Going on Tour, Come Say Hey!
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Tomorrow I embark on an 18-day, 16-show tour with Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native. The team has been diligently planning this trip for some time now and I'm proud and pumped to be going on the road with this fantastic band. The music is soulful, creative, folksy, and so much more. It's really a dream project for me to be a part of. 

All of that being said, I'd love to see you at a show! Below is the complete list of tour dates and here's a link to stream/purchase our new record.

*I won't be with the band for the last 4 because I'll be making my way down to IBMA in Raleigh, NC. 

Bennett SullivanComment
Playing with Weird Al

Last Thursday I got a call to play a polka with Weird Al Yankovic on the HBO comedy show, "Last Week Tonight" that weekend. Short notice calls are very common in New York and it can be risky to take if the music needs a lot of practice. I wasn't incredibly familiar with Weird Al's repertoire but after listening to a few of his recent songs, I decided I'd take the gig and hoped it would be manageable.

The music turned out to be pretty simple, the only tricky part being that they probably were looking for a 4 string player. I compensated for that by taking my 5th string off and playing with a flatpick. That aspect of the gig was really fun! 

It was a long 2 days of rehearsing in and out of costume and waiting around, but that's show business! 

Here's a video of us playing "The North Korea Polka" by Weird Al Yankovic:

And here are some photos I took at the studio:

Bennett SullivanComment
Ben Sollee & Kentucky Native

I'm so, so excited to share that I'm joining a band!

Last summer, cellist and songwriter Ben Sollee shot me an email inviting me to chat with him about an idea he had for a stringband. Already being a big fan of his work, I immediately said 'yes.' We hopped on the phone and had a fun and exciting conversation about his thoughts on making a stringband record and tour happen.

Since that convo, the band spent a week in a cabin in the Bernheim research forest in Kentucky to record a badass record. We've been honing the live show vibe by performing here and there over the past couple months and we're getting ready to go on the road this fall!

I'm proud to be a Kentucky Native and I love working with everyone on Ben's team, so I'm looking forward to spending the month of September on the road with these great people. 

Here's the band lineup:

Ben Sollee - Cello

Jordan Ellis - Percussion

Julian Pinelli - Fiddle

Alex Browne - Bass

and me on banjo :)

Currently, Ben is taking pre-orders for the record via a Pledge Music campaign. He and the Pledge Music team have worked incredibly hard to bring you some amazing perks for donating to the campaign. I'd love it if you'd go check it out and lend your support. 

Click here for a full list of our fall tour dates and let me know if we're coming through your town! I'd love to say hey if there is time. 

 

Bennett SullivanComment
Beginner's Q&A

These are a few of the questions we covered in this 30-minute Q&A call for beginners:

1. I can't get off tab and I'm having a hard time playing simple tunes at jam sessions (both melody and chords). What are some ways I can get off tab so I can feel more comfortable when playing with other people?

2. Why use 3 finger picks rather than 4?

3. How long should I practice and how do I structure my routine?

...and more.

Thanks for all of the great questions and it was fun to have everyone there live for the call!

Enrollment for the Beginner's Master Class ends on Dec 5th at midnight. Click here to see the curriculum and sign up!

Bennett SullivanComment