“Barrel-chested range” becomes “quiet resignation” in this Guest Room Sessions performance from the Reverend Shawn Amos. His longtime collaborator Doctor Roberts joins him on a performance of “Troubled Man” from a very special spot in Amos’ home.
Amos and Roberts are seated around Amos’ kitchen table for this rendition of “Troubled Man,” from his newest album, Blue Sky. It’s a spot familiar to Amos’ fans, as he regularly films his own Kitchen Table Blues performances there.
“The Doctor and I have been playing together for nearly 10 years yet have rarely played together as an acoustic duo,” Amos tells The Boot. As for the change in the song’s tone, he adds, “That’s what I love about playing at the kitchen table: It sits you at the emotional center of the song. I’ve rediscovered and reclaimed so many songs of mine (and covers as well) while singing at the kitchen table.”
Born Shawn Ellis Amos, the Reverend Shawn Amos is a New York City-born singer-songwriter and harmonica player with roots in the blues, roots and folk music. Throughout his career, which stretches back to the 1990s, he’s worked in A&R and on the business side of the music industry as well, including on the final three studio albums from iconic soul singer Solomon Burke; he’s also worked in the film industry, including as a producer on Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones.
Amos has been performing as the Reverend Shawn Amos since 2014, following a hiatus from the music industry during which he turned his attention to digital marketing endeavors. In 2019, he officially formed the Brotherhood with Roberts, drummer Brady Blade and bassist Christopher Thomas.
Amos’ family history is almost as interesting as his own career trajectory: His father is Famous Amos cookie brand founder Wally Amos, and his mother is Shirley Ellis (a.k.a., Shirl-ee May), a pop and soul singer whose best-known songs include the novelty hit “The Name Game.”