Tuesday Tune: ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Ben Sollee
Ben Sollee, who will be performing in Stage Door Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in April, is a classically trained cellist and singer-songwriter who got his start in the background. He began studying cello in elementary school and naturally focused on classical music, but he eventually gravitated toward the sounds of blues and jazz greats like Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Billie Holliday. His big break came in 2005 when he was selected to be a member of The Sparrow Quartet along with Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, who will be in McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square next month.
One of Sollee’s best traits is his ability to take the cello and bend genres with his unique songwriting and playing style.
His genre-bending skills are perhaps most apparent on his cover of the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come,” which just happens to be one of my all-time favorite songs. You can hear his classical and jazz roots blend together perfectly. Sollee’s version first appeared on his 2008 solo debut album, “Learning to Bend,” which led to NPR naming him one of the top 10 greatest unknown artists. If this is your first time hearing his cover, I hope you’re as impressed as I was. Listen to it here.
Sollee has since continued to impress audiences and has gained an extremely loyal fan base. A true artist, Sollee recently composed and performed in the entire score for “Maidentrip,” a 2013 film documentary about the youngest person to sail around the world. His most recent original album, “Half Made Man,” was released in late 2012 to critical acclaim, and in 2013 he released “The Hollow Sessions,” an album of covers, at the request of his fans. See a live performance of “Unfinished” from “Half Made Man” below.
If you love genre-bending music as much as I do, don’t miss cello-playing singer-songwriter Ben Sollee live in the intimate Stage Door Theater Wednesday, April 16! Tickets are only $15. CLICK HERE to buy tickets now.