You should try to find his first album, Welcome to the Cruel World. Its a little more melancholy and the recording is less than stellar, but it feels more sincere. He also does some pretty slick work with a Weissenborn, a lap-style acoustic slide guitar.
If you like Ben, you should try Keb' Mo or Jack Johnson. Great blues-based acoustic guitar.
Happy Listening, Mark
new live from mars by ben. also check out adrian legg,
don ross, and jesse cook. kurt
Excellent musical choice. Ben Harper's second album, "Fight For Your Mind", is a classic album. It is harder and harder to find great albums. I can tell you that I am now listening to Aimee Mann's "Bachelor Number Two", Willie Nelson's "Teatro", Gomez's "Liquid Skin" and "Bring It On", and Elvis Costello's "All This Useless Beauty". Check out the first Son Volt album, "Trace" and the last two Uncle Tupelo albums, "Anodyne" and "March 15-23 1992". Happy Listening.
I like Ben's first two best. "Welcome to the Cruel World" and "Fight for Your Mind". The remainder have much less soul and therefore do less for me. I hope he returns to his earlier style one day.
i'm with redkiwi on this one (BTW, good to see your monikor again). ben harper started his career in the republic of boulder, colo. (just up the road..... err, turnpike, a piece). his early work was acoustic, "new folk" of the variety that includes, for example, ani difranco and greg brown. i'm fortunate to have some of his solo performances recorded at e-town and studio c. of his latest work, i greatly enjoy "steal my kisses." sounds great on fm but, alas, is not really well recorded. a good friend of mine who's known ben for many years played for me recently an unreleased lp master of ben on solo, acoustic - WOW! he wouldn't entertain an offer. -kelly
I love "Welcome to the Cruel World". I haven't been impressed since. Something about the ease and simplicity there. For me, it is missing on the later releases.
Based on this thread I picked up "Welcome to the cruel world" SWEET!!!
here's some news on ben harper i just heard yesterday. laura dern is carrying his child. what a fascinating couple. and what a fascinating woman, skipping from billy bob thorton to ben. ('course billy bob's now hangin' with ms. jolie.) america, what a country! -kelly
Cornfed, The way I see it. If I can learn to jam like Ben maybe I can be next in line for what's sneakin out the back door at Billy Bob's house. OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!!!!
Thanks for all for your input.
Glad to see somone turned onto Ben Harper after reading here.
I still like Will to Live a lot after extensive listening and I do like all his older albums too. I don't have his two newest, but the live cd sounds promising, and will pick it up hopefully cheaper somewhere.
Kelly, wow, who's your buddy? He is very lucky to have that special master LP!
Saw him on Austin City Limits and was dually impressed!
I recently picked up "There will be a light" - which features Ben Harper with the Blind Boys of Alabama. Absolutley fantastic. I was not familiar with Ben Harper before and bought the CD based on my familiarity with the Blind Boys. I will definitely seek out some more stuff by Harper.
I've been into Ben Harper for a little over a year, when my Brother in Law introduced me to his music.
Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama has had a simialr effect on me, Cruz123, except that it has turned me onto the Blind Boys ... I am now collecting their music.
Do you have any suggestions for Blind Boys music that has good sonics?
Saw Ben and The I.C's. on two occasions in '99 and again in 2000 in Asheville NC. He's way better in concert than on record. Plays nearly the whole concert seated and plays electric on lap and acoustic the usual way. He's also very into rare and exotic electric guitars.The band is currently touring out and about so do go see them if you can!
Ben Harper makes a great contribution to the wonderful movie "Standing in the Shadows." Worth a look. He gets the Marvin Gaye songs.
If you like home theatre and Ben Harper, rush right out and buy LAIRD on DVD.
Ben Harper's "Faded" is cranked in one of the opening scenes of giant wave surfing.
I have watched this at least 20 times and it is still jaw droppingly amazing.
I think there is at least one other Ben Harper track on this DVD.
Thanks for all of the wonderful recommendations, guys.