Tift Merritt and Amos Lee’s double bill at the 20th Century Theater on April 21 was a natural fit for both performers. Merritt took the opening slot, and played solo acoustic, concentrating on her 2008 project, Another Country. Attempting to sing over the top of a boisterous crowd, Merritt convincingly shined on “Something to Me” and the title track from Another Country. Stretching out on “Good Hearted Man” from the 2004 long player, Tambourine, Merritt displayed prowess on the keyboards as well. Connecting to the hushed audience, Merritt delivered a winning take on “Broken,” and an a capella off the microphone version of “Supposed To Make You Happy” from 2002’s Bramble Rose album. Amos Lee chose to perform in the acoustic format as well, with dramatic results. The east coast native chose to emphasize his 2008 release as well, the tightly woven Last Days at the Lodge disc. Yet, Lee had new material to relate to the sold out patrons of the 20th Century, and the gospel tinged “Cup Of Sorrow” and inclusive “El Camino” had the listeners in great anticipation of his next recording. “Truth” had all of the 20th Century denizen’s singing back towards the stage in full voice. “Street Corner Preacher” turned into a full fledged clap and camp fire like sing a long. Lee had the entire all ages gathering in his hands, and they danced and sang aloud to Lodge’s opener, the soul strutting marvel, “Listen.” By the time Lee was winding down with “What’s Been Going On” and “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight,” the tightly packed floor was bristling with energy. Singing along to the hit, “Won’t Let Me Go,” Amos Lee and the citizens of Cincinnati made a wondrous harmony that could be heard outside the walls of the 20th Century Theater on a spectacular April 21 spring night.
Photos by Scott Preston patricksweany.com
Photos by Scott Preston jacksonbrowne.com
Photos by Scott Preston deadandcompany.com