Ben Sollee uses his voice and cello to tell stories with an awareness-raising bent while bridging connections to his community and fans. On October 27th, Sollee will embark on his fourth “Ditch The Van” bicycle tour to make those connections broader. The tour will wind down the Gulf Coast starting at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, LA and ending at the Orlando Calling Music Festival in Florida on November 13th. Of course, Ben will be towing his trademark instrument behind him along the way.
On the “Ditch The Van” tour, Sollee and his crew will forgo driving or flying and instead pedal their way from show to show pulling their instruments and gear behind them. Sollee’s goal is not a novelty, or a nod to the green trend, but a chance to gain a deeper connection to his fans and surrounding communities which is the inspiration behind his most recent release Inclusions. Sollee feels the escalating pace of touring and this is an unparalleled opportunity to slow things down, meet new people, and take in the local scenery and culture that most travelers bypass completely.
Fans can currently catch Sollee’s dynamic brand of storytelling at headlining shows across the US as well as support dates for select Brett Dennen performances. The “Ditch The Van” fall tour officially kicks off on October 27th.
Although Sollee was classically trained, he uses the cello as a tool to express the many influences on his musical repertoire – bluegrass, folk, indie rock, jazz, blue-eyed soul, and chamber pop. From the demands he places on the instrument, you may wonder how it’s still in one piece at the end of the show.
Sollee explains that he was drawn to the cello because it allows him a versatile vehicle for writing a good song and a compelling story. “It’s a really great Swiss Army Knife kind of instrument,” he recently told CNN. “It always does the different things I need it to do in ensembles. I can take lead; I can play rhythm. It always creates a sound that works in the environment I’m playing in.”
For more information on Ben Sollee, please visit www.bensollee.com, or check out this performance from NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series:
Ben Sollee Fall Tour
^ Dates on the “Ditch The Van” Bike Tour
* Dates opening for Brett Dennen
Oct 2 Morgantown WV – Mountain Stage
Oct 4 Athens GA – Georgia Theater*
Oct 5 Chattanooga TN – Track 29*
Oct 7 Frankfort KY – Grand Theatre
Oct 8 Eagle ID – West School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Oct 14 Louisville KY – Headliners Music Hall
Oct 15 Nashville TN – Americana Music Awards
Oct 24 Grand Rapids MI – The Intersection*
Oct 25 Pittsburgh PA – Mr. Small’s Theatre*
Oct 26 Cleveland OH – House of Blues*
Oct 27 New Orleans, LA – Preservation Hall^
Oct 30 Gulf Port MS – The Lynn Discovery Center^
Nov 1 Mobile AL – Saenger Theatre^
Nov 2 Gulf Shores AL – The Hangout^
Nov 3 Pensacola FL – Vinyl Music Hall^
Nov 5 Panama City FL – A&M Theatre^
Nov 13 Orlando FL – Orlando Calling Music Festival^
Nov 17 Danville KY – Center College Weisiger Theatre
Nov 18 Baltimore MD – Ram’s Head Live*
Nov 19 Annapolis MD – Rams Head Onstage (matinee performance)
Nov 19 Washington DC – The Red Palace
Nov 20 Harve de Grace MD – Biller’s Bikes Sun Stage
Dec 9 Sun Valley ID – Sun Valley Center for the Arts