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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 July 2013
Charlie Musselwhite is God's own harp player. I enjoy most of what he does and 'Continental Drifter' remains one of my favourite albums. I imagine Charlie's road-worn voice is an acquired taste for some and with Harper on vocal duties throughout Charlie gets to hunker down to some real business on harmonica and probably find a whole new audience for his playing in so doing. This is no harmonica album though. Charlie often seeks new musical landscapes for his blues harp and this is no exception. The ensemble playing is gritty and authentic. There is light and space in the recording, a rare pleasure these days when so much new music seems so heavily compressed. The CD is not overlong either, so we get all the meat and none of the fat. Standout tracks for me are 'We Can't End This Way', 'Blood Side Out' and 'I Ride At Dawn'. Charlie must have been taking a coffee break during the latter, which features an excellent vocal from Harper. Special mention for the bass player who must have had a great time making this music. These boys have kept the faith.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 February 2013
Charlie Musselwhite has been playing blues harp since the 60s and in that time has developed his own unique style based firmly in the blues but with some really individual quirks and twists that make it really easy to pick out his playing. I must admit I prefer him as an accompanist rather than as a bandleader - as with his playing on records by Bonnie Raitt, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Tom Waits.

Here the songs and singing are provided by Ben Harper with Charlie adding his distinctive melodic flourishes, as on the opening number "Don't look twice" which starts off as a typical Ben Harper slide-based ballad but then Charlie's harmonica playing takes it to a different place, giving it an almost Tom Waits-like feel. Elsewhere "I'm in I'm out I'm gone", "I don't believe a word you say" and "Blood side out" are all tough bluesy songs with Ben's full band and driven by the harp and guitar, while "She got kick" is also very bluesy but has lead guitar up front and very subdued harp. "We can't end this way" is a nice gospel song complete with backup vocals. Two of my favourite tracks are the two slow acoustic ballads "You found another lover" and the closing "All that matters now", both very moving. This is a very loose, relaxed record - it's not the best thing that either artist has done but it is a rewarding listen with both men really gelling and complementing each other.
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on 1 June 2013
this is a really good record, i resisted a 5 star rating because, even though i'm still in the process of ingesting it, it just seems to marginally lack that extra jeu ne sais quoi that merits a fifth star. some stand-out stompers, some laid-back yet soulfully intense medium-pacers, some respectfully-wrought folky/ballady things, but never less than groovesome, intense but not heavy-going both musically and in lyrical sentiment, and finally a success any way you look at it. this is a partnership that will last, and will probably get even better . for now, this is top-notch blues/rock/soul music, without too many equals. you just get the feeling they're warming up.....
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on 17 March 2014
Ben Harper is new to me. I was impressed by his voice and range of material. The tracks vary in quality on this disc but the best ones are those which allow Charlie Mussel White to let loose on his harmonica.
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on 24 February 2014
Such a fresh approach to roots music - the best blues - the best of everything. So raw - yet refined, classy and brilliant.
Harper and Musselwhite are a match made in heaven - this is the kind of music I want to play and perform - they inspire me!
Stand out tracks....I'm in I'm Out and I'm Gone, I don't Believe a Word You Say, I Ride at Dawn - BUT EVERY SINGLE TRACK IS FANTASTIC TOO...!
I've heard Ben Harper in many styles over the years - for me, this is his finest hour - I hope there will be a follow up with Charlie - for me, one of the true blues harp greats - and hero of mine, and a splendid, superb harmonica musician.
BUY THIS CD AT ALL COSTS - YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!!
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on 5 April 2014
Having given up a bit on Ben Harper, this was a pleasant surprise. I have yet to watch the DVD but the music is sound. Charlie Musselwhite and Ben harper mix well. I have always had a fondness for the gob iron and Mr Musselwhite's chops do not disappoint. Dedicated to Solomon Burke and the great John Lee Hooker is apt as their spirit is alive and kicking in this mix. Usual bitter sweet Ben Harper lyrics but good moody mix of blues and shredded up guitar an' squalling harp makes this one for the collection.
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on 11 March 2013
If you like your Blues with meaning and a little bit of soul, this is an album for you. Get it!
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on 29 January 2014
I'm not a fan of Ben Harper but this this is a great Blues Album, a classic we must have on vinyl
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on 7 March 2013
1st time i felt i needed to write a review, i like a lot of what this guy does feel, emotion, musicianship and song writing, never seems to let you down, he grows and grows bit like springsteen and dylan,dont hesitate to buy this wonderful album if you like the blues, it has style and punch and the harmonica player aint to bad either, absolutely loved it, thanks again ben you truly are a genuis.
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on 4 March 2014
The album won a Grammy for the Best Blues Album this year 2014, beating Joe Bonamassa & Beth Hart's 'Seesaw'. Just listen to it.
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