Windmills Craftworks saw a burst of folk and bluegrass music recently, with three back-to-back performances by American cellist, singer-songwriter and composer, Ben Sollee.
And luckily for him and his drummer Jordan Ellis, there was a packed house on all three nights! Jordan, who has collaborated with Ben for many of his albums, also used the box cajon for some songs.
The musician from Kentucky, who is known for his innovative ways of at playing the instrument, his uncanny choice of words, political activism and wide appeal, altered his set for each show, making it interesting for both the listener and the performer.
Even his style of playing the cello incorporating new techniques allowed a unique mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz and R ‘n’ B. His set included most of his original compositions like ‘Whole Lot To Give’, ‘The Healer’, ‘Roam In The Dark’, ‘Unfinished’, ‘Slow Down’, ‘Turn On the Moon’ and ‘Panning for Gold’ among others.
Sollee’s smooth and smoky vocal style also got him quite a few fans in the crowd, which cheered on the performers with genuine appreciation.
His lyrics were moving, with social issues like poverty and environmental issues often being address through them.
He played songs from his albums including his latest album ‘Half Made Man’ and from earlier albums like ‘Learning To Bend’ and ‘Live At The Grocery On Home’.
Ranjit Babu, a regular, said, “It was a real pleasure to watch an international artiste of his calibre performs live. I hope that Windmills Craftworks continues getting artistes like Ben down to Bangalore for our listening pleasure.”
“This was one of the best performances I have seen. I have been to many shows but to watch a cellist with such a wide repertoire is rare and his ability to rock his audience was truly awesome,” added Simi, who was present in the audience.