Amos Lee

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Amos Lee
Lee performing at Poptech in 2008
Lee performing at Poptech in 2008
Background information
Birth nameRyan Anthony Massaro
Born (1977-06-22) June 22, 1977 (age 47)
OriginPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresFolk, soul, jazz, Americana, roots rock, Country
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active2004–present

Amos Lee (born Ryan Anthony Massaro,[4] June 22, 1977)[5] is an American singer-songwriter whose musical style encompasses folk, rock, and soul.[6]

Lee has recorded five albums on Blue Note Records and has toured as an opening act for Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Merle Haggard, Van Morrison, John Prine, Dave Matthews Band, Adele, the Zac Brown Band, Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, and David Gray. His music has appeared on the soundtracks of numerous TV shows and movies. He has performed as a featured artist on the PBS series Bluegrass Underground, on several late night TV shows, and at a voter registration rally for Barack Obama. In 2011, his album Mission Bell debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.[7][8][9]

Early life and education[edit]

Lee was born Ryan Anthony Massaro in 1977 and was raised in Kensington, Philadelphia.[10][11] He moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey at age 11 and graduated from Cherry Hill High School East.[8][9][11] Lee attended the University of South Carolina and graduated with a degree in English and a minor in education.[12] During his college years, he developed an interest in music after being inspired by Great Days: The John Prine Anthology.[9][12] During this period, he began playing the guitar and bass as part of a band and listening to the music of Donny Hathaway, Joni Mitchell, Luther Vandross, Bill Withers, and Otis Redding.[12][13][14]


After returning to Philadelphia, Lee worked as a second grade teacher at the Mary McLeod Bethune School and as a bartender at local music venues. He performed at open mic events in the area and, through his manager Bill Eib's contacts with promoters, was hired as an opening act for Mose Allison and B.B. King.[11]

In 2003, Lee's manager Bill Eib sent a four-song demo CD to several record labels, and the representative at Blue Note Records was "immediately struck by his [Lee's] voice".[12] Afterwards, Norah Jones heard Lee's music while visiting the record company and invited Lee to be the opening act for her 2004 tour.[9]

The friendship between Lee's manager Bill Eib and Bob Dylan's manager Jeff Kramer resulted in Lee touring with Dylan as his opening act in early 2005.[11][15][16][17] Later, Lee began touring on his own and recorded his self-titled and "widely praised" debut album of "subtle, folky soul" produced by Norah Jones' bassist, Lee Alexander[10][14][18][19] which included vocals and instrumentation by Norah Jones and members of her band.[6][12] After it was released, the album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and Lee was named one of Rolling Stone's "Top 10 Artists to Watch."[13][20] One song from the album, called "Colors", appeared on the TV show Grey's Anatomy and in the film Just Like Heaven.[21] Lee's music received additional media attention when he performed on late-night TV shows such as the Late Show with David Letterman[22] and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[23]

In 2006, Lee recorded his second album, Supply and Demand, which was produced by a friend of manager Bill Eib, Philadelphia musician and producer Barrie Maguire. An NPR Music reviewer described it as having "more complicated instrumentation and production" than his prior work.[19] The song "Shout Out Loud" was released as a single and peaked at No. 76 on the Billboard 200,[24] and another song, called "Sweet Pea", was used in an AT&T ad campaign.[21]

Lee's third studio album, Last Days at the Lodge was released in 2008 and re-emphasized "his grounding in folk and soul". The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 chart and Lee performed at the Change Rocks voter registration rally for Barack Obama in Philadelphia that summer opening for Bruce Springsteen.[8][25][26]

In 2011, Lee released his fourth album on Blue Note Records, entitled Mission Bell which was produced by Joey Burns of Calexico. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, number one on the Digital Albums chart, number two on the Internet chart, and number one on the Amazon Top-Selling Albums and iTunes charts.[27] The album's single, "Windows are Rolled Down", became a top 10 hit on USA Today's adult-alternative chart.[21] However, the album also has the dubious distinction of being the lowest-selling, number one Billboard album as of 2011 selling only 40,000 copies.[28] Guest artists on the album included Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Priscilla Ahn, Pieta Brown, James Gadson, and Sam Beam.[16][29]

Lee appeared at Farm Aid 2013 and on the compilation album, The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver.[30] He released his fifth studio album, Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song in October 2013.[31][32] Lee concludes his successful US tour in 2022 in New Orleans on Halloween night debuting selections from his album Dreamland album including his biggest hit in over a decade, "Worry No More".

Lee's longtime touring band consists of Jaron Olevksy (piano, keyboards), Zach Djanikian (guitar, mandolin, saxophone, background vocals), Jay White (bass, background vocals), Ryan Hommel (guitar, background vocals), David Streim (keyboards, trumpet) and James Williams (drums).[33]


Lee's "folksy, bluesy sound" has been compared to that of John Prine and Norah Jones.[34] His music is said to utilize the "supple funk of his vocals and arid strum of his guitar" while recalling "the low-volume, early-'70s acoustic soul of stars like Bill Withers and Minnie Ripperton".[11] A New York Times music critic described Lee as having a "honeyed singing voice – light amber, mildly sweet, a touch of grain" which he features "squarely, without much fuss or undue strain" in his "1970s folk rock and rustic soul" musical song craft.[35] According to a music writer at ABC News, Lee "has that folksy, bluesy vibe, with a bit of country twang" and a voice that is "ever soulful".[36] Simultaneously Lee has been both lauded and dismissed as the "male Norah Jones" and[7] his lyrics are said to convey "the complexities of everyday emotions" without falling into flowery imagery.[12] Lee's songs have appeared on a number of TV shows including House and Parenthood.[21][37]

Personal life[edit]

Amos Lee describes himself as being of mixed heritage; he admits he is not fully aware of his background.[38] He maintains a residence in West Philadelphia.

He took the stage name "Amos Lee" because he got sick of people mispronouncing his real name.[39]

He makes appearances on the Rights to Ricky Sanchez including recording the theme song and occasionally appears as the character of Tony Toni Tatone.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
US Rock
Amos Lee 113 72 112 75 13
Supply and Demand
  • Release date: October 3, 2006
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Formats: CD, digital download
76 25 23
Last Days at the Lodge
  • Release date: June 24, 2008
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Formats: CD, digital download
29 11
Mission Bell
  • Release date: January 25, 2011
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Formats: CD, digital download
1 1 98 39 61
Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song
  • Release date: October 8, 2013
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Formats: CD, music download, vinyl
16 7
  • Release date: August 16, 2016
  • Label: John Varvatos, Republic
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
30 3
My New Moon
  • Release date: August 31, 2018
  • Label: Dualtone Music
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming media
49 4
  • Release date: February 11, 2022
  • Label: Dualtone Music
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
My Ideal: A Tribute to Chet Baker Sings
  • Release date: November 18, 2022
  • Label: Dualtone Music
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
Honeysuckle Switches: The Songs of Lucinda Williams
  • Release date: November 24, 2023
  • Label: Hoagiemouth
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
  • Release date: August 9, 2024
  • Label: Hoagiemouth
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Rock
US Folk
Live from the Artists Den[50]
  • Release date: January 9, 2013
  • Label: Artists Den Records
  • Formats: Digital download
Live at Red Rocks[51]
(Amos Lee with The Colorado Symphony)
  • Release date: June 16, 2015
  • Label: ATO Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
103 16 4

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
US Rock
Amos Lee (EP)
  • Release date: 2004
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Formats: CD, music download
Live from KCRW
  • Release date: 2005
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Formats: CD, music download
As the Crow Flies
  • Release date: February 14, 2012
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Formats: CD, music download, 10" vinyl[52]
67 16
"—" denotes releases that did not chart



As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight" 2005 19 Amos Lee
"Shout Out Loud" 2006 7 Supply and Demand
"Listen" 2008 11 Last Days at the Lodge
"What's Been Going On" 10
"Windows Are Rolled Down" 2010 2 Mission Bell
"Flower" 2011 16
"The Man Who Wants You" 2013 21 Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song
"Chill In the Air"
"Vaporize" 2016 14 Spirit
"No More Darkness, No More Light" 2018 14 My New Moon
"Little Light" 31
"Dying White Light"
"Holiday Song" 2019 Non-album single
"Worry No More" 2021 6 Dreamland
"Beeline" 2022 Dreamland (Deluxe Edition)
"Game Show"
"My Funny Valentine (For Oskar and Eli)" My Ideal: A Tribute to Chet Baker Sings
"Greenville"[54] 2023 Honeysuckle Switches: The Songs of Lucinda Williams
"Fruits of My Labor"[55]
"Hold on Tight"[48] 2024 Transmissions
"Beautiful Day"[56]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"These Bones"
(Bailen featuring Amos Lee)
2024 Non-album single

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
2012 "Day That I Die"
(with Zac Brown Band)A
104 Uncaged

Other appearances[edit]

Title Year Credited artist(s) Album
"Do You Know"[58] 2014 Pieta Brown
(featuring Amos Lee)
Paradise Outlaw
"Never More Than Today" 2024 Pride & Shame
(featuring Amos Lee)
Mission to Mars
"—" denotes he wasn't on one song, but an entire album.


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  30. ^ Staff writer (March 22, 2013). "Win: John Denver tribute album". Milton Keynes Citizen.
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  56. ^ Sharpe, Josh (May 29, 2024). "Amos Lee Shares New Song 'Beautiful Day' About Self-Acceptance". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved June 2, 2024.
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  58. ^ Horowitz, Hal (September 30, 2014). "Pieta Brown: Paradise Outlaw". American Songwriter. Retrieved June 18, 2024.

External links[edit]