Shawn Amos has done just about everything over the course of his 48 years, ranging from making music under his own name and collaborating with the likes of Solomon Burke, to producing other artists and taking on just about every job in the music industry. Despite having so much on his plate, the singer-songwriter and musician has found time to pursue something of an alter-ego as The Reverend Shawn Amos. Though he has always embraced the blues in some form in whatever project he is pursuing, recording and performing as “The Reverend” allows Shawn Amos to go all in with his passion for the genre.
Inspired by the late Solomon Burke, Amos started dressing up in a sleek three-button suit and trilby hat and approaching the craft of music with a simple mission: “put on a great show, take people away from their troubles, make their asses move.” Besides Solomon Burke of course, Amos channeled legends like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters into his own stage persona. Low and behold, audiences eager for a dose of bluesy R&B went wild for The Reverend Shawn Amos and his talented band, who gleefully backed him up as he wailed away on one of the harps perpetually tucked into his pockets. All of this magic was somehow bottled in the studio when the band – featuring background vocal contributions from the likes of The Blind Boys Of Alabama – recorded their 2015 album The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You. The album balanced a traditional blues sound with a fresh, at times light-hearted approach to the music, and listeners were treated to a celebration of life through song and dance.
One of the standout tracks on The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You is “Joliet Bound”, a classic blues number that is given a lively spin by Amos’ smokey vocals and the chugging groove of his band. Today Glide Magazine is excited to present an exclusive premiere of the band’s new video for “Joliet Bound”. The video was shot at the Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn and the sparse, brick warehouse feels ideally suited for the music being played.
Reflecting on the song, Shawn Amos says, “This is one of two covers on The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You. ‘Joliet Bound’ is about as deep roots as you can get. It was written by Memphis Minnie in the 1930s and sounds just as fresh in 2016. Memphis Minnie is a rarity in the blues world: a badass female who could write, sing and play ferocious guitar. She had a harrowing life and a steely constitution. In many respects, she reminds me of my mother who had her own similar showbiz traumas 30 years later. Playing this song each night keeps me honest and reminds me of the history I’m dedicated to keeping alive.”
Watch “Joliet Bound”:
The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You is out now. For more music, tour dates and info check out shawnamos.com.