Daniel Amos

18 Sep

Daniel Amos at Cornerstone 2001

The first time that I heard about Daniel Amos (also known as DA) was in the mid 1970s when some of my friends saw them perform at Calvary Chapel, over in Costa Mesa. It was around the time that the Saturday night concerts moved from the tent to the new sanctuary. Then Maranatha 5 came out and had β€œAin’t Gonna Fight It” on it, with members Steve Baxter, Jerry Chamberlain, Marty Dieckmeyer, and Terry Taylor. They were the Christian version of the Eagles or America, with beautiful harmonies amid melodic acoustic guitars causing Jesus freaks, caught up in the Jesus movement, to raise their handsΒ tearfully in praise and worship to the Almighty Father who inspired the music. DA is a legendary Jesus Rock band that has managed to stay fresh and relevant over the decades.

Band members were in other bands from the beginning of the 1970s, including Jubal’s Last Band and the Prophetic Trumpets. Their self-titled first album had a hard country rock sound, similar to the Eagles with Joe Walsh or Crosby, Stills & Nash, with Neil Young, released in 1976. By the time that they recorded it, Steve Baxter had left the band, and Mark Cook and Ed Taggart had joined. Shotgun Angel was the title of their second album on the Maranatha label and it was received with anticipation. It didn’t disappoint and had a more polished pop sound and even included orchestral string arrangements provided by Peter Jacobs. It was a concept album in much the same way as the Beatles’, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or the Rolling Stones’,Β Their Satanic Majesties Request.

By the end of the 1970s Daniel Amos decided to move closer to rock & roll and drop the country/folk sound, at the same time that Maranatha was going through a transition, where the label decided to release all their rock and pop acts and concentrate on worship music. The band’s new album Horrendous Disc, had already been recorded at the time, so they shopped around for a new record label. The album was straight on biblically inspired rock & roll and they ended up on Larry Norman’s Solid Rock Records. However, due to internal problems at Solid Rock, the album’s release was held up until a week before their 4th album Alarma came out, in the early 1980s. Β Alarma was another departure and entered the realm of New Wave bands that played at secular clubs like Madam Wong’s in the L.A. inner city. Then over the decades the band splintered into a number of other projects including, Lost Dogs, The Swirling Eddies, and even Daniel Amos reunions.

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