General Info Members: Ben Harper – Slide Guitar, Vocals Oliver Charles – Drums Leon Mobley – Percussion Juan Nelson – Bass Michael Ward – Guitar Jason Yates – Keys, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Biography: Reunited after 7 years! The last time Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals played Bonnaroo together was 2007. The following year, Harper decided he was ready for a change, and formed a new band, Relentless7. In late 2014, Harper announced that he planned to reunite The Innocent Criminals, much to the delight of fans. "The Innocent Criminals are a family," Harper stated. "We've remained very close over the years and it seemed like we couldn't wait another minute. We've all come full circle in our own ways and it is time we pick up where we left off. It's creatively time for us to do this."
Harper, a 4 year Bonnaroo veteran, began playing guitar as a child. After landing a lifetime record deal with Virgin Records, he released his debut album Welcome to the Cruel World in 1994. Harper has become well known for his slide guitar, vocals, and stage presence.
Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals create an eclectic mix of blues, rock, soul, funk, and reggae. According to the main Bonnaroo website, Harper and the band toured the globe nonstop for 15 years, earning legions of fans thanks to their explosive live performances. In addition to numerous festivals on their calendar this year, the band has been working quite a bit in the studio and will be touring North America and Europe.
Discography: The 2009 Band-a-day entry gives a great listing of albums up to 2009, so I will talk about albums that came out after that. Give til it’s Gone (2010) - Harper’s first solo album since 2006, prominently featuring his band Relentless7. The album, recorded in Jackson Browne’s LA studio, features collaborations with Browne as well as Ringo Starr. "I've never made a record that was such a timeline," says Harper. "It's a real extension of the last year and half in my life, and all these sounds are inspired by my experiences. It's as honest a musical statement as I could make." By My Side (2012) - Ben Harper's first ever career-spanning compilation; a "greatest hits" album, if you will. Includes tracks such as Forever, Diamonds on the Inside, and In the Colors. Get Up! (2013) - Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite - Ben Harper has teamed with renowned harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite to create Get Up! A striking mix of blues, gospel, roots and R&B, Get Up! features ten vivid musical character studies, skillfully rendered in cinematic detail, all written or co-written by Harper. Childhood Home (2014) - A deeply personal collection of original songs, Harper’s 12th studio album is a collaboration with his mother that explores the intricacies of family life with honesty and generous intimacy.
Sounds Like Genre: folk, blues, soul, reggae and rock Similar artists: Lenny Kravitz, Jack Johnson, John Butler Trio
Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals - In The Colors
Ben Harper - Diamonds on the Inside
Ben Harper - Walk Away ( Live @ Fes, Morocco )
Ben Harper - Burn One Down (Live at Bonnaroo)
Steal My Kisses - live at the Hollywood Bowl
Ben Harper live acoustic with Eddie Vedder - this is over an hour long, and I haven’t even watched the whole thing, but the first song is a beautiful version of “Roses From My Friends”:
Live Show Ben Harper has built his reputation based on his powerful and exciting live shows. Both he and his band showcase incredible energy and emotion, as well as stunning vocal and instrumental performances. Expect this show to be packed out and worth missing conflicts for. Here is a review from Jambase for the March 2015 show, which was the first show they played together since 2008.
Interesting Facts -Ben Harper has collaborated with numerous artists over the years, including Ringo Starr, Eddie Vedder, Jack Johnson, Natalie Maines, and John Lee Hooker. -Harper played a part in Jack Johnson’s rise to fame. He sent Johnson’s demo tape to his producer, who went on to produce Johnson’s first album. -Harper was married to actress Laura Dern, of Jurassic Park fame, for 5 years. They have 2 children together. -Bass player Juan Nelson is an extremely talented and sought after musician, and has played with a few other projects, but maintains loyalty to Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals