Ben Sollee at The Cedar Cultural Center

Respect among the artists was as seamless as the music at the Oct. 30 Ben Sollee and Mother Falcon show. At the intimate, seated show at The Cedar Cultural Center, Kentucky-born cellist Ben Sollee was followed on stage by the many musicians of Mother Falcon, a symphonic rock band from Austin, Texas. As the group of fifteen came on stage with trumpets, saxophones, and string instruments for what effortlessly became a collaborative show, Sollee summed it up: “They just keep coming!”

Photographer: Lauren Cutshall

Photographer: Lauren Cutshall

Instead of playing two separate sets, the artists joined together to play most songs collaboratively. With exceptional balance, Sollee danced on the border of the modern classical he was taught and the R&B he heard growing up. Mother Falcon soared in their dynamic range of full and partial ensemble pieces, consistently matching Claire Puckett’s breathy, ethereal tone with Diana Burgess’ soulful alto, all the while complementing Ben Sollee’s earnest belting.

The sets were well balanced with diverse song choices and a comfortable banter between artists. Nothing stopped them from going off on a musical tangent, but the level of skill on the small stage made for a trustworthy detour. During Sollee’s song, “It’s Not Impossible (Boys Don’t Cry),” he sat across the stage from friend and percussionist Jordan Ellis, as the two played a simple but crisp version of the playful piece. Always thoughtfully precise but never lacking in creativity, they brought the audience along on their musical detour. Overall, the skill on stage was as bright and clear as the sound that echoed from it.