Meet the Band: Daniel Martin Moore and Ben Sollee

Now what?
  • "Now what?"

Guest blogger Danielle Sills from No Mistake in Mixtape is getting ready for tomorrow's Daniel Martin Moore and Ben Sollee concert at the Beachland Tavern by talking to Moore. Here's her Q&A with the singer-songwriter.

Sub Pop sent me an album by Daniel Martin Moore and Ben Sollee about a month ago. It's called Dear Companion. Popping in the album with no expectations — I'd never heard of either of these guys before — I was overwhelmed by its sound. I was brought back home to Appalachia, where I'd spent the previous four years of my life. Not only is the music beautiful, but it's touching. The proceeds for the album go to bringing awareness to mountaintop removal mining, a horrible environmental clustercuss that you hear about in the news every day if you live in that region.

A noble cause, sure, but if the music stunk, I wouldn't listen. Not the case. The album reaches from good ol' Appalachian folk to singer-songwriter (think Mason Jennings, Jack Johnson, Matt Costa) to absolutely gorgeous instrumentals ("Wilson Creek," holy crap). You can listen to the whole album, streaming on their site.

I did a little interview with Daniel Martin Moore, and if you're in the good old land of Cleve like I am, I suggest you make it out to the show. —Danielle Sills

How did you and Ben find each other to team up for Dear Companion?
Myspace -- can you believe it? Ben heard the song “Flyrock Blues," and sent me an email about meeting up the next time I came through Lexington, where he lives. I had just scheduled an in-store at CD Central, their indie record store, for the next week. So, we had a good long talk about music and Kentucky, and that conversation laid the whole foundation for this record and tour. Chalk it all up to the modern world.

What first brought up the issue of mountaintop removal? Did you know from the start that album proceeds would go to Appalachian Voices to halt MTR?
It was something that we were both thinking a lot about, and writing about, and we both felt and still feel that it's too much of a hidden cost of the way we all live. Chalk that up to the modern world, too. ‘Cause MTR is not only poisoning people and destroying land, it's also destroying our cultural heritage. When our homeland is gone, we lose the place and the community that gives us our identity. We wanted to make sure that as many folks found out about it as possible. We hadn't settled on a group to partner with yet, but as time went on, it became apparent that Appalachian Voices was the one. They have powerful tools and knowledge freely available on their website,, and do more to raise awareness than any other group.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.