The Fabulous Ripcords may have been nominated for a Native American Music Award for Debut Group of the Year, but they're far from newcomers.
The Syracuse five-piece — Rex Lyons on guitar and vocals, Irv Lyons on guitar and vocals, Scott Ebner on keyboards and accordion, Jay Gould on bass and Phil Regan on drums — has been livening up the local music scene with its rootsy Americana for years.
Rex founded the Syracuse Area Music Award-winning group more than a decade ago. More recently, though, he called upon his cousin Irv to join the Ripcords — and his songwriting raised the group's game, Rex said.
The result was "Voodoo Girl," the 2012 album that netted the Ripcords their "Nammy" nomination.
"My cousin has a real gift for concept and giving things a good starting point," he said. "I think (the album) is well-done, well-crafted, original. Very eclectic, but it has a lot of continuity."
Though the Ripcords were eligible for the Nammy award because Rex is an Onondaga and Irv is an Oneida, the band isn't defined by its native members — it just happens to have two, Rex said.
"The Nammy goes from really traditional to rap and hip-hop," he said. "It's a platform to show the variety and diversity of the audience."
The band is nonetheless proud to have gotten the nod.
Irv, who works as executive director of the Cayuga Community Health Network in Auburn, said "Voodoo Girl" was submitted by manager Kimberly Rossi unbeknownst to the Ripcords.
For a band that's also opened for Dickey Betts and had its song "If You Love Me" included on the soundtrack to the film "Crooked Arrows," Irv said, it was just as big a thrill hearing the Ripcords had been nominated for the same international award given to Neil Young, Robbie Robertson (The Band) and others.
"What's amazing about the whole thing is there are so many entries and it's almost impossible to get selected," Irv said. "It's overwhelming."
Irv will head to the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca Nov. 14 for the Nammy ceremony, having drawn the duty because the other band members will be busy that night, he joked.
"We'd love to bring the award back to central New York," he said. "It's a native Grammy."
Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.