Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore

Thursday

SXSW Records

Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore

Dear Companion (Sub Pop)

A collaboration created to raise awareness of Appalachian mountaintop removal, Dear Companion sets the emerging talents of Kentucky songwriters Daniel Martin Moore and Ben Sollee with "Yim Yames" behind the boards. The result is harrowing, beautiful, and sincere. Though rooted in those Cumberland contours, the songs eschew brandishing bluegrass nods to instead serve Moore and Sollee's simple and earnest elegance. The latter's cello bends and sways like a hillside weeping willow, Sollee's smooth tenor finding high harmony on "My Wealth Comes to Me" and harboring hope and guilt through "Try" and "Only a Song." Moore's more straightforward on "Needn't Say a Thing" and "Sweet Marie," guitar plucked with a subtle grace as he winds the political into personal. The title track burns with darker fervor, but "Flyrock Blues" best issues the call: "Maybe you're livin' far away; there's nothin' under your ground for them to take ... but if they ever find the black rock there, you better beware." (Thu., 7:30pm, Central Presbyterian Church.)

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