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Jeremy Lyons

American Roots from New Orleans to New England

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Members: Jeremy Lyons, guitar, vocals. Can also include Paul Santopadre, Greg Schatz, Robbie Phillips, Jerome Deupree, Dana Colley, Jeff Allison, Sean Mannion, etc.

From ReverbNation:

Hi. My name is Jeremy Lyons. It is a great pleasure for me to perform for young people. I sing playful songs with which many of us grew up (parents tend to enjoy my shows as much as the kids) and write a few silly numbers of my own. I like to share a variety of instruments and sounds with my friends. I sing, play guitar, six-string banjo and ukulele. I also dabble with the harmonica, jaw-harp (also known as the jews harp) piano, and 5-string banjo. I have performed for kids at schools, summer camps, street corners, concert halls, toy stores, birthday parties, picnics, living rooms, my front porch in New Orleans, my back-deck in Cambridge, and I'm sure some other places in between. Playing for young people is fun. None of the preconceived notions, none of the prejudiced "tastes" (or lack thereof) with which many of us older (and un-wiser) people tend to hamper ourselves. Hear music, clap, dance, move, sing. Simple as that. Join us!

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American Roots from New Orleans to New England

With the release of his new folk album Make It Better, Jeremy has shifted his focus from rocking the barrooms and festival stages with his “patented” brand of “Deltabilly,” to presenting acoustic music in a solo format, or with light accompaniment, featuring seasoned musicians from the Boston and New Orleans music communities. But Lyons still loves playing with his bands. Here is a run down of the groups fronted Jeremy:

Bright Moments Deltabilly Style
With Jeremy’s New Orleans trio The Deltabilly Boys, Jeremy blends the rhythms of rockabilly and New Orleans R&B with Delta-infused slide, Piedmont-style fast fingerpicking, surf guitar, and Western instrumentals into a distinct style called Deltabilly.

His daughter Luciana once said, “I just can’t sit still when he plays this.” Neither will you.

Jeremy teamed with drummer Paul Santopadre and Greg Schatz on upright bass to found the Deltabilly Boys around 1997. Lyons met Louisiana drummer Paul Santopadre onstage at the 1994 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with Butch Trivette & the Roulettes. Paul and Jeremy immediately clicked; Santopadre’s schooling in cajun and zydeco bands (Mamou, Steve Riley, etc) blended well with Lyons’ speedy, syncopated finger-picking. Greg Schatz and Jeremy had known each other since the 6th grade when Schatz moved to New Orleans in 1995 to play accordion with Jeremy on the streets in the Big Mess Blues Band. He also subbed for Jeremy’s upright bassist of the time (Steve Lewins of the Solid Senders and the Count Bishops), and took over the role in 1997. Together, Lyons, Santopadre and Schatz packed clubs and barrooms in New Orleans, across the States, and in Europe. They recorded several acclaimed albums, including Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch; Live at the Dragon’s Den; Death of a Street Singer (“one of the best portrayals of the world of New Orleans musicians and street musicians ever recorded” — David Kunian); Live at Fribourg; and Jeremy Lyons and the Deltabilly Boys (eponymous); which was listed as a New Orleans CD of the decade by Tom Morgan of WWOZ. For a short while after Katrina forced Lyons’ relocation to the Northeast, all three members were living in the Northeast; now Schatz and Santopadre are back in the New Orleans area, and the Deltabilly Boys play a handful of dates annually.

After moving to Boston, Jeremy continued the groove with his “up-North” band, The Jeremy Lyons Trio, sometimes known as Bright Moments. The anchor of the band is “Washtub” Robbie Phillips (Spider John Koerner), an old friend of Kenny Holladay, one of Lyons’ mentors in his early days in Louisiana. Robbie alternately plays two basses of his own design: the one-string upright “Wombat” bass (built from a conga drum) and his smaller electric two-string fretless bass diddley bow (literally made of scrap wood and car parts). A rotating cast of drums includes Sean “Cave” Mannion (Po Boyz), Jeff Allison (Vapors of Morphine), Tom Arey (J Giles Band), Jerome Deupree (Morphine), and others. The Jeremy Lyons Trio carries on the Deltabilly mission with a rawer sound and a more eclectic style, reflecting Lyons’ growth as a musician and the contributions of his Boston-area bandmates.

Vapors of Morphine
Within weeks of arriving in Cambridge in 2005, Jeremy met the surviving members of the 90s band Morphine. Dana Colley (baritone sax), Jerome Deupree (drums) and Billy Conway (drums) empathized with Lyons’ post-Katrina dilemma; Morphine’s leader Mark Sandman (also of Treat Her Right) had died of a heart attack onstage in Italy in 1999, ending band’s career. Dana head of Lyons’ arrival in the area, and invited Lyons around Sandman’s old Hi N Dry recording studio/clubhouse, and the two became fast friends. Lyons began hiring Conway and especially Deupree as drummers and they became close as well. Colley, Deupree and Lyons began playing as a trio when Jeremy was at a loss to find a bassist for a gig and asked Dana to fill in on the baritone (plugged in through an octave pedal and Fender amp). Together they discovered a new style of music, and when in 2009 Dana was called upon to produce a band to bring back to Palestrina, Italy to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sandman’s death, Lyons had his friend Robbie Phillips build him a Sandan-style two-string slide bass and began learning the Morphine repertoire. To rehearse for the date, the boys stumbled upon a weekly Wednesday residency in Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge, which they hold down to this day. In addition to re-imagined versions of Lyons Blues and the Morphine tunes, the recently re-branded “Vapors of Morphine (formerly the Ever Expanding Elastic Waste Band) explores West African Blues, psychedelia, noise rock, and obscure covers by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Brian Eno.

Busted Jug Band
Lyons’ latest project, The Busted Jug Band is an all-acoustic group that performs hokum, blues, and other classic American music. Featuring Robbie Phillips on the Wombat bass, Rob Rudin on washboard and rhythm bones, Jeremy on banjo-ukulele and Mark Earley on harmonica and a rotating cast of characters, the Busted Jug creates party music with a low electric bill.

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Official Website
FaceBook Page
Reverb Nation videos and audio samples

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