Shawn Persinger is Prester John

Shawn Persinger is Prester John


Shawn has been called a cross between John Zorn and Leo Kottke; Hendrix plays Modest Mouse; Ani DiFranco meets King Crimson; but what he really is, is what countless critics have written, "Original."


"Stunningly gifted." - GUITAR PLAYER
"Unique and groundbreaking...borders on brilliant." - RELIX
"Thrill to his technical mastery and exhilarating riffs [they] point to bold new directions." - JAZZIZ

Recently returned home from a 4-month world tour (documented in the Nov. 2007 issue of Guitar Player Magazine) Persinger is primed and ready to tour the States once again.

Shawn Persinger is among the most innovative and eclectic composers, guitarists, singer/songwriters performing today. He's been called a cross between The Violent Femmes and Leo Kottke; Stravinsky composed for AC/DC; a mix of Ani DiFranco and John McLaughlin; Michael Hedges plays The Minutemen; but what he really is, is what countless critics have written, "A true original." Drawing on a wealth of influences Shawn has combined the best of rock, jazz, folk, concert, world music and the avant-garde to develop a sound that is uniquely his own.

From his work with the groundbreaking avant-rock band, Boud Deun, to his solo guitar music; his aggressive folksinger style to his pieces for the �concert� music world; Shawn has proven that his musical sensibility is unlimited. Shawn has released three solo CDs in the past four years: �Peerless,� �Reasonable Horse,� and his most recently released record, �The Art of Modern/Primitive Guitar,� all of which have earned him international popular and critical acclaim.

Praise for his playing ability and composition style by publications as far reaching as Rolling Stone, Guitar World, The Washington Post, The Village Voice and countless others, has helped Shawn sell thousands of CDs worldwide. With continuos national airplay, an endorsement from Elixir Guitar Strings and support from Taylor Guitars� �Discover the Indies� program Shawn is continuing to develop a wide and diverse following throughout the world.

Since 1999 Shawn has been touring the planet, playing on 5 continents, in 35 countries and countless cities. Success has followed him throughout Europe, Asia and, of course, North America. He is currently touring the states and is continuing to develop sounds that, like Tom Mulhern of Guitar Shop said, �Will have your fingers wondering if they can do that.�


It Rains A Lot

Written By: Shawn Persinger


She woke up with a scar
On her arm
And didn’t know why or where she had been
The panic stopped
At her head and said,
"You better get out of this bed."

He woke up with a fist
In his face
Which he knew he deserved but seemed out of place
In the dark?
Of the day?
He thought he was sure but…

Justice sought by anger hits the spot

She wore it like a cross
On her chest
The almost dead girl with dirt on her dress
At the party
Hard to tell
To think what she thought when she fell

And then he got the job

And was thrilled
His name like a club and he fit the bill
Kind of slow
Not to fault
But he’d not act the same when the drugs wore off

Justice sought by anger hits the spot

They finished in a sweat
And a curse
With him on his knees and she quotes a verse
About the pain
That they sent
And would return if they didn’t repent

And when they agreed
They were through
The tear like a nod and the blood was a clue
And with a tear
And a hack
They cornered the thing they took back

Justice sought by anger hits the...
Justice sought by anger hits the...
Justice sought by anger hits the spot

Always in the Snow

Written By: Shawn Persinger


Calling forward to the pathway coming towards you
As we darken ourselves and from behind
Forest ringing henchmen bringing all that baits you
As my eyes go down and simmer in blistering skies

Calling forward to the pathway of the fields of casting sorrow
As my creeping sympathy childs into the fall
Greener shadows of the other, polished bleakness and brought over
To show me so and prove that I am wrong

Surprising quiet as you wake me and the broken waters take me
To the spirits of help that made me king
While bathing in your sleepness and the dead await my cheating
Do you blush for me or just hide from your mind

Bread and bile and your weakness shelter unbecoming smiles
Asking company to deliver us unkind
But playful actions caught and charming eternalized by our hearts warming
Lay down to rest knowing our lives lie shared and far


Written By: Shawn Persinger


Dressed in the pale blue pattern light that can mystify
She was dumped with the judgement in bones that can justify
With her hair caked down in the back you knew it was chemistry
But the fiction unfolds as he told you it’s his guarantee


And you suffocate with first sight
Not on my side
And you sleep with your hands tied
Love breaks the bond in me

With a walk that could talk and it screamed, "Embellish me!"
She was dumped with the judgement of morals that couldn’t see
Beyond the curve of a word that sounds like an enemy
Impaled when they failed as the facts began to disagree


Fears were confirmed when the life exploded in heated hate
And she was dumped with the judgement of a mob that could celebrate
Ignorance that pretends to befriend
The value of morality to an end
Testified to the lies as the truth refused to bend


Grace Unwound

Written By: Shawn Persinger

There is a problem in my ear
Weighed down by years when you’d appear
To walk the sky for inside out
A flowering for seed to drought

Fed coal to make the fire breathe
Kept warm inside the cold disease
Yanked hard the chain of bold events
Witness the trade of circumstance

It exploded suddenly raced by time
Why extol it? Coveted grace unwinds

Get outside why don’t you?
Get outside why don’t you try?

A paper trail leads not to truth
When science fails in spite of proof
A book of fact, a book of myth
A book of lies has brought you this

It exploded suddenly raced by time
Why extol it? Coveted grace unwinds

Get outside why don’t you?
Get outside why don’t you try?

Denied spirit
Denied pride
Denied spirit
But I know why the starlight comes to shine


SOLO: Acoustic Guitar and Vocals

All instrumental
Shawn Persinger is Prester John
Released: May 4th, 2004 on Innova Records
Limited Edition Release: December 2003 on 6 or 7 Records

Shawn Persinger is Prester John
10 Instrumentals, 5 Vocal songs
Released: September 2001 on E.H.P.

Shawn Persinger is Prester John
12 Instrumentals, 4 Vocal songs
Released: February 2000 on E.H.P.

BOUD DEUN: Avant-Rock Group: All Instrumental

Boud Deun
Released: September 1998 on Cuneiform

Boud Deun
Released: March 1998 on E.H.P./Syzygy

Boud Deun
Released: May 1997 on Cuneiform

Boud Deun
Released: August 1995 on E.H.P.


Compilation CD of Acoustic Guitar pieces.
Includes one previously unreleased track,
"An Extra Dollar" by Shawn Persinger is Prester John.
Released: May 2002 on Cunieform

Compilation CD of "Jam" bands,
featuring one previously unreleased,
live, BOUD DEUN track. By the way Shawn had
NOTHING to do with the title of this record or the cover art.
Released: May 1999 on Shanachie


Released: April 2002 on Pretentious Dinosaur.
Shawn plays on 1 track of this least
the liner notes say he does.

Released: April 2000 on Out of Phase.
Shawn plays on 5 tracks of this release
from former BOUD DEUN drummer, Rocky Cancelose,
and UNCLE GUT bassist, Mike Galaway.


Music for the film, "MAIN STATION" by Laura Horak
Scored for: Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Violin and Cello
Released (limited): December 2002

Set List

Typical performances are 90 minutes but sets can run anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the venue/event's requirements.

While cover songs are not the basis of Persinger's live performance, past covers have included:

Folsom Prison Blues: Johnny Cash
Follow You Into the Dark: Death Cab for Cutie
Soup is Good Food: Dead Kennedys
Gimmie Some Money: Spinal Tap
Waiting Room: Fugazi
Kid Charlemagne: Steely Dan
Viva la Vida: Coldplay
War Pigs: Black Sabbath
Homeward Bound: Simon and Garfunkel
Bubble Toes: Jack Johnson
Say it Ain't So: Weezer