Chops and attitude

By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  April 4, 2006

Harper apologizes for what he perceives as the egotism inherent in enthusing over his own musical evolution and accomplishments. But it’s more a frank assessment by an artist at or near the top of his game, and the enthusiasm — which also resonates through his lively performances — is infectious. Besides, the sparks of his spontaneity and passion abound in Both Sides of the Gun. There’s a new-found energy and edge in many of his vocal performances and ripping solos. Especially in the protest numbers, where his ire and his commitment are evident.

“I’ve tried not to dig myself into any one place. If you’re not surprising yourself as a musician and artist, you’re probably not growing to the depths that are required for creating spontaneously. When you can go outside of yourself and outside the usual boundaries of your own instrument . . . that’s when you’re really getting at something interesting.”

Ben Harper + Damian Jr. Gong Marley | Sept 8 | Bank of America Pavilion, Northern Ave, Boston | 617.228.6000

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Ben Harper, "Better Way (Peace Mix)" Real Player | Windows Media

Ben Harper, "Better Way (War Mix)" Real Player | Windows Media

Ben Harper, "Better Way" Real Player | Windows Media

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