Latest Ben Harper Articles
Singer-songwriter Ben Harper unveiled a new single entitled “Uneven Days” along with a video for the track.
Watch Mavis Staples and Ben Harper perform “Change” on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live.’
Listen to Mavis Staples’ new Ben Harper-produced album ‘We Get By’ via NPR Music’s ‘First Listen’ series.
Watch Mavis Staples and Ben Harper duet on the title track from her upcoming album ‘We Get By.’
Listen to Mavis Staples’ “Anytime,” a song from her forthcoming collaborative album with Ben Harper.
Watch Ben Harper and ‘American Idol’ Top 20 contestant Alejandro Aranda team up on “There Will Be A Light” during a recent episode of the music competition show.
More Ben Harper Articles
Latest Ben Harper Setlist
Ben Harper at Rockhal Main Hall
- The Will to Live
- Burn One Down
- Whipping Boy
- Fight for Your Mind
- Them Changes
- Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart)
- Please Bleed
- Untitled Instrumental
- Trust You to Dig My Grave
- Walk Away
- Call It What It Is
- Who Is He (And What Is He To You?)
- Machine Gun
- Better Way
- Diamonds on the Inside
- Steal My Kisses
- Jah Work
- Welcome To The Cruel World
About Ben Harper
Combining funky, groove-laden soul with handcrafted acoustic folk-rock, Ben Harper enjoyed cult status during the course of the ’90s before gaining wider attention toward the decade’s end. As a young artist, he drew his influences from classic singer/songwriters, blues revivalists, guitar slingers, and jam bands like Blues Traveler and Phish, which meant he was embraced by critics and college kids alike. Despite finding commercial success with the radio single “Steal My Kisses” in 2000, Harper continued to explore different (and often challenging) musical textures during the 21st century, enjoying a solid fan base at home and a considerable amount of fame in Europe, where was named 2003’s Artist of the Year by the French branch of Rolling Stone.
A native of California, Harper grew up listening to blues, folk, soul, R&B, and reggae. He started playing guitar as a child and began to perform regularly as a preteen. During his adolescence, he focused heavily on the acoustic slide guitar, which eventually became his signature instrument. Harper scored a deal with Virgin Records in 1992 after maintaining steady schedule of shows in the L. A. area; two years later, he released his debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World, to positive reviews.
Released in 1995, the politically heavy Fight for Your Mind made for a strong sophomore effort, an obvious growth in musical experimentation and individual declamation. It was also the songwriter’s first record to later reach gold status. Harper’s third album, 1997’s The Will to Live, pushed his blues-oriented alternative folk into the middle mainstream, becoming a mainstay at college radio and making inroads at adult alternative radio. Recorded over two years of touring in support of Fight for Your Mind, The Will to Live also introduced the Innocent Criminals, Harper’s longstanding backup band. The Innocent Criminals — bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Dean Butterworth, and percussionist David Leach — helped solidify Harper’s musical rhythms and emotional diversity over the years to come.
Harper’s career gained momentum during 1998 and 1999. One of his most successful albums to date, 1999’s Burn to Shine, blended his fondness of ’20s jazz compositions with urban beatboxing, resulting in a clever and passionate collection of songs. “Steal My Kisses” and “Suzie Blue” were radio favorites, landing him two headlining world tours and an opening spot on the Dave Matthews Band’s annual summer trek in 2000. The following spring, Harper issued Live from Mars, a double disc of live electric and acoustic material spanning the previous year’s tour and including covers of material by Led Zeppelin, the Verve, and Marvin Gaye.
Harper dove into worldbeat on his fifth studio effort, Diamonds on the Inside, which appeared in March 2003. He toured through Europe the following year with the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the two acts entered Capitol Records’ basement studios after the tour’s commencement to lay down ten tracks together. The resulting collaborative album (issued under the names of both Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama), There Will Be a Light, was released in September 2004, followed by the concert CD/DVD package Live at the Apollo in 2005.
Eager to release more material, Harper reconvened with the Innocent Criminals and issued the double album Both Sides of the Gun in March 2006. The album reached number seven on the Billboard album charts and rose to number one in Australia. While touring in support of the record, Harper and company began playing a new slew of songs during their evening soundchecks, eventually decamping to Paris and recording the new material within one week. This resulted in two records — Lifeline and Live at Twist and Shout Records — both of which were issued in 2007. For his 2009 album White Lies for Dark Times, Harper recorded with the band Relentless7, the members of whom had previously worked with Harper on the track “Serve Your Soul” from Both Sides of the Gun. Harper and the Relentless7 recorded Live from the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July 2009 and released the album early the following year. Afterwards, Harper began working on his first solo album in years, using Jackson Browne’s basement as a recording studio and collaborating with Ringo Starr on two tracks. The album’s first single, “Rock n’ Roll Is Free,” was released during the early spring of 2011, followed two months later by the full-length Give Till It’s Gone.
The String Cheese Incident will perform at Denver’s new Mission Ballroom as part of the band’s home state Thanksgiving Run 2019.
Watch Bob Weir appear onstage – on a couch – during Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s performance at the Lockn’ festival Thursday night.
Stream Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio’s new single “Sunset Days” from the documentary film ‘Between Me And My Mind.’
Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio joined Khruangbin for a lengthy sit-in at the opening night of Lockn’ 2019.
Watch a free live stream from the 2019 Lockn’ festival in Arrington, Virginia.