Tag Archives: Amos Lee

My Top 10 Singles: 2013

We’re a week into 2014 but I’m still “stuck” on a few songs that came out last year. These tunes NEVER seem to get old for me. I could listen to them on a loop and just turn it up louder and louder each time around. As I put this list together, it strikes me that I’ve never felt so strongly about a year-end list of songs. It may sound weird, but I think 2013 was a really solid year for SINGLES.

I also noticed a real common thread here – all are very epic sounding, strong tracks with lots of energy and soul.

Here are my favorite singles of 2013:

Tedeschi Trucks Band “Made Up Mind”

Paul McCartney “New”

The Head and The Heart “Shake”

Vampire Weekend “Unbelievers”

Deer Tick “The Dream’s In The Ditch”

The Wheeler Brothers “My Time”

Sons Of Fathers “Roots & Vine”

Eric Clapton “Gotta Get Over”

Amos Lee “The Man Who Wants You”

Serena Ryder “Stompa”

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FESTIVAL: Life Is Good

LIG2013

The Life Is Good Festival is this weekend, and I’m so excited to attend both days! This is a one of a kind fest, that’s truly one of the most special musical events I’ve attended. ALL proceeds go to help children in need, through the Life Is Good Playmakers. Because of this focus on children, the festival is a family affair, with a kids stage and LOTS of kids activities.

Aside from the beautiful family vibe that comes through at this fest, the lineup is always ridiculous! This year Jack Johnson and Hall & Oates headline. Oh, and throw in The Roots, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Amos Lee, and Dawes for good measure! Also new this year, there will be a Coffee House stage curated by Ryan Montbleau. He’ll perform a set each day along with Dwight & Nicole, Tall Heights, Mike Doughty, Session Americana, Amber Rubarth and more!

Here are a few lesser known acts I’m really excited to see:

Bahamas



Lake Street Dive



Delta Rae

The Life Is Good Festival

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SONG: Amos Lee

“The Man Who Wants You”

Have you heard the new Amos Lee single? This song is so funky and soulful…I’m a BIG fan of everything Amos Lee does, so obviously I’m psyched on it. Neat concept for a music video too…

The new album Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song will be released 10/8.

Amos Lee

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SONG: Bahamas

“Caught Me Thinkin'”

I’ve been really loving the Bahamas album Barchords the past few days. Thanks to B for the suggestion! Bahamas is the stage name for Canadian musician Afie Jurvanen who used to work with Feist. He’s recently released this sophomore album, and I think it’s really wonderful. At times he reminds me of M. Ward, and other times his voice is remniscent of Amos Leee, but the music is always somewhat restrained…as if the silence is as important as the notes in between. When you hear Bahamas, you may think tropical beachy music, and this is probably the only track on the album that really matches up with that idea:

Bahamas

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Best Of ’11: Amos Lee

Amos Lee – Mission Bell

I have mixed feelings about this album…similar to the feelings I have for the Wilco album. I love Amos Lee’s music, especially his voice, and I really love the band Calexico, who back him on this album. I guess I had higher hopes for the collaboration, but there ARE some really great songs on here. I’d say half are extremely strong, especially “El Camino”, “Windows Rolled Down”, “Violin”, and “Flower”, which happen to be the first four tracks. Honestly those four almost carry the rest of the album for me. They’re that good.

Amos Lee

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NEWPORT: Did That Actually Happen?

Breaking the silence…

First off, I apologize. It’s been an entire week since my last post and I’ve felt like a slacker. But I have an excuse! Newport Folk Festival 2011 rocked my world. In my last post, I explained how I’d be spending the festival…mostly working my tail off, and enjoying whatever I could catch here or there. Well, the entire experience was quite stunning…and left me somewhat in a state of shock (and exhaustion). So it took me a week before I could bring myself to log on here, click ‘new post’, and attempt to get my feelings across to you. And here we are.

The strongest feeling I’ve come away with is a sense of pride and accomplishment. I was part of an awesome team who kicked ass covering the festival…bringing the main stage acts LIVE across the radio airwaves in Newport (96.5FM) and on the Cape & Islands (92.7FM) as well as posting recordings of nearly every set of music performed throughout the weekend on our website along with tons of exclusive interviews and photos (and not to mention our stellar Facebook coverage). 

Aside from that, I was also a sponge soaking in every little drop of amazing music that came my way. Even while sitting at my post backstage for almost the entire festival, I witnessed impromptu performances and jams and got to meet many of the artists who came to our tent to be interviewed. I could also hear the Quad stage quite clearly (especially when the louder bands rocked it), plus there was a pair of headphones right next to me with the main stage feed coming through, so I put those on and blissed out pretty frequently. With all of that and a few jogs to catch a song here or there while my files were saving, I experienced quite a bit of musical magic. Here are some highlights:


*photo by Scott Wurster

Meeting Amos Lee was probably one of the best moments of the festival for me. He was super super sweet and SO striking in person. You hear the word SOUL used a lot when talking about music these days…but I think this man is the real deal…his voice is the epitome of SOUL. Listen to Barbara interview him HERE. And listen to his amazing set on the main stage HERE.


*photo by Scott Wurster

I got to hear a good portion of The Decemberists and their set was just dynamite! They played a perfect mix of new and old songs in their catalogue to please every fan. Colin Meloy was hilarious too! I can’t be sure, but I’d like to think that this picture was taken right as he was telling the crowd to scream like they were being eaten by a whale, haha… definitely check out their performance …LISTEN HERE.


*photo by Scott Wurster

Mavis Staples is such an incredible performer AND person. While she’s on stage of course, but also anytime you see or talk to her, she just exudes a light that makes you smile and feel good about the world, and you can really hear that in her interview with Barbara…LISTEN HERE.

 
*photos by Scott Wurster

Although they were probably the farthest from ‘folk’ at the festival, performances from Delta Spirit and Middle Brother were exceptional. I think Delta Spirit has long been one of my new favorite bands and their rockin’ set really sealed the deal for me. Then, put the singers of Delta Spirit, Dawes, and Deer Tick together and you’ve got Middle Brother – one of the best supergroups I’ve seen in several years. LISTEN TO DELTA SPIRIT. LISTEN TO MIDDLE BROTHER.


 *photo by Scott Wurster

When you hear just a few minutes of stage banter and half a song and then you include that in your list of highlights, that’s when you know The Civil Wars are really something special. I was bummed they were playing on the stage furthest away from me at the festival, but when I ran over there quickly I really was struck by how they commanded the stage and the audience’s attention. You could hear a pin drop in the tent as their intoxicating harmonies cut through the quiet, hot air. Hear part of their performance and Barbara’s interview with them in OUR ARCHIVES.

There was a whole lot more over the course of the weekend, but I’ll leave it at that for today. Now that I’ve had some time to process the experience, I hope to keep sharing it with you here. I’ve said it before, and here I go again…Fort Adams is a magical place, and Newport Folk is one of the most incredible festivals I’ve ever attended. The history, the gorgeous setting, the knowledgeable and well-behaved festival goers, the talent, the collaborations…it all makes for such a special, peaceful place to enjoy the music.


*photo by Jess Phaneuf

If you’ve yet to click on any of the above links to the mvyradio archives,
CLICK HERE TO STREAM & DOWNLOAD LIVE SETS FROM NEWPORT 2011

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Song Of The Day

Amos Lee – “Flower”

Love this tune from Amos Lee’s new album, Mission Bell. It’s got that cheerful soul feeling that we find a lot in his music… complete with a gospel-like chorus of backup voices. The lyrics for this one make me very happy – “My heart is a flower that blooms every hour, I believe in the power of love.” And check out this cool video!

Amos Lee

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Song Of The Day

Amos Lee – “Violin”

This is possibly the most beautiful track on the new Amos Lee album, Mission Bell. On the album track, you can hear Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) on backing vocals… and while Sam Beam wasn’t featured on this performance, Calexico does back Amos Lee beautifully here, as they do on his new album:


Amos Lee

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NEW Music: Amos Lee

Amos Lee – Mission Bell

I was thrilled to hear we got this full length album into the studio today – several weeks before the release date. It’s everything you would expect from Amos Lee… soulful, tender, thoughtful…and it’s also infused with a distinctive new flavor provided by the musical backing of the band Calexico and the input of one of its members – the album’s producer Joey Burns. Not to mention special guests including Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson and Sam Beam!

“El Camino” is a quiet but beautiful opener with delicate guitar picking and a somber story. The single, “Windows Rolled Down” is next, and from the first time I heard it, this tune really drew me in with driving guitar and organ plus a touch of lap steel that’s really dynamic. What follows is unexpected, but completely welcomed – another softer tune, this one with Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) on backing vocals. “Violin” is gorgeous, compelling, and almost haunting… and by the time I hit this third track, I know Mission Bell is going to be extraordinary.

Other tracks that stand out to me on first listen include the joyful, gospel-tinged, “Flower”, and alternatively the dark tune, “Jesus”, which is complete with hand claps and a touch of harmonica. I also really like the flamenco flavored, “Hello Again”, and the closing track “Behind Me Now/El Camino (reprise)” which features Willie Nelson’s vocals on the latter portion.

It’s safe to say that Amos Lee fans will be thrilled with this new release… watch for it on January 25th.

And if you’ve never heard this artist, I really believe the tune, “Windows Rolled Down” is a great introduction:

Amos Lee
Mission Bell

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NEW Music Preview

I’m very much looking forward to some music that’s coming out in early 2011. As always, Amos Lee sings with an abundance of  SOUL on his new single, “Windows are Rolled Down”, and I can’t wait to hear more off his forthcoming album, Mission Bell. Adele is a few years older and she’s still as fierce as ever… the followup to her debut album, 19 comes out in February and it’s fittingly called 21.  I might be most excited about the long-awaited studio album from Sam Beam and Iron & Wine titled Kiss Each Other Clean; what I’ve heard of it is amazing! And we’ll have to wait until April for the rest, but the always incredible Paul Simon has given us a taste of his forthcoming album with a single about Christmas that’s not really a Christmas song.

Check it out:

Artists featured in this NEW Music Preview:
Amos Lee
Adele
Iron & Wine
Paul Simon

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