Amos Lee on Levon Helm: "Levon's Got the Truth Here, and You Need to Understand It"
That night was a flashlight in my eyes. All that travelling just got to me. It got my mind all messed up. I got a little numb. I shut down a little bit as a person. Being around Levon and that scene invigorated me. This music is a blessing, not a burden.
On the new album one of the songs that brings out that joy is "Plain View."
I had this song I wrote in 2006 ("Sweet Pea"). It was popular and in a commercial and a lot of people really loved that song. That song was on a ukulele when I went down to Hawaii a guy gave me a ukulele. I was sitting around a lot with it on my lap and I wrote a bunch of songs one of which was "Plain View." It's a fun song. From a lyrical standpoint it tells a story about living in an age where information is so fast. I think we grasp the speed, but I don't think we grasp how it's wildfire. The recording and the arrangement is mostly Jay Joyce. His manipulating of the sound is amazing. He's a genius dude.
As the album continues things get more eclectic. Besides "Plain View," you have "Charles St"'s old time country and the classic rock of "Lowdown Life."
Yeah, I always do that. I listen to a lot of music. I don't really think of songwriting in terms of genre, more in terms of writing and playing a song that feels good to me.
So what are you listening to these days?
I listen to everything from Blackberry Smoke to Warren Zevon to Childish Gambino. I love music. It all fascinates me.
And what shaped you? What was the first album you ever bought?
Beastie Boy's License to Ill. I bought it on cassette. I was a little kid. I was going camping with my aunt and her boyfriend and I had this little cassette player and I was playing it and there were cuss words and that was a big deal back then. That was thrilling.
Amos Lee with Special Guest Artist Adrien Reju. 8 p.m., April 4, Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $37 to $47. Visit parkerplayhouse.com.