“I’m a half-made man,” Ben Sollee boldly proclaims on “Unfinished,” the title track (of sorts) from his latest release, Half-Made Man. Spend an afternoon in the company of Sollee and his cello, though, and nothing appears further from the truth. “Musician,” “activist,” “cyclist,” and “environmentalist” are labels that only scratch the surface of Sollee’s CV. Though he sees himself at the beginning of a longer journey, Sollee may just be too humble to recognize how fully-realized he already is.
Sollee’s do-it-yourself work ethic permeates his music and career, whether through the eponymous “DIY” (a track from the new record), the crowdsourced funding that provided the foundation for his recent releases, or the self-powered bicycle concert tours he has undertaken in the past few years. Sollee and his cello have gone around the world, playing with the likes of Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn’s Sparrow Quartet, and fellow Kentuckians My Morning Jacket. Punchnel’s caught up with Sollee in Bloomington, putting him on the street in the first installment of “BuskStop,” a new Punchnel’s feature. Enjoy.
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