Ben Sollee: Musicians often claim they are “giving themselves” to their listeners, but it’s rarely as true as on Ben Sollee’s fourth album, Half-Made Man, a revealing, deeply moving album that explores a man trying to figure himself out, just as we all are. Known for his thrilling cello-playing that incorporates new techniques to create a unique mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz and R&B, Sollee possesses rough-smooth-smoky vocal stylings and a knack for intricate arrangements that has brought about comparisons to Sufjan Stevens. Sollee shares himself completely with his audience, whether it be by personal lyrics, or his commitment to the environment. Sollee can often be found riding a bicycle to his concerts (cello strapped to the back), which have become legendary for their intimacy.
The album, produced by Sollee himself, boasts a sublime cast of musicians, including Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) on electric/acoustic guitar and pedal steel, Alana Rocklin on bass, Jordon Ellis on percussion, Jeremy Kittel (formerly of the Turtle Island String Quartet) on violin, and guest vocals by Abigail Washburn. Sollee contributes octave mandolin, guitar, and of course, his signature cello.
“I wanted it to have a raw, real-time performance quality,” Sollee says. “This is kinetic expression. I dug deep into myself and asked the musicians to go there with me. To my ear, it sounds like musical search party; we often find what we’re looking for in between defined styles and genres. It won’t be easy to place this in one category, but I, and my generation, are measured by a little bit of everything these days.”
Luke Reynolds: Luke Reynolds is a Brooklyn based Grammy nominated writer and multi instrumentalist. He is currently a member of the acclaimed band Guster.
He has collaborated with Willie Nelson, Jesse Harris (Norah Jones, Bright Eyes), and Brett Dennen, performed at festivals such as Farm Aid, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza and supported JJ Cale, My Morning Jacket + Van Morrison. His most recent solo album, Maps, is available on iTunes.
Mojo Stone: Old-school, soul-rock band, Mojo Stone, is gaining its reputation as one of the best live bands in Los Angeles. Harnessing and re-contextualizing elements of folk-rock, rockabilly and soul in the service of a full-frontal rock assault, these troubadours have entertained audiences in venues across the country; from Denver to Manhattan, San Francisco to Nashville.
“Having the opportunity to tour and road test our music has allowed us to evolve,” says lead vocalist, Natalie Meadors. “playing to different folks in different states, writing on the road, being open to its influence...that's what you hear in our music.”
This L.A. based-band has an impressive track record, finishing a month-long southern tour in 2011promoting their first E.P., Hatchet, a sold-out record release show at Silverlake’s Bootleg Theater this past March, as well as a brand-new sophomore E.P., Strange Honey, produced by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros sound engineer, Matt Linesch. Such accomplishments landed them as The Deli Magazine’s L.A. artists of the month this past February.
Despite the band’s accomplishments off-stage, their live show proves to be their crown jewel, with incendiary performances reminiscent of the Rolling Stones and Big Brother & The Holding Company. Don’t miss out on the experience. Visit mojostone.com for tour updates and other news.