The only way Ben Sollee could have gotten more Kentucky was if he had a horse in the bourbon rick house with him as he performed his rendition of the Stephen Foster classic “My Old Kentucky Home.” The video, which you can see below or by clicking here, has gone viral overnight, and it marks the launch of the cellist’s latest EP, titled Kentucky Spring, 2016.
The slick video shows the refined Sollee sitting alone amongst hundreds of aging Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels in one of its distillery’s rick houses, gently sweeping the bow across the large instrument and singing along to the iconic song. It makes any lover of great bourbon and tender music want to take a seat right at his feet and bask in the sounds and smells emanating from the room.
The EP — which comes out today, May 4, on sonaBLAST! Records — is a pop-up release that also features “Shade of the Spires,” an original Sollee composition written while he was shooting a video at Churchill Downs. According to a press release, he told WFPK that it just came to him as he was taking in the historic surroundings.
“It’s a simple song, but sitting by the first turn of the track, watching the sun turn the shadows of the spires like a clock, I thought of the history of the place,” he said. “I thought of triumphs of athleticism and transcending stories of silks over skin color. I thought of challenges we still need to overcome. And the words just came.”
Sollee begins a 16-date summer tour today that only brings him back to town once — at Jefferson Memorial Forest’s annual Forest Fest on Saturday, May 21.