Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song, Amos Lee’s fifth studio album, will be released on October 1 by Blue Note Records. Lee recorded the 12-song collection in Nashville with Jay Joyce (Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Eric Church, Cage the Elephant).
“I’ve always enjoyed it down there, so I thought I’d bring my band and see how a bunch of Philly guys fit in,” says Lee. “Jay brings a musicality, a different kind of ear. He definitely hears things in ways that I don’t, and brings out extra dimensions in the songs.”
Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song is the follow-up to 2011’s Mission Bell, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Rock Albums charts and contained the No. 1 Triple A radio hit “Windows Are Rolled Down.” The new studio record is the first to feature Lee’s longtime touring band – comprising Freddie Berman, Zach Djanikian, Andy Keenan and Jaron Olevsky – and the first album ever recorded at St. Charles, producer Joyce’s brand new studio, which is housed in a converted East Nashville church.
The convenient location allowed several remarkable guests to participate in the sessions. Alison Krauss joins Lee on “Chill In The Air” and Patty Griffin sings harmony on “Mountains of Sorrow,” a song inspired by Lee’s visit to Levon Helm’s barn in Woodstock, where he appeared at the legendary drummer’s Midnight Ramble not long before Helm’s death. Instrumentalists Jerry Douglas (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson and Family) and Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band) also contribute to the record.
Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song finds Lee in new sonic territory, working with a broader palette of textures and instrumentation yet retaining the trenchant impact of the scenes, characters and stories that he is renowned for. The album arrives a full 10 years after he first signed with Blue Note Records and began a career that continues to grow and surprise.
The New York Times praised Lee’s “honeyed singing voice,” noting that 2011’s chart-topping Mission Bell “sharpens the payoff…it plants Mr. Lee and his tunes in a stark landscape, enveloped by rustling percussion and reverberant drones ” while MOJO said: “His lyrics sweat with detail and nervy experience.” “Mission Bell is a darker turn for Lee, and shows that his artistic arc is still peaking,” observed Associated Press.
Lee – who has toured with such artists as Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello, Adele and Dave Matthews Band – will celebrate the release of Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song with an extensive fall headline tour. Details will be announced shortly.
Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song – Track Listing
1. Johnson Blvd
4. Chill In The Air
5. Dresser Drawer
7. High Water
8. The Man Who Wants You
10. Plain View
11. Mountains of Sorrow