Review: Reverend Shawn Amos – The Reverend Shawn Amos Tells It

Posted on: Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014

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Reverend Shawn Amos – The Reverend Shawn Amos Tells It (EP)

(Put Together)

This is a very interesting set from a very interesting character. Shawn Amos – an ordained minister – was born to two parents in the music business and grew up in Los Angeles in the 70s. He performed and recorded with Solomon Burke and oversaw reissues of box sets by Johnny “Guitar” Watson and John Lee Hooker (“50 Years: John Lee Hooker Anthology” in 2006) for Shout! Factory, though his own musical career inclined to singer/ songwriter material, though with a strong African –American approach. He says of himself, “The thing is, I’ve always been a student of the blues, I just wasn’t a practitioner” – until now.

This is a six track CD EP, and opens with a very fine Junior Wells inspired rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson’s ‘Hoodoo Man Blues’ (with some excellent harmonica work from Shawn himself) before moving into the ponderous funk and easy shuffle of the split tempo ‘(The Girl Is) Heavy’. ‘I’m The Face’ is akin to Billy Boy Arnold thinking about Slim Harpo’s ‘Got Love If You Want It’ whilst performing a cover from The Who (well, The High Numbers, actually), and then Elmore James’ ‘Something Inside Me’ gets a stripped down treatment revealing just what a fine singer the Reverend is.

The band captures that low-down rhythm sound extremely well here, and guitarist Chris Roberts’ high register rhythm playing is unusual and noteworthy. ‘Good Morning School Girl’ brings us back to Sonny Boy Williamson No. 1 and Junior Wells – as fine a performance as the opener – and the set closes out with an impassioned R&B ballad. On this evidence the Reverend is a name to watch out for…

NORMAN DARWEN

www.shawnamos.com

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