Ben Sollee

ACL Live Shots

Ben Sollee

Oct. 4, Zilker Park

Seated with his cello center stage between accompanying fiddle and drums, Ben Sollee radiated a boyish charm under the Wildflower Center tent. Opening gently behind the plea of "A Few Honest Words," Sollee's songs waged the political and personal with his soulful, high-ranging croon and dexterous string arrangements, "How to See the Sun Rise" emerging through a reverb warp to an easy groove and "Mute With a Bullhorn" opening with wafting atmospherics. Though Sollee's capable of bending his instrument with impeccable precision and eclectic, genre-defying flair, the set largely maintained a straightforward dynamic, never ranging too experimental and suggesting that for all his young talent, there remains potential still untapped. "It's Not Impossible" popped beautifully as the Kentuckian worked the neck of his cello like a harp, while "Panning for Gold" hypnotically flowed and "Bury Me With My Car" brought a fervent string breakdown with fiddle that kicked. Sollee's distinctive covers provided the crowd highlights, however, especially his reworking of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," and his closing, celloed version of Cat Stevens' "Wild World."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Ben Sollee
ACL Music Fest Sunday Interviews
Ben Sollee
Cellist learns to bend with Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck

Doug Freeman, Oct. 2, 2009

More Music Reviews
Album Review: Superfónicos’ <i>Renaceré</i>
Album Review: Superfónicos’ Renaceré
Colombian funk septet marks a decade with debut long-player

Raoul Hernandez, July 19, 2024

Album Review: PES’s <i>Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)</i>
Album Review: PES’s Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)
Peruvian-fronted rock band offers a daring approach of their debut EP

Cy White, July 12, 2024

More by Doug Freeman
Daniel Fears, Sydney Wright, AB6IX, and More Crucial Concerts
Daniel Fears, Sydney Wright, AB6IX, and More Crucial Concerts
Get out and get live

July 12, 2024

Caleb de Casper, Money Chicha, and More Crucial Concerts for the Week
Caleb de Casper, Money Chicha, and More Crucial Concerts for the Week
Classical, hip-hop, jazz, blues, and much more

July 5, 2024

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Ben Sollee

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle