Daniel Amos – Shotgun Angel – 1977

Shotgun Angel is Daniel Amos’ second album, following their 1976 debut with this classic in 1977.

How many times did I have to explain to the record store staff that Daniel Amos is not a person? It’s the prophet Daniel and the prophet Amos. Maybe I didn’t have to explain it at all, but I felt like I did.

Had DA stuck with this format, they would have been one of the most progressive “Southern Rock” bands around. It sounds country, but it clearly has a different edge. It’s nowhere near top 40 country, and nowhere near Hank, but still has the right harmonies and the right instrumentation to make you think about it.

Upbeat songs like “Black Gold Fever” and “Meal” sound southern, Texan, and progressive all at once.

“Praise Song” has quite a dirge feeling to it rather than the upbeat feeling we usually expect from modern praise. It really is a praise song, but contemptlative, with the sort of thoughtful lyrics that DA became known for.

“Father’s Arms” has a soothing vocal track and a strong rock feel to it. A medley of violins and bold guitar sounds make this a compelling song that almost defies genre.

The title track “Shotgun Angel” is a good old trucker tune, which was a subgenre in the 70s. Anything that could be played alongside CW McCall’s Convoy would do just fine. This one is a good storytelling song that has a nice country twang to it, steel guitar, diesel sounds, CB radio and all.

“Bereshith Overture” is an orchestral interlude that fits right in, but it’s hard to explain why. By the time we get to “Better” we have already had some apocalyptic scenes and been introduced to what’s almost a Pink Floyd sound. The idea that they can play with the music and the story all along the way like this certainly is consistent with Pink Floyd’s contemporary work.

“Sail Me Away” and “Posse In The Sky” round this album out with more soothing sounds. It’s top quality stuff, but hard to believe that this was the setup for one of the best CCM punk/new wave bands of the 80s.

Track Listing:
1 – Days And Nights – 2:20
2 – Black Gold Fever – 3:01
3 – Praise Song – 3:51
4 – Father’s Arms – 4:26
5 – Meal – 2:07
6 – Shotgun Angel – 3:41
7 – Finale: Bereshith Overture – 2:19
8 – Lady Goodbye – 2:29
9 – The Whistler – 2:57
10 – He’s Gonna Do A Number On You – 1:57
11 – Better – 2:24
12 – Sail Me Away – 5:04
13 – Posse In The Sky – 4:35

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Ed McTaggart, Jerry Chamberlain, Mark Cook (2), Marty Dieckmeyer, Terry Taylor
Bass Guitar – Marty Dieckmeyer
Drums – Ed McTaggart
Guitar – Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor
Keyboards – Mark Cook (2)
Lead Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain, Mark Cook (2), Terry Taylor
Percussion – Ed McTaggart
Producer – Jonathan David Brown

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Scott Toderash

Author: Scott Toderash

One of the founding cowboys of Real 80s CCM. Been listening to this stuff since 1979.

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