Now that roots music has been made cool or should I say marketable again due to Black Keys the talented guitar player/singer Ben Harper has resurfaced. This time he has paired up with Charlie Musselwhite for a new album on the Stax label. The 68-year-old bluesman and Harper have worked together before briefly and are now back together for a full-length go at it. After a listen you will agree it was a great idea. Each breathes some form of new life into the other as their chemistry is off the charts. Musselwhite brings out the rocker in Harper that we always knew was there but was too often too quiet. Ben Harper has not played or sung with this kind of passion and volume in many a year. With his blazing harmonica play Musselwhite brings out the muscle in Harper and it is something I have missed lately. “I’m In, I’m Out and I’m Gone” is sublime. Ben Harper takes on the persona of preacher on this screamer. The two are also competent enough musicians that they can mesh in other musical genres into their blues songs without losing the essence of it. One of the best blues albums I have heard in a while.
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