The Shadows of the Knight are an anomaly in music. Early British bands in the 60s were mimicking the blues coming out of Chicago. The Shadows of the Knight returned the favor, they were a Chicago band and copied their style from groups such as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Yardbirds. The garage band is well known for doing a slightly altered version of Them’s “Gloria” featuring Van Morrison.
Gloria brought them fame in the surrounding area of Illinois but never propelled them to the heights of bands such as the Byrds who were making the same type of music. Gloria was a top ten song in 1966. Perhaps there was a lack of vision on the band’s part or misguided management. They never found their footing as a band, they floundered to find an identity. Relying on mostly covers of old blues songs, there were very few original songs from the group. The group soldered for many years as a nostalgic touring band living on the fumes of Gloria.
The original band members were lead guitarist Warren Rogers, rhythm/lead guitar/vocalist Roger Spielmann, rhythm guitarist Norm Gotsch, bass guitarist Wayne Pursell, drummer Tom Schiffour and vocalist Jimy Sohns.
One song that intrigued me recently was I am the Hunter which was released four years after Gloria in 1970. This song totally rocks! It’s a departure from the early garage days, the group never capitalized on this song. Groups such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin honed their blues craft into heavy rock. The Shadows of the Knight were a bit too late to the game. I am the Hunter never charted, they remained forever the band that played Gloria for oldies shows till this day.
On May 27, 2020, classic-era members Jimy Sohns and Jerry McGeorge teamed up with producer/musician Michael Weber to release their first new single together in 53 years, “Wild Man.” The song contains all the trappings of garage band sounds. It is a nice send-off to a classic band.
On Spotify: Dark Sides: The Best Of The Shadows Of Knight