ACOUSTIC singer-songwriter Sam Lyon is embarking on her third UK tour.

The gifted musician from Winsford will be playing 19 gigs across the country in June and has organised the entire itinerary single handed.

From Edinburgh and Belfast to the Isle of Wight and Windsor, she is promoting all the concerts, booking her own accommodation and arranging transport.

One of her performances will be on board a docked pirate ship in London!

The 24-year-old artist prides herself on being unsigned, unpublished and her own manager.

After performing for 10 years, she has developed her own niche brand.

"I just love it," said guitarist Sam, who became a full-time musician three years ago. "A lot of the time it doesn't feel like a job."

Winsford Guardian:

Sam Lyon prides herself on being unsigned, unpublished and her own manager

Everyday moments and encounters provide material for her words and melodies.

Her new song It's A Beautiful Life was inspired by a friend.

"I met this guy a few years ago," said Sam. "He was an open mic performer and we became good friends. He's a big bearded chap who always wears a leather jacket, as masculine as you can imagine. I was really shocked when I found out he's a dancer! He was the last person I could imagine dancing.

"I toyed with the idea and thought there is a song in there. The song is all about learning to love who you really are, accepting what breaks the stereotypes and not being ashamed of it.

"It's about appreciating life, having confidence and showing the world exactly who you want to be."

Sam created the song on her keyboard.

"I was playing around on my little piano and managed to come up with the song in 10 minutes!" she said. "It was crazy, it fell together. I always write songs from my own experiences, it's like a musical diary."

Sam has been shortlisted for the Best In Music Awards with a top prize of £1,000 worth of recording time at Parr Street Studios.

"For an unsigned artist to have this recognition would be a really big achievement," said Sam, who has released three EPs, each featuring five songs, and four singles.

Winsford Guardian:

Sam Lyon started performing when she was 14 and has released three EPs and four singles

"It's so difficult to break into the industry, it's so over saturated. Everyone who plays the guitar can get their songs out there.

"People out gigging hundreds of times for 10 years can still fall behind someone playing one song in a bedroom."

Going solo, she says, is challenging as you have to constantly juggle your work and social life and keep on top of business and admin.

Sam would love to perform at Glastonbury and almost made it last year reaching the top three acts when only the first two were chosen.

"The judges said we're really sorry we couldn't put you forward but I'll keep on trying," she said.

Sam will be performing with a violinist, cellist and pianist in Liverpool, Manchester, Chester and Macclesfield.

"I recorded an orchestral video earlier this year and you hear your songs coming to life in a completely different way," she said. "Musicians can come up with different ideas. It's amazing."

Sam has created a range of eco-friendly merchandise for her tour including bamboo tapestries, tote bags and slate coasters featuring her lyrics.

The prolific performer often sends surprise gifts and personal messages when she despatches her music orders.

"I'm a big believer in the way you treat people," said Sam. "People still come to watch my set at The Red Lion every Sunday. I talk to them now like a friend. I like to treat people nicely, that's how I live my life."

To vote for Sam in the Best In Music Awards before June 19 or book tickets for her tour visit samlyonmusic.com.