Irv Lyons Jr., , Wonderland
Syracuse guitarist and singer Irv Lyons Jr. obviously put his heart and soul into his new album Wonderland.
The 10-song collection bursts with love songs touched with his rich guitar work, innermost lyrical poetry and plenty of help from his Syracuse music community friends.
The veteran member of standout blues band the Ripcords has delivered a CD that’s solo in the sense that it’s his, alright, but undoubtedly a team effort nevertheless.
Recorded at Syracuse’s Moletrax Studio under the mastering guidance of owner Jeff Moleski and Steve Lloyd, the 10 songs carry Lyons’ writing and playing skills solidly through and through.
“What is love?,” he asks on the back cover. “You cannot put it in a box. Its name is tossed around too easily.
“A quantum of feelings, emotions and perceptions …
“We fail at love by placing our limitations on it. We must only acknowledge its existence.
“Peace and love, forever.” … Irv
And so he sings of that mysterious building block of life from the start in opening cut Starlene, full of heat and plenty fresh with Lyons’ vocals and guitar joined by Edgar Pagan’s bass and Moleski’s drum foundation.
Fire without a Flame continues the burn, with help on vocals from Kim Monroe and keyboard from Bill DiCosimo and guitar from Richie Melito.
Then comes the title cut, co-written with notable Syracuse/London hip-hop/rocker Joe Driscoll, and full of Joe D’s free-form feel inside of Irv’s blues-pop blueprint. Very nice indeed, this gang of friends. On Your Love Emedin Rivera joins in on conga and Chris Eves brings in his guitar, and on I Love the Night — Remix Jeff Bianchi’s cajon and the late Mike Casale and Jim Bianchi’s background vocals are heard, and the purely gorgeous Slide Cynthia Lyons was a co-writer with Irv.
Yay, community, right down to the cool artsy cover graphic by Debrah Miller and inside cover photograph of Lyon brandishing his guitar in Armory Square by Christopher Molloy and total graphic design by Lauren Chyle and management by Kimberly Rossi.
Lyons and Pagan host open mike nights on Tuesdays at the Limp Lizard in Liverpool, N.Y.
Here’s the link to Lyons’ Reverb Nation page.
If you clicked the link to Irv’s page, which song do you like best, and why? Do you love love songs or hate love songs, and why? What’s the last music album you purchased, and why?