Lexington musician Ben Sollee is known for his live shows, but hasn’t released a live album until now. The songwriter and indie-pop cellist will release “LIVE at the Grocery on Home” at a free concert outside of Heine Brothers (Bardstown Road at Eastern Parkway) tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Sollee recorded “LIVE at the Grocery on Home” during a five-day residency at the Atlanta music venue earlier this year. The album includes his song “Turn on the Moon,” previously available only on rare copies of his first independently-released solo album.
Sollee wants this album to capture what he sounds like now and how his style has evolved over the last several years.
“I’ve begun to figure out how to approach this whole playing cello and singing and playing with my percussionist Jordan Ellis, and I wanted to document that and chapter it so as things grow and change we have this sound,” says Sollee. “There’s everything from fiddle tunes to rock numbers on there.”
Sollee calls the Grocery on Home an inspiration for the album, citing the former grocery store-turned-music-venue’s community-oriented approach to programming as one reason why he wanted to preserve those particular performances.
“The audience and the curator, Matt Arnett, invite folks they love and support them not through traditional ticket sales, but by coming in and having almost a house concert setting,” he says.
That community spirit extends to the sale of the record, too. Physical copies of the album will only be on sale at Louisville’s Heine Brothers Coffee stores (the record is also for sale online). Louisville’sHound Dog Press designed the limited edition letterpress cover, and each purchase includes an extra copy of the CD for the owner to pass along to a friend.
It’s the kind of personal touch that Sollee is known for. His upcoming summer tour, which he embarks on Wednesday with a show at Nashville’s Loveless CafÃ© Barn, will include one of his trademark bike rides, in which he rides his bicycle through small towns and back roads to his next destination, in part to avoid the rush of the anonymous interstate and connect with people on the road.
He’ll leave New York City on May 19 and take five days to ride 300 miles, raising awareness for bike advocacy and environmental sustainability along the way. Sollee will arrive in Washington, D.C. on May 23 to play a show at U-Street Music Hall.