BEN HARPER & THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA : : THERE WILL BE A LIGHT

A twist of fate had Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama sharing the stage for the first time at the 2001 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Three years later, these two forces hit the studio and religiously recorded There Will Be A Light in a span of eight days. This joint effort produced an organic album of pure gospel and soul, spiritually reflecting human nature's mind-body-soul relation with lyrics expressing trust, faith, forgiveness, sorrow, hope, and love.

Harper and the Blind Boys' front man, Clarence Fountain, collaborate in stripping down the delta classic "Satisfied Mind" to an emotionally deep-throated blues and lay out a smooth grit in the title track "There Will Be A Light." Harper's branded Weissenborn guitar wah-wahs and cries in "Wicked Man" while his dobro-esque Resonator slides the album's most natural tune, a lonesome cover of Bob Dylan and Danny O'Keefe's "Well, Well, Well." "A Mother's Prayer" tenderly rolls the sweat down your back with the Blind Boys delving deep into soul, delivering an ethereal harmony behind this delicate a cappella cover. Ben patiently arrives at "Church On Time" with a tambourine intro nutshelling the album='s homily: get your "soul in line."

With The Innocent Criminals' support, There Will Be A Light fuses these musicians' experience of American roots--delta blues, gospel, R&B, jazz, funk, folk, and good ol' rock 'n' roll. Atheist or not, this creation's divine musical power will light your spirit.

Sara Beiting
JamBase | Worldwide
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[Published on: 9/26/04]

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