Ben Harper has been putting out a mix of blues, soul, reggae and funk for almost 20 years. He has released over twelve albums of studio and live recordings and has formed numerous bands throughout his career. On October 5th he will play an intimate night of music at the Boston Opera House, a show sure to showcase his gifted voice and beautiful guitar work. Harper first came into the public with his debut album Welcome to the Cruel World, featuring his excellent work as a multi-instrumentalist and singer. His songs about torment, freedom and religion showed his passion not just for love songs but his interest in the state of human beings throughout the world. After this album he began to use what would become his longtime touring band, The Innocent Criminals and they put out a series of albums from Burn to Shine to Diamonds On the Inside to the excellent live album Live from Mars. In 2004 he put out both a studio and live album with the acclaimed Gospel vocal group The Blind Boys of Alabama. The studio album There Will Be a Light, went on to win two Grammy’s. He has achieved tremendous success overseas particularly in Australia, France and New Zealand and is know for his humanitarian work.
In 2008 he revealed his new band, Relentless 7 and released two albums with them 2009’s White Lies for Dark Times and 2011’s Give Till It’s Gone. Both albums feature a more rock based approach as opposed to the more eclectic side of The Innocent Criminals and both albums were met with favorable reviews. But, aside from the numerous bands he has created Harper has put out an incredible catalog of music. His versatility as a musician and a songwriter have placed him in the upper echelon of singers. His use of the Weissenborn guitar, a lap-steel slide guitar, set his instrumentation apart from the rest of his peers. Songs such as “Number Three”, Morning Yearning”, “Roses From My Friends” and “Please Me Like You Want To” show his penchant for quiet acoustic numbers that involve intricate picking or his wonderful use of the slide. Fans of this sound can be joyed to see him bring this side to such an intimate setting as the Boston Opera House.
Tickets for this almost sold out show, as well as other appearances can be purchased here.
Here’s Ben Harper performing one of his most beloved songs, “Waiting On An Angel”.