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Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Amos Lee has steadily built up a sizable following over the last decade with his distinctive brand of soulful folk music. In person, he’s a relatively low-key presence—surprising for a guy who has opened massive tours for Adele and Norah Jones as well as partnered with Zac Brown for live performances. His 2011 album, Mission Bell, debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.
For Amos’ fifth album, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, he brought his road band to Nashville to record. It’s not a strictly “country” album, per se, but has country-ish touches and Amos is a longtime fan of the genre. He brought in producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church) to work with him on the project.
“Making records is always sort of like, it’s just like a leap of faith,” says Amos of recording with Jay. “You just go, alright, I’m just gonna go in there with these songs and hope that when we’re in the room together it works out and feels good. And it did.”
Amos also took advantage of his connections in Nashville to bring in a few special guests, like Patty Griffin, Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas. “I have a bunch of friends down here musically,” he explains, “that I knew, I’d hopefully be able to draw from some of them, like Jerry, Alison, all those cats.” Alison sings with Amos on the album track “Chill in the Air,” which you can watch Amos performing below.
Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song arrives in stores Tuesday, Oct. 8. For more with Amos, check out the Oct. 28 issue (on stands Oct. 21) of Country Weekly.