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“Somewhere between Oscar Wilde, Leonard Cohen and the land of the midnight sun, lurks Charles Lyonhart, a time-travelling celt. His heart exists to be broken, for it is from those pulsating shards that his songs are mined.”
— Sharlene Springer
SOHO Weekly News / San Francisco Review

“Charles Lyonhart grabs the audience's attention as he paints vivid images of a life in despair struggling to understand the complexities of a dark and seductive world. ... a genuine voice and one who should be heard”

— The Kingston Freeman

Charles was born in the Bronx where Poe Cottage became a shrine and its late author an inspiration. The 60's brought him in touch with the truths of Lenny Bruce, and most tellingly, the words and music of both the Beat Generation and the Folk Rock movement. In the course of his experiments with music, writing and counterculture living, Lyonhart met icons such as William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, and Tim Hardin. Making his way through the 70's and 80's sometimes on stage, other times as a writer and music critic for publications like Rolling Stone Magazine, he eventually turned to his true talents in life - a visionary songwriter and seasoned guitarist.

In the 90's Charles became a regular at The Tinker Street Cafe in Woodstock, The Bitter End in New York City and various local music festivals. Gaining a loyal regional fan base, the name Lyonhart has quickly become synonymous with emotionally charged ballads delivered with brooding intensity backed with exceptional melodic arrangements. Whether he's playing with his band or solo acoustic, his live performances effortlessly showcase the solid craftsmanship as a truly accomplished artist with poetic blended narratives accompanied by rich acoustic textures and distinguishing vocals.

“Lyonhart sings of life and relationships, injustice and irony, desperation and triumph, striving and betrayal, folly and achievement...having a stash of unreleased Lyonhart tunes is like having a private treasure.”
— Irv Yarg, The Woodstock Times

“Charles Lyonhart is a truly inspiring artist. His melodies both haunt and energize.”

— Myra Friedman, Author "Buried Alive"
Authorized Janis Joplin Biography

After appearing at the Woodstock 25th Anniversary concert in 1994, he was soon signed to Continuum Records and two of his compositions were chosen for their 1995 compilation "New Music from Woodstock, New York." with over 900,000 copies sold worldwide. In June 1997 his self-released debut album "Leap of Faith" was well received, selling over 7,500 copies through his website and concerts. He garnered critical praise both in the press and by fellow musicians. John Herald titled Charles "one of the best singing songwriters" he's come across in ten years.

Recorded mostly live with guitarist Steve Raleigh, his next album "Exception to the Rule" soon followed. Singer/songwriter Richard Shindell recorded Lyonhart's classic "Shades of Black, Shades of Blue", a tribute to the legendary Thomas Jefferson Kaye. Signature Sounds released Shindell's version in early 2000 as part of a special 4-song EP entitled "Spring".

Charles' CD, "Down To The Hard Line" was released in 2001 before he became ill, taking him out of the circuit for the next eight years. "Down To The Hard Line" was recorded with his friends and collaborators, Larry Campbell, Lincoln Schleifer and Denny McDermott. From the quietly powerful words of "Days Gone By" to the screaming rock and roll rhythms of his insomnia ballad "Any Price For Sleep", this careful artistic blending of various creative layers has yielded the very best of all those involved. Even though Charles was out of the loop after the release of "Down To The Hard Line" this CD was called "his best" by many critics. Charles' sicknesses lead to his liver transplant in 2005. Charles returned to performing in 2007 and began writing songs for his next CD.

Five years now since his liver transplant, Charles Lyonhart is alive and well and has made his home in Phoenicia, NY. His new CD "Outside Looking In" was released on 11/14/09 produced by the multi talented Julie Last. The CD includes his working band "The Junkyard Angels" that consists of Chris Zaloom, Dennis Cotton, George Quinn and Larry Packer. Guest Artists on the CD include Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Amy Helm, Pete Levin, Lincoln Schleifer, Julie Last and Kirsti Gholson.

Almost six years now since his liver transplant, Charles Lyonhart is alive and well and has made his home in Phoenicia, NY. His latest CD "Outside Looking In" was released in 2010 produced by the multi talented Julie Last. The CD includes his working band .The Junkyard Angels. that consists of Chris Zaloom, Dennis Cotton, and George Quinn. Charles performs mostly these days with George Quinn as a duo and with T.G. Vannini as a trio.

Charles has been organizing concerts these days for The John Herald Fund in Woodstock, NY, a charity set up by Family of Woodstock to raise money to help artists in need of money at destitute times. He is currently at work on a Lyonhart two-CD collection of rare, special and unreleased songs for release soon. In the Fall Charles is also going to release "Another Dream Gone Wrong", recorded for Acuestic Records in 2000 and never released at the time, the masters being "tied up" until now. The record was produced and arranged by Joel Diamond and the band consists of Charlie Brown, Richard Crooks and Tony Garnier. You can hear Charles sometimes on WIOX Radio broadcast from Roxbury, New York when he is not playing around the area sometimes alone or sometimes with his band "The Junkyard Angels". Working on songs for his next CD Charles is exploring new forms of ways to say the same old things that are always said in different ways but mostly looking for things to say that have never been said before.

The Junkyard Angels
Dennis Cotton – drums, Chris Zaloom – Guitars, George Quinn – bass guitar, TG Vanini – violin and vocals, and Charles Lyonhart – vocals, guitar and harmonica.

Chris Zaloom

George Quinn

Dennis Cotton

TG Vanini


Singer gets new lease on life
Musician who received liver to testify about organ donation
April 20, 2010

Fly on, Angels
Charles Lyonhart joins musicians to play for Haitian relief.
February 25, 2010

Remembering John Herald
Charles Lyonhart remembers his friend John Herald.
November 27, 2008
Charles Lyonhart
The "Back From the Dead" Concert

The skull that frowned back from the mirror seemed to have leaked away all of its animating hope...It was over. He could see it in the shadows cast across his face by an nearby window. It was done.
March 31, 2007

Lyonhart Charms with Dylanish Folk Rock
A review of "Down to the Hard Line"

We are sad to report that Charles passed away in the summer of 2021. I am his website developer and will post more news as I receive it.

All Content © Charles Lyonhart