Daryl Shawn
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Daryl Shawn

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

New York City, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Folk Instrumental




"Guitarist Daryl Shawn Talks About Strange Influences, Maxwell Horse and Oaxaca"

Daryl Shawn is one of modern day music’s most unique and creative acoustic guitarists to step out into the scene. He possesses the ability to be able to take a nylon string guitar and make it roar with dynamic precision and raging power, a talent that many upcoming guitarists would just kill to have. - Guitar International

"Daryl Shawn - As Promised"

Daryl Shawn - As Promised
2008, Tender Entropy

Daryl Shawn could be described as a musical chameleon. He is able to shift gears between Rock, Jazz and Classical without a thought. Shawn never picked up a guitar until he was 16 years old, but appears to have been born to play it. After two years at Berklee studying Jazz, Classical and Flamenco guitar styles, Shawn uprooted himself from the San Francisco Bay area to Oaxaca, Mexico. Shawn continues to write songs and hone his craft there, but regularly returns to the US to share his music with audiences across the country. His latest release, As Promised, is full of beautiful instrumental guitar compositions that you're going to want to hear.

As Promised is a conglomeration of projects. Eleven tracks on the disc were composed as a wedding suite for a friend, while the others are unrelated compositions Shawn felt were strong enough to include here. Daryl Shawn has created a thing of beauty in the wedding suite (Tracks 1-10 and track 17), seeming to mimic the rise and fall of a relationship from inception to the culmination of the wedding day. Interstate is a rambling composition that seems to draw a musical parallel between the river of cars and the great rivers that carry water to the sea. The same sense of peaceful rolling and rocking is implied here in a very complex yet serene arrangement. Do Me A Favor is a strong composition with clear energy and a highly rhythmic structure and a memorable melody line dug deep into the chord progressions. It's not the most complex song on the album but probably one of the more enjoyable.

Oakland Azul allows Shawn to show off his finger-picking style in a minimalist and lovely arrangement that takes some interesting melodic turns. As Promised is a Suite composed of three movements. The first movement, Andante, has a baroque feel to it that you could easily imagine being played on harpsichord instead of guitar. Moderato has some of that baroque styling but also wants to break out in a James Taylor style folk/rock tune (but doesn't quite). Adagio is a love song played under moonlight, full of reverence and reverie. It is by far the most beautiful composition on the album. All In is a quiet expression of joy with an almost baroque sense to it. It could be a very cool processional that elevates slowly into a quiet yet exuberant joy.

Shawn changes gears on Danza Del Campo, breaking out a Latin flavor and high energy that demands that you get up and dance. Bride Of The Winter Plains reminds me somewhat of the early Windham Hill recordings (Michael Hedges) with its upbeat tenor but disciplined classical approach to composition. Other highlights include Center Of The Country, Lynda's Canon and Montage.

Daryl Shawn shows distinct ability as a guitarist and composer. Dancing lightly back and forth across the chasm between pop and classical stylings, Shawn manages to create some magical moments along the way. As Promised began, at its core, as the celebration of the marriage of two people who love each other more than the morrow. Daryl Shawn communicates this with beautiful musical imagery that reflects and refines the day of marriage into a musical prism we can all enjoy. The additional material on As Promised simply outlines the range that Shawn is capable of, and of a talent that should provide more great listening in the years to come.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

http://wildysworld.blogspot.com/2009/01/review-daryl-shawn-as-promised.html - Wildy's World

"Daryl Shawn - As Promised"

Shawn’s work sits somewhere in between classical, folk, pop, and rock – drawing on all four in his compositions. From the start with “Advance Notice,” Shawn has penned an almost Sting-like tune with a sophisticated sound and a pop sensibility. This sets the tone for what’s to come, as the artist makes a point of showcasing the composition as much as the playing, preferring musicality over flashiness…Daryl Shawn has shown that he is a good guitar player and that he is also an artful composer, not necessarily in that order; a rare find indeed, as anyone who knows enough guitarists will tell you. - MuzikReviews.com

"Daryl Shawn Plays All NYC Boroughs in One Day"

Daryl Shawn is one of those acoustic guitar gems that can seize you and drag you along with him in an erratic dance in the pick of a string. Blending African, Andalusian and European classical influences acquired in his early years of musical exploration, San Francisco born Daryl Shawn’s vocal compositions bring an unsettling touch to the soothing sounds of his guitar solos. It is clumsy in a Syd Barret kind of way, delightfully disharmonious, and only gets better as the stories unfold in angst and precipitation. The tempos clash as the voice nonchalantly tells the colorful tales of a West Coast white boy, while the instrumentals get carried away in an exotic adventure of their own. - Deli Magazine, New York

"Shawn Calms With a Few Noisy Exceptions"

Relaxing is not something I directly associate with Friday
night. Although therapeutic detuning of my giving-a-f**k meter
is an essential part, I don’t usually feel like chilling hard on that
long awaited rageful night. However, this past week I was lured
into the wide wood-grained interior of the Beanery to listen to
Daryl Shawn and the unchallenged king of acoustic folk rock
fun, Slater Smith.

Although Mr. Smith is one of my favorite acts to see live
(when else do I get the chance to yell, “F**KIN’ SLATER!”?).
The sheer girth of media coverage “Mr. Pelton’s Weather Machine”
gets is only equal to the number of swooners it has received.
Instead, I’m doing a review of Daryl Shawn for his tunes
and show and also a small plug for the Beanery’s food: both I
would say may be best served cold.

Shawn’s music is a delightful mix of contemporary acoustic rocking,
gentle vocalizing and the occasional instrumental freakout.
Playing a classical flamenco guitar, he also supplies himself
with the long forgotten drum percussion that most acoustic acts
leave behind. Hailing from New York City, a town touted for
lyrical troubadours, Shawn is of a different breed, concentrating
his energy on strumming out the long road he has travelled
instead of trying to explain it.

His showing at the Beanery provided a similar feeling: the
open space created an echo that was in some ways an aesthetic
delight and in others a quality hindrance. Shawn’s grandiose
builds are like a weathered truck making it over a mountain
pass: his back and forth sway on stage acknowledges this endless
effort, as well as the hole beginning to form on his guitar’s
unprotected body: a sign of long hours spent strumming and
drumming against it. Once the peak is summited, he coasts
back down gently with blues picking riffs that settle the mind
back to more coherence.

Some of this is lost in the muddle of a room not built for
the strings. With no soundman to check the levels, Shawn’s
set reverberated heavily with the extra bass of the bigger guitar
body of his styling, making vocals incoherent most of the time.
Although his instrumentals were performed well, the more
heavily strummed sections became too much. With its high ceilings,
the Beanery matches Shawn’s style well but acoustically the
lack of control gave up bits of quality. Perhaps the more rowdy
and intoxicated scene that most Fridays come with would have
helped Shawn a bit but it wouldn’t have been worth losing the
calming combination of music, mood and food.

Being able to enjoy a decent meal is rare in the comfort of
a cafe; most the time those preparing the food are more concentrated
on his/her next tattoo or the volume of scowl each
customer receives. The Beanery, on the other hand, seemed to
actually care. They have a wide selection of panini-styled sandwiches
that are prepared cold but can be pressed upon request.
I choose to go without the heat on my mine which featured a
medley of vegetables (peppers, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes,
spinach) arranged around a bit of turkey. Although they brew
delicious Allan Brother’s Coffee, I opted for a Hefeweizen with
my meal, being 21 enough to do so (finally).

All together, the evening was one of the best ways to slowly
start my weekend. - Willamette Collegian


Still working on that hot first release.



Daryl Shawn grew up among Amish farms in rural Pennsylvania, studied classical and flamenco guitar in between jazz classes at Berklee College of Music, hitchhiked to San Francisco and formed Maxwell Horse, a trio which was soon opening shows for the likes of Brendan Benson and Rocket from the Crypt. After four releases and a number of successful tours, he split up the band and left the United States for the remote Mexican city of Oaxaca, where he spent five years writing solo instrumental and vocal songs and building his own approach to the acoustic guitar outside the influences of any scene. Leaving Mexico in 2009, he spent several years with no fixed address before settling in Brooklyn, New York.
Shawn is frequently on the road and has developed a taste for endurance challenges, from undertaking solo tours of up to 45 dates by train and bus to doing a full set in each of New York’s five boroughs in one marathon day of performance. Currently, Shawn is celebrating the release of his latest album, “In Place”, while continuing to book and play live shows all across North America.

Festival appearances:

Saturationfest, Riverside, CA
Ingenuity Festival, Cleveland, OH
Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA
Boise Experimental Music Festival, Boise, ID
Norcal Noisefest, Sacramento, CA
International Looping Festival, Santa Cruz, CA
Millenium Festival, Harrisburg, PA

Selected venues/curated series:

Genghis Cohen, Los Angeles, CA
Jewel Box Theater, Seattle, WA
Googie’s Lounge, New York, NY
Trummerflora, San Diego, CA
Fake Jazz, Vancouver, BC
Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles, CA
Mardi Spaghetti series, Montreal, Quebec
Vortex series at Zeitgeist, Boston, MA
ABC No Rio’s COMA improvised music series, New York, NY
Center for Improvised Music, Brooklyn, NY
Luggage Store Gallery’s New Music series, San Francisco, CA
Gallery 1412, Seattle, WA

Billings with:
Adam Levy, Goh Nakamura, John Garrison, Paul Baribeau, Pi Jacobs, Basshaters, Buzz or Howl, G.E. Stinson, Steuart Liebig, Jonathan Segel, Bird Names, Tim Reynolds, John Hanes, Crooked Cowboy

Playing situations with:
Todd Reynolds, Greg Campbell, Jonathan Lamaster (Cul de Sac), Vinny Golia, Ross Hammond, Laurie Amat, Philip Greenlief, Lucio Menegon, Emily Hay, Gino Robair, Tom Baker, Moe Staiano, Todd Brunel

Radio appearances:
CIUT, Toronto, ON
WVKR, Vassar College, NY
KUAF, Fayetteville, AR

Band Members