It’s been many years since Hall & Oates brought the sweet sound of blue-eyed Philly soul to the attention of the world. Now Amos Lee is here with his third album to demonstrate that the genre is alive and well.
It’s a simple recipe. You start with one young troubador with a soulful voice and a collection of strong tunes. Then you add stalwart R&B legends like Doyle Bramhall, Jr., Pino Palladino, Spooner Oldham, and James Gadson (Bill Withers). To mix it all together you get uber-producer Don Was and you have all the ingredients you’ll ever need.
Since his first album, Lee has toured with Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Paul Simon, and Van Morrison, among others. Clearly he has been paying attention to the masters. “Won’t Let Me Go” is a near-perfect take on the great Donny Hathaway, while “Street Corner Preacher” will bring to mind Bill Withers. “Jails And Bombs” successfully updates Marvin Gaye’s message with a nod in the direction of Curtis Mayfield.
Despite absorbing some very powerful influences, Lee never loses his identity. He’s clearly a musician who knows who he is, and what he does best. His talent is on full display here.
In A Word: Charismatic