For a debut blues album, Shawn Amos sets not only the studio on fire, but he also instigates an inferno in the whole damn building with an electrifying performance. To set it straight: The Reverend has 3 other albums out, but this is the first where he went back to his roots. His back story is interesting and leaves you scratching your head and wondering about the circuitous paths a life may take, but here, we are about the music. There are six songs; four covers of the likes of Junior Wells and Elmore James and 2 originals.
The disc starts off with his short but searing harp introduction to “Hoodoo Man Blues,” with his spot-on vocals and his tight band of accomplices: Don Medina (drums); Chris Roberts (electric guitar); and Ed Terrio (electric and upright bass). Helping out are Antony Martinelli (Hammond B3); and Gia Ciambotti and Kim Yarbrough (background vocals). On Elmore James’ “Something Inside of Me,” he shows great touch and delicacy with his presentation of this gem.
This is a disc that pulls surprises out of the hat and shows off a performer with great skill on harmonica and vocals. Amos knows when to pounce on the song and when to back down and let the song run. I’m definitely looking forward to more from this talented bluesman, who is cognoscente of the delicate difference between blues and rock.
– Bob Gottlieb