EACH WEEK, OUR ARTIST FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS A DIFFERENT ARTIST WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY.
This week we sat down with local singer songwriter Jeremy Lyon to learn more about his upcoming projects, feature in the Ivy Hill Weekly, and his teaching career.
Jeremy Lyon is an Oakland born and raised guitarist, singer and songwriter. Lyon got his start in music early: “My first grade teacher told my parents to try involving me in music, after seeing some kind of creativity in me. So they bought me a baby guitar and it’s been a constant ever since. I can’t say I’ve ever spent too long away from a guitar”. He played in rock bands throughout his childhood, honing his skills and building his love for music and performance. “I came up in the wake of bands like The Matches at a time when live local music was paramount. Busking was really big”. It was this live music influence that inspired Lyon’s band Tumbleweed Wanderers to busk outside of local venues like The Great American Music Hall, The Independent, The Fox and The Fillmore only to play those same venues later. The band went on to play festivals like Outside Lands, Hangout, Shaky Knees, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and opened for acts like Moon Taxi, Greensky Bluegrass, Angus Stone, Jackie Green, and The Revivalists. Lyon gained experience and knowledge touring with the band that could not have been taught anywhere else.
As a solo singer songwriter, Lyon’s songs are unique, as they don’t tell a story, but rather "reflect on a headspace in a moment". His songs are lyrically rich, but infused with a soulful energy that sets him apart. He is striving to create not one album this year but three, at Bird and Egg Studios in Richmond, produced by Graham Patzner. He has also begun leading Songwriter's Circles at venues across the Bay Area. The circles are focused around the "idea of equal billing as opposed to the standard opener / main support / headliner paradigm. Often times I found that dynamic could lead to competition, worrying about 'the look', and thinking strategically as opposed to thinking communally or musically. The circle is far more egalitarian. It also challenges the artists to play unique sets because they are playing in a round rather than the typical forty-five minute set. The nature of the show brings artists out of their world and into a much more collaborative space."
Jeremy is also an accomplished music educator who has been teaching guitar, bass guitar, piano and drum lessons for years. “My philosophy as a teacher is to tailor each lesson each student and what they want to get out of music I want to teach my students how to enjoy music, not necessarily be professionals”. He aims to “push their boundaries by incorporating more freestyle jam sessions into lesson. That folk influence can really help kids progress”. His favorite part about teaching is the “huge difference between kids and seeing the differences in the way they learn, and what inspires them to learn more”.
Fast Fact: The last song Jeremy listened to was "Memories Are Now" by Jesca Hoop.
To check out links to Jeremy's original music or to get more information about hiring JD Lyon for your event, head over to his artist profile.