Another release in the excellent ‘Live From Austin Texas’ series issued by New West Records, this time we are treated to a performance by Amos Lee. As it was recorded on 10th August 2005 it concentrates on material from his eponymous debut album which was released in March of that year.

Backed by Fred Berman on drums, Jaron Olevsky on bass and Nate Skiles on guitar and mandolin along with Red Young guesting on organ there is no appearance by Norah Jones who actually sang and played on some of the songs featured here from that debut album. While that would have been a bonus there is still much to enjoy here.

A live show by Amos Lee is never going to be a lively affair for the audience. Lee makes music to appreciate and listen to rather than ‘get up in the aisles and dance’ type music. To that end this DVD is an ideal opportunity for those of us who enjoyed Lee’s albums to appreciate the artist in a live setting without moving from our comfiest chair.

Apart from the bulk of his debut album the concert also features two songs that made it onto Lee’s later albums, namely ‘Listen’ and ‘Night Train’ so any major fan of that debut will no doubt get a lot of pleasure out of this DVD. The sound and picture quality are, as always with this series, excellent and the sound is even presented in DTS 5.1.

Even though it has been said many times before, the closest comparison one can make to the music that Lee produces is that of Bill Withers. Few artists combine soul leanings with folk music in this way. One of the highlights of his debut album was the song, ‘Love In The Lies’, and on this DVD that song showcases just how sweet but soulful Lee’s vocals are. It’s a joy to watch an artist so immersed in what he is singing. Lee isn’t just going through the motions during this show; he is feeling each and every word he sings.

There are times during the show, especially on ‘Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight’, the opening song on his debut, where Lee makes it all seem so effortless; such sweet soulful sounds coming from this figure on stage who looks like he has walked straight there from a day working on a market stall or something, it’s hard to believe that those sounds are flowing from him so freely.

Not one for a lot of between song banter, Lee rightly lets his music stand on its own merits.

I have to confess that I didn’t think that this DVD could add anything to the songs any Lee fan would already own; he’s not an artist known for producing a spectacular stage show but seeing him on stage looking slightly vulnerable with those soulful vocals reproduced every bit as good as they were in the studio does take his music that little bit further. It’s good to see him performing the songs and he is quite a captivating performer especially when he is on great form as he is in this show.

I’ve never seen Lee live on stage but the performance on this DVD is enough to make me want to check him out next time I get the chance.

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Commenting On: Live from Austin, Texas, 10/8/2005 - DVD-Amos Lee

ie London, England

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