Get Up, Stand Up

I’ve spent countless hours enjoying Ben Harper.  Certain memories of mine play back with his earnest blues as a personal soundtrack.  I was handed a live disc featuring his work with the Innocent Criminals as an undergrad, and I’ve been a rabid fan since.  It’s that word of mouth push which has fueled his career for the last decade, but collaboration has always seemed to please Harper the most.

His soulful work with the Blind Boys of Alabama was stellar.  And the record with Dhani Harrison as Fistful of Mercy was trippy.  Now, Harper finds himself working side by side with legendary harp player, Charlie Musselwhite, in a pairing that simply makes sense.  Get Up staggers from track to track with the lonely gait of a cowboy who has nowhere left to hide.  And before you know what hit you, it’s up and gone.

Harper nails his signature slide guitar groans while humming impossible vocal harmonies as Musslewhite drenches the room with his howling harp.   It’s the sound of years of experience locking into place and stepping out all over the speakers.  Authentic, weathered and brand new, Get Up is the type of record that comes around every few years then recedes into the depths of your collection.  Perfect to dust off for a rainy day and a bottle of whiskey.


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