Saturday, February 09, 2013

Ben Harper With Charlie Musslewhite - Get Up (Stax/Concord, 2013)

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Ben Harper has had an excellent career both as a solo artist and a leader of his Innocent Criminals band. He has investigated many genres from rock to funk to reggae, but all the while the blues has been at the core of his music. Looking to investigate this path even further he invited harmonica legend Charlie Musslewhite to join him on an album that investigates all of the facets of the blues. Harper has always been a very thoughtful songwriter and this album is no different, featuring the likes of "It Can't End This Way" with its soaring gospel feeling and the stark, haunting anti-war ballad "I Ride at Dawn." the blistering "I Don't Believe a Word You Say" has Harper's storming electric guitar, with Mussleshite's swooping harp riding shotgun as he calls out liars and thieves. "All That Matters Now" and "You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend)" strip back the music back to acoustic guitar and harmonica, and Harper's deeply expressive voice. This album worked very well, Harper and Musslewhite developed a complementary musical relationship that brought out the best in the music and lyrics and made them quite powerful. Get Up! -

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