Continuing from part two of this interview, Shawn Amos shares an intriguing look into his new EP Tells It.
S.A. Tells It is a sampling of Chicago blues classics with a couple of new tunes that hopefully carry the tradition forward. It was recorded completely live with no edits and mixed with one foot in the '60s and another in the future. It's a love letter to the blues made with nothing but joy.
The album was inspired by so much. First, it's just the way this music makes me feel. I feel like I'm my best self and being put to best use. I want to stay inside that feeling as much as possible.
Next, it's the raw simplicity of the music — which doesn't mean it's simple to play. But there is such an elegance to its lack of ornamentation and strict structure.
I just wanted to make something that was rooted in joy, existed to purely entertain, and recorded without any over-thinking. How do you capture the feeling and visceral-ness of this music without letting anything interfere? That was the challenge to answer.
The Americana recordings I made (prior to Tells It) were very confessional. I was working through some very painful and personal issues of identity, loss, and self-worth. I'm so proud of those recordings but performing them almost hurt — and it showed. I never felt fully comfortable on stage with those songs. It was as if I was somewhat anonymously writing and recording them in the safety of my room and recording studio but playing them live ended up being too revealing.
Folks who have seen me perform live back then and now freak out. They have a hard time understanding how I could feel so much more comfortable singing songs that are largely not my own. But I feel a burden removed by writing and performing material that doesn't have my life depending upon it.
Looking back those albums capture a moment in time that I'm glad I documented. But I'm glad to be drinking from a different creative fountain.
The interview continues with part four as Amos discusses his entrepreneurial side.