Amos Lee has announced the January 25, 2011 release of Mission Bell, his fourth album for EMI's Blue Note Records, and his richest and most fully formed album to date. Mission Bell, which was produced by Joey Burns of the acclaimed band Calexico, displays both range and cohesion, an array of emotions unified by Lee's eclectic taste and distinctive vocals. With a remarkable set of guests-including Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), Priscilla Ahn, Pieta Brown, and James Gadson-and the musical backing of Calexico, the album marks the arrival of Amos Lee as a mature artist who continues to explore his musical and thematic interests.
"There's a real searching element to a lot of these songs," says Lee, who has evolved into one of the most important and prolific songwriters of our time, a point that's driven home by the 12 new originals on Mission Bell, and the presence of legends such as Williams and Nelson, who were eager to interpret Lee's songs.
The most obvious change on Mission Bell is the album's intimate yet expansive sound, which Lee credits to Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico. After a chance meeting, the idea came up for Lee to go out to the band's Wavelab studio in Tucson and try some recording. "The musicality that those guys bring is just amazing," Lee says. "It was especially nice to work with John and get a very different texture rhythmically. They're great at creating atmosphere-sonically, they brought a beautiful dimension into a lot of the songs, and helped them to expand and breathe more."
Lee has been out on tour throughout the summer debuting the new songs for delighted fans at major festivals including Denver's Mile High Music Festival, San Francisco's Outside Lands Music Festival, and the Minnesota State Fair in Minneapolis. This Fall, in addition to further opening dates with Dave Matthews Band, Lee will also be a featured performer at Farm Aid 25 in Milwaukee on October 2, the Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 8, and will be in New York City for a special pre-release event at the Hiro Ballroom on September 28.
The track listing for Mission Bell is as follows:
1. El Camino
2. Windows Are Rolled Down
3. Violin (featuring Sam Beam)
5. Stay With Me (featuring Priscilla Ahn)
6. Out Of The Cold (featuring Pieta Brown)
7. Jesus (featuring James Gadson)
8. Hello Again
9. Learned A Lot
10. Cup Of Sorrow
11. Clear Blue Eyes (featuring Lucinda Williams)
12. Behind Me Now / El Camino Reprise (featuring Willie Nelson)
AMOS LEE - 2010 TOUR DATES
Sept. 28 - Hiro Ballroom - New York, NY **sold out**
Oct. 2 - Farm Aid @ Miller Park - Milwaukee, WI
Oct. 3 - Avila Beach Resort - San Luis Obispo, CA (w/ Chris Isaak)
Oct. 8 - Austin City Limits Music Festival - Austin, TX
Nov. 2 - HSBC Arena - Buffalo, NY (w/ Dave Matthews Band)
Nov. 3 - Nassau Coliseum - Nassau, NY (w/ Dave Matthews Band)
Nov. 4 - The Egg - Albany, NY
Nov. 5 - Patriots Theater - Trenton, NJ
Nov. 6 - Grand Opera House - Wilmington, DE
Dec. 31 - Calvin Theater - Northampton, MA
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Amos Lee is a Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter who has released three critically and commercially successful albums on Blue Note Records-2005's Amos Lee, 2006's Supply And Demand, and 2008's Last Days At The Lodge. His music has been called "anthemic" by The New York Times and "seductive" by Vanity Fair, while the Philadelphia Inquirer waxed rhapsodic about "his compact, well-constructed songs, slightly southern drawl, and sensitive delivery that balances jazzy crooning and blue-eyed soul work within classic archetypes." The Associated Press has praised his "gloriously sexy voice" and People magazine declared him "one of pop's best-kept secrets."
Lee has toured with legends including Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, and Elvis Costello. He has appeared on the The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Show With David Letterman, Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, The Today Show, Live From Abbey Road, Austin City Limits and the Tavis Smiley Show. He has been the subject of feature profiles in Rolling Stone and on NPR All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.