THE FILENE CENTER
AN EVENING WITH
JUL 21 + 22 | 8 PM
With My New Moon (2018), his seventh album, singer/songwriter Amos Lee reaches into experiences of hope, hopelessness, loss, and renewal. The result is the most wide-ranging musical effort of his career, a set of songs that examines issues of mortality, survival, connection, and celebration in ways that are both deeply personal and profoundly universal.
According to Lee, “Songs have become a bridge, a way for me to reach outside myself and into other people’s lives. My mission now is to connect with people, to still have fun, but to have my intention be more outwardly based, and from a place of giving and service.”
Lee recently suffered the difficult loss of his beloved grandmother, and much of My New Moon is informed by the final moments Lee spent with his grandmother in the hospital. “I stood with her, and held her hand, hoping that she could hear me. I felt totally helpless, and while I wiped away the sweat from her forehead, and words all felt worthless, I started to sing to her. I sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ ‘What a Wonderful World,’ and my grandfather’s favorite song, ‘Born to Lose.’ She looked up at me and smiled a faint smile before she drifted into her final sleep.”
The tracks “All You Got is a Song” and “Hang On, Hang On” specifically draw on this encounter. However, the album is as much about other people’s stories as it is Lee’s own. “I know many people who have experienced tragedy, and whether it be a friend, or a friend’s child, or a fan I meet at a coffee shop who shares their story with me, I take them all to heart. I want to connect, and to be open to those who have hardship, so that they know I hear their stories in the same way that they hear mine, and that we’re in this together. I don’t want to overwhelm the listener with sorrow, but I am inspired by these friends and families, and want to help their light find shape.”
Lee’s recent work bore the stamp of strong producers—Joey Burns of Calexico on 2011’s Mission Bell (which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Amazon, and iTunes charts, and spun off a hit single with “Windows are Rolled Down”) and Jay Joyce (Little Big Town, Eric Church, Cage the Elephant) on 2013’s Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song. On his last album, Spirit (2016), however, Lee took over the helm as producer.
For My New Moon Lee wanted to focus his energy on the performances and songwriter. He chose to collaborate with producer Tony Berg, who has worked with a wide range of artists, from Public Image Ltd to Peter Gabriel. Such notable musicians as keyboardist Benmont Tench; drummers Matt Chamberlain and Chris Dave; and multi-instrumentalists Blake Mills, Ethan Gruska, and Jaron Olevsky all participated in the sessions on My New Moon.
Much of the material on My New Moon was altered dramatically during the recording process. “We broke these songs apart and put them back together,” says Lee. This sense of digging deeper, of fearlessly bringing out the real essence of a song’s meaning, lies at the very heart of My New Moon.
THANK YOU TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2021 Season Underwriters