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Ben Sollee


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It was the cat-poles around the lake at his grandfather’s farm that inspired Ben Sollee’s debut album Learning To Bend. The frailty of those awkward looking plants standing stoutly against winds that challenged even the strongest of nearby trees is an affecting metaphor for human struggle and perseverance. This idea is central to Learning To Bend.

Key tracks on Learning To Bend include two reactions to the current political landscape, “A Few Honest Words,” and an adaptation of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” in which Ben has written updated, politically relevant verses. Other highlights of the album are the playful, soul track, “How To See the Sun Rise” and the vulnerable yet insistent “It’s Not Impossible,” where Ben laments the unfortunate status quo that “boys don’t cry.”

Ben has found considerable success in recent years through his ability to bend. In 2007, he was named one of NPR’s “Top Ten Unknown Artists of the Year.” His distinctive cello technique and soulful voice have been marinating for years in his work with avant-garde bluesman Otis Taylor, The Sparrow Quartet, (featuring banjo-master Béla Fleck), and on the internationally known Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour.


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  • katarzynapukpuk

    he's AMAZING , don't know anyone else who plays cello like that...

    18 Sep 2014 Reply
  • issaquah

    4 Dec 2012 Reply
  • soushokukeiDino

    Saw him last weekend. Fantastic energy and musicianship! Loved it. Bought his new album, it's all good. Some tracks are a bit too "indie pop" for my tastes, but still very listenable. Other tracks are just great! Favorites: Slow Down, The Pursuit of Happiness, The Healer.

    25 Nov 2012 Reply
  • loudyloudy

    Dreamy live show! And he can rock the cello!

    13 Jul 2012 Reply
  • cheesegrommit

    favorite songs from Inclusion: 'Captivity' and 'I Need'

    11 May 2011 Reply
  • Ursulabear

    his Sawdust and Diamonds cover is bliss.

    8 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Pands

    sounds like a good soul with an honest voice

    27 Jun 2010 Reply
  • x35JOW337

    Such a pure voice.

    12 May 2010 Reply
  • AlysonNovak

    Wonderful live show, catch him and Daniel Martin Moore on tour now. You'll be well entertained!

    12 Mar 2010 Reply
  • BeyondRaceMag

    Yes! Amazing new album.... read our review here

    9 Mar 2010 Reply
  • coriin

    Ben is amazing and oh sooo CUTE

    9 Mar 2010 Reply
  • pgee13

    Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, produced by Yim Yames. Portion of the proceeds goes to Appalachian Voices (So actually buy it, preferably from your local independent record store)

    12 Feb 2010 Reply
  • strajnic

    Blue Eyed Soul!

    19 Dec 2009 Reply
  • juliakos

    Ben Sollee is so good!!!! His voice and strum/pluck style are both really refreshing. His CD really does not do his raw talent any justice, though. On the 'Learning to Bend' album, the back-up instruments & singers are distracting and, frankly, pretty tacky. When I saw him play solo at a music festival in North Carolina last year, his words and his music drew so many different types of emotion out of me. I didn't know I could laugh and cry through the duration of a single song! I really hope to see another album soon.

    6 Sep 2009 Reply
  • middleearth

    this guy is a damn genius

    11 Aug 2009 Reply
  • hwwood

    His music's good, but the recorded stuff really pales in comparison to seeing him live. A lot of his show just can't be captured.

    10 Jul 2009 Reply
  • jakk6

    He put on an incredible show at Bonnaroo, saw him the year before as part of the Sparrow Quartet, too

    29 Jun 2009 Reply
  • High54Penguins

    saw him at bonnaroo. so cool

    28 Jun 2009 Reply
  • wolf_mage

    Incredible voice and music. Just wow

    8 Apr 2009 Reply
  • 2Serenity

    OOh sweet @keyinfluencer introduced me to your work. Enjoying the introduction. Yay!

    7 Mar 2009 Reply
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