Amos Lee is a hard man to put a label on. Right down to his name (it's a stage name), his genre -- an eclectic mix of rock, R&B, country and folk -- and his songs -- equal parts funky and soulful, serious and playful.
It was a night with endless musical choices in St. Louis as the best of the local scene offered a list of pre-Mardi Gras events in addition to our standard Friday selection of concerts, but the Sheldon had little trouble filling its concert hall. The split bill drew in a blend of aficionados from both American and African folk music for a night that beautifully illustrated familial connection in the musical roots of both continents.
With any Shovels and Rope show, it's not just about two skilled performers throwing genre rules in the trash with a multi-instrumental onslaught that defies logic. Two people shouldn't be able to make that much robust, fevered noise without backup, but they do.