Ben Sollee at Lincoln Hall
To be honest, when I think of Kentucky not much comes to mind except the Kentucky Derby. However, after being with artist Ben Sollee yesterday I found myself wanting to go there. Why? Because juuust maybe if I walked through Richmond, where Ben grew up, his musical talent would rub off on me. I know it is wishful thinking, but I would be more than happy having a spec of his talent.
I’ve been listening to Ben for a while now and unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see him perform live. But this is no longer the case since I saw him play TWICE in ONE day. Yup. That’s right. The craziness began when Ben and drummer Jordan Ellis arrived at Shure to play an afternoon show in the SN Shure Theater. The moment Ben opened his mouth for sound check I was instantly captivated. Now I already knew he had a powerful voice, but I had no idea he would be so mesmerizing live. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better… it did. Once he began playing his cello my ears died and went to music heaven. Between watching Ben’s fingers dance with the strings, Jordan’s sticks beating the drums, and taking in the greatness of it all, it was difficult for me to float back down to reality when the final applause ended. But I did so willingly knowing there was more to come.
A few hours later, I arrived to Lincoln Hall with Cory Lorentz. We walked in as Ben and Jordan were starting their second sound check of the day. To say I was glad to be back around them would be an understatement. Not only is Ben an unbelievable artist, but he also has a down to earth calmness about him. (I mean the guy takes his cello and rides his bike to most of his shows… I don’t think it gets much cooler than that.)
After killing some time eating dinner at Lincoln Hall, Cory and I found a spot at the top of the stairs as we waited for Ben to play once again. He began with one of my personal favorites “Prettiest Tree on the Mountain”. WOW. I kid you not when I say he was even better the second time around. Just like earlier in the day, I immediately became absorbed by his voice. The way Ben and Jordan commanded the stage was incredible. Throughout the show, everyone’s attention was focused on them whether Ben’s voice softly found its way through the crowd or when the sounds of his cello and Jordan’s drums boomed loudly off the walls. It was a performance I will never forget.
So if you haven’t figured it out by now, Ben Sollee is one artist you need to have in your iTunes library. His voice will make your ears smile… I promise.