shaun reyes
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shaun reyes

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""Food for the Soul" review"

Shaun Reyes got a lot of studio support on what is nominally a solo album but succeeds throughout in establishing himself as a versatile vocalist and a formidable talent on ukulele. He opens strong -- very strong -- with an instrumental rendition of "Kawika" that showcases his uke playing and leaves no doubt that this guy can jam. As the first track on the album it is a perfect choice -- a grand slam out of the park, if you will, or a 60-yard field goal in the final second of the championship game.
Reyes shows his imagination as an arranger with "Hi'ilawe." He plays it as a duet with ukulele master Herb Ohta Jr., and at a tempo considerably faster than the standard Hawaiian version. Jon Porlas (percussion) and co-producer Jon Yamasato (bass) share credit for a memorable reworking of a well-known melody.

On the other hand, Reyes' solo take on "You Don't Know Me" shows that he can make a melody his own and explore variations of it without taking it to the point that it becomes unrecognizable.

"Bubble Tune," one of the two songs he wrote for the project, is another highlight. It would have worked quite well as a change of pace if he'd played the entire thing in the blues arrangement he starts out in, but the sudden jump to a fast and frenetic pace results in another chance to display his speed scratching and picking.

Uptempo work is also the thing on "Nathan's Song," an electric jazz number written by Nathan Aweau that features the Hoku Award-winner on bass.

Reyes establishes himself as a vocalist with "No Ke Ano Ahiahi" and shows his romantic pop side with a plaintive remake of "Turn Your Lights Down Low." Yes, Reyes can deliver a love song!

Reyes and Yamasato make a series of good choices as co-producers. An acoustic piano is all the additional backing Reyes needs on "Turn Your Lights Down Low," and guitarist Vernon Sakata provides sufficient contrast on "Liani," Reyes' other original composition. However, the bigger jazz/rock sound of "Nathan's Song" fits in as well.

The liner notes don't mention Reyes' reasons for including a routine remake of "On And On" when his work elsewhere shows greater capabilities, but don't begrudge him a single marginal song. - John Berger Honolulu Star Bulletin


"Ukulele Newbie Partners with Greats"

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

"Food for the Soul" by Shaun Reyes; Kani Makou Entertainment

Genre: 'Ukulele instruments, some vocals.

Distinguishing notes: For Pauoa-raised performer Shaun Reyes, now a Hawai'i Kai resident, music has been a hobby. He earned a degree in fire and environmental response and worked with the fire department. But he counts among his pals Jake Shimabukuro, Herb Ohta Jr., Vernon Sakata and Gary Shimabukuro and claims mentorship by Jon Yamasato, Dave Tucciarone, BB Shawn and Natural Vibrations, so it's not surprising that some — Yamasato, Ohta, Sakata, along with Nathan Aweau — participate on his debut CD, which showcases his frisky strumming.

The happy mix of old and new — Ohta plucks marvelously on "Hi'ilawe," "Liani" features Sakata, "Nathan's Song" (of course) has fingerprints from Aweau himself — suggests that Reyes also has good advisers, seeking a broad fan base.

"Into the Mystic" is a gentle entry in the folk vein, with Reyes providing vocals. "On and On," the Stephen Bishop classic, is another Reyes vocal that welcomes those Gibson women, Maila and Kanoe, with blessedly sweet harmonies.

"Kawika" is that classic revisited with precise fingering and an arrangement that reaches to a new generation of potential fans. "No Ke Ano Ahiahi" is another oldie retooled with vocals.

"You Don't Know Me" is another demonstration of Reyes' eloquent fingers. If folks tune in to Reyes' craft, they certainly will know and love him, the way the community has embraced strummers such as Ohta and Daniel Ho, who continue to bolster the uke tradition.

- Honolulu Advertiser


"Kani Makou Easy Stylin review"

"Easy Stylin' "

Kani Makou
Kani Makou
Kani Makou joins the roster of interchangeable Jawaiian acts that release an album that use celebrity guests to add star power, hire studio musicians who do much of the work, and trot out a collection of formulaic reggae remakes that ensure local radio play.
But this album shows some promise after repeated listenings. Several plaintive originals are sung without that tired and affected Jamaican accent, suggesting broader horizons as writers and performers.

The key man in the trio is Shaun Reyes. His work on ukulele adds pizzazz even to the most generic material. Reyes and rhythm guitarist Shane Mahiai do a fine job leading the studio musicians through a zesty rendition of "Guava Jam," but two originals seem more likely to become local hits. "Beach Party" is perfect Jawaiian radio fare, while "Sandy's" recycles enough pop hooks to make it a hit as well. - honolulu star bulletin


Discography

Kani Makou "easy stylin"
Kani Makou "cool state of mind"
Shaun Reyes "food for the soul"

Rock N Groove #1 hawaii local radio
I Wanna Be Her Man #1 hawaii local radio
Once Again #1 hawaii local radio
I'm Waiting #1 hawaii local radio
Hold Me In Your Arms #1 hawaii local radio
Sandy's Time Warner Cable rotation

Photos

Bio

Shaun grew up in Pauoa valley, Oahu- a small valley next to the famous Punchbowl Memorial. Shaun started playing ukulele around the age of seven. A pure self taught musician, Shaun started his musical journey practicing long hours in the bedroom. Doing it only by ear and a chord book, Shaun developed the skills that later would demand attention from other professional musicians. Upon graduating from Kaiser High School in '98, Shaun was already gigging around town, playing with whomever he could. Although Shaun’s vocals had not reached its potential yet, Shaun could play very well. Shaun continued to gig while in college studying fire science. During this time he formed a local reggae band called Kani Makou. He later graduated in '02 and joined the Fire Department.
In 2003, Kani Makou started recording its first of two albums with local Grammy nominated producer, Dave Tucciarone. Released in 2004, Kani Makou’s first album “easy stylin” was a huge success locally. Songs “Rock N Groove” and I Wanna Be Her Man” got heavy rotation on local radio. The following year in 2005, Kani Makou released their second album called “Cool State of Mind”. Again under Dave Tucciarone, the album was a success. This time spinning 4 #1 songs on local radio.
Shaun continued to play with Kani Makou for another 2 years. In 2007, Shaun left the band to forward his music venture. In the fall of '07 Shaun released a ukulele instrumental album, “food for the soul”. Now playing guitar and ukulele, Shaun also delivered smooth vocals on classic songs like Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic”. Although an instrumental album, the 4 vocal tracks on the album were fan favorites. Receiving excellent reviews from local media, “Food for the Soul” was another success for Shaun.
Currently studying music at the University of Hawaii, Shaun still finds time to learn from anyone he can. Shaun has studied music with numerous musicians such as, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro ( d’addario, kamaka endorsee) , Herb Ohta Jr., Vernon Sakata and Gary Shimabukuro. (Berklee College of Music) He also has worked with with many renown musicians/producers such as Grammy nominated musician Nathan Aweau (Hapa), Grammy nominated producer Dave Tucciarone, and Grammy winner Daniel Ho to name a few.
Still displaying his master skills on the ukulele, Shaun is currently concentrating on his songwriting. Now with many fans requesting a vocal album, Shaun has become more of a singer/song-writer. Shaun has grown so much as a songwriter. Reaching down in his soul for the most deep and honest lyrics he can find, Shaun will not fail to touch you.