Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Album Review: Reverend Shawn Amos - The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You

The Reverend Shawn Amos
The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You
***and1/2 out of *****
Reverend Shawn Amos's newest release is direct in it's affection for the blues, soul, gospel and most importantly the listener. The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You is a joyous celebration of sound, retro playing and soulful singing all grounded in the blues style of Americana.

The New York born, Los Angeles based Amos (whose dad was the Famous Amos Cookie Guy) dips south for inspiration as the dusty hot delta is where these songs sprung to life. The opening "Days of Depression" is stripped down rural gospel incorporating The Blind Boys of Alabama to help with the swinging low.

This restrained opener however sets a fake scene as the rest of the album is upbeat and energetic, no song more so than "Brand New Man" which slams with old fashion rock and roll power of horns and blazing guitars. The sauntering blues power wanders into Tinseltown on "Hollywood Blues" while a bit of fried funky stuff powered by Amos harmonica highlights "You're Gonna Miss Me (When I Get Home)".

There aren't many missteps, "Brothers Keeper" is one note and stays too long an "Put Together" feels a bit over produced but overall Amos tribute/embodiment of modern/retro tinged blues is a success 

The ghost of Willie Dixon floats in and out of things specifically on "Will You Be Mine" and the "Spoonful'" sounding "Boogie" which has Missy Anderson helping out on vocals. "Joliet Bound" continues the blues wandering, this time up to Chicago, while a cover of Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights, Big City" is sung as a duet with Mindi Abair and rings as true today as it did in 1961.

In looking back to the past, Amos has crafted an album that sounds fresh; a testament to the ever malleable genre of the blues and the performer himself. 
Support the artist, buy the album or stream it and peep some video below:

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