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Last Days at the Lodge

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Should he want to, Amos Lee could claim the mantle of modern-day bluesman more credibly than most hoodoo-talking six-string slingers. On his third album, the Philadelphia singer-songwriter with the soulman’s cadence and a fondness for the intimate acousticity of folk-rock cuts a dark figure. There’s the usual folkie relationship talk, to be sure, with breakups that end hauntingly in the rain (“It Started to Rain”) but also an undercurrent of jealousy and, yes, violence that rears its head in “What’s Been Going On” and notably, “Truth,” where Lee exhorts, “You coulda told me the truth, sir, before I had to beat it out of you.” Not that these words are necessarily ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Should he want to, Amos Lee could claim the mantle of modern-day bluesman more credibly than most hoodoo-talking six-string slingers. On his third album, the Philadelphia singer-songwriter with the soulman’s cadence and a fondness for the intimate acousticity of folk-rock cuts a dark figure. There’s the usual folkie relationship talk, to be sure, with breakups that end hauntingly in the rain (“It Started to Rain”) but also an undercurrent of jealousy and, yes, violence that rears its head in “What’s Been Going On” and notably, “Truth,” where Lee exhorts, “You coulda told me the truth, sir, before I had to beat it out of you.” Not that these words are necessarily autobiographical. Lee’s as skillful with a character study, evinced starkly on “Street Corner Preacher,” where he economically sketches a figure of pity, rage, and determination, as he’s adept with the social commentary (see “Jails and Bombs”). But they could be. And that’s what a modern-day bluesman should be – not cartoon mack or hoochie-coochie man but a feeling fellow with a soulful voice, one whose passions every once in a while might boil a bit out of control. Perhaps it’s no fluke that aiding Lee on this intimate, involving record is a killer band that makes his every musical move look easy. Spooner Oldham on the keys, Texas guitar whiz Doyle Bramhall II, drummer James Gadson of Bill Withers’s band, and bass ace Pino Palladino (late of the Who) make Last Days at the Lodge a high-water mark for Amos Lee.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Amos Lee received some solid critical notice for his first two Blue Note records and made it through to create a third -- an accomplishment in and of itself these days. As they were described, these albums walked some strange line between Neil Young, Bill Withers, and James Taylor. That's some heavy company to keep for a young man who used to be a schoolteacher. Last Days at the Lodge isn't a radical departure. Produced by Don Was, Lee's studio band includes guitar slinger Doyle Bramhall II, no less a keyboardist than Spooner Oldham, bassist Pino Palladino, and drummer James Gadson. All of these cats are super-choppers. The guests include the ubiquitous Greg Leisz on pedal steel and banjo, and a slew of keyboard players including Was, Justin Stanley, Rami Jaffee, and Jamie Muhoberac. Musically, the soul tunes on this set are far more interesting than anything else -- Lee's got a terrific voice to exploit, but he seldom does it and it's a shame. Check the honey-dripping babymaker "Won't Let Me Go," with a sweet string arrangement by Larry Gold and Lee doing his best Ron Isley and Al Green combination. Then there's the more baroque Terry Callier touches on "Baby I Want You," which begins as a subtle folk-blues but becomes a gorgeous guitar-fueled soul number. These cuts are numbers two and three in the sequence; they create a very deep and genuine emotional vibe that stands in stark contrast to the opener. "Listen" is Lee playing a sloppy, minor-key guitar rocker that feels like David Crosby singing a ZZ Top song they wrote for CSNY. Thankfully, this dreadfully dull moment is the only one of its kind here. Swinging acoustic/electric shuffling blues-driven tunes enter the mix on "Truth" before a washed-out singer/songwriter ballad, "What's Been Going On," displaces the setting. The blues reenter on "Street Corner Preacher" to liven things up a bit. The Callier cum Curtis Mayfield-esque soul returns on "Jails and Bombs," thank the gods, but that's the last taste of what Lee does best. The rest is standard singer/songwriter fare that is forgettable for its lack of originality even if it is pleasant. Joe Henry already passed through these gates on his way to the dark yet living heart of American music, and he did it far better. Despite its relaxed vibe, the sense of conflict in this set is everywhere. It reveals Lee to be at a crossroads aesthetically. The forces that drive him to the soul side are the same ones that drive him to the rest. The problem is that he only does one of these things exceptionally well: Lee is a great soul singer when he allows himself to be, and he knows how to write an excellent if quirky song in the genre that touches both Memphis and Chicago. The three tracks here that evoke that style set him apart from everyone else on the scene. It's a wonder that Was or his A&R man at Blue Note didn't push him a bit harder in that direction. Who knows? He will have to choose eventually, because one way or another, he can't get over by simply playing mix-and-match forever -- his albums will become generic rather than iconoclastic. Last Days at the Lodge is, after all, an average and bland singer/songwriter album with three great tracks which is at least two more than most kids on the block.
People Magazine
[Lee has] perfected the art of rootsy rainy-day music, soaking in blues, folk, country and gospel, as well as some Bill Withers-style R&B....still one of pop's best-kept secrets.

[Lee has] perfected the art of rootsy rainy-day music, soaking in blues, folk, country and gospel, as well as some Bill Withers-style R&B....still one of pop's best-kept secrets.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2008
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • EAN: 5099950122523
  • Catalog Number: 02115
  • Sales rank: 52,867

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Listen (3:10)
  2. 2 Won't Let Me Go (4:17)
  3. 3 Baby I Want You (3:00)
  4. 4 Truth (3:23)
  5. 5 What's Been Going On (4:15)
  6. 6 Street Corner Preacher (3:14)
  7. 7 It Started to Rain (3:05)
  8. 8 Jails and Bombs (2:53)
  9. 9 Kid (3:11)
  10. 10 Ease Back (4:32)
  11. 11 Better Days (2:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Amos Lee Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
James Gadson Drums
Rami Jaffee Keyboards
Greg Leisz Banjo, Pedal Steel Guitar
Patrick Leonard Harmonica, Hammond Organ
Jamie Muhoberac Keyboards
Spooner Oldham Keyboards
Pino Palladino Bass
Justin Stanley Bass, Keyboards
Don Was Keyboards, Acoustic Bass
Technical Credits
Larry Gold String Arrangements
Louie Teran Mastering
Don Was Producer
Krish Sharma Engineer
Carla Leighton Art Direction
Amos Lee Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome blues

    Amost Lee is a masterful poet/storyteller. His lyrics are insightful w/out being overpowering. His soulful style is perfectly rendered on "What's Been Going On" a track about loss and longing. You'll come away from this work relaxed and refreshed not depressed. An excellent escape from the noise of the pop crowd.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews