Dana Lyons is the singer/songwriter best known for his dynamic performances and outrageous hit songs “Cows With Guns,” “RV” and “Ride The Lawn.” A global radio hit, “Cows With Guns” was #1 for the year on Dr. Demento, #2 on the Australian Country charts, #1 in Seattle and spent six months on the Irish Top 40.
Bringing together a mix of comedy, ballads and love songs, Dana’s sharp wit and beautiful voice have him performing at concert halls, festivals, conventions, fundraisers and universities across the US and around the world. Dana’s music style includes a bit of everything; his biggest radio hit, “Cows With Guns,” receives crossover radio play on country, rock, alternative, community, college and oldies radio stations worldwide. He has eight releases to date, including his latest, “Circle the World: Songs & Stories” with Dr. Jane Goodall (fall, 2004).
Dana has toured in 46 of the 50 American states, around the East Coast of Australia and across Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Kazahkstan and Siberia. His policy of “I’ll play anywhere once” has landed Dana gigs on a tropical island in the Great Barrier reef of Australia, the Harley Davidson Festival in Sturgis, South Dakota, an Irish Pub in Beijing and the Hanford Nuclear Waste Dump in his home state of Washington.
Two of Dana’s songs have been made into award-winning illustrated books: Cows With Guns, published by Penguin (winner of the Bullitzer Prize), and The Tree, published by Illumination Arts. The Tree was endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall, has forwards by Pete Seeger and Julia Butterfly Hill and has won numerous awards.
Dana’s comedy stretches back to 1986 when thirteen co-sponsors from the Washington State Legislature introduced a bill to make his song “Our State is Dumpsite” the official Washington State Song. Sadly, the bill was struck down in the rules committee, but later the Legislature placed “Our State is a Dumpsite” in Washington State’s official centennial songbook, Washington’s Songs and Lore, recognizing it as one of the 75 most important songs in Washington State history.
“Dumpsite” also appeared in the soundtrack to Robert Redford’s movie documentary The WIPP Trail. His songs have also appeared in other movie and television documentaries, including “Drop of Water” in the Canadian film documentary No Surrender and “June is a Comin’” in the TV documentary Fishing Families.
Dana’s songs have been re-recorded by many artists, but perhaps his highest honor as a songwriter came when Pete Seeger called him to get the music for Dana’s song “I am an Animal.” Dana has shared the stage with many notable performers including Stephen Stills, River Phoenix, Nickel Creek, Country Joe McDonald, Utah Phillips & John Trudell.
Dana was born in Kingston, New York. He graduated from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. He lives in a nice garage in Bellingham, Washington, with his cat Oliver. His astrological sign is Taurus.