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Just Announced: Jack Johnson brings special guest Amos Lee to The Mann on 6/6

Jack Johnson | photo by Emmett Malloy
Jack Johnson | photo by Emmett Malloy

Jack Johnson has announced a summer tour with a stop at The Mann Center on June 6th with special guest Amos Lee.  Johnson released a new record last year called From Here To Now To You on his Brushfire Records label, his sixth studio effort since debuting in 2001.  Philadelphia favorite Amos Lee also released a new record last year called Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.  Tickets for the all-ages show go on sale Friday, January 31st, with a WXPN presale happening on Thursday, January 30th.  Tickets and information will be available here.  Below, listen to “Radiate” off Johnson’s recent LP followed by a trailer for Lee’s Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.

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Just Announced: XPN welcomes Amos Lee to The Music Box at the Borgata on 4/18

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Amos Lee continues to tour behind his 2013 LP Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song with an east coast tour this spring, stopping in Atlantic City for a show at The Music Box at the Borgata on April 18th.  Lee was recognized by Mayor Nutter in November, acknowledged for his extensive work with charities like Musicians On Call.  Learn more about the commendation here.  Tickets and information for the New Jersey show will be available here on January 10th.

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The 10 most popular stories on The Key in 2013

1. This is what the punk scene looked like in the 1980s

2. Exclusive Listen: Amos Lee covers “Some Days Are Diamonds” from The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver

3. Album Premiere: Listen to the debut album by Wild Belle, Isles

4. Download Meek Mills’ Dreamchasers 3 mixtape

5. Download a new Drake song, “All Me,” featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean

6. Ballin’ Oates: Wu-Tang and Kanye West meets Hall & Oates

7. My Morning Download: “Recover” by CHVRCHES

8. Listen to J. Cole’s album Born Sinner

9. Gotta Hear Song of The Week: “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

10. Listen back to Helen Leicht’s interview with Paul McCartney

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The 12 Days of Local Christmas: “Holiday Song” by Amos Lee

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

The XPN Local 12 Days of Christmas continues today with a holiday strummer with hometown hero Amos Lee, who recently headlined The Tower Theater. Lee is currently on the road in support of his 2013 offering, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, but this tune dates back to 2009, when Amos offered it as an exclusive download to his Facebook fans. It’s a solitary and soulful acoustic guitar song that would sound just right by a warm fireplace, as Lee belts out a simple, powerful message: “Peace starts with me.” Get a download below, and watch Amos perform it at the Buell Theater in Denver in December of 2009,

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Review: Amos Lee brings Rivers of Song to the Tower Theater

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Philadelphia native Amos Lee took on Philadelphia’s historic Tower Theater Tuesday night as part of a tour supporting his most recent album, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song. Lee’s soulful alt-country songwriting, classic voice and stellar backing band pleased a packed crowed and went down as a win in my book.

Lee opened his set with “Johnson Blvd”, the first track off of his latest record, a song that, between its slow build to a beautifully resolving chorus and having been written in a way that truly showcases Lee’s voice, was a very appropriate song with which to open. Continuing with Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, Lee and his band then played “Stranger”, the second track on the album, during which the combination of warm guitar and piano interaction and a taste of Lee’s falsetto made the crowd feel right at home.

Midway through his set, Lee ditched the band and played a few solo tunes, including “Dresser Drawer”, a song with a surprising backstory about Lee’s San Franciscan friend Johnny whom, after being separated from his wife, Lee visited for a period of time. “Johnny sent me a photograph on the iPhone,” Lee added, “of his wedding ring in a dresser drawer, which is really sweet. And then, 5 minutes later, I got another one, and it was a photo of his wedding ring in a dresser drawer next to some condoms.”

Still solo, Lee played a tune dedicated to his late grandfather, “Jesus”, which actually works better as a solo acoustic song than with a band. It practically goes without saying that, after bringing his band back on stage, “I’m the Man Who Wants You” got people on their feet and dancing to its soulful, groovy tempo.

Amos Lee was joined by fellow Philadelphia native Mutlu who, maybe lacking in a truly original sound, made up for it with playful lyrics and a unique brand of charisma. He got the crowd engaged with the tongue-and-cheek tune, “Board Games”, a song Mutlu describes as what you get when you try to write a sexy song about, you said it, board games. Lee brought Mutlu back on stage late in his own set to perform Mutlu’s on song, “Caramel”, which was at the very least fitting of the Thanksgiving spirit.

Amos Lee and his band have a very polished sound, and at its core is Lee’s songwriting and strikingly unique voice. It made for an excellent hometown performance, making us Philadelphians proud to call Amos Lee our own.

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Watch Amos Lee receive a commendation from Mayor Michael Nutter at City Hall

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Before headlining the Tower Theater last night, Philadelphia singer-songwriter Amos Lee stopped by City Hall to receive a commendation from Mayor Michael Nutter. In a short ceremony attended by Amos’s parents, managers and reps from concert promoters LiveNation, Nutter commended Lee:

…for his talent, his success as a singer, songwriter and performer, and for the pride he brings to Philadelphia as a musician who is giving back to the community at large. We commend him for his volunteer support of the WXPN Musicians on Call bedside performance programs, and for his efforts to raise awareness of the healing powers of music.

He also presented Lee with a Liberty Bell award, offering suggestions for its use: signaling the beginning or end of practice, or using it to rally his bandmates. Watch a video of the ceremony below.

After his mayoral citation was presented, Lee’s mother underscored how significant it was for the family, who are lifelong Philadelphians with roots in Kensington, while Lee himself spoke of the evolving perception of the city at large.

“People would ask me where I’m from, and when I’d say ‘Philadelphia,’ they’d ask ‘Where do you live now?’” Lee said. “But it won’t be long before this city is recognized as a major cultural center around the world, and I applaud [Mayor Nutter] for the work he’s done towards getting us there.”

Check out photos from the ceremony in the gallery below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes Amos Lee at Tower Theater, Oh! Pears at Ortliebs, Slackwater News at Chameleon Club and more

Amos Lee | Photo by John Vettese
Amos Lee | Photo by John Vettese

Philly’s own Amos Lee will take to the Tower Theater stage for a night of soulful folk tunes. Lee released his fifth album Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song on Blue Note Records last month and treated fans at World Cafe Live to a live set of new material at his Free at Noon concert. Get tickets to tonight’s show here and watch him peform “Chill In The Air” below.

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