Ben Sollee is one unique guy. As a cellist, you might expect him to be in the backgrounds, supporting with instrumental harmonies. At least, that’s what us folkies are used to.
Not so with this Kentucky virtuoso.
Sollee is front and center, which is right where he ought to be. Not only is he a wizard on the cello, but he is also an adept songwriter. From incredibly personal, to politically charged, he handles every subject with deft hands, and has a hell of a voice to boot.
The most impressive aspect of Sollee’s music is his ability to weave genres together over the course of an album. His classical training is readily apparent, giving every song a hint of sophistication, but he can also muster up some grime, with dirty feedback-laden guitars, giving his music an alt. country flavoring.
He doesn’t stop there.
Throughout his 2011 record, Inclusions, and the forthcoming Half Made Man, Sollee incorporates jazz, blues, R&B, bluegrass and good old fashion folk.
Last week I got my hands on Sollee’s new record (the aforementioned Half Made Man) and I couldn’t be more impressed. The album is larger in sound and scope than Inclusions, and sees the singer/songwriter enter the realm of rock, to go along with all the other genres he’s tackled in his, still young, music career. Ten tracks of pure gold, the record cemented in my mind that Ben Sollee is primed to be a superstar. Though he has a decent following, he’s still relatively under the radar. But not for long. Half Made Man is just the kind of album to catapult him. It’s more accessible that his previous release, while retaining a unique voice and feel. It’s a perfect balance.
Now it’s up to you to listen!
Recommended songs: “Close To You,” “The Globe,” “Hurting,” “Whole Lot To Give,” “DIY,” “Unfinished,” “Slow Down,” “The Pursuit Of Happiness,” “Some Lovin’”
For a taste of Ben Sollee check out the video below! Also, be sure to check out his website (where you can hear a track from the new album), like him on Facebook, follow him and Twitter, and pick up Half Made Man Sept. 25!
Sollee performs a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR!