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Ben Harper

Grammy Award-winning Singer & Songwriter

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 Ben Harper Biography

A native of California, he grew up listening to blues, folk, soul, RnB, and reggae. Harper's blend of groove-laden funky soul and folky handcrafted acoustics helped him to gain cult status during the course of the 1990s and widespread attention toward the end of the decade.

"It all goes back to that John Lee Hooker session," enthused Ben Harper. "Even John Lee mentioned it, saying: yeah, yeah, you guys that's good. Yeah, yeah. You should stay with that. Do that.'"

Mississippi born Musselwhite is one of the most revered blues musicians in the world. The harmonica master, also a respected singer and songwriter in his own right, has won countless awards during his legendary career including induction into the Blues Hall of Fame and collaborated with innumerable musical giants of the past 50 years including Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder and the aforementioned Hooker, just to name to name a few.

A fan of the harmonica virtuoso since childhood, Harper begged an introduction to his idol at Australia's Bryon Bay Blues Festival in 1996. Despite the difference in age and background, the two hit it off immediately. The next pivotal moment came at a 1997 session for John Lee Hooker where they locked in musically, finding a common language that is seamless and remarkable.

Since then, the two musicians have worked together often, most notably on sessions for Musselwhite's 2004 Grammy-nominated album Sanctuary, where they recorded Harper's "Homeless Child," and on a limited edition bonus disc of the Harper CD, "Both Sides of the Gun" from 2006. The two have performed live together a dozen times, with each concert lightning in a bottle. The more they played, the louder Hooker's words echoed.

In the grand but all-too-rare tradition of full-album artist collaborations, Get Up! (Stax/Concord Music Group) featuring Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite is a modern blues classic. The release, Harper's 12th studio album, surveys gospel, roots, country and R&B; the marriage's fluid chemistry helping his multi-layered canvas expand as never before.

"Blues is a feeling," Musselwhite points out. "It doesn't have to be a certain chord change. You could have 1-4-5 chord changes without that feeling and it wouldn't be the blues. B.B. King could sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and it would be the blues."

Harper, Musselwhite and the band (guitarist Jason Mozersky, bassist Jesse Ingalls, and drummer Jordan Richardson) play this intense and emotional song-cycle with economical grit. Produced by Harper with co-production credits going to engineer Sheldon Gomberg, the band members and Grammy winning roots music producer Chris Goldsmith, Get Up! has a timeless feel, as if it had been recorded 40 years ago in Chicago at Chess Studios just as easily as the Carriage House in Los Angeles.

Opening with "Don't Look Twice" Harper echoes Blind Lemon Jefferson, vocalizing in a high octave falsetto. The swaggering electric blues of "I'm In I'm Out and I'm Gone" comes next, the spirit of Muddy Waters no doubt smiling from beyond the grave.

"To me it's one of the crown jewels of the album," Harper says of "I'm In I'm Out And I'm Gone." "I am just going to go on record and say it. I think it contains one of the greatest harmonica solos in history. It's straight ahead but that's elusive. It's hard to do something straight ahead and make it sound fresh."

The fearsome "Blood Side Out" finds Harper portraying a man pushed past his breaking point. Both the blunt guitar solo and the emotive harmonica capture the frustration and manic energy of someone who's been on the short end of the stick too many times.

There's plenty of defiance on Get Up! and also tender heartache. Case in point the poignant acoustic guitar and harmonica duet of "You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend.)" Featuring poetic lyrics, the song's three short verses detail a painful break-up, vividly embodied in Musselwhite's brilliant accompaniment. "I've played with John Lee, Solomon Burke and Taj Mahal, and one of my greatest musical moments is playing that song with Charlie," Harper says.

"I Don't Believe a Word You Say," is an angry blast of electric blues that could be directed at anyone who hasn't lived up to their promises, be it lover or politician. "I could fit those words to political imagery and it would almost work better than matters of the heart," Harper points out.

A rollicking New Orleans piano highlights "She Got Kick", an unambiguous testimonial to the ultimate control of the opposite sex. Things go further out on "We Can't End This Way," a heavenly synthesis of acoustic blues and gospel written in three-quarter time. In lesser hands it would have been a mess of good intentions but here the music is simply a celebration teeming with life.

Anchored by a pulsating groove, the band goes just as far in a different direction on "Get Up!" the title track. "That song was written around a killer baseline that Jessie had," Harper explains. "It's tempting to throw everything but the kitchen sink on top of it, but we left it sparse. Powerful. "

The haunting battle hymn, "I Ride at Dawn", dedicated to departed Navy SEAL Nicholas P. Spehar, the brother of a friend, is a harrowing look at a modern day warrior preparing for duty. "Real blues has depth and substance," Musselwhite points out. "It's not just tunes that are tossed off. These songs are all from the heart, more so than from the head. More than just music, they are reflections of life."

The album ends with the uplifting "All That Matters Now." The song is a reconciliation of sorts after the album's emotional journey. "I was in the production booth, in total producer mode trying to figure out where to go next," recalls Harper. "And I hear Charlie and Jason messing around in the studio with this deep groove. I heard it and told my engineer to roll tape. Don't go fix the mic, just roll tape. There's people talking and walking through the room, but it doesn't matter."

Recorded down and dirty, fast and live, Get Up! is an old school creation. This kind of musical chemistry demanded the approach. But its attitude, brash, assertive, disarming and vulnerable, is defiantly modern. This is a record Harper has always aspired to make but knew required the essential life experience. Get Up! proves it's been time well spent.

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FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Ben Harper?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Ben Harper for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Ben Harper, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Ben Harper or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Ben Harper?

    Booking fees for Ben Harper, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Ben Harper, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Ben Harper?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Ben Harper for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Ben Harper for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Ben Harper or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Ben Harper or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

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Ben Harper

Grammy Award-winning Singer & Songwriter

Travels From:
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Speaking Fee:

Ben Harper Biography

A native of California, he grew up listening to blues, folk, soul, RnB, and reggae. Harper's blend of groove-laden funky soul and folky handcrafted acoustics helped him to gain cult status during the course of the 1990s and widespread attention toward the end of the decade.

"It all goes back to that John Lee Hooker session," enthused Ben Harper. "Even John Lee mentioned it, saying: yeah, yeah, you guys that's good. Yeah, yeah. You should stay with that. Do that.'"

Mississippi born Musselwhite is one of the most revered blues musicians in the world. The harmonica master, also a respected singer and songwriter in his own right, has won countless awards during his legendary career including induction into the Blues Hall of Fame and collaborated with innumerable musical giants of the past 50 years including Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder and the aforementioned Hooker, just to name to name a few.

A fan of the harmonica virtuoso since childhood, Harper begged an introduction to his idol at Australia's Bryon Bay Blues Festival in 1996. Despite the difference in age and background, the two hit it off immediately. The next pivotal moment came at a 1997 session for John Lee Hooker where they locked in musically, finding a common language that is seamless and remarkable.

Since then, the two musicians have worked together often, most notably on sessions for Musselwhite's 2004 Grammy-nominated album Sanctuary, where they recorded Harper's "Homeless Child," and on a limited edition bonus disc of the Harper CD, "Both Sides of the Gun" from 2006. The two have performed live together a dozen times, with each concert lightning in a bottle. The more they played, the louder Hooker's words echoed.

In the grand but all-too-rare tradition of full-album artist collaborations, Get Up! (Stax/Concord Music Group) featuring Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite is a modern blues classic. The release, Harper's 12th studio album, surveys gospel, roots, country and R&B; the marriage's fluid chemistry helping his multi-layered canvas expand as never before.

"Blues is a feeling," Musselwhite points out. "It doesn't have to be a certain chord change. You could have 1-4-5 chord changes without that feeling and it wouldn't be the blues. B.B. King could sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and it would be the blues."

Harper, Musselwhite and the band (guitarist Jason Mozersky, bassist Jesse Ingalls, and drummer Jordan Richardson) play this intense and emotional song-cycle with economical grit. Produced by Harper with co-production credits going to engineer Sheldon Gomberg, the band members and Grammy winning roots music producer Chris Goldsmith, Get Up! has a timeless feel, as if it had been recorded 40 years ago in Chicago at Chess Studios just as easily as the Carriage House in Los Angeles.

Opening with "Don't Look Twice" Harper echoes Blind Lemon Jefferson, vocalizing in a high octave falsetto. The swaggering electric blues of "I'm In I'm Out and I'm Gone" comes next, the spirit of Muddy Waters no doubt smiling from beyond the grave.

"To me it's one of the crown jewels of the album," Harper says of "I'm In I'm Out And I'm Gone." "I am just going to go on record and say it. I think it contains one of the greatest harmonica solos in history. It's straight ahead but that's elusive. It's hard to do something straight ahead and make it sound fresh."

The fearsome "Blood Side Out" finds Harper portraying a man pushed past his breaking point. Both the blunt guitar solo and the emotive harmonica capture the frustration and manic energy of someone who's been on the short end of the stick too many times.

There's plenty of defiance on Get Up! and also tender heartache. Case in point the poignant acoustic guitar and harmonica duet of "You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend.)" Featuring poetic lyrics, the song's three short verses detail a painful break-up, vividly embodied in Musselwhite's brilliant accompaniment. "I've played with John Lee, Solomon Burke and Taj Mahal, and one of my greatest musical moments is playing that song with Charlie," Harper says.

"I Don't Believe a Word You Say," is an angry blast of electric blues that could be directed at anyone who hasn't lived up to their promises, be it lover or politician. "I could fit those words to political imagery and it would almost work better than matters of the heart," Harper points out.

A rollicking New Orleans piano highlights "She Got Kick", an unambiguous testimonial to the ultimate control of the opposite sex. Things go further out on "We Can't End This Way," a heavenly synthesis of acoustic blues and gospel written in three-quarter time. In lesser hands it would have been a mess of good intentions but here the music is simply a celebration teeming with life.

Anchored by a pulsating groove, the band goes just as far in a different direction on "Get Up!" the title track. "That song was written around a killer baseline that Jessie had," Harper explains. "It's tempting to throw everything but the kitchen sink on top of it, but we left it sparse. Powerful. "

The haunting battle hymn, "I Ride at Dawn", dedicated to departed Navy SEAL Nicholas P. Spehar, the brother of a friend, is a harrowing look at a modern day warrior preparing for duty. "Real blues has depth and substance," Musselwhite points out. "It's not just tunes that are tossed off. These songs are all from the heart, more so than from the head. More than just music, they are reflections of life."

The album ends with the uplifting "All That Matters Now." The song is a reconciliation of sorts after the album's emotional journey. "I was in the production booth, in total producer mode trying to figure out where to go next," recalls Harper. "And I hear Charlie and Jason messing around in the studio with this deep groove. I heard it and told my engineer to roll tape. Don't go fix the mic, just roll tape. There's people talking and walking through the room, but it doesn't matter."

Recorded down and dirty, fast and live, Get Up! is an old school creation. This kind of musical chemistry demanded the approach. But its attitude, brash, assertive, disarming and vulnerable, is defiantly modern. This is a record Harper has always aspired to make but knew required the essential life experience. Get Up! proves it's been time well spent.

Ben Harper Videos

  • Ben Harper - With My Own Two Hands - YouTube
  • Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals - Jah Work: A Lewis Marnell ...

FAQs on booking Ben Harper

  • How to book Ben Harper?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Ben Harper for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Ben Harper, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Ben Harper or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Ben Harper?

    Booking fees for Ben Harper, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Ben Harper, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Ben Harper?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Ben Harper for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Ben Harper for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Ben Harper or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Ben Harper or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Ben Harper is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Ben Harper for your event is $200,000 and above. Ben Harper generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Paul Rudd, Jack Black, Steven Spielberg, Pink and Lisa Loeb. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Ben Harper for an upcoming event.

Ben Harper Speaker Videos

  • Ben Harper - With My Own Two Hands - YouTube
    Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals - Jah Work: A Lewis Marnell ...

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During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Ben Harper

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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