Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore – “Dear Companion”
Sub Pop
-out now
3.5 / 5

It’s bluegrass, Jim. And what more could you expect from Kentuckians Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore on their first collaboration (along with producer Jim James of My Morning Jacket); of course they’re going to pick up a jug, a jig, and start jiving. Meant to put a spotlight on Mountaintop Coal Mining in the Appalachians, Sollee and Moore compose these folk/bluegrass songs with honesty and simplicity, which here, make for good companions. “Only a Song” is the most political of these tracks, yet the basic guitar chords and cello backing aren’t overbearing, nor are the lyrics. Whether you’re politically minded or not (and we hate hippies, here at the blog), what it comes down to is the good music that comes from these musicians, and most listeners should find it new, clean and fresh, and articulate, unlike a hippie. Our complaint is this: that many of these songs don’t stick with you like a treehugger to an oak (excuse us for the cheap shot), so you might find yourself digging out your favorite folk albums after the 6-8 spins that this will grant you. That, and we we’re joking about having a jug in there (unfortunately). Still, a good listen, worth your time in the genre, and recommended.

Listen to “Only a Song”:

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