Some solo artists love basking in the spotlight by themselves. But Amos Lee is one lone wolf who thrives on sharing the stage. The Philadelphia-born country-folk singer gets most excited when talking about touring with his idol, John Prine, and playing with the musicians who backed him on his soulful fifth CD, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song (Blue Note Records, $17). We talked to Lee, 36, about some of his favorite collaborators.
JOHN PRINE: “Singing with him onstage is surreal to me. His songs are emotional but never overwrought. They’re so subtle and dynamic, he can shake you up with three words.”
PATTY GRIFFIN: “She’s righteous. When everything is wrong around me, her voice takes me into a room, sits me down and tells me, ‘Here’s the truth.’ That’s how her voice affects me, and it really brought something else to the song ‘Mountains of Sorrow.’ ”
JERRY DOUGLAS: “His playing was such a big inspiration on this record. He’s creating a singular voice on the Dobro. It’s so rich and powerful the way he just slides in behind the beat.”
MICKEY RAPHAEL: “The last time I saw him play with Willie Nelson, he made his harmonica sound like a guitar and an organ and strings. His playing really illuminates a couple of songs on this record. He’s a versatile dude who doesn’t get his due.”