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Shawn Ryan | Blue Skies

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United States - California - LA

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Easy Listening: Cabaret Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Blue Skies

by Shawn Ryan

Wonderfully fun and smooth jazz stylings with a bit of Cabaret thrown in for good measure. A pure delight.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Blue Skies
2:18 album only
2. The First Thing You Know
2:32 album only
3. I'm Checkin' Out
4:43 album only
4. Moon River
4:31 album only
5. Baby, It's Cold Outside (Duet with Kim Nalley)
3:23 album only
6. My Simple Christmas Wish (Live)
3:35 album only
7. Down With Love
3:25 album only
8. Here's That Rainy Day
4:03 album only
9. Goin' to the Dance With You
3:30 album only
10. I've Never Been in Love Before
3:57 album only
11. Beat My Dog (Live)
2:44 album only
12. Fools in Love
3:43 album only
13. The Very Thought of You
4:10 album only
14. Feelin' Good
2:42 album only


Album Notes
About Shawn...
Shawn Ryan is quickly becoming one of the brightest stars in the jazz cabaret world having what the Beverly Hills Outlook calls "that charm that is rare!". After winning the "2000 Bay Area Cabaret Competition" hosted by Piaf's Restaurant and Cabaret, San Francisco embraced Shawn Ryan as "the hottest young cabaret singer to hit the scene!". This dazzling performer combines classic standards and insightful comedy for an unforgettable evening of jazz, cabaret and comedy.

Shawn studied acting at the famed American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. While at school Shawn fell in love with New York's Cabaret scene. Although the school strictly prohibited students from performing while in the program, he could not resist and at 18 years old, Shawn was sneaking into clubs to "sing for his supper".

Upon completion of the program in New York, Shawn moved back to the "City By The Bay" where for the next few years he starred in several professional theatre productions. San Francisco audiences may remember him as Sylvia Steinberg in "Miss Desmond Behind Bars", a musical parody about the aftermath of the film "Sunset Boulevard". In the summer of 1999, Shawn also co-starred in the world premiere of Jack Heifner's "Key West" at The New Conservatory Theatre Center. Some of Shawn's favorite roles also include: Finch in "How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying", Claudio in "Much Ado About Nothing", Sky in "Guys and Dolls", and his self written one-man show "As I Lay Me Down", a reflection on love and life.

It was upon winning the "2000 Bay Area Cabaret Competition" that Shawn's career in the cabaret circuit took off! He joined forces with legendary Bay Area pianist and arranger, Kelly Park and created his first show, "Lovin' Life" which debuted to rave reviews at the illustrious Plush Room in San Francisco in 2001.

After such a triumphant start in the business, the cabaret community welcomed Shawn with open arms and in June of 2002, Shawn released his debut album on the independent Dog House label. Shawn's first national tour of 13 U.S. cities brought a nomination for a prestigious MAC Award (Manhattan Assoc. of Cabaret) as "Best Musical Comedy Show". His 2nd album, newly signed onto the LML Music Label, will be released July 10th, 2005. His 2005 Tour will include stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, Napa, Portland, Seattle, Puerto Vallarta, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Palm Beach, Key West, and many more! He is also performing this October at the 2005 Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention in NYC at Lincoln Center!

With a recent move to Los Angeles, this young performer's career in film and television is also blossoming before our eyes. Most recently Shawn filmed roles in the film American Pie 3 starring Jason Biggs, and the upcoming films First Daughter starring Michael Keaton and Katie Holmes, and The Job starring Daryl Hannah.

"This kid's got it! Unforgettable show!"-Lillias White, Tony Award Winning Actress



to write a review


Even Better!
Following up his self-titled debut, Shawn delivers a one-two punch that leaves one waiting for his next album. An engaging performer, this cd features two live cuts that show him in his element, not just as a "crooner" but as a full-out entertainer. Highly worth buying...

Brian Handy

Interesting collection
Shawn Ryan's sophomore effort builds on his solid debut CD. I enjoy his renditions of "Blue Skies," "Moon River," and (especially) "Baby It's Cold Outside." It's nice to hear the latter outside the context of a "pure" Christmas album. I'm not keen on the other holiday selection, "Christmas Wish," but its inclusion is an artistic leap. Probably many of Ryan's fans (myself included) appreciate his gender specific lyrics--even in 2006, there ain't so many boys singing about boys. That Ryan does so, and does so well, makes his CDs immediately memorable. Good work!

Tom Steele

witty panache...an auspicious debut!
Openly gay and flat-out adorable, Shawn Ryan is also blessed with a warm, buoyant baritone that you can really relax with: He never sounds forced, and he always sounds like he’s having a wonderful time. His second disc of cabaret and pop standards (available at www.shawn-ryan.com) more than fulfills the promise of his first, thanks in part to Kelly Park’s swinging arrangements and a jazzy studio combo. High points include a gay rendition of Mel Tormé’s underperformed “The First Thing You Know” and Jay Leonhart’s “Beat My Dog,” performed live with witty panache. Tom Steele

Rob Lester

simultaneously sweet and swinging
If you think a CD can't be simultaneously sweet and swinging, if you think a singer can't be vulnerable and vivacious, then you haven't heard Shawn Ryan. Blue Skies is his second album and, like his first one, it's been living in my CD player a lot. Shawn is a young, openly gay performer who uses the pronouns "he" and "him" when singing love songs. In his liner notes, he dedicates the album to his "true love," John Ainsworth, who is one of its producers.

This smooth-voiced guy could have easily crooned his way through a full album of ultra-romantic ballads (which he can do very well), and called it a day, but instead he shows us his versatility. A happy, finger-snappy "The First Thing You Know" by Mel Torme is a great pick-me-up that could make a statue smile. Shel Silverstein's "I'm Checkin' Out" displays broad humor, a flair for parody and the otherwise unexplored deep tones his voice can reach. It's a hoot. "Feeling Good" (Anthony Newley/ Leslie Bricusse) from The Roar Of The Greasepaint ... shows some soulfulness. He has fun with "Beat My Dog" from the fertile mind of Jay Leonhart, master of the quirky tongue-in-cheek tune. Two Frank Loesser gems are featured: a warm-all-over "I've Never Been In Love Before" (Guys And Dolls) and "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Duetted with a spunky lady named Kim Nalley, the latter is not handled with its usual boy-girl playful seduction scenario, but is playfully gayfully fun, with spoken asides. I especially like the old-fashioned treatment of "Goin' To the Dance With You," complete with a sound effect at the beginning to simulate the scratches of an old vinyl (or shellac) record.

There's one original song ("Fools In Love") by musical director-pianist-co-producer Kelly Park, with whom Shawn continues his partnership. Park's musicality and skilled playing are even more in evidence in their second outing. Rolf Johnson's trumpet is a welcome presence, and sax and guitar are used very effectively on a few tracks. Although it's enjoyable to hear David Friedman's brilliant and outrageous "My Simple Christmas Wish" and Barbra Streisand's 1960s tour-de-force version of "Down With Love" with snippets of famous love songs, I'd rather see this talented performer get ahold of some comic special material numbers of his own, tailor-made. Two of the cuts are from a live show, and it's clear that he has comic timing and a way with an audience.

Much as I like this recording, and I like it a whole lot, I am willing to bet that each succeeding album will succeed even more to show the full potential of this still-burgeoning talent. But don't hesitate to get his first two albums now. This one will make you smile a lot, from the comically "coy boy" moments to the happy-go-lucky numbers to the lush valentine-worthy love songs like the nicely-phrased trip gliding along "Moon River." Highly recommended and a treasure of pleasure. Bravo!