By Kristi Kates
Country Weekly called Amos Lee and Lucinda Williams Clear Blue Eyes duet single a heartbreaking piece of classic country.
Williams has also joined Lee onstage at his solo shows.
And Lees latest album, Mission Bell, released in January of this year, features Williams on that same song, as well as other guest appearances from Calexico and Iron and Wines Sam Beam.
Williams new set, Blessed, hit stores this past March, and blends her Americana mix of rock, blues and country into another landmark album for the performer; recently married, shes entering another chapter in her life both musically and personally, as well.
Both of these musicians, now on the road for a July tour, will be appearing - together - at Interlochen this month for a show thats sure to be a standout.
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Lee is now on his fourth album on Blue Note Records, and this tour with Williams isnt his first trip around the block.
The dusky-voiced, blazer-wearing, mysteriously-named musician (no ones quite sure exactly where his Amos Lee moniker came from) and former elementary-school teacher has also shared the stage with such performers as Norah Jones, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan, and Adele, bringing along his own drummer, Fred Berman, and his bassist Jaron Olevsky.
Blending folk with jazz and soul, Lees Philly influences can be heard throughout his songs, from his debut self-produced EP, which initially caught the attention of Jones, through Mission Bells acoustic soul effort. Hes another artist whose songs have proved to be evocative enough to serve as score for a wide variety of media, from his songs appearances in Studio 60, Army Wives, Greys Anatomy, and ER to movies like Just Like Heaven and even an AT&T commercial that proved to be a fan favorite.
Meanwhile, Williams - she of the Chrissie Hynde eyeliner, truck-stop waitress hair, and distinctive vocal stylings - has a few years on Lee, having recorded her first album back in 1978.
Although a sophomore album followed in 1980, she first really gained attention as a songwriter when Mary Chapin Carpenter recorded a cover of Williams song Passionate Kisses. The result? Williams was awarded a songwriter Grammy for Best Country Song, which helped boost her success.
A critics favorite, Williams has also been noted as a favorite duet partner and even song topic, first for Steve Earle (she sang with him on his song Youre Still Standin There) and then for Vic Chestnutt, who had a song titled Lucinda Williams on one of his albums.
1998 was finally a breaking point for Williams own songs, as her album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road snagged her a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album (bolstered by the inclusion of one of her songs in the Robert Redford movie The Horse Whisperer.) Shed go on to collaborate with the likes of Ryan Adams, Flogging Molly, Elvis Costello, and, of course Amos Lee.
Now settled in Nashville, she still keeps out of the loop to some degree, but keeps crafting music on a regular basis, both as a collaborator and as a solo artist; Blessed features a personal range of complex emotions and tales.
AMOS, MEET LUCINDA
Elusiveness is one thing these two performers have in common, but another more important element is their shared penchant for earnest, earthy music that showcases the best elements of their individual approaches to songs that tell emotional stories and keep both performers and fans grounded.
Lees headlining spring tour, which included a stop at Bonnaroo and one at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, will segue right into his dates with Williams, who guested on Lees new album. Its anyones guess whether shell also step out on stage for that critically-acclaimed duet, but one thing fans can be sure of is another great Interlochen show from these two seasoned performers.
Lucinda Williams and Amos Lee will be performing in concert at Interlochen on July 13 at 8:00 p.m.; tix available online via http://tickets.interlochen.org.