Live at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony

Amos Lee

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Live at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony Review

by Matt Collar

Recorded at the iconic Colorado amphitheater in August 2014, Live at Red Rocks showcases singer/songwriter Amos Lee in concert backed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. An intimate songwriter with a poignant country-, folk- and soul-inflected sound, Lee has built an impressive career over the 15-plus years since the release of his self-titled 2005 debut. Having started out as a guitar-and-vocals-based artist, the Philadelphia-born Lee has become a chance-taking journeyman and bandleader, able to pull all of his eclectic influences into a warm, rootsy style all his own. Although not Lee's first live effort, Live at Red Rocks is his first proper, fully produced concert album, meant to fit into his main discography next to his studio recordings. In that sense, it works as both a showcase for Lee's talents and a celebration of all he's achieved. Consciously gathering songs from all of his albums, Lee has crafted a seamless live experience that flows from the languid folk of "Windows Rolled Down" to the rambling twang of "Tricksters, Hucksters, and Scamps" to the R&B slow-jam balladry of "Won't Let Me Go." The inclusion of the Colorado Symphony works as much more than window dressing. The gorgeously penned arrangements add extra depth and nuance to Lee's songs, further illuminating heretofore hinted at influences such as the Led Zeppelin-sounding orchestral bombast of "Street Corner Preacher" and the rambling, Van Morrison-esque troubadour soul sound of "Flower." For longtime Lee fans, Live at Red Rocks will certainly play as a vibrant platform to revisit his work. And for those who have never heard Lee before this album, Live at Red Rocks is a superb place to start.

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