Rev Shawn Amos Breaks It Down Historically With Blues

Rev Shawn Amos Breaks It Down Historically With Blues gospel, field music, and soul come together as Rev. Shawn Amos Breaks It Down. The Reverend Shawn Amos is genuinely a Reverend. It is not an affectation. He is an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church.

After many years in the music industry (as Artist & Repertoire executive at Rhino and Shout!, as well as a noted producer for Heart and Quincy Jones amongst others), he began his own solo career and has released a number of albums since 2005. This is not the first album Bluesdoodles has reviewed and enjoyed. 2015 we were listening to Loves You now back with Breaks It Down.

His latest release, The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down is, in his own words, “a collection of 21st Century Freedom Songs”. Inspired by his touring in the American South, the post-Trump election divide, and his own personal triumphs and tragedies.

Opening with Moved, we are greeted by some deft picking and a couple of harmonica notes before the Rev’s plaintive voice takes us into a soulful song, asking us “How long before we’re moved?” 2017 brings bass and drums into play as he laments on the state of the nation.

Hold Hands gives us the first guitar solo in the middle of a Stax feeling track, think along the lines of Down On The Boardwalk.

Inevitably, the biggest surprise is the cover of David Bowie’s Jean Genie…a brave man! This is an imaginative take on a classic. The first thing to notice is he has the audacity to omit the final downstroke of the distinctive riff. This makes it instantly recognizable, but different. The next change is that his voice is phased, but then no one could copy Bowie. The Hi Rhythm Section provide a big band sound on the chorus and then we get a guitar/harmonica segue.

Does it work? Easy answer; yes! Anyone who is brave enough to cover Bowie deserves credit and it is different enough to be very good in its own right.

A brief a capella reading of Uncle Tom’s Prayer is the first of what the Rev calls his ‘Freedom Suite’ and it gives a good feeling for the old work/field songs of the day. Similarly, the Bukka White cover, Does My Life Matter evokes that period. Then a funky feel rounds out the suite with Come Together. Ain’t Gonna Name Names has a fun aspect with horns providing another echo of Stax. The warmth of a Hammond welcomes us into a gospel choir rendition of Nick Lowe’s …Peace Love And Understanding. And again, it works.

The strange thing about this album is the way it gets under your skin. It has nothing, apart from the Bowie cover, to make it stand out. Yet I thoroughly enjoyed every song.

It rewards the listener that listens; it has no long instrumental sections and no guitar hero histrionics.

It is an album that celebrates and challenges the history, and the future of the Rev Shawn Amos’ heritage and the wider issues of the world today. It is an album that exudes atmosphere. It is an experience.

The Reverend Shawn Amos – Breaks It Down – Put Together

Release Date 16th February 2018

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

  1. Moved
  2. 2017
  3. Hold Hands
  4. The Jean Genie (Bowie)
  5. Uncle Tom’s Prayer (Reagon)
  6. Does My Life Matter (Bukka White)
  7. (We’ve Got To) Come Together
  8. Ain’t Gonna Name Names
  9. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding (Lowe)
  10. Diggin’ In My Potatoes (Leadbelly) Bonus Track

Rev Shawn Amos vocals; harmonica
Chris Roberts; guitar
Larry Taylor; bass
Steve Potts; drums
Peter Adams; Hammond B3
The Hi Rhythm Section; backing band
The Masqueraders; backing vocals

Recorded at FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Ocean Studio, Burbank and the Royal Studio, Memphis.



Rev Shawn Amos Breaks It Down Historically With Blues

Steaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy Of Hart Bonamassa Combo

Steaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy Of Hart Bonamassa ComboSteaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy of Beth Hart Joe Bonamassa Combo

Black Coffee is only as tasty as the beans selected and then the careful roasting to leave a smooth, tasty brew with depths of flavours and tastes to excite those taste buds. Has this been achieved as Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa collaborate once again on Black Coffee?  We have waited four years for the album to be brewed and the wait is worth it the tonal textures and shapes excite adding new nuances to the selection of songs chosen by Hart & Bonamassa for our aural stimulation. The production takes the music and adds that magic to the sound just as master coffee roasters use all of their sense so does Kevin ‘The Caveman’ Shirley.

The songs have been selected to touch your soul as they have been re-imagined and given magical sparkle to the lyrics as they are vocalized through the phenomenal vocal chords of Ms Beth Hart. With the guitar playing of Joe Bonamassa that laughs, cry’s and squeals as the emotion are wrung from the tracks by his six-strings. Added to the mix Hart & Bonamassa have surrounded themselves with musicians who understand intuitively the way Beth & Joe work. The Black Coffee is definitely steaming, as the album invigorates the classics.

Opening the album is the guitar of Joe Bonamassa, full on the distorted ear-catching heavy rock with the horns picking up the notes and heralding the vocals of Beth. Whenever I hear Beth her voice sends that luscious tingle of pure pleasure down my spine. Give It Everything You Got, the Edgar Winter number from his White Trash album is a masterstroke as the opener as it is telling you this is music that has been blended with skill and understanding and you are filled with the warmth of soulful sounds.  Turning next to Etta James, Damn Your Eyes. Her voice is the focus of the album as Hart blends the inner chemistry of great women singers, to simply compare her to Janis Joplin or Nina Simone is just not enough. Her vocals are power and vulnerability pure and dirty. She is Beth Hart and her vocals are incomparable as she makes this number her own with a warmth that adds to the inner mystery of the number.

The Title track, Black Coffee associated with Humble Pie & Steve Marriott was originally sung by Ike & Tina Turner. She sings each word with a tonal depth that you just want it to go on and on Black Coffee, dark, hot and tasty. Beth’s voice captures every sip of coffee that invigorates your soul. The instrumentation is minimal, chords from keys plus the addition of backing vocals echoing Beth’s refrain of Black Coffee.  Three songs in – I am well and truly hooked. Every number is superb, definitely an album that once loaded stays on re-play.

Now we travel to Broadway with Lullaby of The Leaves, the temperature changes. The sound is a gentle soothing refrain with the guitar work from Bonamassa adding to the quality of re-imagining Etta James’ number from Hello Dolly. We are now calm, refreshed and ready for what else the album unfolds. This is the perfect duet of vocals and guitar captured by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa, the intensity is palpable.

We are all Saved by the lyrical dexterity that is demonstrated by Beth on a number covered by many and sung originally by LaVern Baker.  The tempo is picked up and we are now moving with the vibe created. Then a classic has been done so many times you do wonder do we need another one? Yes, we do! The Howlin’ Wolf number grounds the album with this version that has a sting in its tail a mix of coffee ground and cream. Beth’s vocals drawl through the lyrics with the splash of guitar and the judiciously added tone from keys.

Closing out with Addicted from a collaboration that sparkles and shines every track has a dimension that thrills, surprises and leaves with a musical smile of delight. Choosing not to close with a well-known, establish classic they have left one surprise in the coffee pot a track from Austrian trio Waldeck a new name for me. Shirley came across this 2007 trip-hop leaning album whilst on holiday and “shazamed” it. If you weren’t Addicted to the Beth & Joe combo you will be after a swig of this layered and tuneful album. Black Coffee that will always hit all the right spots.


Black Coffee – Beth Hart & Joe BonamassaMascot Label Group

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Give It Everything You Got
  2. Damn Your Eyes
  3. Black Coffee
  4. Lullaby Of The Leaves
  5. Why Don’t You Do Right
  6. Saved
  7. Sitting On Top Of The World
  8. Joy
  9. Soul On Fire
  10. Addicted
  11. Baby I Love You (Bonus Track)


Band Members
Anton Fig (Drums/Percussion)
Ron Dziubla (Saxophone)
Lee Thornburg (Horn Arrangements/Trumpet/Trombone)
Reese Wynans (Keyboards)
Michael Rhodes (Bass)
Rob McNelley (Rhythm Guitar)
Paulie Cerra (Saxophone)
Mahalia Barnes (Backing Vocals)
Jade Macrae (Backing Vocals)
Juanita Tippins (Backing vocals)

Recorded at the Palms, Las Vegas


Steaming Hot Black Coffee Courtesy Of Hart Bonamassa Combo

Dan Reed Announces New Solo Album Confessions

Dan Reed Announces New Solo Album Confessions

Dan Reed Announces New Solo Album Confessions

Pre-order the album now – Dan Reed Store

Dan Reed Announces New Solo Album ConfessionsDan Reed’s fourth solo album ‘Confessions’ will be available for worldwide pre-order through the Dan Reed Store from Wednesday 5th July, before it is officially released on Friday 15th September.

The new album will coincide with Dan’s intimate solo tour in beautiful settings which kicks off at London’s St. Pancras Old Church on Thursday 14th September. Tickets for Dan’s solo tour can be booked from ticketsource 

Each of the UK solo concerts will be filmed and recorded for an upcoming live DVD compilation the good new is that everyone who has bought a ticket  in the UK will receive a free DVD download in September. Bad news two of the venues are already SOLD OUT. So get the last remaining tickets TODAY! over at Ticketsource

The official music video for first single Smile will be premiered on Monday 14th August. A limited edition run of 100 signed copies of the single ‘Smile’ on 7” cream coloured vinyl is now available for pre-order before it is officially released on Friday 1st September. The single includes a second track ‘Lift You Up’ on the B-Side. Pre-order the single from the Dan Reed Store.

Confessions is Dan Reed’s fourth solo album and is a bit of a departure from previous solo releases. Reed performed all the live instruments and vocals, and also programmed the beats and synth parts.

The album features special guest appearances by guitarists Rob Daiker, Geoff Tyson and Martin Tidmarsh performing a few solos on the tracks Smile and The Great Divide, while Daiker added some additional drum programming on and mixed the album.

For Confessions, Dan wanted to create a genuine ‘solo’ album to push his own comfort zone as a keyboardist and guitarist’, creating something entirely from self-expression.

Confessions is a beautifully composed work expressing a singular intention and vision based around one integral concept in our lives. Confessions is not a rock album but rather a chilled out, electro/acoustic soul album about the oldest theme in the book… love.

There is a reason for this direction both thematically and musically. Since the reformation of the Dan Reed Network, and with their current album Fight Another Day ,released to rave reviews in 2016 including Bluesdoodles read what we said here, Reed is guiding his solo work more in the pop/soul direction and leaving the harder edged rock/funk material he enjoys writing for future DRN releases.


Dan Reed Announces New Solo Album Confessions




Book Tickets Online:

Thursday September 14 – London, England – St. Pancras Old Church
‘Confessions UK Tour’ – Filming and Recording for DVD

Friday September 15 – Manchester, England – ‘Sacred Trinity Church Salford’ –
‘Confessions UK Tour’ – Filming and Recording for DVD (SOLD OUT)

Saturday September 16 Newcastle, England – ‘ Cluny 2
‘Confessions UK Tour’ – Filming and Recording for DVD

Sunday September 17 – Nottinghamshire, England – ‘Greyhound Beeston
End of ‘Confessions UK Tour’ Party (SOLD OUT)

Friday September 22 – Helsingborg, Sweden – ‘The Tivoli’ – Dan Reed Trio

Saturday September 23 – Trollhattan, Sweden – ‘Backstage Rock Bar’
Dan Reed Trio

Friday October 6 – Bath, England – ‘Chapel Arts Centre’

Saturday October 7 – Ebbw Vale, Wales UK – ‘EVI’

Friday October 13 – Falun, Sweden – ‘Kopparhatten’

Sunday October 14 – Alingsas, Sweden – ‘MX Rock Bar’

Friday October 20 – Dublin, Ireland – ‘Whelan’s’

Saturday October 21 – Ahoghill/Belfast – ‘Diamond Rock Club’

Saturday November 11 – Trubbach, Switzerland – ‘Jonny’s Lion Cave’

Dan Reed Announces New Solo Album Confessions