Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native
"Pieces Of You" Music video Paste confirmed premiere to run 6/29
Ben Sollee And Kentucky Native Out 8/11 http://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native-out-811
Ben Sollee - "Mechanical Advantage" (audio) (premiere) http://www.popmatters.com/post/ben-sollee-mechanical-advantage-audio-premiere/
6/29 - Daily Dose: Ben Sollee, “Pieces of You” (Premiere) https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/06/daily-dose-ben-sollee-pieces-of-you-premiere-1.html “But Sollee also has a reputation for imbuing his work with deeper meanings, social commentary and activism. Lyrically, “Pieces of You” delves into the relationship between the physical, metaphorical and spiritual reminders of relationships.”
7/1 - Ben Sollee’s new Louis Bickett-inspired video http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/copious-notes/article159226029.html “Lexington native Ben Sollee released a new video Friday inspired by and featuring the work of Lexington artist Louis Zoellar Bickett. The video for “Pieces of You” incorporates images from Bickett’s personal archive, which was exhibited in Lexington in the Fall of 2016 and then in New York at the Andrew Edlin Gallery, where the video was shot by Mallory Cunningham.”
7/7 - Charlestson Scene - Kentucky cellist and composer Ben Sollee will play at the Gibbes Museum of Art http://www.postandcourier.com/charleston_scene/kentucky-cellist-and-composer-ben-sollee-will-play-at-the/article_86bedcbc-659b-11e7-ac9d-cb728cc1c827.html “Sollee continues to create meaningful music that tackles challenging issues, including environmentalism.”
7/7 - Grateful Web - Ben Sollee to Perform @ Rocky Mountain Folks Festival http://gratefulweb.com/articles/ben-sollee-perform-rocky-mountain-folks-festival “Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native is his most personally revealing work and a reflection of his native Kentucky, a place like many other communities that helped refine the ever-changing Bluegrass genre.”
7/13 - Free Minturn Concert Series welcomes Ben Sollee on July 13 http://www.vaildaily.com/entertainment/free-minturn-concert-series-welcomes-ben-sollee-on-july-13/ “Ten years ago, Kentucky native Ben Sollee came to prominence singing Sam Cooke while playing the cello. The NPR sensation was not a backwoods novelty. Sollee's spare, exultant interpretation of "A Change is Gonna Come" announced the arrival of a relentlessly curious musical soul for whom change constantly comes.”
MUSIC BOX: Lucky 13 for Targhee Fest http://planetjh.com/2017/07/12/music-box-lucky-13-for-targhee-fest/ “Kentucky cellist/vocalist/songwriter Ben Sollee is a bull’s-eye crossover act to feature at the six-week, classical music-focused Grand Teton Music Festival. Sollee is classically trained, though has made his commercial mark with those influences thrown into a melting pot of highly accessible and inviting singer-songwriter muses dipping into bluegrass, Appalachian, jazz, pop, soul, and blues.”
Free Minturn Concert Series welcomes Ben Sollee on July 13 http://www.vaildaily.com/entertainment/free-minturn-concert-series-welcomes-ben-sollee-on-july-13/ “Ten years ago, Kentucky native Ben Sollee came to prominence singing Sam Cooke while playing the cello. The NPR sensation was not a backwoods novelty. Sollee's spare, exultant interpretation of "A Change is Gonna Come" announced the arrival of a relentlessly curious musical soul for whom change constantly comes.”
A world of music is at cellist Sollee’s fingers http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/stepping_out/music/a-world-of-music-is-at-cellist-sollee-s-fingers/article_a2be5f60-0a3c-5559-8d4d-d901008e2ba1.html “And so “Kentucky Native” begins with an odd, stuttering rhythm and a ghostly fiddle drone that sounds plucked from the Civil War era and old wax cylinders Sollee found in the Library of Congress. But it quickly turns to blend Southern rock, Mexican huapango dance patterns, raucous juke-joint jamming, a touch of Phillip Glass, furious Jean-Luc Ponty sawing and slow-simmering grooves. Sollee sings poignant, funny and sometimes strange tales, his versatile voice bringing to mind Paul Simon, one of his heroes. And the whole blend is filtered through the bluegrass ethos of a bunch of guys “sitting in a room, playing instruments of wood and metal,” as Sollee describes it on his website.”
Producer Gill Holland Revitalizes Independent Film, Changes the Game for Music Licensing http://bit.ly/2uAd6ep “Ben Sollee scored that — he’d never scored a movie before, and I was like, ‘Hey, you play cello, that’s like a box of wood; a sailboat’s like a box of wood; why don’t you explore this movie?’ — and we just passed 10 million spins on Spotify just for tracks from that soundtrack.”
Bluegrass Situation Premiere - LISTEN: BEN SOLLEE, 'EVA KELLEY' http://www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/listen-ben-sollee-eva-kelley
Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native @ Rough Trade 9/21 https://music.mxdwn.com/2017/07/21/new-york-city/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native-rough-trade-921/ “Ben Sollee can play–and by play I mean play when it comes to the cello.”
BEN SOLLEE AND KENTUCKY NATIVE RELEASES ON AUGUST 11TH
CELLISTS’ NONTRADITIONAL APPROACH TAPS INTO THE EARLY INFLUENCE OF IMMIGRANTS ON A TRADITIONAL AMERICAN GENRE AND REIMAGINES THE SOUND THROUGH A MODERN WORLD VIEW Nashville, TN — Acclaimed cellist, composer, songwriter and activist Ben Sollee announces the release of Ben Sollee And Kentucky Native (Soundly Music) on August 11th. Tracing the origins of a traditional American genre back to early immigrants, Sollee takes a nontraditional approach, blending the influences of early Irish and Scottish musicians with the rhythms of Mexico, Africa and India. This album is Sollee’s most personally revealing work and a reflection of his native Kentucky, a place like many others, that’s still helping refine the ever-changing Bluegrass genre.
Inspired by the interactions and collaborations of string musicians from all walks of life, Sollee and his bandmates recorded twelve songs in a cabin at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, KY. Each song was captured live as an ensemble with a mobile, analog studio and with just a few overdubs. Together, they thoughtfully reimagined a revered style with world music characteristics. The moving arrangement of “Carrie Bell” features syncopated African-influenced rhythms, which contrast Sollee’s melodic cello. Drawing inspiration from this side of the globe, “Mechanical Advantage” is built from the foundations of the Huapango musical-dance genre in Mexico. Sollee’s vision, influenced by the people, culture and environment around him, is elevated by lyrics reflecting life and human nature.
“Pieces Of You” is a compelling and idealistic composition inspired by Sollee’s friendship with conceptual artist Louis Zoellar Bickett II and his art exhibit ‘The Archive.’ The piece, which shows no distinction between personal mementos and trash, reminds Sollee of everyday artifacts in his life. Objects like a U.S. Postal name badge given to him by his grandfather and the marked-up sheet music from his first cello teacher could be considered worthless, but to Sollee each has a story. In “Presence” which is perhaps the most poetic and personal, he shares a personal affinity for lying on his back in the deep end of a pool finding solace in the peacefulness of the water, before the need to come back to the surface. Just like that, he is thrown back into the frenetic pace of the real world and existence.
Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native was produced by Alex Krispin. Musicians on the album include Jordon Ellis (Percussion), Bennett Sullivan (Banjo), Julian Pinelli (Fiddle), Jonathan Estes (Bass), Josh Hari (Bass) and Jonah Smith (Background Vocals). Sollee wrote all but two songs on the album (“Emily’s Song” and “Carrie Bell”). For more information, visit www.bensollee.com.
Catch Ben Sollee on tour this spring. See upcoming 2017 tour dates below or go to http://www.bensollee.com/tour.
Trail Mix | August 2017 http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/trail-mix/trail-mix-august-2017/ “Trail Mix is always happy to welcome old friends. Returning to the mix with brand new music this month are Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ben Rabb, Instant Empire, Ben Sollee, Paul Kelly, and Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons with Phil Wiggins.”
Ben Sollee 2017 Tour Dates
5/19 – Berea, KY – The Moonshiner’s Ball (KN) 5/26 – Black Forest, CO – MeadowGrass Music Festival (KN) 5/27 – 5/29 – Telluride, CO – Mountainfilm Festival (KN + D + S) 6/3 – Roswell, GA – Riverside Park (D) 6/12 – Chicago, IL – Millennium Park (KN) 7/1 – London, KY – Red, White & Boom (D) 7/7 – Berea, KY – Levitt AMP Berea Music Series (D) July 12 – Jackson, WY – Grand Teton Music Festival July 13 – Minturn, CO – Little Beach Amphitheater July 15 – Steamboat Springs, CO – Strings Music Festival Aug. 11 – Telluride, CO – Sheridan Opera House Aug. 18 – Aug. 20 - Lyons, CO – Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Aug. 24 – Louisville, KY – Kentucky State Fair Sept. 7 — Eddie’s Attic — Decatur, GA Sept. 8 — Neighborhood Theater — Charlotte, NC Sept. 9 – Corbin, KY – Moonbow Nights Sept. 10 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt Sept. 12 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern Sept. 13 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon Sept. 14 – Grand Rapids, MI – Wealthy Theatre Sept. 16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls Sept. 17 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern Sept. 18 – Columbus, OH – The Refectory Sept. 20 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s Sept. 21 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade Sept. 22 – Boston, MA – Cafe 939 Sept. 23 – Concord, NH – Capitol Center For The Arts Sept. 24 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Sept. 26 - Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Sept. 27 – Albany, NY – The Hollow Sept. 28 – Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theater Sept. 30 – Louisville, KY – Nulu Festival
KN = Kentucky Native / D = Ben Sollee and Jordon Ellis / S = Ben Sollee solo
Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee likes to keep moving. He kicked off 2014 with the release of his score for the documentary film Maidentrip. In March, he performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a tribute to Paul Simon. Throughout April and May, he was out supporting song-writer William Fitzsimmons. This September, he toured for two weeks in Europe and returned to the United States to perform with the Charlotte Ballet. If you’ve seen him perform, you know it’s not to missed. For listeners just discovering Ben’s music, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to it than just songs.
Over the six years following the release of his debut record, Learning to Bend, Sollee and his rugged cello, Kay, told an unconventional story. Seeking a deeper connection to communities on the road, Ben packed his touring life on to his bicycle in 2009. Since then he has ridden over 4,000 miles! He has been invited to perform and speak on sustainability at a number of festivals including South by Southwest Music (2011) and TEDx San Diego (2012). Closer to home, Ben has devoted a tremendous amount of energy to raising awareness about the practice of Mountain Top Removal Strip Mining in Central Appalachia. His 2010 collaborative album Dear Companion (Sub Pop) brought together fellow Kentucky artist Daniel Martin Moore with producer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) to shed light on the issue. In teaming up with international organizations such as Patagonia Clothing and Oxfam America, Ben has come to be known as a thoughtful activist and dedicated informer at shows.
Like his contemporaries Chris Thile and Abigail Washburn, Sollee’s music is difficult to pin down. Following a performance at the Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, the New York Times remarked how Sollee’s “…meticulous, fluent arrangements continually morphed from one thing to another. Appalachian mountain music gave way to the blues, and one song was appended with a fragment from a Bach cello suite, beautifully played.” It’s Ben’s quality of narrative and presence on stage that unifies his musical influences. However, always on the move, Sollee’s musical career has expanded beyond the stage.
Ben’s music can be heard in film and on TV. Shows like ABC’s Parenthood and HBO’s Weeds have placed songs. In 2013, Ben was invited by director Mark Steven Johnson to write a song for the film Killing Season starring John Travolta and Robert De Niro. 2014 is Ben’s second year performing with the North Carolina Dance Theater in Dangerous Liaisons, a play with music written by Ben Sollee.
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