Opera House: Wood Bros.+ Ben Sollee, 12/11

Opera House: Wood Bros.+ Ben Sollee, 12/11

The Sheridan Arts Foundation and Ride Festival present Americana rockers The Wood Brothers live in concert on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 8 p.m. They will be joined by opening act Ben Sollee. Tickets are $25 general admission on the floor; $35 reserved seats in the balcony.* Tickets are on sale here or by calling 970-728-6363 ext. 5 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Scroll down for links to The Wood Brothers & Ben Sollee in action. Note: Tickets are selling out very fast. You snooze. You definitely lose.


Dubbed “masters of soulful folk” by Paste Magazine, The Wood Brothers released their debut studio album, Ways Not to Lose, in 2006. You would be forgiven at the time for expecting it to be something of a side project. Chris Wood already had legions of devoted fans for his incomparable work as one-third of Medeski Martin & Wood, while brother Oliver toured with Tinsley Ellis before releasing a half-dozen albums with his band, King Johnson. Almost 10 years later, and with drummer Jano Rix added as a permanent third member, it has become quite clear The Wood Brothers is indeed the main act.

A stalwart on the Americana scene, the Wood Brothers spend most of their nights singing to strangers, something they have become addicted to — not for attention it draws, but rather for the connection they feel with their audience.

And it is this desire for human connection that shaped the songs on their latest album, Paradise, released in 2015. The album is the trio’s most rocking and collaborative collection to date and features a number of firsts for the band: first recording session at Dan Auerbach’s East Eye Sound; first time they have written an album collectively with all three members in the same room; and first of the band’s records to feature bassist Chris Wood on electric bass.

Paradise follows the band’s acclaimed 2013 release, The Muse, which was recorded almost entirely live around a tree of microphones in Zac Brown’s Southern Ground studio. Hailed previously by the New York Times for their “gripping vocals” and by the LA Times for their “taught musicianship,” the brothers found the live setting to be a remarkable showcase for their live chemistry and charismatic magnetism.

The Wood Brothers played Telluride’s Ride Music Festival in 2014 and wowed audiences. The Sheridan Arts Foundation is collaborating with the Ride Festival team to bring this impressive band back to town for winter audiences.

Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee has also been to Telluride playing at Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

For listeners just discovering Sollee’s music, you will find there’s a lot more to it than songs. Over the six years following the release of his debut record, Learning to Bend, Sollee has told an unconventional story with his rugged cello playing. Seeking a deeper connection to communities on the road, he first packed his touring life onto his bicycle in 2009. Since then he has ridden over 4,000 miles from show to show. He has been invited to perform and speak on sustainability at a number of festivals including South by Southwest Music (2011) and TEDx San Diego (2012). He also wrote the score for the documentary film “Maidentrip.”

Like his contemporaries Chris Thile and Abigail Washburn, Sollee’s music is difficult to pin down. Following a performance at the Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, The New York Times remarked how Sollee’s “…meticulous, fluent arrangements continually morphed from one thing to another. Appalachian mountain music gave way to the blues, and one song was appended with a fragment from a Bach cello suite, beautifully played.” It is Ben’s quality of narrative and presence on stage that unifies his musical influences.

However, always on the move, Sollee’s musical career has expanded beyond the stage into film and TV.

Shows like ABC’s “Parenthood” and HBO’s “Weeds” have placed featured Sollee’s music. In 2013, he was invited by director Mark Steven Johnson to write a song for the film “Killing Season” starring John Travolta and Robert De Niro. Sollee has also has written music for ballet, most recently performing with the North Carolina Dance Theater in the world premiere of “Dangerous Liaisons” and is currently at work on scores for several pieces of theatre. He continues touring, including headlining dates throughout the United States in fall 2014. Sollee recently returned from his first solo tour of Europe, which took him to three countries to play 11 shows in two weeks.

The SHOW Bar will open at 7 p.m.  

*Does not include $4 ticketing fee.

Go here to listen to The Woods Brothers.

And here to hear Ben Sollee.

The Sheridan Arts Foundation was founded in 1991 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to preserve the historic Sheridan Opera House as an arts and cultural resource for the Telluride community, to bring quality arts and cultural events to Telluride and to provide local and national youth with access and exposure to the arts through education. The Sheridan Arts Foundation is sponsored in part by grants from the Telluride Foundation, CCAASE and Just For Kids.

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