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    Michael Shynes

    Michael Shynes

    Presented by The Veranda Lounge at Veranda Lounge

    May 25, 2013

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    While growing up in a small town in central Minnesota, music played only a small role in the life of singer/songwriter Michael Shynes. “I can’t say that it was my first love, but I am honestly glad that it wasn’t. I found it when I was drawn to it, and that’s the best and most natural way for anything to take place.” So what then, led to the musical transformation? Although I was expecting an elaborate and lengthy response, his answer was simply, “A black garbage bag.” Shynes then explains.

    “When we would take trips up north to visit family on weekends, I would venture around the house in search of things that my uncles had left behind. And on a trip I found this bag full of old cassette tapes. So I began throwing them in the stereo one after another. U2, Journey, The Police, Don Henley.” Shynes then pauses to reflect. “And it wasn’t necessarily a feeling like I had to go out that instant to buy a guitar and start writing music. It was more of a fascination with the fact that every track had the potential to alter my mood or take me to another place.” In terms of his own beginnings, Shynes utilized what was available.

    “I started out playing piano first. It was a situation where we had an old one sitting in our house, so it was a good place to start.” He began playing along with popular songs prior to learning the instrument. “I would pick up on things quickly in terms of which keys worked, and which didn’t. That seemed to impress people the most, but I was more excited about the opportunity to bring something of new to the table.” Shynes was encouraged to take lessons, but quickly lost interest. “If my memory serves me, I had one guitar lesson, a few piano lessons in 6th grade, and a handful of voice lessons in High School.” Shynes was not enamored with the task of having to learn in such a format. “Everything felt so confined and straightforward. Here are the notes on a page, replicate them. It defeated the entire purpose of why I started playing music in the first place. I loved it because there were no rules. And the more I sensed confinement creeping into play, the faster I ran in the opposite direction.”

    From a performance side, Shynes began his career as a singer only. “Like most young kids, it all started in basements and garages. Just best friends with a common interest, and we tried our best.” He laughs and confesses that the task wasn’t always successful. “We were a mess at times, but you have to work at something before you can become good at it. That’s the beauty of the process.” When asked about the takeaways and benefits of starting out as a singer exclusively, Shynes admits that it had a profound effect. “It benefited me in a huge way to be able to start exclusively from the lyrical and pattern writing side. I was able to recognize the ingredients of what made a well crafted melody. So much of music is just knowing who you are and where your strengths reside.”

    After several years of writing and performing with various bands and projects, Shynes began to sense a dissonance growing inside of him. “For me it has never been about just having a good time. I try to get into that head space I can never stay for long.” Another long pause to gather perspective. “It is simply my life. Its what keeps me up at night and wakes me up early in the morning.” When I appear discerning of his statement, Shynes simply laughs and says “I can’t help it.”

    So far, that unrelenting passion has enabled him to accomplish some truly noteworthy feats. In his brief tenure as a songwriter, Shynes has performed on some of the most recognizable stages in the Midwest (The Excel Energy Center, The Taste of Minnesota Mainstage, and Mississippi Music Fest to name a few). He has also shared the stage with countless National acts such as Eric Hutchinson, Tyler Hilton, Caleb Hawley, Kevin Daniel, and Soul Asylum.

    Listing these accolades off to him one after another, he seems unmoved by the content. “If I was satisfied I would have stopped by now, but I feel like I’m just getting started.

    As for what the future holds for the gifted singer/songwriter, his outlook is simple. “Its not as much about looking ahead as it is about savoring every moment. If you’re out there playing a show with your next show in mind, you are missing the opportunity to reach people.” When I asked him how, he goes about reaching an audience, his answer was quite provocative. “You have to reach yourself first, and then assume that as humans we are all fighting the same battles.” Shynes believes that if he is able to do that, that success ultimately follow. I, for one, will not be betting against him.

    -Tyler Evans RX Magazine

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      • Venue Info

        Veranda Lounge

        22 South Fifth Avenue
        St. Cloud, MN 56301

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        Info Phone: 320-203-0331

      • Dates & Times

        May 25, 2013



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