Ben Harper Filled The KEXP Studio With Soul, Performed "Call It What It Is" Songs on March 8, 2016 [YouTube Video]

Allison Claro

by Allison Claro

Published April 4, 2016



"Call It What It Is"
"All That Has Grown"
"Deeper and Deeper"
"Goodbye To You"


Host: Cheryl Waters
Audio Engineer: Kevin Suggs
Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Scott Holpainen & Luke Knecht
Director & Editor: Justin Wilmore

It's been nearly a decade since Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals released their 2007 album, Lifeline. Now they're on a tour across North America in support of their upcoming album Call It What It Is, set to be released April 8, 2016. Ben stopped by the KEXP studio for a live performance of some tracks off the latest offering. Watch the session and interview above.

Harper has long been known for his raw, truthful music. Starting out with the title track off the album, "Call It What It Is," he confronts the issue of racism and violence towards people of color by police. While the performance itself was wonderfully poignant, his comments to host Cheryl Waters were even more telling of Harper as an artist. He says, "I don't wanna write that. I want police to stop killing folks in the streets. Call this shit what it is." As the lyrics of the song tell, Harper says to, "Call it what it is: murder."

This reaction is evidence of how personally Harper takes his music and how that contributed to the making of Call It What It Is. As he moves into the slower, more personal tacks, "All That Has Grown," "Deeper and Deeper," and "Goodbye To You," Harper loses himself in the music. He asks after completing "All That Has Grown" if he could hear the song back saying, "I don't even remember what I just played... Sometimes you work on a skate trick so many times that when you land it, you don't remember it — you blank. That song is like landing a laser flip."

Throughout the performance, Harper is insightful as ever as he discusses his career and the creation of the album. He describes the year-long process of making Call It What It Is and how the band took time in between recording to fully digest the songs they were writing. This process of allowing the songs to develop over time definitely manifests itself, as Harper soulfully crooned the tracks as if they were old standards.

Call It What It Is is set to be released April 8, 2016. You can purchase the album on Amazon.

Also check out official audio for "Call It What It Is" and "Shine" from the album.

For the latest music, news, and tour dates from Ben Harper, check out his Zumic artist page.

Source: KEXP Official Youtube

Ben Harper
Acoustic Alt Rock Blues Rock Folk Rock
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