Album Of The Week
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite return for their second album together, No Mercy In This Land. The album, which came out on Friday, is the follow up to 2013’s Get Up! and is this week’s Album Of The Week.
The title track to the new album is a haunting Delta number, punctuated by Musselwhite’s tenacious harp playing. Harper is at his bluesiest, delivering gut-punching vocals: “These days I speak in whispers / Travel only to and from /Come close you’ll see the red / Of a well bitten tongue.”
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Harper plays steel guitar on much of the album, groaning against Musselswhite’s pulsating harmonica.
For Harper, the pairing has been a rejuvenation. He told American Blues Scene that he met Musselwhite through John Lee Hooker. “I’m born again with the blues,” he told the magazine.
Musselwhite is a legend unto his own. Having played with a who’s who of bluesmen, the native Mississippian has been affiliated with Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Howlin’ Wolf to name a few.
Harper and Musselwhite’s previous effort won a Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2014.
The tracklist for No Mercy In This Land is below:
1. “When I Go”
2. “Bad Habits”
3. “Love And Trust”
4. “The Bottle Wins Again”
5. “Found The One”
6. “When Love Is Not Enough”
7. “Trust You To Dig My Grave”
8. “No Mercy In This Land”
9. “Movin’ On”
10. “Nothing At All”
They recently appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, performing “Found The One”.
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We explore No Mercy In This Land all week on The Colorado Sound and at 7 pm every night on our Album Of The Week Feature.