The Rev. Shawn Amos’ Latest LP Itself Never “Breaks Down”

Courtesy: Put Together Records

Late next month, The Reverend Shawn Amos will release his next full-length studio album, The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down. The nine-song collection will have come less than a year after the release of his most recent album The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You, when it is released, and is a welcome return from the veteran bluesman. That is due in no small part to the album’s musical arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. The record’s lyrical themes are just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements. They will be discussed later. Last but definitely not least of note in examining this record is its overall sequencing. It will also be discussed later. Each noted element is important in its own way to the album’s whole. All things considered, they make The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down a record that never breaks down.

The Reverend Shawn Amos’ latest full-length studio recording The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down is another impressive offering from the veteran bluesman. From start to finish, it is a work that never breaks down. Yes, that awful pun was intended. That is due in no small part to the album’s musical arrangements. The arrangements are so notable because of their variety. The album starts out with a pure, old schoolChicago blues style arrangement — complete with harmonica — in ‘Moved.’ It is an arrangement that will easily appeal to blues purists, considering it is just Amos, a guitar and a harmonica. ‘2017,’ which is also one of the album’s singles, boasts a more modern, almost R&B-infused arrangement that will appeal to fans of B.b. King. ‘Hold Hands’ comes across as a more blues-rock style arrangement, showing even more the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements. That is only the first part of the record, too. ‘The Jean Genie,’ which is a cover of David Bowie’s original and the album’s fourth offering, boasts an arrangement that will appeal to fans of Muddy Waters while the trio of songs that make up the album’s ‘Freedom Suite’ — ‘Uncle Tom’s Prayer’ (one of the album’s three covers), ‘Does My Life Matter’ and ‘We’ve Got To Come Together’ will instantly transport audiences back to the civil rights era through their arrangements (and topical matter, which will be discussed later). Amos’ take on ‘Uncle Tom’s Prayer’ pays full tribute to Cordell Reagon’s original while the full-on contemplative vibe of ‘Does My Life Matter’ will touch listeners deeply with its arrangement. One can almost see the song’s subject going back and forth with himself before finally realizing his place is just as important as anyone else’s as he sings. ‘(We’ve Got To) Come Together,’ with its funky guitars and horns, takes audiences back to the 1970s . As if that isn’t enough, the album’s final pair of songs — ‘Ain’t Gonna Name Names’ and Amos’ cover of (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding,’ which is the third of the album’s covers — keep that musical time capsule wide open. The bonus closer ‘Diggin’ My Potatoes’ is another old school blues opus that will appeal in its own right to blues purists, too. Between that arrangement and each of the others presented throughout the course of the album’s 33-minute run time, it becomes clear just how much the arrangements offer listeners. That in turn shows the importance of the arrangements to the album’s whole. Of course the arrangements are collectively just one part of what makes the album another positive effort from Amos. The album’s lyrical themes are just as important to discuss as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical themes presented throughout this album are so important to note because they are by and large very socially conscious. From the clear push for unity presented in ‘Hold Hands’ to the ‘Freedom Suite,’ which as already noted, takes listeners back to the civil rights, to the original ‘2017,’ which reminds listeners (and warns them) of the impact of the events of 2017, this record’s lyrical themes are very deep concepts. Even ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding’ is a clearly socially conscious work that is just as relevant today as it was way back in 1974. To a lesser extent, one could even argue that ‘Moved,’ the album’s opener, presents its own social conscience as Amos sings from the vantage point of someone struggling internally with some very strong and conflicting thoughts. Given, not every one of the album’s songs boasts the social conscienceness that is evident throughout the majority of the album (I.E. ‘Diggin’ My Potatoes,’ ‘The Jean Genie’), but even with this in mind, those anomalies are still enjoyable in their own right with their themes. Keeping this all in mind, the collective lyrical themes presented throughout this album are just as deep as the album’s musical arrangements. They still are not the last of the album’s most important elements. Its sequencing roudns out its most important elements.

The sequencing of Amos’ forthcoming album is so critical to its presentation because it serves to maintain the album’s energy from start to finish. The album starts slow and brooding in ‘Move,’ wasting no time picking up the energy in the next two songs. ‘Jean Genie’ slows things back down a bit. That more contemplative vibe continues from there through most of the ‘Freedom Suite’ before picking back up in the Suite’s closer. The album pulls back a little more again from there before closing out in solemn, gospel style in ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding.’ That gentle finale makes for an interesting juxtaposition to the album’s opener, which is — again — slow in its own right, but in different fashion. It is just as interesting in comparison to the rest of the album’ stylistically speaking. That variance of energies (and balance) from beginning to end, ensures listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment just as much as the album’s musical arrangements themselves and their companion lyrical themes. When all three elements are considered alongside each other, they create a picture that proves in total that this record is one that at no point ever breaks down.

The Reverend Shawn Amos’ latest full-length studio recording The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down is an effort that itself never breaks down. Rather, it is a record that proves to be another success from the veteran bluesman. As has already been noted, that is due in part to the musical arrangements that will appeal to blues fans of all types and ages. The largely socially conscious lyrical themes presented across the album collectively strengthen its foundation even more. Its sequencing puts the final touch to its presentation. Each element is important in its own way to the album’s whole. All things considered, they make the album another solid new effort from The Reverend Shawn Amos. More information on The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down is available online now along with all of his latest live dates, news and more at:

Website: http://www.shawnamos.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/therevamos

Twitter: http://twitter.com/therevamos

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Reverend Shawn Amos Debuts Second Single From ‘The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down’

Courtesy: Missing Piece Group

The Reverend Shawn Amos is giving audiences another taste of his next new album.

Amos debuted this week the song ‘2017,’ which is included in his forthcoming full-length studio recording The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down. The album is currently scheduled to be released Feb. `16, 2018. Amos said of the song, which was recorded with the surviving members of Al Green’s famed 1970 rhythm section at Memphis’ Royal Studios, in a recent interview that the song is focuses on getting people to stop and think.

‘2017’ is just the latest single to be released from The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down. ‘Ain’t Gonna Name Names’ was released this past spring.

More information on ‘2017’ is available online along with Amos’ new album and more at:

Website: http://www.shawnamos.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/therevamos

Twitter: http://twitter.com/therevamos

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Reverend Shawn Amos Premieres New Video; Announces New Live Dates

The Reverend Shawn Amos unveiled a new music video last week.  He also announced a new handful of live dates in support of his latest album The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You.

The Reverend Shawn Amos debuted the video for his song ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me (When I Get Home)’ last week.  The song is taken from his latest full-length studio recording The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You, which was released late last year.  Audiences can see the video online now via Amos’ official YouTube channel.  The video uses some interesting imagery to drive home song’s lyrical theme.  This should be kept in mind in watching the video.

 

Courtesy:  Put Together Records

Courtesy: Put Together Records

 

‘You’re Gonna Miss Me (When I Get Home)’ and its companion video are just the latest from Amos, who is in fact a fully ordained minister.  ‘Bright Lights, Big City,’ the album’s lead single, was premiered via Yahoo Music.  ‘Days of Depression,’ which features backing vocals from the world famous Blind Boys of Alabama, premiered online at Relix.  And ‘Brand New Man’ made its debut online at PureVolume.

Along with the release of his latest single, Amos also announced a new group of select live dates.  The performances are specifically in California.  They include performances in Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Santa Rosa, and Petaluma, California.  The full schedule of dates is noted below.

Tour Dates:
4/29 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Boathouse Collective
5/06 – Los Angeles, CA – Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Jazz Grill
5/14 – Los Angeles, CA – TEDxEchoPark
5/20 –  Costa Mesa, CA – The Boathouse Collective
6/03 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills
6/04 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills
6/09 – Las Vegas, NV – Palazzo / Venetian
6/10 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills
6/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills

6/17 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Boathouse Collective

8/11 – Santa Rosa, CA – Krush Backyard Concert
8/12 – Petaluma, CA – The Big Easy

 

Amos, who is the son of Famous Amos Cookies’ magnate Wally “Famous” Amos (of Famous Amos cookies) and nightclub singer Shirl-ee May Ellis, has been very busy making the media rounds in publicizing his album along with his live dates and single releases.  He was a guest on NPR’s Weekend Edition recently.  During his interview with host Karen Grisby, Amos discussed his upbringing and its impact on his music.  That interview can be heard here now.  He was also recently a musical guest on Good Day New York, ABC News, and Classicalite.  More information on Amos’ upcoming appearances, live dates, music, and more is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shawnamos.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReverendShawnAmos

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShawnAmos

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Listeners Will All Love The Reverend Shawn Amos’ Latest LP

Courtesy:  Put Together

Courtesy: Put Together

The Reverend Shawn Amos’ latest album The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You is one of the best of this year’s new blues offerings and potentially one of the year’s best new albums overall. Regardless of listeners’ familiarity with Amos and his music, it can be said in listening to his new album that it is just as impressive of an introduction for new fans as it is a return for those that are more familiar with his work. That is made clear first and foremost through the album’s musical content. From beginning to end, Amos refuses to stick to just one style of blues, opting instead to present different styles of blues. The Delta blues influence is just as obvious in this record as is the Chicago blues sound. It could even be argued that there’s a hint of the Texas blues style included in this record, too. It’s just one part of what makes this record such an enjoyable collection of songs. The album’s lyrical content makes it just as enjoyable. It mixes Amos’ religious background with his more secular roots and never lets either one overpower the other at any given point. Connecting both the album’s musical and lyrical content is the overall sequencing of the album’s songs. The songs have been sequenced in such fashion that the energy never gets too intense or too laid back for listeners. It is so well-balanced that the album in whole will keep listeners engaged from beginning to end. In doing so, The Reverend Shawn Amos will have listeners loving it, too.

The Reverend Shawn Amos’ new full-length studio recording The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You–his second blues offering and fifth overall album–is a fittingly titled new release. That is because over the course of its twelve songs, ten of which are originals and two covers, it will leave listeners loving it just as much as it shows love for them. That is made obvious first and foremost through the record’s musical content. Over the course of the record’s thirty-nine minute run time, Amos refuses to stick to just one style of the blues. Instead he presents influences from the blues’ different roots. The album’s opener ‘Days of Depression’ hints at a Delta blues influence while ‘Brand New Man’ could be argued to boast something of a Texas blues influence with its guitar-based, up-tempo and boisterous sound. And ‘Brother’s Keeper’ has something of a Chicago blues style sound about it. These are just a few examples of how the different sounds exhibited across the record’s body make the album in whole such an enjoyable collection of songs. They are just part of the different sounds presented throughout the record that make it such an interesting listen. Regardless of which song one chooses, it can be said that all twelve songs make the album a wonderful tool in teaching about the blues thanks to that display of talent and obvious knowledge of the blues. It’s just one way in which this album shows itself to be such a worthwhile listen. The album’s lyrical content is just as important to its overall presentation as its musical content.

The mix of musical influences displayed throughout the course of The Reverend Shawn Amos’ new album is in itself plenty of reason for listeners to hear it. It is just one reason that audiences will appreciate this new collection of songs. The album’s overall lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical content. That is because just as Amos doesn’t stick to just one style of the blues across his new record neither does he stick to just one lyrical topic throughout the record. Rather he displays both his religious and secular background from beginning to end beginning with the album’s opener. What’s really interesting here is that in the dual message that seems to be presented. At first Amos sings about being so depressed that he could let go of the wheel and go “where the wind goes/with the lord.” He doesn’t stop here. Instead he turns around and makes a statement about time with his brother (actual blood brother or figuratively speaking is beside the point). It gives that line about going with the lord a wholly different message. That is especially considering the changed tone of the song’s musical content. That religious background is just as obvious later in the album’s run in the form of ‘Brother’s Keeper’ in which Amos sings about trying to live according to the word of God. He sings, “Gonna lead with my heart/Open my hand for a start/And be my brother’s keeper.” He goes on to ask “what we gonna do?” before going on to state yet again his reliance on the word of God in order to decide what to do. What’s truly impressive here is that Amos doesn’t get all preachy about the topic. Rather he uses the blues to get his message across both musically and lyrically. In other words, it’s a gospel song that hardly comes across as being gospel; an unorthodox approach, yes. But effective nonetheless. The same can be said of ‘The Outlaw.’ It sounds, to a point, to be more secular than religious. But the song’s story about a rather bad man presents a direct religious story of sorts. It’s just one more way in which Amos’ religious background is put on display in his new album. Of course his religious roots are not the album’s only lyrical influences. His secular roots are just as much on display.

While Amos’ religious background is on clear display, lyrically, throughout Amos’ new album, his more secular roots are just as evident if not more so. Those roots are evident in the form of ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me (When I Get Home),’ ‘Bright Lights, Big City,’ ‘Hollywood Blues,’ and ‘The Last Day I’m Loving You.’ These are pure blues tunes that will impress any blues aficionado just as much as any of Amos’ more non-secular fans. The combination of both lyrical sides together with the album’s musical content strengthens Amos’ new record even more, proving even more why this collection is arguably one of the year’s best new blues albums and potentially one of the year’s best new albums overall.

The musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of The Reverend Shawn Amos’ new album makes this record a solid choice for any critic’s list of the year’s best new blues albums. In the same vein, the balance of secular and non-secular lyrics coupled and various blues stylings makes the album just as much of a candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new albums overall. While both noted factors are equally important to the overall success of Amos’ new album, there is still one more element that is just as important. That element is the album’s sequencing. From start to finish, it is obvious that plenty of thought was put into the album’s sequencing. It starts slow with ‘Days of Depression’ before picking up quite a bit in ‘Brand New Man.’ The energy exuded by that song is carried through the first half of the record before Amos pulls back in ‘Will You Be Mine.’ That slower, more laid back vibe established in ‘Will You Be Mine’ carries on through to the album’s end in different degrees. Regardless of the degree to which the music pulls back, it is such that there is a clear separation between the album’s first half and its second. It shows just as much variety as the songs themselves both musically and lyrically. Speaking of that variety, the combined variety in the album’s lyrical and musical content, and between the album’s two halves makes The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You an album that any listener will love.

The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You may not be Amos’ first album. But considering the variety exhibited in its musical and lyrical content, and between its two halves, the album shows in the end to be a record that any new fan of gospel and the blues will love just as much as those that are more familiar with his body of work. The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via Amos’ official website at http://www.shawnamos.com. Audiences can even hear one of the album’s songs, ‘Brand New Man’ while there. More information on The Reverend Shawn Amos is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shawnamos.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReverendShawnAmos

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShawnAmos

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.