SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — “I’ve been writing since I’ve been about 14 years old. Never good. It finally got better,” said Irv Lyons Jr.

At a stage in life when many think about retirement, Irv Lyons Jr. is watching his music career blossom.  His latest CD, “Brothers and Sisters,” has just scored two nominations from the Native American Music Awards, a national competition:  Best Rock Recording and Song of the Year.  

“I put this album out in hopes that people would really see me as a songwriter,” Lyons Jr. said. “More noted for being in The Ripcords as a singer and guitar player. But I love at the bottom line, I love to write songs more than anything else. I love other people to hear them.”

In addition to his solo career, Lyons Jr. has been playing with his cousin, Rex Lyons, in the band The Ripcords since the year 2003.

“I was in the Army for 20 years, so when I got out, these guys gave me a shot and I really honed my skills with The Ripcords and they helped me bring out my musicality and all that kind of thing,” Lyons Jr. said. “To playing with those guys gave me better skills and then I really started writing.”

The Ripcords also have a new CD out, ‘Live at SubCat Studios.’  And Lyons Jr. shares in the band’s two nominations for Best Blues Recording and Best Music Video Performance.

Lyons Jr. said, “This being the Native American Music Awards, you have to be Native American and of course I’m Oneida and my clan is the Wolf Clan.  And my cousin Rex is Onondaga and he’s Eel Clan.”

Lyons Jr. continued, “You know, I think if you listen to a lot of the beats that are in my music, you’ll hear it.”

The Native American Music Awards will be handed out on November 2nd in Niagara Falls.

“Whatever happens happens. But, you know, as far as I’m concerned, this is great to be nominated for something like this, and it’s a win,” Lyons Jr. said.

You can check out Irv’s music at, and the Ripcords at