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LISTEN: Ben Sollee, ‘Eva Kelley’

Jul 19, 2017

LISTEN: Ben Sollee, 'Eva Kelley'

Artist: Ben Sollee
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Song: “Eva Kelley”
Album: Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native
Release Date: August 11, 2017
Label: Soundly Music

In Their Words: “I think the last song I heard about a tug boat was ‘Steamboat Whistle Blues’ by John Hartford. But in Louisville, they are always chugging by, pushing coal, grain, and stone. They are hard-working machines with hard-working crews. So, I guess it’s remarkable that I’ve gone this long without writing a song about one.

Early in 2016, after a week of heavy rain, the Ohio River was running high. It was muddy, full of debris, and dangerous-looking … all kinds of reasons to stay home. But there she was, a white and green tug boat, pushing eight barges of coal against the current. The name of the boat was Eva Kelley. It was such a visual poem. In the context of climate change and the declining coal industry, here was this tough machine pushing against everything to make a living. She and her crew know a certain way of life and it’s all changing … whether they like or not.” — Ben Sollee

Photo credit: Mallory Cunningham

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LISTEN: Ben Sollee, 'Eva Kelley'
LISTEN: Ben Sollee, 'Eva Kelley'