Out of the Desert Southwest city that produced such turbulent and tragic headlines recently, comes some beautiful, soothing, soul-searching sounds from Amos Lee.
Joey Burns of Calexico produced WTMD's CD of the week, Lee's fantastic Mission Bell.
A chance meeting led to Lee packing his bags for Tucson to join Burns and John Convertino (whose drum rolls stand out on the TMD favorite, "Windows are Rolled Down") at Calexico's Wavelab Studios (where Neko Case recorded some of Middle Cylcone)
The Philly-native simply strummed, minimalist songs breathe with wide-eyed added dimension thanks to Burn's expansive brushstrokes of mandolins, pedal steel, organs, horns and other earthy instruments.
Lucinda Williams, Sam Beam of Iron and Wine and Greg Leisz lend their talents, as does the great Willie Nelson, whose comforting, nasal croon graces the closing song, "El Camino (Reprise)."
A fine album for a desert highway, or maybe even a desert island, listen all week long for tracks from Mission Bell.