By Alexandra Light
Every year, SummerStage hosts over 100 performers in parks citywide. Many of these shows are free to the public, and feature unknown, up and coming artists. Did you know that the wonderfully talented Amos Lee performed
at Rumsey Playfield? Probably not. And if you were at that show, you probably didn’t know how successful he would end up becoming. (Or maybe you can see the future… in which case you’re probably focusing on more important issues like whether the world is going to end this year, rather than fussing about which SummerStage performers will make it big in the music business.)
Amos Lee, a now established and accomplished singer/songwriter from Philadelphia, played at Central Park cialis sale SummerStage almost eight years ago. Lee had just begun his musical career, with just his first EP with Blue Note Records released that year. He performed at SummerStage with Charlie Musselwhite and the North Mississippi All Stars on July 17, 2004.
Since Amos Lee’s SummerStage appearance, he has played with a number of incredible artists, including, but not at all limited to, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, the Dave Matthews Band, Lucinda Williams, Merle Haggard, and John Prine. To top that lovely list off, Amos Lee toured with chart-topper Adele through the UK and Scotland this past fall.
In the last eight years, Amos Lee has produced four albums: Amos Lee (2005), Supply and Demand (2006), Last Days at the Lodge (2008), and Mission Bell (2011). Most recently, prior to his European tour with Adele, Amos Lee released iTunes Live From Soho EP (2011), an eight-piece live recording of a show at NYC’s Apple Store SoHo.
On his latest album, Amos Lee teamed up with Calexico to produce Mission Bell, which featured collaborations with Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, and many more. The album sold 40,000 copies and was #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart the week it was released.
Amos Lee’s musical career has certainly skyrocketed since his performance on the Rumsey Playfield stage. His success is exemplified by his frequent sets at well known music festivals (Bonnaroo, Coachella, Newport Folk Festival, etc.) and appearances at various famous venues. Lee’s musical career has taken him around the world to countries throughout Europe, North America, and Australia. This past year, while promoting the release of his latest album, he was featured on several television shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and The Late Show with David Letterman.
Many who went to see the July 17, 2004 show at SummerStage had probably never heard of Amos Lee before. Maybe they loved the performance so much that they became die-hard fans and haven’t missed one of his gigs since. Maybe they completely forgot about him until hearing Windows Are Rolled Down one morning on WFUV. No matter what, SummerStage will always take pride in his show here, before his name meant much in the music world.
So there you have it; you never know who you might see at SummerStage shows. Or better yet, you never know who they might become in the future. All the more reason to check out the free shows around the city this summer… keyword: FREE!