Minimal to the max
Date October 26, 2012
Samuel J Fell
Ben Harper is bringing his most intriguing musical turn yet to Australia.
In the early 1990s, while most of the musical world was neck-deep in the punk-rock conformity that grunge had become, a youngster from southern California emerged with a record that began a modern roots-music revival, introducing a new generation to blues, folk, soul and reggae.
With Pleasure and Pain in 1992, Ben Harper, a happy-go-lucky twentysomething, born at the tail-end of the Swinging Sixties, tapped into something that, 20 years later, makes him a trailblazer, lauded by the Blind Boys of Alabama, Jack Johnson and Charlie Musselwhite, among others.
''It seems like, about, 20 hours at the most,'' Harper smiles when asked if it seems as though it's been 20 years since he began this epic journey. ''I tell you what, I'm a lot fitter now than I was then, I'm getting my Benjamin Button on. But it went quick, I tell you that much. If the next 20 goes as quick as the first 20, I gotta hang on.'' more»