Shannon  Marsyada
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Shannon Marsyada


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"Shannon Marsyada"

Okay, so let’s just get it out up front that I am NOT a fan of “pop” music in any of it’s various shapes or forms. I rarely listen to commercial radio (Jim Price/ Q-94 and Bob Murray/ The Phoenix 1450 are the exceptions to that rule), don’t watch VH1 or MTV (do they play any music anyway?). It’s just not my thing. I need something a bit more adventurous. That said, from the cover of this CD ( a much classier looking Katharine McPhee-like glamour shot ) and my first listen to this CD, this could have been a good candidate for my friend Jim Price to review. He’s not nearly as old or cranky as I am. The press kit/bio touting karaoke and DJ skills didn’t help. However, on second listen I thought I could review this CD objectively so here goes. Shannon Marsyada does in fact have all the goods needed to succeed in the music business. Great voice, talented multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter and not too hard on the eyes either. The whole package. “The Ends Of Me” touches all the pop bases that you would expect, from dance/pop music for the clubs, “Music Luvv” and “Here 4 Life,” to pop ballads, “Singin’ In The Rain,” to mid tempo numbers like “Valleys” and the title track. I hear a hint of a much more optimistic, less depressing Sara McLachlin influence running through the CD as well. The production is clean and professional with Shannon’s voice right up front where it belongs. I would have liked to hear her in front of a real band of musicians as opposed to the sequenced and programmed instruments on display here but that’s just the old-school me carping about music in the digital age. Shannon Marsyada is in possession of a fine instrument vocally and if you’re a fan of modern pop music “The Ends Of Me” will not disappoint. - Sterling Koch, PA Musician

"Music On The Menu Live"

“Alright everybody, Happy Sunday! Welcome to ‘The Mountaingrown Hour/Music On The Menu Live’”

It’s hard to believe I’ve been saying those words for more than four years now, every Sunday night at 9 p.m. on 102.3-FM, The Mountain. But I guess time does indeed fly when you’re having fun, and I really do have a blast playing local artists on the radio for an hour each week. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to turn people on to some great new songs while giving local bands and songwriters the exposure and the airplay which they truly deserve.

It has also been quite liberating.

Since I began covering rock music in NEPA some 15 years ago, I’ve always done my best — whether it’s a band profile, CD review or concert review — to do something that’s often pretty hard to do: describe sound on paper. Sure, you can give people the genre of music of which the artist might fall into and offer plenty of descriptive adjectives to give them an idea of what they might sound like, but there’s nothing like simply playing it for them. There’s nothing like taking a band, which you may have read about in “Music On The Menu” in the paper and then sticking its music right in your ears on “Music On The Menu Live” on the radio.

One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in listeners over the past four years is how they are no longer surprised by the quality of the songs from local artists and the high production value of their albums. When The Mountain first started playing these songs in the fall of 2003, there seemed to be a sense of wonder among listeners as to how some of these local artists sounded so good. Now, they expect them to sound good. It’s not a surprise anymore for a regional act to record a great album. It’s almost commonplace, and I certainly think this change in thinking is a good thing, and I’m proud to have played a small part in it.

Though I love commenting about local music on the Sunday night show, I also sometimes bring in guests for interviews. Over the years, artists like Panacea, The Five Percent, OurAfter, George Wesley, Morning Pride and 40-Lb. Head have all come in and hung out for the full hour to talk about their music and/or the monthly “Weekender/Mountaingrown Original Music Series,” and sometimes in the spring, as we get ready for the annual “Concert For A Cause,” some of the bands on the bill will swing by to talk about the show.

Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres recording studio has also come in and served as guest “Mountainguide” quite a few times, playing us all a whole bunch of great songs, and even my friends from The Weekender such as Rachel Pugh and Michael Lello have come in to talk about musical projects they’ve been working on, such as our annual Cystic Fibrosis Benefit, the Women Who Rock show and the new Fixture original music series.

As the host of the program, I try, musically, to mix things up each week, always spinning lots of brand new tunes while peppering in a “Mountaingrown” classic or two. On any Sunday, you’ll likely hear some great new songs from fresh voices such as The SilenTreatment, Cabinet, Jared Campbell, Shawn Z. or Shannon Marsyada, as well as a nifty blast from the past from The Buoys, Strawberry Jam, Plus 3, Mere Mortals, Mighty Fine Wine or The Badlees. There’s roots rock from people like k8, big power-rock from bands like Lemongelli and plenty of modern rock from acts such as Fighting Zero, Newpastlife, Destination West, The Drama Club, and, of course, Breaking Benjamin.

New stuff comes my way all the time. I listen to all of it, and as long as it doesn’t stray too far off the station’s format, I play it.

Dave Stewart, the music director at The Mountain, serves as my producer, which is really just a nice way of saying that he makes sure I press all of the right buttons and twirl all of the right knobs in the studio each week, or — more honestly — he makes sure I don’t press any buttons or twirl any knobs and that I don’t break anything. Dave has been with me on the show for four years, and I appreciate the freedom he allows me in its programming, and I also enjoy the fun banter we have about the music.

“Music On The Menu Live” is all about the music.

Our music.

Music written and often recorded right here in NEPA.

It’s about taking the music you read about on this page and bringing it live into your radio.

“Alright everybody, Happy Sunday! Welcome to ‘The Mountaingrown Hour/Music On The Menu Live!’”

When I say those words each week, please know that they come with a big smile, and that I appreciate you tuning in. Your kind feedback has told me that you really like what you hear, and I’m very happy and very proud to play it. - Alan K. Stout/ Weekender

"Marsyada's Musical Mission"

When you ask aspiring musicians about their career goals , you usually get some of the same anwers. They want a record deal. They want to travel and tour around the world. They want to be a rock star.
Not so with Shannon Marsyada of Hazleton, who recently released an engaging new CD, " The Ends of Me." Marsyada, more than anything, says she simply wants to be a professional songwriter. The CD, she says, serves as more than just a creative outlet, but is also a way for her to shop her songs to music publishers.
" I hope the right ears get to hear it," says Marsyada. "My objective is to be a songwriter. I'm not looking to be a starlet. I'm just looking to be behind the scenes so I can stay home with my kids. If I can make money doing what I thoroughly enjoy, I'm happy to do it."
So, could Marsyada see herself as a future Diane Warren-type, the acclaimed hit-maker who writes chart -toppers for others and then collects millions in residuals?
"I love her," she says. "She's who I aspire to be. That's what I want to do. Her songs and her publishing company are all of her own music. She doesn't take anyone from the outside. She just writes hundreds and hundreds of songs."
Marsyada, 28, is also a prolific writer and also has hundreds of songs. She began writing when she was 13 after the death of her father. Two years later , at age 15, she recorded her first CD, "Me." Her second CD, "remember Today" was released when she was 18 and included "These Years,"her high school senior class song. That album was dedicated to het late brother, Patrick, who died when she was only 6. She says the new album was inspired from a variety of sources.
"I'm subjected to a lot of cool music in the clubs," she says, adding that she also works as a DJ. "The song 'Music Luvv' was inspired by a wild night of karaoke. I came home at two in the morning and had that one in my head. A publisher recently asked me how I write, and whether I write my lyrics first or the music first, and it's kind of simultaneous. It just hits me all at once. When I did 'Submission' I was putting laundry away. It's weird. I'll be doing anythinf, and this stuff will just pop into my head."
Simply observing life, she says, often serves as her muse.
" I listen to stories from my co-workers, my's from all over. It's not only from things that happen to me, and it's not just my life. But I do have a few songs written from a mother's perspective. One is about how a mother struggles with working and maintaining a household . My children inspire me greatly."
Marsyada plays both piano and guitar and programmed all of the music on the CD, which is available at Gallery of Sound stores and Barnes & Noble. It was recorded at Bruce Barre's home studio in Dallas. Barre is best known to NEPA music fans for his work with the Dead Letters, one of the region's most popular bands in the 90's.Barre also produces DJ Jumpin' Jeff Walker's semi annual charity CDs and Marsyada has also appeared on those CDsas a member of Walker's backing ensemble, The Wackjobs.
In addition to her DJ business , Marsyada is also considering putting together a wedding band. She also has a new original band that will showcase her original material and possibly do some covers. She also gives vocal lessons at C&C Music Center and Moratto's Music, both in Hazleton, and is currently organizing a new monthly artist showcase at the Comfort Inn in Hazleton.
No doubt, Marsyada is a busy lady, but she says she still gets her greatest creative fulfillment from writing songs.
"A lot of the writing started when my dad died. It was more like a therapy session for me. I wrote songs about him, and the way I felt. In the beginning I was very emo. I was a teenager, and you go through those things that teenagers go through, whrer you hate the world. Now, when I write, it clears the slate for whatever I'm going through. It takes care of my problems and gives me a sense of accomplishment. It could be the worst day on the planet, and I could write a song like 'Singing in the Rain' and feel better about it."
Marsyada says she hopes her listeners , after playing the CD , also feel uplifted.
"I'm sure that there's a song on there for everyone, and that anyone could relate to,"she says." The song 'Sisters' is dedicated to my sisters. I love them. What would I do without them? Anyone that's married could understand 'Valleys,' and 'Here for Life' is about is about a friend wanting to become more that a friend. One song is about rejection, and 'Fly' is about chasing a dream and realizing when you get there, it's nothing if you don't have the one you love to share it with you.
"It's all stuff that people go through, and I hope it makes them happy and makes them feel as good as it makes me feel when they listen to it." - Alan K. Stout /Weekender

"Working woman, mother of three, does a great job on solo CD"

Ten Years age, someone else who worked at this newspaperat the time wrote a piece about a CD called "Remember Today," recorded by a local girl named Shannon Miedaner.
After she wrote about it, the writer gave me the disc.I listened to it, and was impressed- especially considereing Shannon was just graduatingfrom high school. I was impressed by the fact that a high school senior would have the guts and acumen to record a disc, regardless of what it sounded like. Plus, the disc itsefl was impressive.Yes, in spots, the lyrics belied her age, but overall it was quite well done. To date, a handfull of songs-"I Hate You," "Yesterday it was Raining" and " Mexico"- still ring familiar.
A decade later, Shannon Miedaner is now Shannon Marasyada, a married mother of three- and something of a showbiz veteran.She's spent the last decade writing songs, which have fared well in a variety of song contests, and performing- both in shows and as a professional wedding singer.Shannon and her husband, Michael, have performed with radio jock Jumpin' Jeff Walker and his Whack Jobs- a studio conglomeration he puts together to record his sharp satires. And she runs a DJ service, Wedding Krashers. All that is in addition to being a full-time mother, having a full-time"dayjob" and supplementing her income giving voice lessons at Johnny Moratto's Music and C&C Music Center.
I don't know how she found the time, but she's also got a new CD:"The Ends of Me."

It is a true solo album; she did everything. She wrote the songs, produced the disc, played all the instruments, did the vocal-and drum-mixing. In fact, it appears the only real help she got was from her husband, who pkayed bess on the title track, and Bruce Barre, who engineered it. It was recorded at Barre's studio in Wilkes-Barre.
When talking to her, I was struck with the feeling she was a "guarded" person.She is no exhibitionist "leather babe."
"I do like classy things," she told me rather sheepishly."I think society is turning trashy. I'm not into dressing half naked. you're the product; not the clothes."
Even the disc's cover photo which is provacative, but far more Polly Bergen than Madonna- was something "I had to ponder a long time," she said.
But if she's guarded in her appearance and demeanor, she is very expressionist in her lyrics. The 11 tracks on "The Ends of Me" are descriptive and emotional.
It opens with "Music Luvv," a melodic, dancey, R&B-flavored tune with a big beat and a touch of'70s disco. It's catchy and clever,though it's probably the weakest lyrical track here. The fade is probably a bit too fast as well.
"Valleys" is a straightforward mid-tempo. You might find a very slight resemblence to 80's Elton John.Lyrics refer to valleys and peaks in relationships:"Valley's make mountains beautiful- some days I hate you and everything's your fault." It's a great metaphor."The valley's make the mountains beautiful'; that line came from my mother," she said.
"Singin' in the Rain"- not the one you're thinking of!- is a soulful piano ballad.But don't think AC ballad . This is a ballad soley because of the slow pace and the "story' aspect of the lyrics. She wails! Lyrics are about persevering.
"It's about how hard it is trying to get somewhere in the nusic business,"Shannon said. But lyrics are ambiguous enough to relate to perseverance in general.
There's more dance-floor stuff in "Here4 Life." Opening verses are sort of call and reponse. If you remember Depeche Mode, you might notice a slight similarity. Even the "line-up-line-down" structure of the chorus is reminiscent of '80s/'90s stuff like Heaven 17.
The title track is another mid-tempo; opening with a solo piano as the somewhat - soulish backbeat creeps in. Lyrics are personal strength, even if realized a bit late:"I deserve better. I don't wanna settle for someone who's never there for me....there's no limit to the ends od me." But don't think braggadocio"I'm worth it ." It's more realization than conceit.
"In Front of Their Eyes" opens with a dramatic "keyboard dance" intro. Here, the singer, rather than being the actor in the lyrics, is an observer-the third person is the main player. Underneath the fluttering keyboard is a subtle dance beat.
"Sisters," which opens with a melodic jewelry box piano, is a wistful, staightforward homage to "both my sisters."
I completely misread "Submission," a dramatic dance/pop tune with pauses for effect. I took it for being a woman's 2 a.m. desperation in a nightclub and a willingness to "submit to you," as the lyrics read, regardless of who "you"is. But no!
"Actually it's more about how I feel I'm submitting to the music business; trying to do what it expects and I want it to notice me," she said,"But I guess it can be taken in several ways. I whipped that one up when putting the laundry away."
"Acceptance" is an intense solo piano ballad. An interesting and dramatic twist is the set of the rapid-fire verses nea - L.A. Tarone/ Standard Speaker

"Shannon Marsyada Shines at Opera House"

Home<<< RETURN to Jim Thorpe Official WebsiteAbout the Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce.Jim Thorpe, PA – What's Going On
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June 5, 2010 by jtccjimthorpe

In my role with the Mauch Chunk Opera House I’ve always been fortunate to see remarkable musical talent and then also experience some pleasant surprises. You know you did well in your booking choices when you hear it from the crowd, and especially when that reaction is for the opening performer.

One musician who stands out in this regard is Shannon Marsyada, a singer-songwriter from West Hazleton, PA with a powerful voice and exceptional skills at the piano and keyboards and as a songwriter. Her sound could perhaps be described as a mix of Annie Lennox, Shakira and Amy Lee, but much (maybe most) of her work is original.

Performing at 2009 Fall Foliage Festival in Jim Thorpe
I have frequently booked her for Jim Thorpe’s Fall Foliage Weekends and her performances have always attracted appreciative audiences. At last year’s festival, she quite willingly played outside in the cold weather with fingerless gloves and an uncomplaining attitude. My kind of performer.

The background storyline is that Ms. Marsyada is the hardworking mother of three, and she and her husband Mike scramble to perform at various events while attending to the all-consuming task of raising a family.

Shannon Marsyada at Anita Shapolsky Gallery
The progress in her music and stage presence suggested she might be ready to appear at the Opera House. Her first performance with us was as the opener for a Massachusetts singer-songwriter duo called The Nields. When they appeared, they cheerfully reminded the crowd to remember the night, because “surely Shannon will be famous.”

When she opened for the great singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor this last May, a big crowd was able to see her firsthand and responded to each song with rousing applause. Here is her interpretation of a haunting Enya tune, and here is an original number, both of which she performed on the Opera House’s venerable 1898 Chickering grand piano. Mr. Taylor himself admired her work, with many compliments before he began his set.

Afterwards, an especially pleased crowd left the venue, just about all remarking that the “opening act” was very good, and asking me to give them her name again. I told them her name was Shannon Marsyada and I hoped that we’d be seeing her back in Jim Thorpe at the Opera House soon.

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For You 2013
The Ends of Me - 2008
Remember Today - 1997
Me - 1994



Rocking the EAST coast music scene, singer songwriter Shannon Marsyada has made a fan base thanks to energetic performances at the Bitter End in NY, Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia PA, and many showcases and festivals. Extremely vocally diverse, and an entertaining spirit make this artist stand out from the others, not to mention the ORIGINAL sound that has brought many audiences to "tears"! "A true diamond in the rough...and one of the freshest new throwback sounds i've heard"~Harvey Rosen. Avatar Studios NY.
With a new album in the beginning stages, and a previous album currently featured on many radio stations in NEPA, this is a star not waiting to be born, but needing the chance to shine above the rest.
In 2011, Shannon Marsyada submitted a rough home demo to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in NY. As she had done in the past, and expecting no response, as usual, her spirit and belief in her music kept her submitting. This time, she had sparked an interest in producer Peter Bliss, who then invited Shannon to perform at the SongHall's New Writer's Showcase. Now the heat had been turned up a notch, and things began getting interesting. Shannon recruited local bassist Lisa Welch, and her husband Michael, to for the Shannon Marsyada Trio. They performed a set of original tunes, and so many in the audience were thrilled with their appearance, asking for cd's and landing Shannon's current entertainment lawyer.
A year later, the album For You was recorded, and distributed by Shannon and Mike's Indie-label, Meant to Be Records.The threesome had performed regularly for the past three years and decided to part ways.
Shannon and Mike have reformed, and currently perform as Shannon Marsyada and Kompany...otherwise know as S.M.A.K.
So have a listen, anticipate the new album,and be prepared to be SMAK'ed!