by Ben Harper
Released: Jan 2013
It's refreshing to hear Harper ditch his role as husky-voiced balladeer and unload a set of blues-rock that has more in common with North Mississippi Allstars than it does Starbucks-brand folk-pop. With Charlie Musselwhite's mouth-harp skronk forcing his voice out of its comfort zone, the singer teeters on the verge of collapse for most of the album, but especially on bad-vibes house-rocker "Blood Side Out" and the Peckinpah-stained "I Ride at Dawn." Another keeper is "I Don't Believe a Word You Say," an anguished plea that makes one think Harper's referring to estranged wife Laura Dern.