Ben Sollee and his trusty cello are setting off on a run up the West Coast next week which will include a stop in San Francisco at the Swedish American Hall. The composer, songwriter, cellist, and then some recently released a new set of songs in Steeples Pt. 2 in his ever growing catalog that mashes up both soul and folk music. The new music has been broken up by his work scoring film, most recently for the dancer drama Fall to Rise and sailing documentary Maidentrip. Oh, he worked on a VR music video app last year too making no shortage of reasons to enjoy his broad work.
The songs not written for the screen are equally cinematic. Dive in to “Learn to Listen,” the opening track off the new installment of Steeples, and try not to imagine the stubborn protagonist finally committing to that challenge at the end of Act II. “Letting Go” feels more closely related to bluegrass, and songs like “Unfinished” border indie rock. The previously mentioned scores, collection of solo and full band albums, and add a live record in for good measure all fill out a solid discography. EPs, and even what will hopefully lead to more remixes, aside it’s amusing to think the man behind it all has only been releasing music for just under a decade.
As with any performance at the Swedish American, the natural storytelling of Sollee will easily transform the venue into your very own
Supporting Sollee in San Francisco will be traditional folk quintet Run Boy Run. The band, who could overpower an entire string section, boasts both elements of bluegrass and early American folk music. Composed of two pairs of siblings and sprinkled with three-part female harmonies, how much longer will it take T. Bone Burnett to realize how well they fit into the next Coen Brothers film? If you immediately like what you hear you can day trip up to Petaluma the night before as they play The Big Easy on the 11th.
Ben Sollee, Run Boy Run
Swedish American Hall
Friday August 12
8:30pm, $15 (21+)