by our Music Guru Maureen ("Mo") Mahoney
When testing your own personal vision
first ask yourself: Does the vision tap into my voice,
my energy, my unique talent? Does it give me a sense of
"calling", a cause worthy of my commitment?
This noble quote expresses the artistic talent and
contributions of my
December Artist: Shawn Ryan
Well, here we are at my last review of the year and I couldn't think of a better way to end it than with the charm and skill that encapsulates this amazing performer.
Shawn Ryan's Debut CD "Shawn Ryan" and his follow up album titled "Blue Skies" will leave you longing for more from this artist. Please join me on this captivating journey to learn about an artist who has achieved greatness and is taking the world on an unforgettable ride.
Shawn's Debut CD titled "Shawn Ryan" is a remarkable CD full of romance and will impress you from the start. Shawn will launch you into a timeless journey filled with happiness and splendor.
Starting with "Somewhere Along the Way" you will hear in this man an extraordinary voice surely meant to arouse the most passionate of emotions. From his soft romantic renderings, he has begun this album with a song longing to live in your heart. The expression of Shawn's voice will deliver to you hours of enjoyment and you will come to cherish his gift of song.
With such songs as "Wink and a Smile", Shawn will have you racing to dance. The orchestrations only add to the delight you will be feeling. With all debuts, you need one that is going to pack a punch and Shawn hit this one on the mark. A masterpiece for his first album which alone shows me he has so much more in store for us in the future. How lucky are we??
Shawn has given us such beautiful tracks as "Where or When", "Do It Again", "It Had To Be You" and "Bewitched" and with these songs you will feel so much love. He truly will enchant you with his honesty and tender performance. Shawn has the ability to speak to you through his voice, telling each of us a love story. How fortunate we are to enjoy the talent of this man for it shows in every song he sings. There is just something about his voice that will endear him to you.
With these tracks, you must get out of your chair and dance.....his interpretations and spine tingling vocals will have you feeling so alive. "I Got Rhythm" with the amazing horn section and piano, turn this track into a work of art Judy Garland would approve of! Shawn Ryan has soared somewhere "over the rainbow" and back again....
I also must touch base on "Just You, Just Me" for this song alone combined with Shawn's vocal wit, make me feel so energized. How can one not love this man? It would be impossible not to adore him. With such tracks as "It Might As Well Be Spring", "It Had to be You", "Nice Work If You Can Get It", "Bewitched", "Love Me or Leave Me" you will feel the versatility only Shawn can convey. He has proven with hard work and talent, this man can take any song and turn it into a masterpiece of his own. It didn't take long for me to fall madly in love with this album.
To end the Debut CD with "Orange Colored Sky" makes this an album worthy of a spot in everyone's library. Shawn can sing the standards, the show tunes and make you feel a special part of the moment. What an ending..."Flash, Bam, Alcazam!"......Yes Shawn Ryan has certainly packed his debut with enough punch and fun to last a lifetime. But the fun doesn't end here, oh no..........
Shawn then followed up with an incredible album titled "Blue Skies"... an album that is always with me. I thought Shawn's first album was spectacular but with "Blue Skies", you can see how Shawn's artistry has grown and matured. An album so inviting, he made the Grammy list with the likes of Tony Bennett, Keely Smith and Carly Simon. Yes, Shawn Ryan is well on his way to the stars....
The first track "Blue Skies" starts you on a journey you will take often....What a carefree and innocent tune and Shawn can sing this like nobody's business. His vocals are pure, smooth and he will have you feeling joy a thousand fold. With such tracks as "The First Thing You Know", "I'm Checkin' Out", "Moon River", "Down with Love", "Here's That Rainy Day", "I've Never Been In Love Before", "Beat My Dog", "Fools in Love", "The Very Thought of You" and "Feelin' Good"...you have just listened to an album that sets this man apart from the rest.
"Goin' To the Dance with You" is sheer genius. From the onset and hearing the crackling of the record, Shawn swings you into a bygone era. The words are so beautiful, but it is Shawn's voice and interpretation that stills me with each listen. I can envision Shawn looking for his true love, he does tell a story here and through to the ending he has gained my attention and applause. Well done Shawn!
I absolutely LOVE "Baby, It's Cold Outside" where Shawn duets with Kim Nalley. How I enjoy singing this song with Shawn (in my home!). I won't surprise the ending but I will say....Shawn...I love you!!!!!!!!!!
I must write something about this next song and for those of you who are already fans of Shawn, you will remember this song from his appearance on "America's Got Talent" where all the judges voted him on to the next round. The song is called "My Simple Christmas Wish" and here on this CD it was taped from a live performance. I love love love what Shawn does with this song...so much fun... it shows Shawn at his supreme best. Not just a singer, he is an entertainer, a performer with so much joy in his heart. You can feel how Shawn truly loves what he does...for it spills out from this track.
Shawn Ryan can sing but this is not where his talent ends. Shawn is the Founder of the Young Actor's Theater Camp, a program for young actors. Celebrities have joined in to help inspire the youth of today. Shawn seems to always give back to the community and offers a helping hand any way he can. Shawn not only encourages these young people, he helps them reach a goal that has brought him so much satisfaction. He strengthens their dreams, and makes their wishes hopeful and well within their reach. Shawn is a true inspiration to those of us who want to make a difference, and he has proved this over and over. If you have the stamina and strength to pursue what you love, it is attainable. Thank you Shawn for showing all of us the worth we hold inside. You encourage and motivate all of us to aspire to be all we can be.
Since this review is landing in the merry month of December, and with the holidays just around the corner, I couldn't think of a better gift to recommend than either one of Shawn's CD's. These albums make the perfect gift for the music lover on your holiday list. Christmas for most people is about families, not just the ones you are born into, but the ones you find along the way. I'm happy and fortunate to have found Shawn and will always welcome him into my heart, for his music lives there.
Please remember those who are less fortunate and do something wonderful for someone this holiday season. Give the gift and joy of music! Sing out loud, and sing out strong, I promise you, you will be "Feelin' Good!"
"Hang a Shining Star upon the highest bough.....the
Shining Star of
This is my Mo-ment of Music I happily share with you...
All the best,
About Our Music Editor:
Maureen "Mo" Mahoney makes her home in Montgomery Village and spends her free time travelling to NY, Boston, Chicago, and countless other cities to support these amazing artists. She has been published in the "New England Entertainment Digest", as well as "The American Songbook in London" where she has joined Jeff Harnar's creative team.
Mo has also ventured into a new business rightfully named "Artistry in MO-tion" and is working with venues to bring these artists to Performing Arts Centers on the East Coast. Mo will also be involved in the promotional aspect of the D.C. Cabaret Network, hoping to showcase these artists and many others.
Mo has been interviewed for magazines in Naples about her love of this music and the various artists she supports and works so tirelessly for, a true labor of love. We are so lucky and fortunate to have her as a part of the Savvy Women family and look forward to many Mo rewarding and enlightening reviews.