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The Shadows Of Knight: I Am The Hunter

    The Shadows Of Knight:  I Am The Hunter

    The Shadows of the Knight stands as a unique anomaly within the tapestry of music history. While many of their British counterparts in the 1960s drew inspiration from the blues emanating from Chicago, this Chicago-based band, in turn, mirrored the style of iconic groups like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Yardbirds. Their sound, steeped in the essence of the British Invasion, carried echoes of familiarity yet bore a distinct identity of its own.

    Among their repertoire, their rendition of Them’s “Gloria,” featuring the powerful vocals of Van Morrison, became a local sensation in Illinois, propelling them to regional fame. However, unlike contemporaries such as the Byrds, whose trajectory soared to greater heights, The Shadows of the Knight struggled to transcend their localized success. Despite “Gloria” achieving top-ten status in 1966, the band found themselves grappling with a lack of direction, potentially stemming from managerial missteps or a failure to envision their path forward.

    With a reliance primarily on covers of classic blues tunes, the band found themselves adrift, searching for a distinct musical identity. Even as they soldiered on through the years, relegated to nostalgic touring circuits fueled by the enduring appeal of “Gloria,” original compositions remained scarce.

    Comprised of lead guitarist Warren Rogers, versatile guitarist and vocalist Roger Spielmann, rhythm guitarist Norm Gotsch, bassist Wayne Pursell, drummer Tom Schiffour, and the distinctive vocals of Jimy Sohns, the original lineup boasted formidable talent.

    Despite their struggles, a flicker of innovation emerged in 1970 with “I Am the Hunter,” a track that diverged from their traditional garage sound, showcasing raw energy and a departure from their earlier offerings. However, this departure failed to catalyze their ascent, arriving perhaps too late to compete with the burgeoning heavy rock scene championed by bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

    Decades later, on May 27, 2020, classic-era members Jimy Sohns and Jerry McGeorge joined forces with producer and musician Michael Weber to unveil “Wild Man,” their first collaborative single in over half a century. Retaining the gritty charm of garage band aesthetics, the song serves as a fitting tribute to their enduring legacy, marking the end of an era for a band forever intertwined with the timeless allure of “Gloria.”

    On Spotify: Dark Sides: The Best Of The Shadows Of Knight

    Tony M.