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Ben Sollee: "Bend"

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Ben Sollee: 'Bend'

Ben Sollee: 'Bend'

Ben Sollee: "Bend"

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17203900/17334814" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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Ben Sollee

Ben Sollee's distinct cello playing and soulful voice set him apart from most traditional folk or bluegrass musicians. His style involves plucking strings and percussive bow techniques to create a surprising and original sound.

Sollee's latest album, Learning to Bend, features a number of guest artists, including Rayna Gellert and banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck. The title track, "Bend," is a meditation on the importance of learning to change. It begins with an angelic, lightly plucked harp that recalls 1950s R&B. The song eventually erupts when opera-inspired harmonies enter on the line "Are you strong enough to bend?" Ben's expressive crooning and quickly picked banjo create a classic feel on "It's Not Impossible."

The Louisville, KY musician has toured in several countries including a show in Tibet with The Sparrow Quartet. Sollee also shared the stage with vocalist Abigail Washburn, fiddler Casey Driessen, and Bela Fleck. They became the first Official U.S. Cultural Mission to tour Tibet.

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