Review of Ben Sollee – Learning to Bend

You may remember that I recently posted about a singer/songwriter/cellist by the name of Ben Sollee. I heard a brief interview with him on NPR, and I was intrigued. I have since purchased the CD, Learning to Bend, (actually downloaded it from iTunes), and listened to it about a half-dozen times. It would be much more if time would permit. It is soulful, at times haunting, and lively. This is a great collection of songs. Panning for Gold is my favorite. It contains very powerful lyrics set to a sad melody that is, as I learned from his NPR interview, about his grandparents who have been diagnosed with alzheimers. When you hear the song you’ll get the message. You’ll hear a little folk, a little R&B, a little bluegrass, and whole lot of talent if you buy this CD… or whatever you call a collection of songs by the same artist that you download from iTunes. Things were much simpler when we called them albums. Buy it, listen to it, tell your friends. This guy needs to be much bigger than he is. Here’s a clip of him performing Panning for Gold at WFPK Live Lunch.

Rethinking The Cello – Ben Sollee


I know, the cello, right? It doesn’t really conjure up anything beyond some painfully dull night at the symphony. But I was in the car kickin’ it with NPR blaring out of my speakers, bass thumpin’. Neighbors’ trippin.’ Basically everyone was playa hatin’ because I’m dope enough for public radio, yo… Anyway, they featured a musician/songwriter I had never heard of before. His name is Ben Sollee, and his instrument is the cello. It was actually very cool, and I’m going to get his new CD Learning to Bend. I found this video on Youtube for a song titled It’s Not Impossible (Boys Don’t Cry). Check him out! It’s a really unique sound.