BEN HARPER INTERVIEW #1
(Originally aired on January 15, 2009)
Lap slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Ben Harper mixes folk, funky blues, hard rock, '60s soul and roots reggae in his songs. Channeling sounds and energy from Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin and Marvin Gaye, Harper brings the socially conscious vibe of the '60s into the 21st century. He first came to national prominence playing an amplified Weissenborn — an acoustic Hawaiian guitar — in bluesman Taj Mahal's band. Harper's Weissenborn played a central role in his 1994 debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World, and it continues to form the core of his sound today. More than a dozen albums and years of international touring have established Harper as the world's foremost lap-slide rock guitarist.
In our exclusive feature, Harper describes recording "Temporary Remedy" — a song on his seventh album, Diamonds On The Inside. We learn about his Justin Sain custom lap slide and how Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello provided sonic inspiration for the track's pulsing tones.