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Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

ben harper stephen lovekin getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Stephen Lovekin//Getty Images

The funky, rhythm-centric acoustic slide guitar playing of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] has given him the opportunity to work with a plethora of different artists whether that be covering their songs, hopping on stage to jam out on songs together, or crafting originals.

With musical influence that are so eclectic comes the flexibility to work with a diverse array of artists from different genres including [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jack Johnson[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]INXS[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pearl Jam[/lastfm] and the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Blind Boys Of Alabama[/lastfm].

This May 18th, Harper might jam with someone on one of these Ten Collaboration Songs for his Live on Letterman webcast right here at 8pm, ET/5pm, PT.

10. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lee Hooker[/lastfm]-“Burnin’ Hell”-

5 ben harper mark metcalfe getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Mark Metcalfe//Getty Images

When legendary jukejoint blues guitarist, John Lee Hooker, put out his own collaboration album in 1998 called The Best of Friends he recruited music notables like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Carlos Santana[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bonnie Raitt[/lastfm] to hop on his old school blues train.

Ben Harper got to lend his talented guitar skills to smouldering bar burners like “Burning Hell.”

9. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jack Johnson[/lastfm]-“Flake”

4 ben harper jeff getner getty imagfes Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Jeff Getner//Getty Images

In a way, Ben Harper “discovered” surfer singer-songwriter Jack Johnson when he played in 1999 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Since then,the two have played on each other’s songs, both onstage and off.

While watching this performance of the song “Flake” from Johnson’s début album Brushfire Fairytales, we were struck by how modest both Johnson and Harper seem.

8. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Vanessa De Mata[/lastfm]-“Boa Sorte”

3 ben harper paul kane getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Paul Kane//Getty Images

We had never heard of Vanessa De Mata before researching Ben Harper’s collaborations, but the combination of this gorgeous singer-songwriter from Brazil singing sultry Portuguese and Harper’s acoustic guitar is an intoxicating sonic cocktail.

7. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Farriss of INXS[/lastfm]-“Never Tear Us Apart”

2 ben harper karl walter getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Karl Walter//Getty Images

Even though Ben Harper is from California, he is noted for gaining most of his success in Australia–the home country of famous rock group INXS.

The band asked him to do a cover of “Never Tears Us Apart” accompanied by drummer John Farriss and what ensued was a soulful, spine-tingling version of the song that would Michael Hutchence proud.

6. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Skatalites[/lastfm]-“Be My Guest”

1 ben harper kevin winter getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Kevin Winter//Getty Images

A ska band from Jamaica that started in 1964, the Skatalites hearken back to the summery heyday of reggae/ska and were probably a huge influence on some of Ben Harper’s more reggae-tinged songs which makes his vocals accompanied by their instruments on [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Fats Domino[/lastfm]’s song “Be My Guest even more poignant.

5. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Led Zeppelin[/lastfm]’s [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Paul Jones [/lastfm]& [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]?uestlove[/lastfm]-“Superjam at Bonnaroo”

10 ben harper karl walter getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Karl Walter//Getty Images

As huge fans of the guest-artist-encore-superjam at concerts, our minds were blown when we saw this massive jam with Ben Harper, Led Zeppelin’s Paul Jones, and Questlove at Bonnaroo, a music festival in Tennessee. We love watching the minds (and guitar-strumming hands) or musical geniuses at work.

4. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Beth Orton[/lastfm]-“Stolen Car”

9 ben harper scott griess getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Scott Gries//Getty Images

When British folk-pop singer, Beth Orton, released her album Central Reservation in 1999, we had no idea that one of our favorite folk guitarists lent his guitar skills (electric style) to her huge single at the time, “Stolen Car.”

3. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam[/lastfm]-“Indifference”

8 ben harper kristian dowling getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Kristian Dowling//Getty Images

Both very political with their sentiments, Ben Harper and Eddie Vedder quietly rock out on the Pearl Jam song “Indifference” after a Madison Square Garden rally of some sort. Ignore Vedder’s political diatribe in the video or watch it for Harper’s hilarious head shake.

2. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm] &[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] Blind Boys of Alabama[/lastfm]-“I Shall Not Walk Alone”

7 ben harper sasha hageensen getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Sasha Hageensen//Getty Images

In 2004, Ben Harper released an album called There Will Be Light with the Blind Boys of Alabama–a blind gospel group that started in 1939. The result was effortlessly moving gospel songs, like this popular one, “I Shall Not Walk Alone.”

1. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dhani Harrison[/lastfm], & [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Joseph Arthur [/lastfm]a.k.a [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Fistful of Mercy[/lastfm]-“Fistful of Mercy”

6 ben harper charley gallay getty images Top 10 Ben Harper Collaborations

Photo by Charley Gallay//Getty Images

The band Ben Harper is now in, Fistful of Mercy, is three super-talented singer-songwriters playing folk guitar. Fistful of Mercy boasts the skills of Dhani Harrison (George Harrison’s son) and Joseph Arthur.

After playing more rocking, electric stuff, Fistful of Mercy has Harper returning to what he is best at–sonically subdued folk guitar with rebellion-slanted lyrics.

Be sure to come back, right here, on May 18th, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT to watch Ben Harper Live on Letterman presented by AT&T.

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