Amos Fortune (Rock/Blues/Folk) - Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Official website: http://www.amosfortunemusic.com
Amos Fortune formed in 2014, although most of the members have been playing together in various bands and projects for over a decade. In May 2015 released 'American Folklore.' The album was recorded, produced and engineered by Amos Fortune in a cabin, a living room, two basements, a garage, and a haunted house. Most of the lyrics were written during a train ride across the country. Their debut video for the single 'Hoedown' was released in November 2015.
Amos Fortune has quickly gained attention for their high energy passionate live shows, and they have only begun to scratch the surface of their potential.
4/22/17 - 508 Intl - Charlton, MA
4/23/17 - Newburyport Brewing Co. - Newburyport, MA
2016 Holiday single "I Saw Santa Watch Me Fall Down The Chimney"
2016 "Bees And Seas (Live At Big T's)" EP Release:
2015 "American Folklore" EP Release
"American Folklore" EP Review:
New Hampshire/Massachusetts based band Amos Fortune recently released this EP that features touches of rock, blues and folk. "Song For Francis" starts the EP off with a glorious blues guitar riff that transitions into upbeat blues rock mixed with a touch of folk. The track keeps things moving as there's a slight The Shins vibe to it. "Hoedown" is a single off the EP and recently had a music video released for it which can be viewed here. The track captivates the listener with a full spectrum of sound. The track will get you singing along to its moody chorus as well as enthrall you with its soft soothing style of rock. "American Folklore" is the title track and is the longest track off the EP. It's a track of epic proportions as it has a Simon and Garfunkel feel to it. The track just oozes passion and is a real treat to listen to. "Streetlights" introduces itself by way of amazing guitar work. The track has a good mix of rockin' guitar riffs as well as slowing it down with the soothing vocals. "Big Ol' Heart" is an emotionally charged track which starts off slow but eventually picks up. It's a mesmerizing track that is very enjoyable for anyone into rock music. It has so many great layers to it. "Robin Hood" closes out the EP with a higher tempo than the previous tracks. It takes things up a notch and has single written all over it. The track along with the EP are a catchy as hell good time to listen to.
Amos Fortune have an EP here that any fan of indie rock, folk or blues should check out. There's so much to enjoy in the six tracks that once it's over, you're craving to get lost in more tracks.
"Hoedown" Music Video:
1. Your two new singles, "Long Night" and "Resolution" just got released. What do you want listeners to take away from it?
Eric: Rather than track these ourselves, we recorded them with our good friend Jason Duguay at Project Sound Recording in Haverhill, MA. After tracking, we completed the mixing ourselves as with our other projects. We all think these are great rock songs plain and simple, and hope other people will feel that as well. We want people hear these new ones and listen back to our older stuff to get an idea of the progress we've made in the last two years with our chemistry and overall sound, and try to imagine what those older recordings sound like now. These new songs are as close as we've come yet to capturing our live sound, and we think it shows our growth as engineers and producers as well as players.
Cole: Long Night was the quickest song we've written together. Josh showed us two chord progressions and within 5 minutes we all had our parts pretty much laid out. The verse and chorus melodies came instantly to me, which is usually not the case, and the lyrics I pieced together over the next month. I really like the raw energy of the tune. In a roundabout way the song is about not being complacent with your life, beliefs, and feelings when life throws you hardship and conflict.
2. Has there been any discussion regarding a music video for any of the singles? If so, which track?
Cole: There is a video for "Long Night" in the works that we plan to have completed in March, stay tuned for that.
3. What was the inspiration for the cover art for the singles and who
Cole: We have a band artist, Matt Benjamin. He has done all of our album artwork and worked as art director for our "Hoedown" video. We wanted to take a different approach to these singles. Previously we've stuck with mostly black and white drawings. For these we wanted them to stand out and be something of their own. We asked Matt to make them colorful, use photo, and still stay within the general look we've been developing.
Matt: "With "Long Night" I had so much to go on with the lyrics. Cole has a way of painting a picture with his lyrics and I just tried to capture what I saw while listening to the song. Our logo is a coyote skull, so having a photographic representation of the coyote just seemed fitting. For "Resolution" parts of the creature design were from an image I'd done a few years back. I used the same coyote head from "Long Night" to tie the two together. The creature itself is somewhere between a spirit animal and a totem. Besides the head, it's made up of crow, dragonfly, tree branches, and human skeleton all of which are of personal and symbolic meaning. The background image is a photo of mine that had a transcendent feeling for me."
4. What's your favorite track to play live?
We all have our own I'm sure.........
Eric: "Classic Radio" is a tune from one of our former bands that Amos Fortune hasn't recorded yet, but live is so much fun. Some of the guitar parts Kayne plays, it's hard not to just stop the song and be like "what the fuck was that!"
Cole: I really like playing "Robin Hood", off of our first EP. Of all the material, that tune has grown so much since the initial recording; we just play it so much better live now. We've added an extended jam at the end that is very fun to go crazy on; our current record is clocking in "Robin Hood" at 9 minutes when playing live.
Kayne: I enjoy playing both "Robin Hood" and "Classic Radio", but there are also nights when "Larry Underwood" just really hits hard.
Tom: Lately it's a toss up between "Classic Radio" and "Long Night". Both songs are just so much fun and so crazy to play. "Cannons" is another favorite of mine, it's one of our 9+ minute monsters though.
Josh: I am really digging "Long Night" right now. It's new, it's fast and fun to play. "Larry Underwood" is always fun too because we play it different every time.
5. What artists are you currently listening to? Any acts you recommend that people should check out?
Cole: Adia Victoria. Check out the video "Horrible Weather."
Eric: "The Unknown Woodsmen" album from Beauty In the Machine. Been going strong in my rotation for over a year. They are an all around solid band, great songwriting and lyrics that makes sense to me.
Kayne: This past fall I met Kiirstin Marilyn at the Mesa Music Festival in Mesa, Arizona. Everyone should go support everything she does. She is an incredible talent and has some very strong important messages in her lyrics.
Tom: I've been listening a lot to Benny Greb. There's just something about the way he sets the groove that just floors me.
Josh: The White Buffalo - "How the West Was Won".....and George Harrison - "All Things Must Pass", both great albums.
6. What was the last concert you went to as a fan?
Cole: I had wanted to see Denver based band The Yawpers so bad that I cut a vacation short to fly to Boston to see them. They coincidentally released an album "American Man" around the time we released "American Folklore". A lot of the art and lyrical imagery have a similar vibe. They destroyed the show, and I was fortunate enough to spend the night hanging with the band and got a sneak peak of their upcoming album.
Eric: Me and Josh took our wives on a double date to see The White Buffalo in Cambridge, MA a few months ago and it was amazing! He is a great writer and singer, and the live show exceeded expectations, total rock and roll, the bass players amp literally caught fire! At the end of his set I scurried up to the stage and tossed an Amos Fortune t shirt up there, which he promptly grabbed and wiped the sweat from his brow. Don't know what came of the shirt but it's cool thinking he has it somewhere. Josh also ran into Jake Smith later that night and chatted with him for a few minutes.
Josh: Yeah that was a fucking fun night!
Kayne: My wife and I just saw Temple of the Dog at MSG. Possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity and well worth the road trip.
7. As an artist, what's your take on the streaming sites (Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, etc.) and how they pay royalties to bands?
Cole: The more I hear these figures about artist payouts, the more my mind is blown. I don't have an answer but it's crazy. I will say I love the
fact vinyl's popularity is soaring. But it is a little frustrating when you spend thousands of self-funded dollars to record songs and it's now the norm to release it instantly online for free.
Kayne: I like the idea that unsigned bands can some exposure that way. And I personally use some of those sites myself to hear some of my favorite bands (although I own almost any album I'm searching for already.) But music fans really need to make sure they don't diminish the value of music. Find out about stuff you like through YouTube and Spotify and all that crap, maybe someone you never heard before, but then make sure you go out and buy that artists album, and go to their shows. Support the artist, support art, support music. We need to make sure we don't turn music into a fast food drive-thru, and that's where it looks like we are headed.
Josh: Well I think we are at the point of no return when it comes to online streaming and I stream a lot of music. You got to get the live show tight and tour to get paid these days.
8. How would you describe your music to the average person?
Eric: Genuine, heart felt rock and fucking roll. Aside from Tom, none of us have any formal music training, and his wasn't even on drums, but I don't think that holds us back at all. We have taught ourselves to play through persistence, but our music has always transcended just notes and melodies. It is an extension of all of our lives and experiences. For us it's about tapping into our emotions and chemistry together as friends that makes it work,. We want people to see us live because that aspect comes through in our performances. To us that is rock and roll, and that's the way all music should be.
Cole: So many people have told me that we are a better live band than a recorded one. I take that as a compliment. We are always in pursuit of
finding better ways to capture our true sound on record, but we want to win fans over from seeing the spontaneity of our live performances.
Josh: Genuine...from the soul...rock.
9. What's next for Amos Fortune?
Eric: We've already booked studio time at Project Sound for late February to record a live album, complete with some video. Studio time is an expense we just can't afford, so we helped our friend install brand new wood floors in his studio in exchange for a couple of days of uncensored mischief. We will be tracking some new material, some old material, and some really old, revamped stuff. We are pretty stoked about our plans for that project.
Cole: I wrote a song last night that I haven't showed the guys yet, but when I do I think it will cause some black hole outer space shit.
Kayne: We know we have something that other human beings out there can connect to. Rock music is very important to keep alive in this sterile phase of music history. Rock recycles all that bullshit floating around out there. I refuse to believe that rock is dead. We would like to get our music out there to as many people as we can because we know other people love rock as much as we do. We would like to play more shows and travel even farther outside our area to give music fans that opportunity to hear our shit.
10. What do you want to achieve in the next year?
We want to play music for a living. We are hoping to get the Amos Fortune
name out there. We are hoping in 2017 we can find some sort of financial
support to help us string together some tours in order to perform our live
shows on national and international stages. We have a growing catalogue of
music, and no shortage of ideas or inspiration. We've all been at this for
a long time and we aren't kids anymore. We know what we are capable of and
know what we want. We have families and homes and it is hard to finance
tours and albums on our meager salaries so we want the opportunity to focus on
our music more to be able to achieve our potential. One thing we know is we
won't stop till we make that happen.
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Amos Fortune” and is there any meaning behind it?
We all started musically in different ways. Our sound has been developed individually over a long period of time, and we all happened to come together at a time when it just seemed to click as a group. Its many years of countless different influences from our past that make our music, but it ends up its own unique entity.
The name Amos Fortune came to be from the experience most of us have had in grinding out the music scene for whats been well over 12 years now, and collectively almost a dozen bands. Amos Fortune, the man, was the first free slave in NH, and he bought his own freedom by quietly biding his time, putting his head down and patiently working his ass off toward it. Our thought was if a black slave can work his way toward buying his own freedom back in the 1700s in NH, then we can shut up and keep working harder. Amos Fortune was the ultimate grinder, and as much as people debate about America this or that, it seems one thing people all agree on is that Americans pride themselves on hard work. No one worked harder than Amos Fortune, and he succeeded at everything he set his mind to. Who better to name yourself after?
2. What do you want listeners to take away from your "American Folklore" album?
Listen to the lyrics, the stories involved and the way they fit with the music. Most of the lyrics were written on a train ride across the country, and the albums imagery is based on the vastly different landscapes of America, both physically and ideologically. It was our debut album and although most of us had played together for a while in the past, it was a departure from the music we had made up to that point, and it all happened really by a matter of chance. We think the lyrics capture that feeling well.
3. What can people expect from your live show?
Something different every time, but always energetic and pushing the limits of our capabilities. We enjoy improvising in our shows and playing off each other's energy.
4. What's your favorite track to play live?
"Hoedown" is a song that even if you are playing a really shitty show, that tune can get everybody back on the same page, band and fan alike. No thinking, just jamming the fuck out.
5. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?
My Morning Jacket, The Unknown Woodsmen, and The White Buffalo.
6. Any crazy show stories?
Yeah, one time we actually got paid! And also Tom fell down a looonng set of stairs once.
7. What’s your take on the current state of rock?
Tepid at best. But Rock n' Roll will never die. Sometimes it just takes naps.
8. What’s the current music scene like there in New Hampshire both locally and state wide?
No doubt there are great young and upcoming bands we haven't heard of yet, and there are definitely a lot of talented trained musicians playing genius stuff. But we've found that NH and New England really as a whole tend to be slightly too categorized, and plays it way too safe. It would be nice for the music scene to take some bigger chances, and listen more.
9. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?
Music comes from a very personal place, so it's pretty much identity theft. That said we will always make our music available to anyone who wants to hear it, so they don't have to steal it. It is also very important we don't as a society devalue the musician and the artist.
10. What’s next for Amos Fortune?
Well we just released a live EP "Bees and Seas," we recorded entirely on our own in our practice jam spot. We look forward to gigging as much as possible to promote both "American Folklore," and "Bees and Seas," and are really hoping to make it out of the New England area with our shows and do some tours this summer, whether backed or not. Ideally, we think we are best suited for festivals with our energetic loud live show, rather than your typical club or bar. But we will play almost anywhere any time, and the music doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.
11. Any shoutouts?
Yeah, our band artist Matt Benjamin, and video directors Nick Norman and Cassius Ferguson.