Daniel Amos

Daniel Amos
Daniel Amos

Daniel Amos in concert at Cornerstone 1990
Background information
Origin Southern California, USA
Genres Christian rock, new wave, alternative rock, country rock (early)
Years active 1974–present
Labels Maranatha! Music
Solid Rock Records
NewPax Records
¡Alarma! Records
Refuge Records
Frontline Records
Brainstorm Artists, Intl
Stunt Records
Galaxy21 Music
Arena Rock Recording Co.
Associated acts Swirling Eddies
Terry Scott Taylor
Lost Dogs
Website www.danielamos.com
Members
Terry Scott Taylor
Greg Flesch
Ed McTaggart
Tim Chandler
Past members
Marty Dieckmeyer
Mark Cook
Steve Baxter
Jerry Chamberlain
Rob Watson
Alex MacDougall

Daniel Amos (aka D. A., ) is a rock band formed in 1974 by Terry Scott Taylor on guitars and vocals, Marty Dieckmeyer on bass guitar, Steve Baxter on guitars and Jerry Chamberlain on lead guitars. Current members include bassist Tim Chandler, guitarist Greg Flesch and drummer Ed McTaggart. Over the course of 30 years, they have experimented with country rock, rock, new wave, and alternative rock.

Contents

Beginnings

The roots of Daniel Amos began to grow out of Jubal's Last Band, an acoustic quartet consisting of Taylor, Kenny Paxton, Chuck Starnes and Steve Baxter, who spent their time performing for Bible study groups and at coffee shops throughout Southern California. In 1974, JLB recorded a demo tape together and eventually lost Starnes and Paxton. Bassist Marty Dieckmeyer and guitarist Jerry Chamberlain were brought in to fill the empty spots. Sometime in the middle of 1975, Jubal's Last Band (minus Baxter) auditioned for Maranatha! Music and Calvary Chapel in hopes of signing a recording and performance contract. Another band at the meeting, led by Darrell Mansfield, had a similar name - Jubal. The two bands decided to change their names to avoid confusion. Mansfield renamed his band Gentle Faith (taken from the name of co-band member Henry Cutrona's earlier band), and Jubal's Last Band became Daniel Amos.

Maranatha! Records era

Daniel Amos succeeded in landing a recording and performance contract and quickly recorded their first song for the label in 1975, Taylor's "Ain't Gonna Fight It." The band released their first full length, eponymous album (Daniel Amos) in 1976 which was produced by dobro player and producer Al Perkins (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Joe Walsh, the Flying Burrito Brothers, etc.). Soon after the release of that album, DA enlisted Ed McTaggart as their full time drummer. Previously, McTaggart had been the drummer for Bill Sprouse Jr.'s The Road Home.

By 1977, the band had begun to shed their country sound with the album Shotgun Angel, which took some fans by surprise. Shotgun Angel was half country and half rock-opera. Side 2 of the LP featured lush orchestrations and a string of rock songs linked together in a way reminiscent of The Beatles Sgt. Peppers album. The band even made a number of concert performances at this time with a full orchestra backing them.

Switch to Solid Rock Records

By 1978 the band had recorded their first entirely rock effort, Horrendous Disc, with help from newly added percussionist, Alex MacDougall, and keyboardist Mark Cook. MacDougall is a percussionist who has toured with Loggins and Messina, Leon Russell and The Beach Boys, among others. Cook had been the keyboardist for the Warner Brothers band Spring Canyon. Also around this time, the band began a lifelong personal friendship and working relationship with singer/songwriter Randy Stonehill. The band began touring heavily with Stonehill in the late 1970s - both performing their own sets, and also serving as Stonehill's backing band at each show. That tour, known as the "Amos n' Randy Tour," became legendary for DA and Stonehill fans. DA backed Stonehill in the studio as well on albums like 1981's Between the Glory and the Flame, 1983's Equator, and 1992's Wonderama. Although Horrendous Disc was recorded for Maranatha! Music, the label ended up dropping it because of a major change in the focus of the label. The label decided to stop releasing albums by rock and roll acts and wanted to focus on praise music. The band shopped the new record around to several labels, including Warner Brothers, but settled on Larry Norman's Solid Rock Records. Solid Rock ended up delaying the release for nearly three years and the album was not seen on record store shelves until a week before the release of the band's newly recorded fourth album ¡Alarma! in 1981.

¡Alarma! Chronicles

¡Alarma! was the first of a four part series of albums entitled The ¡Alarma! Chronicles, which also included the albums Doppelgänger, Vox Humana, and Fearful Symmetry. The band raised eyebrows on the tour that followed each release by presenting a full multimedia event complete with video screens synchronized to the music, something that was unusual in the early 1980s for any band. The stage setup also included mannequins, a 3D slide show and actors portraying game show announcers and models for the song "New Car!" By the end of the four part album series, new band members Tim Chandler and Greg Flesch joined the band to fill vacant positions previously held by Dieckmeyer and Chamberlain. Keyboardist Rob Watson would also occasionally join the band in the studio or on the road.

Throughout the 1980s, the band's popularity led them to be among the first alternative groups to perform at the now-defunct and infamous Madame Wong's and nearly every other major club on the Strip, as well as concert halls, outdoor arenas, street events, backyard barbecues, prisons, and other venues all over the world.

Swirling Eddies/Stunt Records

The band released Darn Floor-Big Bite in 1987. Although Darn Floor was an artistically ambitious and critically acclaimed effort, it sold poorly. They began a followup in 1988 but abandoned it in favor of a chance to do something different. Many of the band members became The Swirling Eddies for a string of releases through the early 1990s. In 1990, D.A. would form their own independent record label, Stunt Records, with help from friend Tom Gulotta. One of the first albums released by Stunt was the half comedy, half rarities and best of compilation from Dr. Edward Daniel Taylor, The Miracle Faith Prickly Heat Telethon of Love. Over the years that followed, Stunt became the primary source for new DA material, including the live albums, Live Bootleg '82 and Preachers From Outer Space!. Jason and Eric Townsend, producers of the DA Tribute CD When Worlds Collide, would join the Stunt Records organization in 1999 to help with promotion and production work.

In addition to recording several albums by The Swirling Eddies, the members of DA returned in 1991 with Kalhöun. 1993's MotorCycle followed, which also marked the return of Chamberlain, who would hang around long enough for two additional DA releases in the 1990s, BibleLand in 1994 and Songs of the Heart in 1995. Songs of the Heart was a concept album that followed the fictional couple, Bud & Irma Ackendorf, on a trip down the historic U.S. Route 66. The concept was explored in greater detail in the 2002 3 CD "book set" entitled When Everyone Wore Hats. That collection not only included the entire 1995 album, but also the entire album reworked as an acoustic band, three new songs, an interview of Taylor by Starflyer59's Jason Martin, photos, expanded liner notes and a newly written short story by Taylor. In 1994, DA joined artists like Randy Stonehill, The Choir, Bruce Cockburn, Victoria Williams, Kate Taylor, Debbie Boone, Chagall Guevara, Carolyn Arends, and others to record songs for Orphans of God, a double disc release that paid tributed to singer/songwriter Mark Heard, who died in 1992 following a performance at the Cornerstone Festival.

¡Alarma! Chronicles box set

In 2000, the band released all four parts of The ¡Alarma! Chronicles on CD packaged together for the first time in a 200 page hardcover book which featured color photos, interviews and the entire ¡Alarma! Chronicles story. Writers John Thompson, Bruce Brown, Randy Layton and Brian Quincy Newcomb also contributed new essays for the book. The limited edition book collection, certainly an unusual release in the music world, received praise from fans and music critics and went on to sell out within a matter of days in the band's own online store. Over the years that followed, copies of the book set would show up on eBay and Amazon selling for hundreds of dollars (still so as of August 2008).

2000-present

In mid 1999, a number of artists joined together to contribute to a tribute album entitled When Worlds Collide: A Tribute to Daniel Amos. Artists lending their voices (and guitars) to the project included longtime band friends like Randy Stonehill, Jimmy Abegg, Phil Madeira, Starflyer 59, Brian Healy, and others. Also making a surprise appearance on the project was Larry Norman, who had not worked with the band since the delays surrounding the Horrendous Disc album. The tribute album was released in time for Cornerstone 2000.

In 2001, DA released what many critics[who?] called their best album to date, Mr Buechner's Dream, named after author Frederick Buechner. The album also pays tribute to Walker Percy, T. S. Eliot, G. K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Connor, Lewis Carroll, Dorothy L. Sayers, and other authors that have inspired DA's lyrics for years. The album was released on Stunt Records, with distribution by longtime friend Dan Michaels' label Galaxy21 Music. The band had such a creative time in the studio that they ended up with more than 30 brand new songs to include on the new album.

In early 2004, Stunt Records began the long and difficult task of digging through the vast DA archives and remastering most of the back catalog for rerelease. The first release in the series, a 30th Anniversary Deluxe edition of the band's first album, Daniel Amos, was released in June 2006. The two-disc special edition included an expanded booklet of never-before-seen photos, additional liner notes, and an entire extra disc of bonus material including early demos and live recordings from the pre-DA years. Work began on the next reissues in the series immediately following its release.

Plans were under way to create a deluxe edition of Horrendous Disc with Solid Rock Records up until the time of Larry Norman's passing in February 2008. It is currently unclear about the future of the joint release, but Stunt Records has plans to at the very least revisit HD with a collection of never before heard outtakes and rarities. 2007 also saw the return of the Swirling Eddies with The midget, the speck and the molecule, that band's first CD since 1996. At the end of November 2008 a deluxe edition of Darn Floor - Big Bite was released by Arena Rock Recording Co., which as well included an entire disc of never before heard recordings, interviews and rare video.

In 2010 the band's official website announced plans to release a new Daniel Amos studio album in 2011. The band will also be performing some concerts in 2011, including an appearance at Cornerstone Festival. The band's website also announced that Deluxe Editions of their debut album, Shotgun Angel and Mr. Buechner's Dream would be released in June in time for the band's tour.[1] The Deluxe Edition of Shotgun Angel premiered at the band's first 2011 show in Nashville, TN. The Deluxe Mr Buechner's Dream premiered at the band's June 18, 2011 show in Wilmington, OH.[2]

Influence

The music of Terry Taylor and Daniel Amos has been a major influence within the music industry. Aside from the obvious influence on artists that the band has worked with over the years, numerous notable people have named DA as musical heroes over the years including artists like U2, The Ocean Blue, Randy Stonehill, The 77s, Phil Keaggy, Steve Taylor, Jimmy Abegg, Phil Madeira, Crystal Lewis, This Train, Carolyn Arends (Arends actually used to perform DA songs in one of her early bands), Ventriloquist Terry Fator, Brian Healy, The Throes, The Choir, Mortal, Larry Norman, Animator and Musician Doug TenNapel, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Scaterd Few, Isaac Air Freight, Deliverance, Starflyer59, and others. Collective Soul, which released several successful alternative rock singles during the 1990s and early 2000s, cite Daniel Amos as a major inspiration for their work. Taylor's work on Dreamworks videogame soundtracks and Nickelodeon animated series have been used as backing music for Olympic performances and become a favorite of other soundtrack composers like Bill Brown, Actor Ben Affleck, comedian Drew Carey, and other celebrities.

Discography

Albums

Live albums

Special releases

Compilation albums

Videos

References

  1. ^ www.DanielAmos.com/index.html#reissues [1] DanielAmos.com, June, 2011
  2. ^ www.DanielAmos.com/index.html#reissues [2] DanielAmos.com, June, 2011

External links


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