Winter Is For Lovers - Ben Harper (white vinyl)
Ben Harper’s new album, Winter Is For Lovers, is a masterpiece. Described as a “lap-steel symphony” it features Ben, with his lap-steel guitar, and nothing else. Not even vocals. And it’s wonderful!
Each track is named after a different geographic location that has, at some point, provided Ben with influence or inspiration. The album is presented as a single body of work, and is clearly intended to heard in that manner. The tracks flow effortlessly from one to the next and the music takes the listener along on a soothing virtual world tour.
Of course, the music of Ben Harper will be familiar to many. He’s been releasing albums since the early 1990s and Winter Is For Lovers is his 13th solo album. He’s a three-times Grammy winner and has worked with the likes of Mavis Staples, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Natalie Maines, Rickie Lee Jones and many, many more. Winter Is For Lovers is perceived as perhaps a culmination of Ben’s musical career to date, and I wouldn’t argue with that.
Make no mistake, the music on this album is breathtaking. I’m amazed how a single instrument can provide such a rich variety of tones and emotions and, as we visit the various locations, we get glimpses of a staggering range of musical styles. Blues, ragtime, flamenco, rock, ambient, Celtic and Eastern music all get a look-in and all are played with the virtuoso fluency that marks out a true master.
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