Ben Sollee

Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native

Marketing Highlights

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.

PRESS QUOTES: "The beauty of Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native’s album lies in its adventurous musical spirit, always challenging us and carrying us on a sonic journey that awakens our curiosity, heightens our senses, and opens doors onto bright, undiscovered musical vistas.” - No Depression

“Take a classically trained cellist with an adventurous spirit and strong feelings for his native Kentucky and what do you get? A brilliant new album that will warm the hearts of those who know and love the Bluegrass State -- and just might encourage others to come calling.” - Associate Press

“Sollee doesn’t allow any pigeonhole to fence him in on this wildly eclectic and ambitious set. There are excursions into Celtic, folk, Americana, Central Mexican music, and even modified prog, sometimes combined into a single track on this audacious album. Sollee hunkered down in a cabin with a handful of bluegrass based players who were as boundary expanding as the frontman. Bass, fiddle, banjo, and percussion combine with Sollee’s sympathetic vocals and cello for a mostly live in the studio (or cabin) collection of performances” - Hal Horowitz (American Songwriter Magazine)

“What all this translates into on “Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native” is music both familiar and new, performed with sound of deceptive string simplicity. But within these songs sits the kind of keen, progressive instrumental interplay one only hopes Sollee will mine for years to come” -Walter Tunis (Lexington Hearld Leader)

“It’s rare to find music that’s so simple and yet so suggestive, so sparse in its arrangements and yet so brimming with energy and inspiration.” - Lee Zimmerman (Paste Magazine)

“Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native is in some ways just an American folk and bluegrass album. In this case, I use that as high praise because Sollee has managed to deconstruct many of the styles that became American folk and bluegrass in much the same way that someone takes a marvelously complex bowl of burgoo and can lay out all the spices that go into it for your tasting and appreciation.” - Twangville

RECENT PRESS: "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/

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

No Depression - Bluegrass and Beyond Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native - Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native http://nodepression.com/album-review/bluegrass-and-beyond

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.”

Album Premiere: “Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native” http://www.allmusic.com/blog/post/album-premiere-ben-sollee

No Depression - Release - Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native http://nodepression.com/release/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native

Associated Press Album Review http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/entertainment/review-ben-sollee-pays-evocative-tribute-bluegrass-state-article-1.3394146 “Take a classically trained cellist with an adventurous spirit and strong feelings for his native Kentucky and what do you get? A brilliant new album that will warm the hearts of those who know and love the Bluegrass State — and just might encourage others to come calling.”

American Songwriter Album Review http://americansongwriter.com/2017/08/ben-sollee-kentucky-native-ben-sollee-kentucky-native/ This Kentucky Native acoustic/roots project may end up as just another stop on Ben Sollee’s ongoing creative highway. But it’s a terrific example of his inquisitive creativity and an ongoing musical exploration to push outside his, and his instrument’s, preconceived norms.

WTOP - Review: Ben Sollee pays evocative tribute to Bluegrass State http://wtop.com/music/2017/08/review-ben-sollee-pays-evocative-tribute-to-bluegrass-state/

Paste - Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native: Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native Review https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/08/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native-ben-sollee-and-kent.html

Berkshire Eagle - Album Reviews: Mappe Of; Ben Sollee http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/album-reviews-mappe-of-ben-sollee,516231

Kentucky - ‘Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native’ an inviting revision of bluegrass http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/article166416062.html

Telluride News Sollee solo - Ben Sollee plays Sheridan Opera House Friday http://www.telluridenews.com/the_watch/watch_listen_show/article_cf93d402-7d5f-11e7-a859-d708adba33d0.html

Paste - Album Review https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/08/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native-ben-sollee-and-kent.html "It’s rare to find music that’s so simple and yet so suggestive, so sparse in its arrangements and yet so brimming with energy and inspiration.” - Paste Magazine

Lexington Herald - Interview feature http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/article166415957.html

Lexington Herald - Album Review http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/article166416062.html

Telegraph Herald - Review: Ben Sollee pays evocative tribute to Bluegrass State http://www.telegraphherald.com/ap/entertainment/image_30a7a19c-3083-548d-aa8e-eea4e45ea512.html

The Alternate Root - ALT ROOT TOP TEN SONGS OF THE WEEK FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, 2017 http://thealternateroot.com/what-s-trending/7141-topten-081217 Song #1

Twangville - Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native http://twangville.com/26971/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native/

PEW PLAYLIST: 3 ALBUMS THAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR RADAR, 8/11/17 http://www.motherchurchpew.com/2017/08/11/pew-playlist-3-albums-that-should-be-on-your-radar-81117/

No Depression - Bluegrass and Beyond Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native - Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native http://nodepression.com/album-review/bluegrass-and-beyond

Oakland Press Entertainment - Ben Sollee at The Cube, 3 Things To Know http://www.theoaklandpress.com/arts-and-entertainment/20170828/ben-sollee-at-the-cube-3-things-to-know

KRCB - FOLK ALLEY: new music from Ben Sollee, Jason Wilber, David Rawlings, and more! http://radio.krcb.org/post/folk-alley-new-music-ben-sollee-jason-wilber-david-rawlings-and-more#stream/0

The Post and Courrier - Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native open Gibbes Garden Concert series http://www.postandcourier.com/features/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native-open-gibbes-garden-concert-series/article_21dd3174-88fd-11e7-81e6-5f6d7c142a43.html

Pensacola - Ben Sollee to perform at Ashmore Auditorium http://www.pnj.com/story/life/light-side/bacon/2017/08/17/ben-sollee-perform-ashmore-auditorium/576455001/

Charleston City Paper - Cellist Ben Sollee explores the past, present, and future of bluegrass on his new album https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/cellist-ben-sollee-explores-the-past-present-and-future-of-bluegrass-on-his-new-album/Content?oid=10753135

Charleston City Paper - Gibbes Back Yard Concert Series kicks off tomorrow night with Ben Sollee and his band Kentucky Native https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/CultureShock/archives/2017/09/05/gibbes-back-yard-concert-series-kicks-off-tomorrow-night-with-ben-sollee-and-his-band-kentucky-native

Two events to draw people downtown Saturday http://www.wcoutlook.com/kentucky/features/two-events-to-draw-people-downtown-saturday/article_e9617090-8281-55fa-ae8d-a77625ae51f0.html

Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native http://local.nashvillescene.com/event/the-high-watt/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native

Five Things: Ben Sollee On Coffee, Zelda, And His Favorite Cello http://wfpl.org/five-things-ben-sollee-coffee-zelda-favorite-cello/

Mass Living - Singer-cellist Ben Sollee talks music, politics before Northampton show http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/09/ben_sollee_talks_music_politic.html

Ben was on the Chunky Glass Podcast on 9/14

NHPR Word Of Mouth - On-air interview for 9/23 show http://nhpr.org/post/new-hampshires-night-life-stay-work-play-ben-sollee#stream/0

Burlington Free Press - Featured listing with photo for 9/24 show http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/entertainment/2017/09/20/events-calendar-october-november-december-vermont-music-arts-theater/679257001/

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus - Preview for 9/24 show https://www.timesargus.com/articles/sollee-brings-stunning-new-album-and-crack-band/

Albany Times Union - Preview for 9/27 show http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Ben-Sollee-and-Kentucky-Native-The-Hollow-12216035.php

Third Coast Review - 9/12 Live Show Review https://thirdcoastreview.com/2017/09/19/ben-sollee-and-kentucky-native-bring-bluegrass-thrills-to-schubas/

Insider Louisville - Gallery: NuLu Fest 2017 https://insiderlouisville.com/lifestyle_culture/gallery-nulu-fest-2017/

Finlandia - Save the date: Musician and storyteller Ben Sollee at Orpheum Theatre on November 8 http://www.finlandia.edu/news/save-date-musician-storyteller-ben-sollee-orpheum-theatre/

TOUR DATES: May 19 – Berea, KY – The Moonshiner’s Ball (KN) May 26 – Black Forest, CO – MeadowGrass Music Festival (KN) May 27 – 5/29 – Telluride, CO – Mountainfilm Festival (KN + D + S) June 3 – Roswell, GA – Riverside Park (D) June 12 – Chicago, IL – Millennium Park (KN) July 1 – London, KY – Red, White & Boom (D) July 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 Nov. 29 - Waiting Room / Record Bar - Omaha, NE/Kansas City, MO Dec. 1 - Bluebird - Denver, CO Dec. 2 - Aggie - Ft. Collins, CO Dec. 3 - Animas - Durango, CO Dec. 5 - Last Exit Live - Phoenix, AZ Dec. 6 - Church / Winstons - San Diego, CA Dec. 7 - Echo - Los Angeles Dec. 8 - Swedish / Chapel - San Francisco, CA Dec. 9 - Nevada City, CA Dec. 10 - Los on Main - Chico, CA Dec. 12 - Volcanic Pub - Bend, OR Dec. 13 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR Dec. 14 - Tractor/Sunset - Seattle, WA Dec. 15 - Tophat - Missoula, MT Dec. 16 - Filing Station - Bozeman, MT Dec. 17 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT

KN = Kentucky Native / D = Ben Sollee and Jordon Ellis / S = Ben Sollee solo

Bio

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.

For Fans Of

Daniel Martin Moore
Punch Brothers
Sean Hayes

Home Market

Kentucky - USA

Album Details

Artist

Ben Sollee

Album Title

Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native

Street Date

08/11/2017

Order Due Date

07/14/2017

Genre

Singer/Songwriter

Label

Soundly Music, LLC

Configuration

CD Longplay

Price Code

CD11

UPC

652135394877

Box Lot

30

Catalog #

39487

Album Details

Artist

Ben Sollee

Album Title

Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native

Street Date

09/29/2017

Order Due Date

09/01/2017

Discount

5% (ends 10/05/2017)

Genre

Singer/Songwriter

Label

Soundly Music, LLC

Configuration

Vinyl Longplay 33 1/3

Price Code

LP19

UPC

652135394884

Box Lot

50

Catalog #

39488

Album Details

Artist

Ben Sollee

Album Title

Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native

Preorder Date

06/09/2017

Street Date

09/29/2017

Genre

Singer/Songwriter

Label

Soundly Music, LLC

Configuration

Digital Audio Longplay

UPC

886446546179

Tour Dates

Bandsintown