Ben Harper

Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2014

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite at Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, June 28th, 2014

Jun 30, 2014 Photography by Laura Studarus
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Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier was peppered with declarations of love during Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite’s set at Festival International de Jazz de Montréal on Saturday night.

“When anyone says ‘I love you Charlie’ it’s like saying ‘I love you Ben,’” Ben Harper joked. “When anyone says ‘I love you Ben,’ it’s like saying ‘I love you Charlie.’”

It’s understandable that Harper wanted the audience to think of him and Musselwhite as a unit. The duo’s set was culled from their 2013 Grammy winning album Get Up!, an album that plays like a testament to the power of intergenerational teamwork.  (Musselwhite: 70, Harper: 44.)

The declarations of love endured through the pair’s two-hour show. They were accompanied by couples dancing in the isles and shots out “amen!”

“I don’t come here to play music, I come here to hear that!” Harper remarked after a particularly insistent “I love you.”

The musicians may have been soaking up the good vibes, but they gave them back to the crowd. Their performance sounded like it had been exported straight out of the bayou. (It’s unsurprising; Musselwhite was a contemporary of Muddy Waters.) Harper is accomplished slide guitarist, and Musselwhite manages to coax a rainbow’s worth of color out of the harmonica. Moments like “Blood Side Out,” “I Don’t Believe a Word You Say,” or the pair’s cover of Led Zeppelin tune “When the Levee Breaks,” was rock at its finest. It may have been blues that the pair was playing, but the show resonated with pure joy.

 

Setlist:

1. Get Up!

2. I Don’t Believe a Word You Say

3. The blues Overtook Me

4. Don’t Look Twice

5. When It’s Good

6. She Got Kick

7. I’m in I’m Out and I’m Gone

8. Blood Side Out

9. Homeless child

10. I Ride at Dawn

11. Long Distance Call

12. I’m Goin Home

13. When the Levee Breaks

Encore

14. We Can’t End This Way

15. Long Legged Woman

16. You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend)

17. All That Matters Now

Check out a full gallery of photos here.

(www.facebook.com/montrealjazzfest)

(www.facebook.com/benharper)

(www.facebook.com/CharlieMusselwhiteFanPage)




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