Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native are a bluegrass band with an impressive resume. Julian Pinelli on fiddle is a recent Berkeley graduate. Bennett Sullivan was just on Broadway in Steve Martin’s “Bright Star”. Ben Sollee on cello has played with Otis Taylor, Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck, and Jim James. Alex Browne on bass who just graduated with a Masters in Music in Bass Performance from UT Austin. Rounding out the group is Jordon Ellis on drums. They all play really well together and create music that sounds like Kentucky, where they are from. Also, Ben is a great storyteller. He told many tales about where the songs come from which create a great live experience.
For the penultimate song, Ben Sollee asks (“demands”, he jokes) that the fiddle player sing a little tune called “Drink Up and Go Home”. A verse goes “There stands a blind man, so blind he can’t see”. The crowd cracks up. The chorus is repeated many times and by the end of the song everyone is singing along: “Be thankful you’re living; drink up and go home!”
For the final song, they sing “Wild World” by Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf). Once again it’s a giant singalong: “Oh baby baby it’s a wild world, it’s hard to get by just upon a smile. Oh baby baby it’s a wild world. I’ll always remember you like a child, girl.” It’s a fantastic close to a great night music!
Catch Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native on tour now!