Ten of the twelve songs were written by Shawn Amos, and one of those 10 was co-written with Mindi Abair who also plays Tenor and Baritone Saxophones on the album. For those of you that don’t know him he was raised in LA, son of a famous cookie maker and Shirl-ee May Ellis, a night club singer. He heard the old blues/R&B world and his voice and intonation reflect what he listened to when younger, in tone, phrasing, inflection, and feel. There is a sincerity and drive and welcome abandon about his music that many find refreshing, that lifts this to a higher level; or maybe you call it a lower level because all kind of activities are hinted at, asked for, and even begged for that might be considered “a bit off color.” Yet all this is down with love.
There are a couple of great things going for him on this disc that is the production debut by Mindi Abair; also she leaves him plenty of room to display his virtuosity on harmonica, and there are times that he tears it up and shows just how good he is. They also have some wonderful work on two cuts by the world famous Blind Boys of Alabama who are also Grammy winners, and there are the sultry, sexy backing vocals of Missy Andersen. This on top of a band that knows how to tear into a blues song and make it moan and shimmy a band with Brady Blade (drums and percussion), Chris Roberts (guitar), Chris Thomas (bass), Anthony Marinelli, Hassell Teekell (keyboards), Mindi Abair (saxophones, harmony vocals), Lewis Smith (trumpet), and Forever Jones (backing vocals).
This band is gritty at times and also takes us back to stompin’ grooves that are reminiscent of that R&B that was made famous by the legendary Muscle Shoals bands. Yet at other times the pulsing boogie they produce won’t let a fanny remain quiet and still in its chair. And at other times you can picture him as the sassy teenager struttin’ his stuff with attitude in LA. This Reverend doesn’t preach chasity but genuine love and lust that makes the world whole.
Reverend Shawn Amos
The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You