A couple of family members and I recently spent a pleasantly-weathered summer evening at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts listening to gifted singer-songwriter Amos Lee and his band, including my talented guitarist cousin, Ryan Hommel. The band was versatile, creative, and utterly tight, and the songs and vocals wandered enthusiastically through the American soundscape of folk, funk, rock, and rural and citified blues. Amos' vocal range and easy-going story-telling was expansive, building the audience into a crescendoing chorus of cheers and enthusiasm.
We were able to wander backstage to meet my cousin and catch up on his and other band members' touring experiences. We also talked with Amos as he chatted warmly about his challenging times of teaching second grade in Philly, and he offered many suggestions for education reform along the way. I shared my memories of last seeing Amos on his first national tour with Bob Dylan. A perfect night of sharing music, warm memories, and education reform with family and new found friends.