Ben Harper Details New Album ‘Bloodline Maintenance’ & Shares Single

Check out the lyric video for the lead single from Harper’s new LP.

By Nate Todd Jun 15, 2022 9:18 am PDT

Ben Harper will issue a new album, Bloodline Maintenance, on July 22 via Chrysalis Records, his debut on the label. The singer-songwriter also shared the lead single, “We Need To Talk About It.”

Bloodline Maintenance is the follow-up to Harper’s 2020 instrumental album, Winter Is For Lovers, and a 2018 collaborative album, No Mercy In This Land, with blues harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite. Bloodline Maintenance is the singer-songwriter’s first non-instrumental solo album since 2016’s Call It What It Is.

The new record sees Harper reflecting on the loss of his father. The personal nature of the subject matter led Ben to perform most of the album himself — playing guitar, bass, drums and percussion.

“It was like I was moving forward and venturing into places I had never been before,” Harper said of working on Bloodline Maintenance. “Taking everything I’ve learned from every other record and kind of setting fire to it all and starting over. And I knew the sounds I was hearing in my head were so unorthodox that I had to do most of it myself.”

Harper also plays his signature lap steel and experimented with a new tone he says is “a sort of a merging of Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix.” The guitarist’s lap steel can be heard on the new single, “We Need To Talk About It,” which Harper debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday among other songs from the new album in an off air segment posted online. Harper co-produced the track with Grammy-winning engineer Sheldon Gomberg.

“Propelled by Harper’s blisteringly funky guitar, ‘We Need To Talk About It’ defiantly addresses the wounds of slavery through a sharp-edged call-and-response with gospel-fueled backing vocals and pounding rhythms augmented by the distinctive sound of the African talking drum,” press materials for the new single noted.

Listen to “We Need To Talk About It” in the lyric video below:

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Bloodline Maintenance Tracklist:

  1. Below Sea Level
  2. We Need to Talk About It
  3. Where Did We Go Wrong
  4. Problem Child
  5. Need to Know Basis
  6. It Ain’t No Use
  7. More Than Love
  8. Smile at the Mention
  9. Honey, Honey
  10. Knew the Day Was Comin’
  11. Maybe I Can’t
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