Philadelphia singer-songwriter Amos Lee has come a long way since opening up for Norah Jones with just him and his guitar a few years ago.
Lee, 34, came out on the Boardwalk main stage in the mid-afternoon with a full band supplemented by a lap-steel player, a trumpter, saxophonist and two backup singers.
It enabled Lee to shift effortlessly between more country-folk songs, such as his tune "Windows Are Rolled Down," and more his soul-influenced material, for instance, the slow song "Southern Girl," which featured his laid-back delivery, the organ and the trumpet .
With a percentage of the festival dedicated to more instrumentally focused jam bands, it was a pleasure to hear someone whose songwriting was as solid as his singing, which sounded like forgotten 1970s soul man Bill Withers.
Lee made references to both the Borgata and the Atlantic City Boardwalk during his time on stage.
"You sound wonderful, wow. You are a pleasure to play for," said Lee after getting the crowd to sing along with one of his songs.
-- Vincent Jackson