The Reverend Shawn Amos
& The Brotherhood
Put Together Music
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
With many prior releases under Reverend Shawn Amos’ belt, “Blue Sky” is actually the debut release for the ensemble billed as Reverend Shawn Amos & The Brotherhood – and from the way I’m understanding it, expect more. According to the one sheet, with “Everybody in the band is feeling pride of ownership, The Brotherhood is in it for the long haul”.
The Reverend Shawn Amos & The Brotherhood is a deep roots collaboration between Shawn Amos – the acclaimed blues singer/songwriter and harmonica player – and some old friends: drummer Brady Blade; bassist Christopher “CT” Thomas; and his long time guitarist, Chris “Doctor” Roberts. Friends of The Brotherhood include vocalists: Ruthie Foster, Piper Amos, Sharlotte Gibson, and Kenya Hathaway, who are collectively known as The Sisterhood; with Jamelle Adisa and Mike Cottone on trumpet; Marc Bolin on sousaphone; Matthew Demerritt on tenor sax; Tim Ganard on bass drum; Matt Hubbard on piano, Wurlitzer and Hammond; John Montgomery on snare drum; Ben Peeler on lap & pedal steel and dobro; James Saez on sundry stringed and electronic things; Johan Stein on guitar; and Dan Weinstein on trombone.
Fans of blues, folk, Americana and even country will all agree that “Stranger Than Today” is right in all of their wheelhouses. The song is a tale of Walter Marion Jacobs’ – a.k.a. “Little Walter” – departure out of Marksville, Louisiana. Musically, the melding of: Blade’s drum set and electronic drum machine; the steel and electric guitars; the lead, backup and echoing vocals; along with the smooth and lazy harmonica leads; all magnificently and masterfully comes together.
From its lyrics, to its music, to its vocals and their presentation, everything about “Troubled Man” is deep and compelling. As a duet, Ruthie Foster and The Reverend are a force to be reckoned with. Already leaning in an eerie direction, the harmonica and guitar leads of The Rev and Doctor Roberts take it further down that lane. Awesome track!
At just a minute-and-a-half in length, this one does not “Hold Back.” It’s hard drivin’ rhythm and fast paced vocals – with the Sisterhood adding extra gears – create a pedal to the metal attitude. As fast and as hard as it started, the tracks abrupt ending is quite appropriate.
On this melancholy track, “The Pity And The Pain” can be clearly felt through the track’s tender vocals. Using their fabulous falsettos on the lead and harmony vocals, The Reverend and Kenya Hathaway are a natural fit.
“27 Dollars” features several funny lines – particularly the one where The Reverend states “I got 27 dollar bills, I’m gonna need a few more so I can get that Coupe DeVille”; and the one where he tells his landlord he can’t pay his rent ’cause he’s saving for a Coupe DeVille and her reply is “I hope that Coupe got a kitchen, ’cause you no longer living here”. A strong drum fueled rhythm, sharp harp leads and a barrelhouse piano all make this a dancer’s delight.
Most of what you might imagine hearing while a large band with horns is playing at a rambunctious party can be heard right here on “Keep The Faith, Have Some Fun”. Boisterous chatter, check; playful laughter, check; hooting and howling, check; percussion type sounds – be they from the band or the crowd, check; band members exuberantly encouraging each other, check; a catchy sing-a-long chorus line with fun lyrics, check; blaring harmonica and horn leads, check; party goers and band members having one hell of a good time, CHECK!
Other original tracks on Blue Sky include: “The Letter”, “Counting Down The Days”, “The Job Is Never Done”, and”Albion Blues”.
To find out more about the The Reverend Shawn Amos just go to www.shawnamos.com and should you have not yet received your copy of “Blue Sky” for airplay, just contact Betsie Brown at www.blindraccoon.com. Wherever you go and to whomever you talk to, please tell them that the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient