Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore - Dear Companion

What do you get when two singer-songwriters team up? What about when one of them performs with a cello instead of a guitar? Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore may seem to only be related by the fact they're two of the more celebrated young indie folk artists in the last few years, but they're both from Kentucky and love mountains. Literally.
Written in remonstration of the heinous form of surface mining known as mountaintop removal, Sollee explains in the liner notes how this type of coal mining is devastating the mountains and woodland areas that he grew up loving. His eagerness to do something about the situation led him to contact Moore and record Dear Companion; all of the proceeds benefit

Not only is the record socially conscious, it happens to bring together two exceptional talents that may not have otherwise worked together for more than a one-ff single or something. Sollee was named one of NPR's Top 10 Great Unknown Artists in 2007, and Moore basically holds one of the few winning lottery tickets of musicians that have submitted an unsolicited demo tape to a major (Sub-Pop) label and be called in to sign a record contract. The songwriting duties alternate from track to track and aren't without weak spots, but it's also about more than just mountains. Unfortunately, this album may be like the mountains they love; only enjoyed by those that take the time to stop, admire, and breathe in the fresh air.

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