1977 Maranatha! Music
Produced By Jonathan David Brown
2011 Reissue Producers: Matthew Hunt, Tom Gulotta and Eric Townsend
1. Days and Nights
2. Black Gold Fever
3. Praise Song
4. Father's Arms
6. Shotgun Angel
7. Finale: Bereshith Overture
8. Lady Goodbye
9. The Whistler
10. He's Gonna Do A Number On You
12. Sail Me Away
13. Posse In The Sky
1. Jonah and the Whale (demo)
2.Fathers Arms (demo 1)
3.Posse In The Sky (demo 1)
4.Fathers Arms (demo 2)
5.Black Gold Fever (demo)
6.Praise Song (demo)
8.Shotgun Angel (demo)
9.Finale: Bereshith Overture (demo)
10.Lady Goodbye (demo)
11.The Whistler (demo)
12.He's Gonna Do A Number On You (demo)
14.Sail Me Away (demo)
15.Posse In The Sky ( demo 2)
16.Maranatha Music Show - In The Studio
17.Days and Nights (alt. mix)
18.Black Gold Fever (alt. mix)
19.Meal (alt. mix)
21.Lady Goodbye (alt. mix)
22.The Whistler (alt. mix)
23.He's Gonna Do A Number On You (alt. mix)
24.Better (alt. mix)
25.Sail Me Away (alt. mix)
All songs © 1977
Produced & Engineered by Jonathan David Brown
Recorded at: MartinSound Studios, Alhambra, California
Mixed by Jonathan David Brown (alias "Your Local Hokie Okie") at Producers' Workshop, Hollyweird, California
Bonus demos recorded and owned by Michael Wayne Shoup
Bonus disc mixes by Eric Townsend
Strings Arranged and Conducted by Jim Stipech
Re-Mastered by J Powell at Steinhaus
Cover Concept by Daniel Amos
Original Art Direction, Design and Layout by Neal Buchanan
Photographs by Larry Frowick, Scott Lockwood, and others
2011 Reissue Design and Layout by Tom Gulotta and Eric Townsend
Re-Issue Producers: Matthew Hunt, Tom Gulotta and Eric Townsend
Terry Taylor: Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals
Jerry Chamberlain: Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals
Marty Dieckmeyer: Bass Guitar, Background Vocals
Mark Cook: Keyboards, Lead and Background Vocals
Ed McTaggart: Drums, Percussion, Background Vocals
Additional Musicians: Alex MacDougall, Fred Petry: Percussion.
Pete Jacobs: Clarinets on "Black Gold Fever".
Dom Franco: Pedal Steel Guitar.
Frank Marocco: Accordion.
Dan Amos: Carrot Choir, Celery Symphony on "Meal".
John Benson: Eefin' on "Meal".
Mike Shoup: CB.
Bill Hoppe: Synthesizers.
First of all, there’s the album title. Then, there’s the front cover drawing of a vintage pick-up truck, emblazoned with an Old West sheriff’s badge. Finally, the rear cover band portrait featuring one member sporting a ten-gallon cowboy hat.
As initial impressions go, if you had never head Daniel Amos in 1977 and imagined you were purchasing a country rock record, you would not have been completely wrong. There are indeed riffs you might associate with bands such Poco and the Eagles. But there’s far more than Strum und Twang in the grooves of Shotgun Angel.
From the opening notes of the band’s second album, keyboards – which mostly provided accents on the debut disc – become an integral part of the arrangements, courtesy new member Mark Cook. Cook also joins the writing roster, contributes lead vocals and becomes a part of the brilliant blend of voices that are a prominent feature of Shotgun Angel.
Side One highlights include opener “Days and Nights,” a tender ballad about missing loved ones while on the road; the beautiful “Praise Song” (which is all about God and not about the author – what a novel idea for a worship song!) and the orchestrated pop masterpiece, “Father’s Arms,” which furthers the Steely Dan flourishes of the debut album’s “Don’t Light Your Own Fire,” while mixing in a few grace notes from ELO. “Black Gold Fever” and “Meal” both display the marvelous blend of the now 5-piece band, and feature percussion highlights of “sixth Amos” Alex MacDougall, whose talents would make the six-man touring line-up of DA such a live favorite in the late 70s and early 80s.
When you first drop the needle on Side Two, you’ll be forgiven if you imagine that it’s a mis-pressing or that you’re listening to an entirely different group. DA’s commitment to a four-album cycle of concept albums was still a few years away. But you’ll still be quickly engrossed by the song suite offered on Shotgun Angel, as the band dives head-first into the tricky eschatology of the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ. Whether you think of it as DA’s Smile, Sgt. Pepper or Abbey Road (Side 2), the compelling arrangements, superb musical performances and transcendent vocal blend will leave you breathless, as Christian music’s first great “headphone album” manifests itself.
Shotgun Angel closes brilliantly, with the string-laden ballad “Posse In the Sky;” its place as the coda to the album seems to also have been the band’s farewell to any country inflections in its music. Daniel Amos would take would take even more impressive strides into rock and alternative music with Horrendous Disc; though C&W would long play a satirical role in the band’s live shows, the days of “Cowboy Bill McBride and the Ghost Writers” would pretty much disappear with the fade of that final track.
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