â€œShawn Snyderâ€™s original acoustic folk-rock is lyric-driven, with an organic simplicity, utmost sincerity, and unmistakable grooveâ€ (Beat Magazine, Melbourne, Australia), soulfully blurring the lines between folk, rock, jazz, and blues. Whether treating audiences to an intimate solo-acoustic performance or collaborating with other musicians, his live shows are always impassioned and expressively earnest. Shawn considers among his influences the likes of James Taylor, Paul Simon, Lyle Lovett, Martin Sexton, Tom Waits, John Gorka, Patti Griffin, and Louden Wainwright III.
A relatively recent Harvard graduate (with a degree in Religion), Shawn has opted to make the most out of his diploma, by pursuing a career as singer-songwriter. Now twenty-six years old, he has been playing the guitar from the age of five and writing music since he was thirteen. Only in college, however, with the mentorship of seasoned singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, did Shawn up the ante on his own musical endeavors; bringing his songs beyond bedroom walls and to the receptive ears of others in coffee shops, on the street, at music festivals, and in clubs across the country (and around the world).
After graduating, Shawn spent 2004 in Californiaâ€™s Bay Area playing West Coast gigs with his mix and match crew of incredibly talented musicians (including mythic drummer Dave Krusen of Pearl Jam â€œTenâ€ fame). His growing American fan base now straddles both U.S. coasts; heâ€™s played stages in San Francisco and Los Angelesâ€™ hottest singer-songwriter spots (including Gary Julesâ€™ Hotel CafÃ© in the heart of Hollywood), New York and Bostonâ€™s legendary acoustic venues (most notably, The Bitter End and Club Passim), and a multiplying multitude of rooms up, down, and in between.
With more than a touch of wanderlust, Shawn kicked off 2005 in solo-acoustic troubadour mode, taking his music international and down-under. Setting up gypsy-style shop in music-loving Melbourne, he took the scene by storm, managing to â€œwin over the Aussie ear (blank-slate, grass-roots, ground-up fashion) with his distinctive, heartfelt, and homegrown styleâ€ (Beat Magazine). In only five months, Shawn obtained quality street press and national radio-play; not to mention booking and playing over thirty shows in some of the cityâ€™s most respected venues (including monthly appearances at the renowned Manchester Lane, where Rufus Wainwright also performed during his 2005 Australian tour).
During the latter half of the same year, Shawn returned to his hometown South Florida for a longer-than-usual stay and rapidly immersed in the local musical subculture. Playing an average of three shows a week to always-growing audiences, his name, music, and hair fast become recognizable staples in the scene, and he was acknowledged by CityLink Magazine as South Floridaâ€™s â€œhardest-working solo-artist.â€
This uncharacteristically stationary year allowed for the release of his debut solo-album, Dog Eared Pages, and multiple mini-tours were launched in support.
The road proved far too tempting, however, and the nomadic instinct passionately persistent. In August 2006, Shawn took off in his Hyundai Elantra for whatâ€™s been more than a year of cross-country coastal pinballing. Over 40,000 Miles to Date. 120 Plus shows. 50 Some Odd Cities. And More Than 25 States.
During this time, via HomeTown PitStops, he also managed to record and release his latest album, Romanticâ€™s Requiem. A nine month collaboration with friend and producer George Zhen, this follow up to 2006â€™s â€œDogEaredPagesâ€ promises to surprise those only familiar with Shawn Snyderâ€™s solo-acoustic work to date. With nine other musicians weaving their way through its thirteen tracks, â€œRomanticâ€™s Requiemâ€ is a multicolored concept album of sorts. A patchwork look at love and disillusionment from a variety of snapshot angles, on a winding road through varied musical landscapes. Digging
Note: While in On the Road, Shawn will be performing mainly solo-acoustic.
Shawn Snyder - Singer/Songwriter - Vocals/Guitar
Fortuitous Florida-Based Guests:
George Zhen - Piano/Guitar/BackUpVocals
Tom Gress - Percussion
Shawn Snyder - The Early Years (Rough Cuts)
Shawn Snyder - Self Titled 6-Track EP
Shawn Snyder - Dog Eared Pages
Shawn Snyder - Romantic's Requiem
Best South Florida Songwriter - 2009
[+ Show ]
Shawn Snyder, a former road warrior whose voice deservedly earns comparisons to Ben Harper and Jack ...Shawn Snyder, a former road warrior whose voice deservedly earns comparisons to Ben Harper and Jack Johnson, mines rough life experiences to unearth shiny gems he fashions into heartfelt, bluesy folk songs about love, loss, and intuition. Recently, he's had to dig a bit deeper to find those gems. In 2008, while preparing to promote his album, "Romantic's Requiem", his mother was diagnosed with recurring melanoma of the brain. So Snyder returned home to Cooper City. After his mom passed away, he turned to journaling to express his grief and in the process created a new batch of songs. Snyder's touring less and has settled in Miami Beach, where he plans to focus on a new studio album. Meanwhile, he's released "Stripmall Troubadour (Live at the Moose)", which contains live versions of some of his older songs and newer tunes such as Festus, a song he wrote about a guy with a "heart like a cave" and a passion for the open-mike, and "Late Lunch", about playing one of the toughest hands ever dealt and making it through, tattered and torn but still very much alive.
Top Ten Local Albums of 2008 (Miami)
[+ Show ]
Shawn Snyder Romantic's Requiem (self-released) Shawn Snyder could be Adam Duritz's lost little...Shawn Snyder
Shawn Snyder could be Adam Duritz's lost little brother, what with his turnip hairdo and mournful musings. That said, Snyder's confessional style is clearly borne from his own heartbreaking circumstance, making him a troubled troubadour armed with an acoustic guitar and sinewy tales of longing and desire. On Romantic's Requiem, his fine second album, the ruminating acoustic blues of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper come to mind, while the skittish and playful melodies of John Mayer and Dave Matthews are recalled in the kinetic strum of "Wendy" and "Déjà Vu." Still, the ache and intensity that accompany these bittersweet narratives never seem misdirected, and given its thoughtful perspective, Romantic's Requiem makes for a truly soulful soliloquy.
"StripMall Troubadour * Live at The Moose" Review
[+ Show ]
Turnip-haired homeboy Shawn Snyder made quite a splash with last year's sophomore set, Romantic's Re...Turnip-haired homeboy Shawn Snyder made quite a splash with last year's sophomore set, Romantic's Requiem, an album that earned it New Times' kudos for being among the best local releases of 2008. For its follow-up, Snyder strips things down, offering up a lo-fi acoustic set that not only finds him in his element but remarkably, even bolder than before. His studio effort boasted tumultuous tales of love and loss, tempered by a journeyman attitude and a restless spirit that kept him on the road nonstop for months at a time. Consequently, it's a relief to find Snyder alighting long enough to record this performance at Davie's Chocolate Moose Cafe, giving ample opportunity to effectively emote and embrace his sinewy, soulful motif. Opener "Dirge" finds him in accapella mode, a rather startling attempt that seizes attention immediately at the outset, From that point on, Snyder provides a dark and tangled mix of angst-intensive narratives, soulful ruminations and gruff confessional ballads that retrace the best entries from his studio recordings.
Snyder's sinewy style clearly finds his crowd captivated, and Stripmall Troubadour effectively retains the live ambiance of an audience bootleg with bits of offhanded chatter thrown in for good measure. At one point, Snyder bemoans the evolution of his surroundings, noting that the wedding chapel that once existed next door has now become a donut shop. The drive-through offers both Boston cream pie and a prenuptial agreement he notes sarcastically. Clearly, levity isn't exactly Snyder's forte, and by the time he reaches the final two selections, the cool jazz and jive of "Plot Twist II" and the lovely turned-down gaze of "Festus," he and his compatriots - guitarist/keyboard player George Zhen and percussionist Tom Gress - are at their best.
A worthy memento, Stripmall Troubadour serves as a stopgap measure in anticipation of Snyder's next studio offering. No doubt it will appease his fans and perhaps even entice new devotees, at least until they have reason to shop around for more.
Montreal "Best Bets"
[+ Show ]
Shawn Snyder should please roots music fans of all kinds. The 24-year-old [sic] singer-songwriter an...Shawn Snyder should please roots music fans of all kinds. The 24-year-old [sic] singer-songwriter and Harvard graduate has been paying his dues and building a fan base at hot acoustic venues in the U.S. - and Montreal fans will now get a chance to jump on board Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Zeke's Gallery, 3955 St. Laurent Blvd. Tickets cost $5.
(Highlighted in the select company of Xavier Rudd and Cat Power!)
"DOg EArED PaGEs" REVIEW
[+ Show ]
One more reason to hate/boycott/firebomb Starbucks: Without some serious redirection of popular perc...One more reason to hate/boycott/firebomb Starbucks: Without some serious redirection of popular perception, Shawn Snyder's kind of intimate, cozy folk music will forever be associated with currant scones and half-decaf triple venti lattes. Maybe, though, that's not such a bad thing — if the World Caffeine Syndicate chose to carry this prodigal South Floridian's eight-song debut, it would move off shelves faster than free sets of Cranium.
Picture it: Late morning, you're kicking back on a mocha-colored couch, wireless connection running at high speed, picking over a wrinkled copy of The Nation, freshly (but not overly) juiced from the day's first cup. You pause after a report on Third World outsourcing and glance at the world restlessly passing by on the other side of the plate-glass window. In this bright blip of awareness, you absorb a strain of Snyder's corduroy voice glowing over an accessibly literate verse like "I got everything that I hoped for, nothing that I planned/Put time inside a test tube, drank karma from a can." It's kind of a perfect, synchronous moment; you're drawn into the setting and the song and Snyder's impeccably strummed acoustic guitar and it all produces the kind of mellowed stimulation you'll never get pounding Budweisers in a dim, noisy bar.
Thankfully, Snyder has forgone the corporate route and instead become a fixture — the house blend, if you will — at the Chocolate Moose, Davie's most beloved java hut. Songs like "Déjà Vu" — here featuring upbeat, soft-handed backup percussion — the long lament of "Colors," and, of course, the incisive, bittersweet observation of "Coffee Shop" have attracted rapt audiences in the live setting. On Pages, Snyder's voice loses a bit of its performance immediacy, but his lyrics emerge front and center, and his guitar technique is in full bloom. Pages proves that acoustic folk may too often get filtered out, but it'll never go cold. (shawnsnydermusic.com.)
"The Hardest Working Solo-Artist..."
[+ Show ]
Coffee connoisseurs have probably noticed Snyder's floppy, half-Afro, half-mop top bouncing around t...Coffee connoisseurs have probably noticed Snyder's floppy, half-Afro, half-mop top bouncing around their favorite coffee shop over the past few months, especially if that shop happens to be Davie's Chocolate Moose, where Snyder has appeared regularly since his return to South Florida from the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, he may be the hardest-working solo artist in South Florida, averaging about three shows a week and occasionally two in one day in locations as disparate as the above-named coffeehouse, Churchill's and Alligator Alley. The standout tune on this eight-song album is "Karma in a Can." Indeed, that's the song I distinctly remember the first time I saw Snyder live, on some nameless night at Alligator Alley, when he played counterpoint to the list of pop-punk bands who followed and reminded the room that songwriting matters. This album serves up the same notice, filled with well-crafted acoustic ballads that would serve as an ideal soundtrack for the early-morning hours of a long road trip, a lazy day by the pool or, yes, an afternoon at your favorite coffeehouse with a warm mug of a highly caffeinated beverage.
The Road Home
[+ Show ]
The acoustic folk-rock-soul-jazz-blues singer-songwriter never intended to come home to the Cooper C...The acoustic folk-rock-soul-jazz-blues singer-songwriter never intended to come home to the Cooper City neighborhood where the oak and palm trees canopy the streets. He belonged to the road.
Shawn Snyder earned a Harvard religion degree, a discipline that subtly informs much of his music, then hit the road with his abundant voice, guitar and rootsy lyrics. Like any starving artist worth his salt, he spent more nights than he cares to remember crashing in his car and on the couches of friends, friends' friends and the occasional stranger.
Now this young man -- smallish, curly topped, worldly, introspective -- is back home, healing after the death of his mother.
''There's this sense of a calling to be home,'' says Snyder, 27, who performs in Broward and Miami-Dade venues later this month. ``I need to be here emotionally, practically, even creatively.''
In the living room of the soaring, white-walled home he shares with his father, a Miami-Dade assistant public defender, Snyder offers the life details. His dad's music collection -- Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor -- was the soundtrack for childhood Sunday afternoon drives. At 5, he began playing guitar, a birthday present from his grandmother. He was composing songs by 13.
At Nova Southeastern's University School, Snyder was student body president. He studied musical theater and made a documentary about homelessness. At Harvard, he pondered what he calls ''the bigger questions.'' Between the beginning chapters of his music career, he spent a year back at University School as a substitute teacher.
In early 2006, Snyder released his debut, Dog Eared Pages, followed by a patchwork tour that took him up and down both coasts and into Australia. By the summer of 2007, he had put 40,000 miles on his silver Hyundai Elantra and performed more than 120 shows in 50 cities.
On stage, he delivered a layered and organic sound something like rustling leaves.
''I love the musicality and the percussion and the playful nature of the language,'' says Snyder. ``I love imagery and thinking about the familiar in a new way, I love the stuff that comes closer to poetry than pop music.''
Snyder is storyteller who sings as though he has spent many a summer on southern front porches. The themes are universal: crushes and love, love lost, love found.
And when we first met I feel you held the picture / A Rockwellian rendering just missing a face / I feel I've held our faces on two interlocked pieces / Floating mid-puzzle, but lacking a place / And I felt, How exciting, that amidst the unknown / We would fill in the pieces with each move we made / But you figured that frightening and for me to be fit in / My fanciful face would first have to be frayed
''Shawn is such an instinctual and passionate writer. He channels something timeless and ancient in his writing,'' says George Zhen, co-owner of Uncle Sam's Music store in Miami Beach, who produced and recorded Snyder's second CD, Romantic's Requiem, on his Wild Iris Records. ``He is reminiscent of Dylan and Springsteen and Ben Harper.''
Just after Snyder released the critically acclaimed Romantic's Requiem, a beautifully spare narrative of earnest and broken love, his mother was diagnosed with a virulent form of melanoma.
He returned home in January 2008 from San Francisco, where he was planning to tour and play the coffee house circuit in support of Requiem. She died in September, just as summer tumbled into fall.
Struggling with the loss and sense of displacement and contemplating how to keep his mother with him, Snyder responded with art.
''The song I am working on came to me -- the tune and chords intact -- in a dream,'' he says. ``The lyrics are about love being the redemptive force, the faith that guides you out of the darkness.''
The past eight months delivered both emptiness and a fortified love (his girlfriend returns from Guatemala this month) and released a torrent of words.
''I have done tons of writing, journaling in this last year, mostly writing for personal processing that will ultimately make its way into my music and art,'' he says. ``But my thoughts were so emotionally dense that it didn't come out in poetry but in prose.''
His output included a series of singles and two screenplays, one semi-autobiographical, the other a post-Civil War western.
Snyder also resumed performing, but only in Florida so far.
''I was taking baby steps, trying to balance being back home with my emotions with my love of being on the road, in the car alone and the meditative quality of that,'' he says.
``I don't think I can live in a car six months or a year, but I am ready to get back to my old stomping grounds.''
V-Day BreakUp Songs: 1000PiecePuzzle
[+ Show ]
For those people who still love an ex and can't muster the anger to mask their hurt, Shawn Snyder's ...For those people who still love an ex and can't muster the anger to mask their hurt, Shawn Snyder's "1000-Piece Puzzle" may help put things in perspective. "When we first met, I felt our puzzle pieces were destined to join and lock into place," the folk-rocker sings. But the pieces didn't quite fit, and he was left with "a beautiful, half-finished portrait." Snyder calls this tune a post-love song. "Not bitter, or broken-hearted—just post," he explains. "A realization that a lot of times love doesn't work out, but that having loved is never a waste. A realization that, in adult life, you can love someone and be loved fully in return, and yet, there can be other factors, adult factors, other pieces that just don't fit." The song, he says, is an attempt to find beauty, not bitterness, in spite of a relationship's inevitable end.
"Not Your Typical Harvard Graduate"
[+ Show ]
Shawn Snyder is not your typical Harvard graduate, nor is he your typical comparative religion major...Shawn Snyder is not your typical Harvard graduate, nor is he your typical comparative religion major. In fact, he is making use of his Ivy League degree by traveling the world with his soulful folk-based music and working on the
side as a teacher’s assistant and expository writing teacher at his former high school. The 24-year-old Snyder began at the University School in September, and he is currently balancing the job with immersion in the South Florida music scene and promotion of his recently-released album, DoG-EaRED PAGEs.
DoG-EaRED PAGEs is a completely acoustic album. After playing with backing musicians, Snyder “reckoned [he] ought to return to raw, minimalistic,
authentic simplicity, because, at the end of the day, it's just me and my guitar,” he said, “and that's where the heart of the songs lies.” He uses no electric instruments, only an acoustic guitar, his voice, and occasional percussion.
Snyder’s influences shine through his music. His hushed and affecting voice is reminiscent of Martin Sexton, whom he cites as an influence. The subtle guitar playing is not a central focus, but a complement to his voice. “Deja Vú” is a highlight, complete with soulful interjections of “oh yeah” and “alright.” His stuttered lyrical delivery on that song, which is
more upbeat than the rest of the album, implies emphasis and effort in every word. Softer songs like “Karma in a Can” and “Debt” are atmospheric, without ever losing that signature groove.
From Beat Magazine (Melbourne, AU)
[+ Show ]
"Shawn Snyder's orignal acoustic folk-rock is lyric-driven, with an organic simplicity, utmost since..."Shawn Snyder's orignal acoustic folk-rock is lyric-driven, with an organic simplicity, utmost sincerity, and unmistakable groove. An American singer-songwriter kicking off a series of solo-acoustic months in Australia, he's already making waves with a full calendar of Melbourne shows in March. Though he's spent the last few years in San Francisco, Shawn's growing American fan base straddles both U.S. coasts. Now he's hoping to win over the Aussie ear (blank-slate, grass-roots, ground-up fashion) with his distinctive, heartfelt, and homegrown style..."
Note: While On-The-Road, Shawn will be performing mainly solo-acoustic.
Shawn's performances are varied, depending upon venue, occasion, and band arrangement. He generally offers up intimate, impassioned solo performances, but with the fortuitous addition of musical friends, has been known to surprise with high-energy collaborative shows. His sets consist mainly of originals, with the occasional obscure cover mixed in (more well-known tunes are tossed out when the situation calls for them). Solo gigs can extend past 3 hours, if need be. Rates are negotiable on a situational basis.
Talkin Bout Now
Pieces of Time
I Wrote Songs
Karma in a Can
Anonymous Love Song
American Sweet Gorilla
No More Me (Dirge)
To Lose You
Covers Might Include:
There are no upcoming dates at this time.