Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ben Sollee

Instrumental music has never had much of a place on my iPod. I prefer lyrics that I can sing along with usually while stuck in Los Angeles traffic. I do make an exception for Debussy and any cello music. The cello is an instrument I could listen to endlessly as it has a soothing power over me (maybe I should play it while in traffic…). Combine a cello with my favorite genre of music, folk, and you might find my new favorite artist, Ben Sollee. I first heard Ben Sollee after receiving his new album, Dear Companion in which he collaborates with guitarist Daniel Martin Moore. After hearing the album I knew I wanted to feature this artist and was blown away to find that he accompanies himself on the cello. All of a sudden I had a new appreciation for his music and have been chomping at the bit to feature him this week.

Ben Sollee is a classically trained cellist who started playing when he was in elementary school in Kentucky. Though his background is classical his music is a blend of folk, bluegrass and jazz. In 2005 he joined The Sparrow Quartet, which released its first album in 2008. The same month he released his own EP and the next month a full-length solo album titled, Learning To Bend. Ben wasted no time in getting his music out to the public.

Dear Companion is Ben Sollee’s new album with Daniel Martin Moore that isn't only about the music. The album was inspired and created to bring awareness to Mountaintop Removal coal mining (MTR) and its detrimental affects to the people and heritage of central Appalachia. If you purchase the album 100% of the proceeds will go to the organization Appalachian Voices. Good music, good cause. You can’t go wrong with buying this album.

I really hope you enjoy this music as much as I have. The new album has been playing non-stop since it was release two weeks ago. Ben’s first album Learning to Bend is available for only $5 on Amazon. Also to really grasp what Ben does with the cello watch the two youtube videos below. Hope you enjoy!! I would love to hear your comments!

Photo One by Liz Linder
Photo Two by Liz Linder
Photo three by Mickie Winters

1 comment:

Therese said...

Mary, I love Ben Sollee.. he's awesome.. great music... gonna get his CD and mail it to my cousin - thats going to be just perfect for her last weeks of preggo-time....
love it love it.. thanks Mary for finding such a great artist.
love u