A common cause brought musicians Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore together with producer Yim Yames (aka Jim James of My Morning Jacket): the effort to put an end to the destructive Mountaintop Removal method of coal mining in central Appalachia. All three Kentucky natives composed the new Sub Pop release, Dear Companion, around this central theme. And recently, Sollee and Moore have been touring the album, bringing along string player and fellow Kentuckian Cheyenne Marie and percussionist/foot stomper Dan Dorff, in attempt to spread the word about MTR coal mining. In fact, all proceeds from the album are going toward iLoveMountains.org, a national campaign to find solutions for the destructive process. While not overtly political or message driven, the story-filled songs grow directly out of the Appalachian heritage and speak to the treasures there beyond the wealth of coal.
In-studio, the four musicians performed songs from Dear Companion — Ben on cello, Daniel on guitar, Cheyenne on violin, and Dan on snare and stomp board — in a heartfelt and beautiful set. Check out the videos from the session and learn more about the effects of MTR mining here.
View more of Brittney Bush Bollay’s photos from the session here.