Ben Harper is a versatile American singer and songwriter, most popular for albums such as Give Till It’s Gone and Diamonds on the Inside. Besides being a gifted singer, he is an ace guitarist and plays an eclectic mix of soul, blues, reggae, folk and rock genres.
Ben Harper tours extensively and frequently. His popularity is spread across continents. He enjoys a strong following in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the US. In his career so far, the musician has won three prestigious Grammys in categories including Best Blues Album, Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album and Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Some critics are of the view that had he not experimented too much with his music, he would have bagged much more awards.
Harper is gearing up to hit the road very soon. If you want to enjoy the multi-talented musician’s live performance, wait no more to book your Ben Harper tickets.
Benjamin Chase Harper was born on October 28, 1969, in Pomona, California. He belonged to a family with a strong music background. His maternal grandparents established the Folk Music Center and Museum which laid the foundation of blues and folk for Harper. His mother was a trained singer and guitarist, while his father a percussionist.
As a child, Harper learnt to play the guitar himself. He was exposed to a variety of genres and found himself particularly inclined towards blues. He studied blues music from the famous musician Robert Johnson and began playing sets during his teens. Harper initially played the slide guitar, emulating Johnson’s style. However later, he refined his technique and switched to the Weissenborn slide guitar.
Harper’s big break came when legendary bluesman Taj Mahal invited Ben to tour Hawaii. The young aspiring musician performed alongside Taj Mahal on a TV show and even collaborated on his album Follow the Drinking Gourd in 1990.
In the year 1992, Harper recorded an LP titled Pleasure and Pain with renowned American multi-instrumentalist and folk singer, Tom Freund. After this limited edition record, Harper earned a career long contract with Virgin Records. He released his first album titled Welcome to the Cruel World via the label in 1994. The album established him as a popular folk music artist in California. The recognition earned him an invite to perform at the annual three-day festival, Rencontres Trans Musicales of Rennes in December of 1993. This was the first time he performed on a big stage.
The debut studio album was followed by Fight For Your Mind in 1995. Featuring Juan Nelson on bass, in this collection the singer attempted to blend in the folk, reggae, rock, heavy metal and rock genres. The response was positive both from the critics and the audience. The album became a college radio favorite and included numerous songs that the singer still plays frequently when performing live.
Two years later in 1997, Ben Harper treated the fans with his third studio album titled The Will to Live. Comprising an eclectic collection of songs, the record showcases Harper’s versatility in the most apt way. No two songs on the album fit the same category. The singer delves into the funk, gospel, soul and blues genres, making the record varied and appealing to a wide range of audience. The Will to Live spawned the singer’s first UK Top 75 single Faded. It remains Harper’s only UK single entry.
In 1999, Ben Harper released his fifth studio album Burn to Shine. Again, in this record, the musician has played with a variety of genres, including soul, rock, folk and blues. Its songs Suzie Blue and Steal My Kisses were major radio hits. The album reached the 67th spot on the Billboard 200.
In Harper’s 2003 studio record Diamonds on the Inside, most of the songs were written by the musician himself. The album hit the nineteenth spot on the Billboard 200 and received double Platinum certification in New Zealand and Australia. For this album, Harper added guitarist Nicky Panicci to his backing band. Although the band had been playing with Harper since a long time by then, this album was the first time that another musician (Nicky Panicci) shared credentials on Harper’s album. The guitarist toured alongside Harper for the promotional Diamonds on the Inside Tour for nearly a year. After Panicci left, Marc Ford took up his place in the band.
In 2004 Ben Harper released a gospel album in collaboration with the Grammy winning gospel group, The Blind Boys of Alabama. Titled There Will Be Light, the record won Harper and the group a Grammy for the Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album. Harper won another Grammy in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Performance for its track 11th Commandment.
The singer’s next two music albums Both Sides of the Gun and Lifelines released in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Both reached the Top 10 on the Billboard’s albums chart. Harper then released his 2009 album White Lies for Dark Times with the band Relentless7.
The singer’s tenth studio album Give Till It’s Gone came out in May, 2011. It was his first solo record since Both Sides of the Gun in 2006. However his band relentless7 (formed by Harper in 2008) featured prominently on all the tracks and even co-wrote some of the songs with Harper. The record title is taken from a line in its second song I Will Not Be Broken.
Ben Harper Tour Tickets
Ben Harper’s most recent album release is Call It What It Was. It hit the music stores in April, 2016 and reached the nineteenth spot on the US Billboard 200.
In 2003, Harper was named Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone. The singer has also made an appearance in the David Lynch directed mystery film, Inland Empire.
Harper is gearing up for a series of live performances in 2018. If you want to attend his show in your city, grab Ben Harper tour tickets at the earliest.