January 16, 2013

Ben Harper, with Charlie Musselwhite - Get Up! (2013) ( S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews)

Musselwhite can compose and sing, too, but does neither with Harper taking care of those tasks, and it doesn't matter. What matters is Charlie doing what he's been the best at doing since the late 60s. His vintage harmonica can fill up space without being very loud and send tingle down your spine without going over the top. Musselwhite occupies the space normally occupied by the rhythm guitar, the lead guitar or the vocalist, depending on where he is within the song. He's always in the right place at the right time, never having to force his way up front.

Harper brings his Relentless7 band in tow for these sessions, comprising of guitarist Jason Mozersky, bassist Jesse Ingalls, and drummer Jordan Richardson. The rapport with his backing band is never in doubt, and this is a pretty rugged unit. Combined with Musselwhite and bringing in Grammy winning Chris Goldsmith to help out with production, every track is oozing with grit and it has the unmistakable feel of a "live in the studio, no edits" sort of recordings. Even accounting for such seasoned blues and roots pros like Harper and Musselwhite, there's so little between the musicians hashing out these tunes in the studio, and the listener of this record. It's that kind of relaxed mindset that made it possible for "All That Matters Now" to come about as the result of rolling tape on the spot to capture Musselwhite and Mozersky noodling around on a groove.



Posted by at January 16, 2013 10:08 AM
  
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