Last updated on November 13th, 2023 at 04:04 pm
Folk artist Michael Lyon recently released his 14-track album titled “What Could Be.” Three and a half years in the making, Michael took advantage of the freed-up time we all experienced during the pandemic to write many of the tracks on this album. Self-described as acoustic folk rock indie, his influences include artists The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel, and others. If you’re a fan of the artists mentioned, check out his tunes, and read our full interview with Michael Lyon below.
MIM: What inspires you to create music?
Michael: Everything and everything. Classic songs, symphonies, films… There’s no substitute for getting out into nature.
MIM: Tell us about the creation process of this project.
Michael: Most of the tunes began their lives while I was sitting on the edge of the bed, strumming a guitar and jotting down potential lyrics on the nearest piece of paper. Whenever it seemed like there was something there worth building upon, I tried not to get too impatient and force things.
As a result, most of the songs took weeks to grow into the songs they “wanted to be.” That included LOTS of rewrites (the title track, “What Could Be,” had 24 drafts) and numerous sessions working with great recording engineer Paul Horabin at ReadyMixMusic in Van Nuys, California, over a period of weeks & sometimes months for each song.
Once a song reached a fairly developed stage, I’d often share the latest recorded version with good friend (and Santa Monica guitar teaching legend) Kit Alderson, for any suggestions he might have about moving lyrics, vocals, instrumentation… up to the “next level.”
MIM: What does this project mean to you?
Michael: As with my first three albums, PICTURES, WAKING UP, and CURIOSITY, I think the new one, WHAT COULD BE, is representative of how I view the world (at this particular and extremely challenging time) – with a mixture of concern, hope, and celebration.
MIM: Are there any other interesting or amusing happenings the band has been involved with?
Michael: On the subject of inspiration: I once had a front-row seat at a Chuck Berry concert in San Francisco (having too much to drink, but in a good way) and took a chance of leaping onto the stage as he was duck-walking one way, with me duck-walking in the opposite direction. Chuck’s reaction when he came back to the mic: “Damn – I’ve been doing that 30 years, and he did it for 30 seconds – wasn’t that something – oh, YEAH!”
MIM: What can listeners look forward to from you?
Michael: My dream is to follow the approach taken by George Harrison, who once advised in a radio interview to just “keep at it.” As he expressed it, continue doing what you’re doing, and you WILL get better at writing songs. If what happened with that mindset (rather famously) can rub off a bit on me… then I’m cautiously optimistic that listeners will really have something to look forward to as new songs and albums arise.
MIM: Anything else you’d like to add?
Michael: I cannot repeat it enough times: for everyone listening – I’m grateful that you took the time. Big THANKS for listening! (Nothing better than when learning that a song of mine has become a favorite “song of yours!”)