For years, Ben Harper has dutifully played the role of laid-back, new-age hippie for glassy-eyed jam-band fans. His two-disc 2006 release, Both Sides of the Gun, was an ambitious song cycle that threw some grit into his usually refined mix. The Austin musicians who played on Gun return as the Relentless7 for White Lies for Dark Times, a plugged-in, blister-popping album that stands as the most electric in Harper's 15-year career. On opener "Number With No Name," he rolls out a stomping blues as his new trio bashes away behind him. And that's pretty much how things play out; listen to the way everyone plows through "Shimmer & Shine" or the way Harper's impassioned voice cracks on "Lay There & Hate Me." White Lies for Dark Times is still a jam-band record, but instead of winding 15-minute solos, it's stuffed with three-and-a-half-minute songs based on another fan favorite: volume. —Gallucci
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at [email protected].
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.