|Amos Lee — Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song|
Amos Lee — Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song
¬ “Anyway, I'd definitely recommended this album to people who already love Amos Lee and to people who are just discovering him.” (Amazon customer)
Birth name: Ryan Anthony Massaro
Born: June 22, 1977
Origin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Location: San Francisco (winter months)
Album release: October 8, 2013
Record Label: Blue Note
01. Johnson Blvd. (4:15)
02. Stranger (3:49)
03. Tricksters, Hucksters, & Scamps (3:20)
04. Chill In The Air (4:28)
05. Dresser Drawer (4:24)
06. Indonesia (3:28)
07. High Water (2:39)
08. The Man Who Wants You (3:00)
09. Loretta (3:46)
10. Plain View (2:34)
11. Mountains Of Sorrow (4:02)
12. Burden (3:25)
13. Scared Money (6:50)
14. Charles St. (2:58)
15. Lowdown Life (4:12)
¬ Lee describes himself as being of "mixed" ethnicity and maintains a residence in Philadelphia, while spending some winter months in San Francisco.
¬ "Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song, Amos Lee's fifth studio album, will be released on October 8 by Blue Note Records. Lee recorded the 12-song collection in Nashville with Jay Joyce (Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Eric Church, Cage the Elephant). I've always enjoyed it down there, so I thought I'd bring my band and see how a bunch of Philly guys fit in, says Lee. Jay brings a musicality, a different kind of ear. He definitely hears things in ways that I don t, and brings out extra dimensions in the songs.The convenient location allowed several remarkable guests to participate in the sessions. Alison Krauss joins Lee on Chill In The Air and Patty Griffin sings harmony on Mountains of Sorrow, a song inspired by Lee s visit to Levon Helm's barn in Woodstock, where he appeared at the legendary drummer's Midnight Ramble not long before Helm's death. Instrumentalists Jerry Douglas (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson and Family) and Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band) also contribute to the record."
¬ Une orientation de plus en plus folk pour Amos Lee, dont c'est le 5eme album. Celui-ci ne devrait cependant pas décevoir les fans du singer songwriter.
By Daryl Addison |
¬ Amos Lee scored an unexpected commercial hit when his 2011 project Mission Bell debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard Top 200 the week it was released. How does the 36-year-old Pennsylvania native follow up the biggest hit of his career? Well, by switching up many of the most fundamental aspects of the recording process, of course.
¬ For his latest offering, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, which is available now, Amos headed to Nashville to record in a new city with a new producer. Working with in-demand producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town), Amos also brought his touring band along to support him on record for the first time. The result is a wonderfully atmospheric 12-song collection blending Appalachian folk with classic soul and singer/songwriter introspection.
¬ Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song gets its title from an acoustic ballad on the album’s back half. A guest at the legendary Levon Helm’s famed Midnight Ramble jam sessions, Amos notes that the title-track was inspired by the late drummer. Supported by Patty Griffin’s touching harmonies and Jerry Douglas’ virtuoso dobro (Jerry plays on many of the album’s pieces), “Mountains of Sorrow” provides insight for the overall project. Full of Americana poetry, Amos continually makes deliberate and contemplative lyric choices to bend around sweet folk melodies with an eye for exploring new sounds.
¬ Jay Joyce has gained a reputation for employing atmospheric, avant-garde and even psychedelic nuances when working with artists in the studio. This project is no different as tunes like “Stranger” come out like a sonic concoction of psychedelic, bluegrass and Honky Tonk. “Tricksters, Hucksters and Scamps,” telling a seedy story in old school pro boxing, thrives with fuzzed out guitar and throwback rhythms. Amos’ voice is easy and natural, never forced, in order to emphasize the characters in his songs as well as its overall vibe. The hard times found in the melancholy “Johnson Blvd” or the palpable loneliness of the traditional country number “Dresser Drawer” are brought to life by the charred timbres of his weathered voice.
¬ Amos’ performance is deeply soulful while recalling artists such as Bill Withers. The stunning “Chill In The Air,” featuring harmonies from Alison Krauss, plays to acoustic guitars and mandolin while fleeting notes vanish into the song’s rich ambiance. A song about hurt and loss, Amos sings, Look at the bright side, you get a new life, to the one he has no choice but to leave behind. Even on the funky “High Water,” which bangs open to heavy drums reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks,” Amos’ arresting delivery cuts right through distorted vocal effects. The deep desire in the retro/R&B “The Man Who Wants You” or the longing wrapped up tight in his vibrato on the descending “Loretta” continually provide striking depth.
¬ For all the modern sounds or wild psychedelic arrangements, the project remains a clear roots-driven album. The closer, “Burden,” is quintessential singer/songwriter folk and the banjo-lead “Plain View” is traditional country at its core. Amos’ willingness to experiment with tradition is exciting and fresh on Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song while also demonstrating that this exceptionally talented artist is willing to take chances and pushes to evolve.
¬ Key Tracks — “Chill In The Air,” “Stranger,” “High Water,” “Mountains Of Sorrow” (http://blog.gactv.com/)
¬ Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song (Blue Note Records), the follow-up to Amos Lee’s chart-topping Mission Bell, is available now. The 12-song collection was produced by Jay Joyce (Emmylou Harris, Eric Church, Cage the Elephant) and features special guests Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin, Jerry Douglas (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson and Family) and Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band).
¬ Lee will celebrate the album’s release with a performance on “Late Show with David Letterman” tonight. He will appear on “CBS Saturday Morning” on October 19.
¬ “The Man Who Wants You,” the first single from the album, is already a Top 20 hit at Triple A radio. Rolling Stone praised “The Man Who Wants You” as “stomping and soulful” and premiered the accompanying video, which was shot inside a facility that presses vinyl records.
¬ The New York Times said, “Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song is a serenely sure-footed effort from Amos Lee, a singer-songwriter who rarely delivers anything else. Drawing from folk rock and rustic country music, the album has conversationally catchy melodies; lyrics about hard times and modest yearnings…” “Lee is at his best on hushed numbers like ‘Chill in the Air’ and ‘Indonesia,’ where his emotional evocative croon carries the music,” observed Billboard, which also singled out ‘High Water’ and ‘The Man Who Wants You’ as “compelling.”
¬ Lee, who recently performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” will kick off a U.S. tour with his band on November 5 at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, WI. The headline run will include a show at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago (November 8), a two-night stand at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium (limited tickets are available for November 13, but November 14 is sold out) and an evening at the Beacon Theatre in New York City (November 22). Lee is donating $1 from each ticket sold for the November tour to Musicians On Call, a non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. See below for itinerary or visit Lee’s website.
¬ In late September, Lee performed at Farm Aid (VIEW Amos’ rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come” here), dueted with Jack Johnson at The Life Is Good Festival (VIEW the pair performing here), made his Grand Ole Opry debut in Nashville, joined Zac Brown at his Southern Ground Music & Food Festival and opened for Lionel Richie.
¬ "I love his songs. I love his music. He’s like soul concentrate,” said Zac Brown. Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson has called Lee “an exceptional artist, a true story teller, unique to his generation.”
¬ Amos Lee March 1, 2005
¬ Supply and Demand October 3, 2006
¬ Last Days at the Lodge June 24, 2008
¬ Mission Bell January 25, 2011
¬ Mountain Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song October 8, 2013
|Amos Lee — Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song|