Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Musical Elective Of The Week

The Musical Elective of the Week is Amos Lee.

Amos Lee is a Philadelphia native and has built a larger and larger fan base with the release of each of his three albums. His latest offering is Last Days At The Lodge (released in June 2008) and -- based on his recent concert here in Madison -- he has never been stronger and more confident as a live artist. He just wrapped up a U.S. tour with a five-piece band. His new album includes the tracks "Listen," "What's Been Going On," and "Street Corner Preacher."

Lee's music is a blend of acoustic rock, rock, folk, soul, and jazz. Supply and Demand -- Lee's second full-length album -- was released in 2006, featuring the recognizable "Shout Out Loud" and the title track. But do not overlook "Careless," "Night Train," and "Southern Girl." It was preceded by the eponymous Amos Lee in 2005, which was chock full of melodic hooks on the likes of "Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight," "Seen It All Before," "Arms of a Woman," and "Soul Suckers," as well as the playful "Bottom Of The Barrel."

Amos Lee really got his break based upon a self-produced 5-song EP that won him a recording contract from Blue Note Records and got the attention of Norah Jones, for whom he opened during her 2004 tour. He was named one of Rolling Stone magazine's "10 Artists to Watch" in 2005.

Unlike many of our featured Musical Electives, Amos Lee truly does have a connection to education. He was a public school teacher in Philadelphia for two years before turning to music as a profession. Here's one former teacher I'm happy to count as a turnover statistic.
There's a whole lot of trouble all around
Every night the same old sirens sound
There's a whole lot of trouble all around
Children soldiers in this battleground
--"Street Corner Preacher," Last Days At The Lodge (2008)

Extra Credit--Past Musical Electives of the Week:
Susan Tedeschi
Tracy Grammer
Matt Nathanson
Hothouse Flowers
The Decemberists
Ron Sexsmith
Kasey Chambers
Lucinda Williams
Great Big Sea
Griffin House
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer
Neil Finn
Ray LaMontagne
Stuart Stotts
Dan Wilson
Kathleen Edwards

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