Ride the Lawn
by Dana Lyons
Description: "The title track, Ride the Lawn, has been heard on National Public Radio's Car Talk. This CD from 2004 has two comedy songs and a mix of love songs and ballads including Chosen by My People, which tells the story of a young Gwich'in Indian chief struggling to keep oil drilling out of the caribou calving grounds, to save the caribou that feeds his people.
The world can be divided into two groups: Those Who Ride the Lawn & The Slackers. You know which group you belong to. And you know which group your neighbor belongs to."
Review(s): "Ought-to-be household name Dana Lyons returns with another finely crafted disc of sly social commentary, but while the front cover suggests a set of rib-ticklers -- he's riding a lawnmower like a bronco -- it's the pensive expression Dana wears while astride a tamed Deere on the back cover that more reflects the mood. While the CD opens with the loopy title track, another wild west/environmental message satire a la Cows With Guns, it soon turns serious, even a bit grim. Lyons is a tremendously talented lyricist, and a razor-sharp satirist, but he (perhaps intentionally?) avoids going funny on most of these tunes, and while it makes for admirable listening, it's definitely not casual listening. Lyons expresses his misgivings about authority in the Randy Weaver case in One Man's Blunder, delivers a similar gut check about oil drilling in Alaska in Chosen By My People, and exhorts spirited children (and their parents) to flee Ritalin in Run Billy Run. He returns again and again to environmental issues, with heartfelt pleas on behalf of endangered species and tourist-trampled landscapes, delivered in carefully wrought songs filled with sighs, sounds and smells. The only reappearance of mirth, though, is on I Was Wrong, in which the schlub of a boyfriend sloooowly cottons to how his clumsiness is responsible for wrecking a once-promising relationship. Look for this one in a lot of Dear John letters. --Tom Petersen, Victory Review
Just like its predecessor Cows With Guns, the opening track of Ride the Lawn ropes the listener in with its homespun humor while preparing us to be cut to the quick by Lyons' heartfelt homilies. This time, it's not cows in danger of being turned into burgers, but weeds threatened with extinction by John Deere. Ride the lawn, ride the lawn, Here on my quarter acre lot I sing my freedom song. Ride the lawn, ride the lawn, We'll hunt the dandelions down and whack them till they're gone. From the whimsical to the poignant, Lyons' songs run the musical gamut. Lyons has fathered songs to cheer the lovelorn heart, chill the unkempt soul, and deeply touch anyone who walks this earth and wonders where his feet are taking him and why. --Matthew Thuney, Northwest Events