Sometimes it's not what you know but who you know. In Amos Lee's case it's both. The Philadelphian has a captivating voice that's tailor made for his unique blend of folk, blues, and soul—his music and his vocals are often described as "folksy."
Lee also has great contacts. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in English, and while working as a second grade teacher, Lee was discovered by influential promoters at various open mic nights around Philadelphia. These relationships led to Lee opening for acts like B.B. King and Mose Allison. Then, one of Lee's demos caught the attention of singer Norah Jones. The two have since collaborated in the studio and on stage. Also, Lee's manager is good friends with Bob Dylan's manager. That contact got Lee a job opening for Dylan in 2005.
After touring with Dylan, Lee released his self-titled debut album in 2005. It was produced by Norah Jones' bassist, Lee Alexander and featured the song "Colors." You may have heard that great track on television. It was used in shows like House, Grey's Anatomy, and Six Feet Under. Lee's sophomore effort came out in 2006 and was produced by another bassist of renown, Barrie Maguire. He played bass in the Wallflowers and for Natalie Merchant.
After releasing Last Days at the Lodge in 2008, Lee finally achieved major chart success with his fourth offering, Mission Bell. The album dropped in 2011 and immediately went to the top of the Billboard 200. Unfortunately, in topping the charts with just 40,000 copies sold, Lee set a dubious mark. Namely, Mission Bell is the lowest selling album to debut at number one since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan.
Since breaking onto the scene in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, Lee has established himself as a great performer. Fans with Amos Lee tickets never leave the venue disappointed. His fellow artists are also aware of his tremendous stage presence. Through the years, Lee has toured with legends like Paul Simon, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and Merle Haggard.