Ben Harper Information
The singer/songwriter/musician Ben Harperâ€™s music is eclectic, including sounds from of blues, folk, soul, reggae, and rock. In addition to singing, Harper plays an array of instruments that include the electric guitar, lap steel guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, piano, bass guitar, drums, percussion, and vibes.
Playing guitar since he was a child, Harper was influenced early on by his grandparentsâ€™ taste in music as they owned a record store. In 2003, he was named Franceâ€™s Rolling Stone Artist of the Year, and he has two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album. He has a total of 11 studio albums and four live albums. He also has another album in his collection, As I Call You Down.
His debut album, Pleasure and Pain, came in 1992 with Cardas Records. He signed with Virgin Records shortly after and released all of his subsequent albums since then, including his first, Welcome To The Cruel World in 1994.
In 2002, he performed as part of a Marvin Gaye documentary and in 2004, was part of the Vote for Change concert. He recorded a song, â€œOppression,â€ for Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi as well as a rendition of John Lennonâ€™s â€œBeautiful Boyâ€ on the benefit cd, Instant Karma: the Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. In 2005, he met members of the new band he would form, Relentless7. They performed on the Daily Show as well as The Tonight Show with Conan Oâ€™Brien.
He formed a new band, Fistful of Mercy, in 2010, releasing the album, As I Call You Down. His most recent studio album, Give Till Itâ€™s Gone, came out in May 2011. Harper performs around the world. He will tour Europe over the summer before coming back to the U.S. in the fall. He comes to Bostonâ€™s Opera House on October 5 and Northamptonâ€™s Calvin Theatre October 7.