Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ben Harper records album with mother

I've interviewed both Harpers in the past, so I'm intrigued to hear what they recorded together... 

Ben Harper and his mother Ellen have collaborated to create 'Childhood Home' (Prestige Folklore), a collection of original songs set for release on May 6.

Landing the week before Mother's Day, the 10 songs on 'Childhood Home', six written by Ben and four written by Ellen, explore the intricacies of family life. 

The album's source can be directly traced to the pair's highly unusual musical heritage. In 1958, Ben Harper's maternal grandparents established The Folk Music Center and Museum in Claremont, California. It was there, amid guitars, banjos, tablas, ukuleles and all manner of instruments from around the world, that a distinctively musical family took shape.

Ellen Chase Harper, a talented multi-instrumentalist in her own right, encouraged her family to use the store (which she still operates) as a musical laboratory. The center was a magnet for up-and-comers such as Ry Cooder, David Lindley and Taj Mahal, who became extended family members, providing master classes in creativity and philosophy, all of which the young Ben Harper soaked up like a sponge.

"I was a single mom, so he would come to the music store pretty much everyday after school, and help out while I was working. I think he just absorbed a lot of it," Ellen told a local paper. "It was in his environment, everywhere, because I used to play in bands, and he used to hang out with us all the time." "Without that upbringing, I don't think I'd be doing what I do," Ben told a media outlet upon his grandfather's passing in 2004.

The album was entirely acoustic.

CD Pre-Order:
LP Pre-Order:

Track Listing:

1. A House Is a Home
2. City of Dreams
3. Born to Love You
4. Heavyhearted World
5. Farmer's Daughter
6. Memories of Gold
7. Altar of Love
8. Break Your Heat
9. Learn It All Again Tomorrow
10. How Could We Not Believe

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