While the name Ben Harper is certainly a familiar one to our readers, blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite, whom the singer-songwriter has teamed up with for his latest studio album, may not be. Born in Mississippi in 1944, Musselwhite is considered to be one of the two most important artists to emerge from the “white blues movement” of the late 1960’s, alongside Paul Butterfield. Musselwhite moved to Chicago from Memphis in search of higher paying factories, ingraining himself the city’s blues scene and playing alongside the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker.
Thanks in part to the success of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Musselwhite was signed to Vanguard Records, releasing his debut album Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s South Side Band in 1966. The album was one of the first blues records to be marketed towards rock fans and is considered one of the most influential albums in bridging the gap between rock and blues audiences. Today the formidable duo, who first met back in 1997 during a session with John Lee Hooker, will release Get Up! via the legendary Stax label. The ten-track effort combines what Harper and Musselwhite do best, mixing blues, gospel, roots and R&B.
Let’s take a look at the video for the album’s first single I Don’t Believe A Word You Say…
Harper and Musslewhite will team up for a series of shows together this Spring, which include an album release show tonight at New York City’s Irving Plaza and a high profile appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.