New Ben Sollee from Institute 193

Lexington contemporary art outpost Institute 193 continues its forays into music with a new album of covers by Lexington cellist Ben Sollee.

131001Sollee-HollowAs anyone who has followed Sollee knows, he is not a cellist in the traditional sense of the term, favoring writing and singing rootsy music to playing Bach and Dvorak.

The Hollow Sessions solidifies some of the influences that have guided Sollee, from Otis Redding (You Don’t Miss Your Water) to Bill Monroe (Blue Moon of Kentucky) to Gillian Welch (Everything is Free). Sollee recorded the album this summer in a small home in a hollow near Prospect, with the sounds of the environment settled into the recording.

As with a lot of covers or influences albums, it is fascinating to hear how the diverse repertoire melts into Sollee’s sound, providing the listener with opportunities to hear new takes on familiar fare and be introduced to new artists.

The album is currently available for free download to laptop and desktop computers. You can also pre-order the vinyl edition of the album, which will be released in December and have a limited run of 500 copies, for $25.

Earlier this year, Institute 193 released a compilation album of Kentucky and Southern artists, 193 Sound.

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