LancasterOnline.com: Lyons shows her true color: green

By KRISTY BULLER, Correspondent

The latest in a long line of Irish performers, Tracy Lyons has always treasured her Emerald Isle heritage. Green flows the blood in her veins.

But since moving to the United States in 2000, Lyons has grown a little greener. Through her music, she’s encouraging others to be more conscious of the environment.

“I think even to care is sort of the first step,” Lyons said in a telephone interview. “The increase in allergies and asthma and autism is so related. It’s one big circle. If you want to be aware, I think that’s great. And once you are aware, it’s hard to turn that off.”

When she moved to the United States, Lyons was able to find doctors to diagnose her ongoing health problems — symptoms that mimicked multiple sclerosis. A simple blood test detected high levels of lead and mercury in her bloodstream. She found the results profoundly eye-opening and set out to establish herself in a healthier, more eco-friendly life.
“Music, at the beginning, was a help,” she said. “I was very frustrated that I couldn’t find anyone who could tell me what was wrong.”

But since the release of her second album, “I Will,” in 2006, Lyons is feeling better and is on the road raising awareness about environmental deterioration and its implications on health and well-being. Lyons will open for Blind Melon at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Chameleon Club in downtown Lancaster.

“I think coming [to America] was a good decision,” Lyons said. “It opened up a lot of opportunity for me, musically speaking. When I first came to northern California, I met a lot of the bandmates I have today. [I’ve] been really lucky to hook up with people I’ve stayed with.”

Lyons’ first album, “Surrender,” boosted her into the spotlight in 2001, paving the way for her to tour and open for such artists as Kenny Loggins, Shawn Colvin and Los Lonely Boys in 2002 and 2003.

Her latest effort, “I Will,” is “a little more raw in the emotion … and just more in-your-face,” Lyons said.

“Save Me,” the fifth track on the album and her newest music video, serves as a reminder to take control of environmental problems and work toward sustaining the planet.

In addition to promoting awareness through her songs, Lyons has taken the stage as an advocate for the National Resources Defense Council, to which she donates net proceeds from her album.

“Being with the NRDC, of course, they’re all about putting out the message of the environment … so I just thought that was perfect,” she said.

In 2004, Lyons headlined the SHOW festival, sponsored by Toyota and other companies wanting to bring attention to sustainable-energy technologies.

As Lyons continues working on her third album, she still strives to keep environmental awareness at the forefront of her music. Her message is as much about saving people as it is about saving the earth. She encourages folks to be as aware of what they eat as they are about their vehicle emissions. She says it’s about linking people’s choices to their physical well-being.

“I think it’s about connecting the dots,” she said.

Tracy Lyons will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Chameleon Club, 223 N. Water St., in downtown Lancaster. For ticket information, call 393-7133 or visit
www.chameleonclub.net. For more information about Lyons and her music, visit www.tracylyons.com.

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