Ben Sollee

When you think of the cello, you normally don't think of it as a foot-tapping kind of instrument. But for the past decade, Kentucky cellist Ben Sollee has been changing minds all over the word with his brand of soulful, indie-tinged folk, with his voice and said stringed implement up front. His debut, 2008's Learning to Bend, was a Randy Newman-esque jaunt with Sollee throwing out songs about materialism ("Bury Me with My Car") and even a cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," which became a hot item during that election year. His recent disc, Inclusions, shows off some stirring rock chops ("Captivity") and Peter Gabriel-style soar ("The Globe," "Electrified"). Things get pretty liberal and dear here and there, with Sollee's social awareness ever-present, but that bent can only get more interesting as the years go by and the political climate continues to get more divisive. If that's not your bag, just watch the man rock out on his cello and shut yer mouth.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty