Who does Ben sound like?

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Who does Ben sound like?

Post  Peter on Sat May 22, 2010 11:59 am

I'm still young ok? I'm still learning Razz but until recently I haven't listened to much Al Green, I was familiar with Love and Happiness and one or two others but it wasn't until the other day that I got his greatest hits album and gave it a good listen. MY GOD why have I not heard this comparison before? It's obvious that Al has had quite an influence on the way Ben sings. I listened to How can you mend a broken heart and almost did an aural version of a double-take. I think its the way he sort of belts the notes thats so similar. Its fantastic to have another similar artist to discover for the first time again!

Anyone else have any similar stories?
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Re: Who does Ben sound like?

Post  aski on Fri May 28, 2010 4:40 pm

try compare the song The Woman In You with Jeff Buckley's music. The way Ben screams out the climax of the song ("womaaaaaaan") is pretty similar to Jeff's Mojo Pin ("Blaaaaaack beauty"-part).

Ben is also quoted in the Jeff Buckley compilation "So Real":

Ben Harper:
“Never have I seen such infinite musical potential in anyone."

also, Ben met Jeff Buckley back in 1995, when they played the same European summer festivals.

I just flipped through my Jeff Buckley cuttings and articles, and found this excerpt from a french Rolling Stone magazine interview back in 2003 (translated to English by a friend of mine):

"I met Jeff several times, but the first meeting left me with an unforgettable memory. He and I were on tour in Europe in 1995, and we headlined the most famous festivals, including Les Eurockèennes at Belfort. During soundcheck Jeff came over and picked up my slide guitar. asking me to teach him how to play it. Holding my guitar I had to admit that this guitar was so strangely tuned that you couldn't play anything on it. I gave him my guitar and asked him how he would play it. Later we watched Page & Plant together who were at the same festival. I knew that we needed an access to get to the side of the stage. After Jeff finished his own show, he had some promo to do afterwards. I asked him to meet me close to the stage of Page & Plant. After a while the band began to play, but the head of security on the right side of the stage didn't let us through. So we went to the other side thinking Jeff would wait for us there. No one. The same guy of security showed us the press corner. Thinking Jeff might be there, we went over. No one. There was a lot of dust in the air. Suddenly, in the corner of my eye I saw a movement, as if a bird had flown from the top of the speakers. Turning my head to the sky, I saw Jeff a few meters above the ground, a few meters from the stage. It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen. I told myself that a guy who's able to do that couldn't live on the same planet as us." - Ben Harper, Rolling Stone magazine, 2003.
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Re: Who does Ben sound like?

Post  Peter on Fri May 28, 2010 10:25 pm

That's a really good comparison, didn't even think of that one. Now I feel like listening back through his album again haha. That was a great article too, but I didn't really understand what he meant by him being a few metres off the ground?
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Re: Who does Ben sound like?

Post  aski on Sat May 29, 2010 2:10 am

Peter wrote:That's a really good comparison, didn't even think of that one. Now I feel like listening back through his album again haha. That was a great article too, but I didn't really understand what he meant by him being a few metres off the ground?

i guess it meant that Jeff Buckley had climbed on top of the speakers to get a better view of the stage.

Burn To Shine is my all time favourite Ben Harper album, besides The Woman In You, it also features great songs like Alone, Two Hands of A Prayer and Forgiven. the sound of this album makes me think of the Jeff Buckley influence.
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Re: Who does Ben sound like?

Post  Peter on Sat May 29, 2010 2:20 am

It's my favourite as well, I love Suzie Blue, it takes me far far away every time I listen to it.
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Re: Who does Ben sound like?

Post  jamessteel81 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:32 pm

Ben Harper actually sounds a lot like Robert Randolph, hell they even collaborated on a song together for Robert Randolph's new CD "Walk This Road". I actually think he has a deluxe package out with some metal finger picks and some signature picks as well, definitely worth checking out: bit.ly b6y0Aq

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Re: Who does Ben sound like?

Post  MOJO the Moderator on Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:10 pm

That's a good collaboration! Thanks James. Welcome to the forum.
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