies on wood heat in the winter, so I really had to time things correctly to get the perfect amount of fire crackle bleeding into the microphones while recording the songs."
"I hadn't been on Canadian soil for nearly 5 years when I returned home in 2012. I'd gone through some pretty big life changes which started in about 2010 but I wasn't aware of just how transitional those changes were. I wandered around Ontario for a while and then decided to move up into the mountains on the Canadian west coast. I've been living in this cabin for a year now among the wolves and the bears. Isolated in a cabin in the bush is like hitting the reset button. Nature has a way of cutting you loose from our inherited cultural con that seems to permeate our lives from day to day (without us even knowing)."
By the time Lyon was fifteen years old he had lived in ten different homes and went to about ten different schools. Always the new kid, this nomadic upbringing would prove to be an advantage for Lyon's chosen lifestyle as a traveling folk singer.
Shannon Lyon released his first solo album in 1994 (Buffalo White) and continued releasing albums and touring throughout North America up until the time he moved overseas to The Netherlands in 2000.
"I get a lot of inspiration from building things up and then tearing them down again. I seldom look back. There's something liberating about burning everything you own and moving on to the next town or country. After a decade of wandering throughout Holland, Germany and Spain it's been great to be back living and performing full time in Canada again."
In 2003 Lyon was the first Canadian artist to sign with Richard Branson's (post-Virgin imprint) V2 Records (becoming label mates with The White Stripes and Paul Weller) with the release of his critically acclaimed album 'Wandered'.
Later that year New York's 'Billboard Magazine' would declare Lyon "Untainted & Pure!!".
His songs have been celebrated throughout North America, Australia and Europe and he's shared the stage with such luminaries as Lucinda Williams, Jay Farrar and Ray Lamontagne.