buttonSouth by Southwest Music Festival + Conference
@ Austin, Texas (18th - 22nd Mar. '09)

Feature Special SXSW 2009

Ben Harper & Relentless7
@ The Bat Bar, Austin (20th Mar. '09)

Ben Harper & Relentless7Ben Harper & Relentless7
Ben Harper & Relentless7 Ben Harper & Relentless7
Ben Harper & Relentless7Ben Harper & Relentless7Ben Harper & Relentless7
Ben Harper & Relentless7 Ben Harper & Relentless7
Ben Harper & Relentless7Ben Harper & Relentless7
Ben Harper & Relentless7 Ben Harper & Relentless7Ben Harper & Relentless7

 ベン・ハーパーは、昨年もこのSXSWに顔を出していた。とはいっても、バンドとしてではなく彼が単独で出演するというもので、自分がチェックすることができたのはトム・モレロなどを核としたイヴェントだった。それはイラク帰還兵を中心にした反戦ドキュメンタリー映画、『Body of War(ボディ・オヴ・ウォー)』の完成記念ライヴで、サウンドトラックは『Body of War: Songs That Inspired an Iraq War Veteran(ボディ・オヴ・ウォー : イラク帰還兵をインスパイアさせた歌)』と名付けられている。音楽が抱える力をまざまざと見せつけられたのがこのときで、その様子はこちらでmiyoがレポートしているので、ご一読願えればと思う。

 当然ながら、この時点でベン・ハーパーが新しいバンドを伴ってアルバムを発表するなんぞ、思いもよらなかった。94年に初めて彼を取材して以来、10年以上にわたって、ほぼ同じメンバー活動してきたのがベンだ。メンバーが一時バンドを離れるなど、若干の紆余曲折はあったというものの、つねに共に動いていたのがベースのフアン・ネルソン。ファンクやソウルに根ざした極太のグルーヴを生み出すにはなくてはならない人物だったようにも思えていただけに、これには驚かされた。

 他のバンドの取材のかねあいもあり、初日となっていたザ・スタッブスでの取材は見送り、コンヴェンション・センター内にテレビ放送用に仮設されたザ・バット・バーと呼ばれる会場での取材が今回のレポート。おそらく、テレビ向けともなると、演奏に若干の違いもあるんだろうが、なにはともあれベン・ハーパーは、間違いなくいつものベン・ハーパーだったというのが、最も無難な反応ではなかったかと思う。

 バックのバンドはギター、ドラムス、アンド・ベースのトリオで、なんでも、2006年に発表したアルバム、『Both Sides Of The Gun (ボウス・サイズ・オヴ・ザ・ガン)』で何曲かを一緒に録音したバンドだとか。以前のジ・イノセント・クリミナルズが、前述のようにブラックネスといってもいいだろう、ソウルやブルースにファンク的なエッジを大きく持っていたように思うんだが、今回のバンドはもっとロック的な指向性の方が強いというのが第一印象。ちょっとジャズっぽいニュアンスを感じた曲も演奏しているんだが、こういったアプローチも以前のライヴでは経験したことがないものだと思う。

 それでもど真ん中のベン・ハーパーのなにがどう変わったのか... 正直なところ、あまりわからない。というよりは、なんも変わってはいないようにも思えるのだ。ただ、これで以前の曲を演奏できるのかどうかについては疑問が残った。なにせ、このときはそれまでのベン・ハーパーにはお馴染みとなっている曲は一切演奏されていないのだ。それがどんな意味を持っているのか、そのあたり、おそらくはもっと長い時間の演奏時間が与えられるだろう、フジロックでの演奏で確かめようと思っている。

comment and photos by hanasan

The official site

Ben Harper

http://benharper.net/

check 'em? -->My Space / iTunes



The latest album

Ben Harper
"White Lies for Dark Times"

(国内盤 / US import - Dix / US import / US import - '12 analog / US import + DVD / iTunes)

The latest DVD

Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama

Ben Harper

"Live at the Apollo (2005)"
(US import / domestic)

US import is region free and does have sub title in Japanese as well as Spanish French etc

previous works in DVD

"Live at the Hollywood Bowl" (domestic / US import)
"Plesure and Pain" (domestic / US import)
"270 Miles From Graceland to Bonnaroo 2003"(US import)
"Bonnaroo Music Festival 2002"(US import)
"Standing in the Shadows of Motown"(US import)
"One Love: Bob Marley All-Star Tribute"(US import)
"Reggae On The River"(国内盤 + CD)
... and more
previous works

Ben Harper
"Lifeline"

(国内盤 / US import / US import - '12 analog)

"Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur" (iTunes)
"Songs for Tibet - The Art of Peace" (iTunes)
"iTunes Originals" (iTunes)
"Live at Twist & Shout" (UK import + DVD)
"Both Sides of the Gun" (US import / US import - '12 analog / Special Edition US import / 国内盤CCCD / iTunes)
"Live at the Apollo" (US import / 国内盤)
"There will be a light" (US import / US import - '12 analog / 国内盤)
"Diamonds on the Inside" (国内盤 / US import / US import / US import - '12 analog / iTunes)
"Live From Mars" (US import with "Diamonds on the Inside" / UK import / 国内盤 / iTunes)
"Live From Mars" (US import / US import - '12 analog / UK import )
"Burn To Shine" (国内盤 / US import / US import - '12 analog / iTunes)
"The Will to Live" (国内盤 / US import / US import - '12 analog / iTunes)
"Fight For Your Mind" (国内盤 / US import / US import - '12 analog / iTunes)
"Welcome to the Cruel World" (US import / US import - '12 analog / 国内盤)
"CD Box Collection" (collection of the first 3 albums) (US import)
... and more

check the albums?

previous works

button2009

buttonRuthie Foster (09/03/27 @ Tokyo Eat and Meets Cay)
buttonRuthie Foster (09/03/26 @ Yokohama Thumbs Up)
buttonSouth by Southwest Music Festival + Conference (JPN | ENG) feat.Doug Sahm tribute feat. Shawn Sahm and Augie Meyers and Alejandro Escovedo, Easy Star All-Stars, Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves, Legendary Tiger Man, The, Roky Erickson with The Black Angels, Tony Joe White, Asa, Ruthie Foster, Monareta, Peter Murphy, Andy White, Ben Harper & Relentless7 Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Gary Clark Jr., Plouen Catximbes, Theart, Emeralds, The, Jimmy Webb and the Webb Brothers, Wayne Kramer (09/03/18 to 22nd in Austin, Texas)
buttonThe Plastic Day (09/02/28 @ Club FF, Seoul)
buttonGumx (09/02/28 @ Sang Sang Madang Live Hall, Seoul)
buttonKozy Ouchi : Kozy, you drink too much, buddy! (09/02/14 @ Sakuragi-Cho Borderline)
buttonClare & the Reasons (13th Feb. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonClare & the Reasons (5th Feb. @ Yokohama Thumb's Up)
buttonKotobuki (31st Jan. @ Shin Okubo R's Art Court)
buttonGlenn Tilbrook (10th Jan. @ Kichijoji Star Pine's Cafe)

button2008

buttonBloodest Saxophone (6th Dec. @ Shinjuku Red Cloth)
buttonShibusa Shirazu Orchestra with David Murray (26th Nov. @ Shibuya O-East)
buttonKaiser Chiefs (25th Nov. @ Akasaka Blitz)
buttonHoney Hall feat. Kaori Kawamura, Kayo Sakata, Mr.Pan & Lawdy & Toshimi Watanabe & Copa Salvo(22nd Nov. @ Shibuya Club Asia)
buttonRodrigo Y Gabriela (12th Nov. @ Shibuya O-East)
buttonRodrigo Y Gabriela (12th Nov. @ Shibuya AX)
buttonEthipoia National Cultural Troupe (2nd Nov. @ Takanawa Kumin Center)
buttonThee 50's High Teens (1st Nov. @ Shinjuku Jam)
buttonJustin Nozuka (27th Oct. @ Harajuku Astro Hall)
buttonFanfare Ciocărlia (16th Oct. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonAsagiri Jam - It's a beautiful day! feat. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis (5th Oct. @ Asagiri Arena)
buttonClub Ska 20th Anniversary with intro & overall photo document feat.The Skatalites, The Trojans, Oi-Skallmates, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra (28th Sept. @ Shinkiba Studio Coast)
buttonSka Cubano (24th Sept. @ Akasaka Blitz)
buttonDoberman (23rd Sept. @ Hattori Ryokuchi Koen)
buttonSoul Flower Union (23rd Sept. @ Osaka Big Cat)
buttonChris Murray Combo (15th Sept. @ Shibuya Lush)
buttonnbsa+×÷2008 feat. Copa Salvo, Goma & Jungle Rhythm Section, Razoku, Keyco & Kokyou, Cro-Magnon, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions (14th to 15th Sept. @ Shinkiba Studio Coast)
buttonShibusa Shirazu Orchestra (13th Sept. @ Kisarazu Nakanoshima Koen)
buttonAsa (10th Sept. @ Shibuya O-East Exchange)
buttonSunset Live2008 feat. Black Bottom Brass Band, Doberman, Sun Paulo, Mongol 800, Oki Dub Ainu Band, Leyona, Keison, Seiko Ito & Pomeranians, Double Famous, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions (5th to 7th Sept. @ Keya Beach, Itoshima)
buttonCool Wise Men with Eddie TanTan Thornton (15th Aug. @ Shibuya Duo Music Exchange)
buttonYou Waki (8th Aug. @ Shinjuku Club Doctor)
buttonGlastonbury Festival 2008 (27th to 29th Jun. @ Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset) feat. Jimmy Cliff, Manu Chao, Ethiopiques, Buddy Guy, Solomon Burke, Manu Chao, Neil Diamond, Eddy Grant, Gilbert O'Sullivan
buttonPeace Music Festa! (from) Henoko 2008 (22nd Jun. @ Ueno Suijo Ongaku-Do) feat. Kachimba4, KZ, Masao Teruya, Shaolong To The Sky, Kotobuki, Duty Free Shop. with Kakumaku Shaka, Donal Lunny with Kazutoki Umezu & Hiromi Kondo, Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, Soul Flower Union
buttonThe Slackers (17th Jun. @ Daikanyama Unit)
buttonVic Ruggiero (16th Jun. @ Shimokitazawa 440)
buttonKillswitch Engage & Thy Will Be Done (12th Jun. @ Shibuya O East)
buttonFumio Nunoya (7th Jun. @ Ogikubo Rooster)
buttonLove Camp 2008 feat. Oriental Lucy,The Plastic Day, Sagitta, Yukie Sato and more(31st May in Hong Chon, Kangwon-do)
buttonBanda Bassoti & Boikot (10th May @ Villaggio Globale, Rome)
buttonBerri Txarrak (3rd May @ Viňa Rock Festival, Villarrobledo)
buttonBanda Bassoti (2nd May @ Sala Heaven, Santander)
buttonBanda Bassoti (1st May @ Kottbusser Tor, Berlin)
buttonOki Dub Ainu Band (23rd Apr. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonMozaik (4th Apr. @ Kyoto Taku Taku)
buttonEdgar"Jones"Jones & The Joneses (3rd Apr. @ Nagoya Tokuzo)
buttonThe John Butler Trio (2nd Apr. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonRodrigo Y Gabriela (30th Mar. @ Shibuya Duo Music Exchange)
buttonSouth by Southwest Music Festival feat. Alabama 3 (12th Mar. @ Latitude 30, Austin), Bonnie Bramlett (12th Mar. @ Pangaea, Austin), Daryl Hall (12th Mar. @ Lone Star Lounge, Austin), Daniel Lanois (12th Mar. @ Pangaea, Austin), Asylum Street Spankers(13th Mar. @ Esther's Follies, Austin), Billy Bragg (13th Mar. @ SESAC Day Stage Cafe, Austin), Body of War feat. Kimya Dawson, Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Brett Dennen, Brendan James, RX Bandits, Ben Harper, Billy Bragg(13th Mar. @ Stubb's, Austin), Old Man River (13th Mar. @ 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn, Austin), YB (13th Mar. @ Burbon Rocks Patio, Austin), The BoDeans (14th Mar. @ Auditorium Shores Stage, Austin), The English Beat (14th Mar. @ Momo's, Austin), Kitty, Daisy & Lewis (14th Mar. @ Ninety Proof Lounge, Austin), Cherine Anderson(15th Mar. @ Flamingo Cantina, Austin), Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel with David Grissom, Stephen Bruton and Brannen Temple (15th Mar. @ Cedar Door, Austin), Was (Not Was) (15th Mar. @ La Zona Rosa, Austin)
buttonBroken Social Scene & Stars (26th Feb. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
buttonBoikot (26th Feb. @ Shibuya Gig Antic)
buttonBoikot (23rd Feb. @ Maple House)
buttonBjörk (16th Feb. @ Olympic Hall, Seoul)
buttonDoberman (10th Feb. @ Shinjuku Loft)
buttonKotobuki (9th Feb. @ Shin Okubo R's Art Court)
buttonThe Afet Collective (8th Feb. @ Harajuku Studio Cafe)
buttonDachambo (26th Jan. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)

button2007

buttonKaori Kawamura (23rd Dec. @ Shibuya Club Asia)
buttonSoul Flower Union (15th Dec. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
buttonMorio Agata (27th Oct. @ Tokyo Kinema Club)
buttonVery Be Careful (8th Oct. @ Shinjuku Marz)
buttonOzomatli (8th Oct. @ Daikanyama Unit)
buttonVery Be Careful (3rd Oct. @ Shibuya The Geme)
buttonSun Set Live 2007 feat. Special Others, Leyona, Theatre Brook, The Eskargot Miles, Rico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men, Little Tempo, & Bloodest Saxophone・akiko (31st Aug. to 2nd Sept. @ Keya Beach, Fukuoka)
buttonSoul Flower Mononoke Summit & Kotobuki (12th Aug. @ Kotobuki-Cho Free Concert)
buttonSign Sonic! '07 feat. Free Birds, Bright Eyes, Freedom, B.M.D. (Band Music of The Deaf), 2-Time, Rimi, N-Style & Signmark (7th Jul. @ Hatsudai The Doors)
buttonTakeharu Kunimoto with The Last Frontier (4th Jul. @ Shibuya Parco Theater)
buttoncolumn : Don't Miss It! - Sign Sonic '07 feat. Signmark and more (4th Jul.)
buttonGlastonbury Festival 2007 feat. Keith Allen, ,Tinariwen, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, John Fogerty & Damien RIce (22nd to 24th Jun. @ Worthy Farm, Pilton)
buttoncolumn : Don't Miss It! - Takeharu Kunimoto with The Last Frontier (18th Jun.)
buttonAmos Garrett (4th Jun. @ Nakameguro Rakuya)
buttonAmos Garrett (27th May @ Osaka 5th Street)
buttonMarisa Monte (26th May @ Zepp Nagoya)
buttonRico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men (13th May @ Ueno Suijo Ongaku-Do)
buttonRico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men (10th May @ Boom Boom Bash, Shizuoka)
buttonRico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men & Toshimi Watanabe (9th May @ Shibuya Eggman)
buttonFermin Muguruza and Afro Basque Fire Brigade (30th Apr. @ Totem, Pamplona)
buttonFermin Muguruza and Afro Basque Fire Brigade (29th Apr. @ Vina Rock Festival, Benicassim)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat DDR, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. RIng DIng, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (28th Apr. @ Villaggio Globale, Rome)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat DDR, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. RIng DIng, Boikot, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (27th Apr. @ Estragon, Bologna)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat DDR, Boikot, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. RIng DIng, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (26th Apr. @ Auditorium Flog, Firenze)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat Cicso, DDR, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. Ring Ding, Boikot, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (25th Apr. @ 25th Apr. @ Muse Cervi, Reggio Emilia)


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