Lifeline Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
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- 1Fight Outta You04:12
- 2In The Colors03:02
- 3Fool For A Lonesome Train03:31
- 4Needed You Tonight02:49
- 5Having Wings03:31
- 6Say You Will03:04
- 7Younger Than Today03:24
- 8Put It On Me03:31
- 9Heart Of Matters04:28
- 10Paris Sunrise #705:17
Info for Lifeline
At the end of a nine month European tour, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals landed in a Paris recording studio and completed their new album, Lifeline, in just seven days. The result: a soulful masterpiece with beautifully direct lyrics, undeniable grooves and an effortless energy that recalls the best works of Otis Redding, Bill Withers and Beggars Banquet-era Rolling Stones. Yeah...it's that good.
It's no surprise that most bands today don't record albums live, straight to tape, in one room, no Pro Tools, no auto-tune. There are only a handful of modern artists that can pull it off. Since Ben & The Innocent Criminals were so musically connected after such a long tour, they entered the studio immediately. And on a sixteen track tape machine and one full week in the City of Lights, they successfully recorded and mixed an album that will sit alongside all of your old favorites...just like a classic record should.
Ben Harper, guitars, vocals
Juan Nelson, bass
Oliver Charles, drums
Michael Ward, guitar
Jason Yates, keyboards
Leon Mobley, percussion
Michelle Haynes, backing vocals
Rovleta Fraser, backing vocals
Recorded Gang Studios, Paris Produced by Ben Harper
Combining funky, groove-laden soul with handcrafted acoustic folk-rock, Ben Harper enjoyed cult status during the course of the '90s before gaining wider attention toward the decade's end. As a young artist, he drew his influences from classic singer/songwriters, blues revivalists, guitar slingers, and jam bands like Blues Traveler and Phish, which meant he was embraced by critics and college kids alike. Despite finding commercial success with the radio single "Steal My Kisses" in 2000, Harper continued to explore different (and often challenging) musical textures during the 21st century, enjoying a solid fan base at home and a considerable amount of fame in Europe, where was named 2003's Artist of the Year by the French branch of Rolling Stone.
A native of California, Harper grew up listening to blues, folk, soul, R&B, and reggae. He started playing guitar as a child and began to perform regularly as a preteen. During his adolescence, he focused heavily on the acoustic slide guitar, which eventually became his signature instrument. Harper scored a deal with Virgin Records in 1992 after maintaining steady schedule of shows in the L.A. area; two years later, he released his debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World, to positive reviews.
Released in 1995, the politically heavy Fight for Your Mind made for a strong sophomore effort, an obvious growth in musical experimentation and individual declamation. It was also the songwriter's first record to later reach gold status. Harper's third album, 1997's The Will to Live, pushed his blues-oriented alternative folk into the middle mainstream, becoming a mainstay at college radio and making inroads at adult alternative radio. Recorded over two years of touring in support of Fight for Your Mind, The Will to Live also introduced the Innocent Criminals, Harper's longstanding backup band. The Innocent Criminals — bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Dean Butterworth, and percussionist David Leach — helped solidify Harper's musical rhythms and emotional diversity over the years to come.
Harper's career gained momentum during 1998 and 1999. One of his most successful albums to date, 1999's Burn to Shine, blended his fondness of '20s jazz compositions with urban beatboxing, resulting in a clever and passionate collection of songs. "Steal My Kisses" and "Suzie Blue" were radio favorites, landing him two headlining world tours and an opening spot on the Dave Matthews Band's annual summer trek in 2000. The following spring, Harper issued Live from Mars, a double disc of live electric and acoustic material spanning the previous year's tour and including covers of material by Led Zeppelin, the Verve, and Marvin Gaye.
Harper dove into worldbeat on his fifth studio effort, Diamonds on the Inside, which appeared in March 2003. He toured through Europe the following year with the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the two acts entered Capitol Records' basement studios after the tour's commencement to lay down ten tracks together. The resulting collaborative album (issued under the names of both Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama), There Will Be a Light, was released in September 2004, followed by the concert CD/DVD package Live at the Apollo in 2005.
Eager to release more material, Harper reconvened with the Innocent Criminals and issued the double album Both Sides of the Gun in March 2006. The album reached number seven on the Billboard album charts and rose to number one in Australia. While touring in support of the record, Harper and company began playing a new slew of songs during their evening soundchecks, eventually decamping to Paris and recording the new material within one week. This resulted in two records — Lifeline and Live at Twist and Shout Records — both of which were issued in 2007. For his 2009 album White Lies for Dark Times, Harper recorded with the band Relentless7, the members of whom had previously worked with Harper on the track "Serve Your Soul" from Both Sides of the Gun. Harper and the Relentless7 recorded Live from the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July 2009 and released the album early the following year. Afterwards, Harper began working on his first solo album in years, using Jackson Browne's basement as a recording studio and collaborating with Ringo Starr on two tracks. The album's first single, "Rock n' Roll Is Free," was released during the early spring of 2011, followed two months later by the full-length Give Till It's Gone and in 2012 by the career retrospective By My Side. Harper moved over to Stax and teamed with blues legend Charlie Musselwhite for 2013's collaboratively released Get Up!
This album contains no booklet.