Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore: Dear Companion

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Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore: <em>Dear Companion</em>

Mountain music with a message

Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore have both released twangy, acclaimed solo albums in recent years, and they glide from song to song with smooth harmonies, minimal percussion and delicate string instruments on this debut collaboration.

Produced by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, the record displays golden flecks of rock and bluegrass, mixing well with the steady swell of Sollee’s cello.

The three musicians, all Kentucky natives, tether a genuine concern for their home region to the album, calling attention to the issue of mountaintop removal coal mining that plagues the Appalachians. Far from preachy, tracks like “Only a Song” and “Try” approach these issues through an unmistakably human lens, acknowledging the difficulty of choosing right from wrong. The record and its message simultaneously comfort and provoke.