Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Venerable Ben Harper
Oh Ben. With the strum of your guitar, you can move mountains, inform the ignorant, comfort the vulnerable, tickle the soul, and raise consciousness. You are truly a sage, revealing "white lies for dark times" to quote the title of one of your remarkable albums. Hell, you're a national treasure. You're as American as apple pie and Afro Sheen. It was not too long ago that I had a very different opinion of you. I once pegged you as a Lenny Kravitz clone. Another Nubian rock and cock god shaking his ass in a Gap commerical when you're not sitting front row in a fashion week tent. How silly was I? But like the song Amazing Grace, "I was blind but now I see." And I see plenty. I see your soul in the gorgeous, Grammy-winning hymns you sang with the Blind Boys of Alabama. I also see your fighting spirit as you , whether with the Innocent Criminals or the Relentless 7, raise your voice against bigotry and social injustice with your albums Fight For Your Mind and Welcome to the Cruel World. Yes, Ben, I see all the beautiful colors of your rainbow when I close my eyes and listen to your music. Continue to bless this world with your razor-sharp insight and rock on until the walls of Jericho come a'tumbling down.