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
“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.
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
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.
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