Ben Sollee has the cojones to cover “A Change Is Gonna Come”

by oz on February 12, 2008

Ben Sollee

Every year I make a shameful admission: I watch American Idol. I blamed it on my wife out of insecurity, but I can no longer hold her responsible as I shout at my television when Simon, Paula and Randy eliminate my favorite contestants. Every season I cringe when I hear teenagers murder classic R&B or Motown songs that I once loved. I’m sure Sam Cooke has been turning in his grave for years because “A Change Is Gonna Come” might just be the most slaughtered song on American Idol since its inception.

Ben Sollee is not a name that I’m familiar with so I was very skeptical to listen to yet another version of “A Change Is Gonna Come”…until I hit play. I heard the strings kick off his rendition and I perked up. And then I heard the vocals. Sollee is a Kentucky-based singer-songwriter that compliments a silky smooth voice with a fresh, contemporary take on a classical instrument – the cello. Although I’m sure he’s proficient in the classics, his sound draws more from American roots. If you’re a fan of Ray Lamontagne, hit the little blue play buttons below and make sure to listen to “A Few Honest Words” twice.

Ben has a full album coming out on Feb 19th called Learning to Bend and I’m looking forward to giving it a spin. For you Chi-town readers, he’ll also be performing right down the road from my old stomping grounds in Wrigleyville at Uncommon Ground on Clark St. You can catch him there on Feb 13th (tonight) and then again on the 20th. He’ll also be making an appearance down in Austin for SXSW 2008.

Also visit his site for a video of him performing “When Doves Cry.”

Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to associate Ben Sollee’s music with American Idol. The views represented by this author in no way reflect the views of, it’s partners, readers, or sponsors.‚ 

Ben Sollee – A Change Gonna Come

Ben Sollee – A Few Honest Words

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bnial February 13, 2008 at 9:03 am

i think Ben is an AMAZING artist. i’ve seen him a couple times now and it’s definitely something new and refreshing, not to mention AMAZING.

Hanan October 31, 2008 at 7:47 pm

I’m seeing him in 3 weeks =)

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