Built For This (Ben Sollee cover) by lonesome d string band published on 2014/08/07 03:25:23 +0000 I don't get out to hear live music much anymore, so it's pretty telling that the last three concerts I've been to have all been Ben Sollee shows. Ben's a great songwriter, a fantastic and inventive cellist, a terrific performer; his songs are an American blend of rock, folk, a hint of old-time, classical, avant-garde and blue-eyed soul. Avid readers will recall that I busted the ebony tailpiece of my very old banjo a few weeks back. Replacement proved to be something of an issue until I stumbled onto Paul Corrigan's blog showing a trial one he'd made for himself (http://badriverbanjo.com/a-bad-river-tailpiece/); Paul responded to my email inquiry enthusiastically, and amazingly had a specially crafted replication of my original one (though stronger!) back to me in roughly two weeks. Amazing. If anyone's in the market for a nice hand-crafted banjo, please check out Paul's work. Replacing the all-gut strings also could be easier, but after reading up on the issue I called up Dr. Horsehair (http://www.drhorsehair.com/), who were able to provide me with a new set. They're not cheap, but they appear to be exactly what I had on it before (put on by the seller). I strung it up the day the strings came in. So, bringing it all together, I decided to give the banjo a little light test-workout by doing a simple arrangement of one of my favorite of Ben's songs. The end result is that we're mostly set, but that 1st string is still stretching - it's pretty out-of-tune by the end, but that's okay. Ben's original is far more fleshed out, in a solo cello setting that really showcases his lovely tone and fluid playing in a way that shows his musical debt to his fiddling grandfather. Do yourself a favor and listen to his original, or any of his other tunes. Recorded using iPhone and Soundcloud app last night between 11 and 11:30 on my porch. Picture: my 'baby' loves Ben's music, which my wife plays for him all the time in the car. So for his 4th birthday in June, we drove on down to Wilmington, DE to catch Ben at World Cafe Live. Ben, who just seems to be an impossibly nice guy, was kind enough to take this picture with him afterward. The hand gesture was Ben's request.