Ben Harper and The Five Blind Boys of Alabama- There Will Be a Light

I would like to welcome Ari Schwartz to the fold. Ari will be contributing the occasional record review to The Rock and Roll Report and he starts things off with a review of the fascinating new Ben Harper album. Take it away Ari.
When a man who has worked so hard to get an enormous fan base through years of touring, decides to take a risk in his music, decides to follow his passion, his heart, his soul, you must give him credit. Harper combines with the two-time Grammy award winning gospel group ‘ The Blind Boys of Alabama’ to create an album of great praise and admiration.
Harper ignores all other styles of past albums (Rock, acoustic folk, reggae, funk), rather deciding to dedicate a full album to pure gospel. The depth of Harpers song writing is heard through this album, with blues gospel, funk gospel, church style gospel and even accapella gospel being heard throughout this magical journey of music. If G-d was a musician, his competition would be Ben Harper, who evokes a spiritual love for life in all his songs.
From the word go Harper starts at a frantic pace combining gospel, church and funk all in the upbeat ‘take my hand’. ‘Where could I go’ sings of heart-break, where a child expresses his anguish to G-d, crying out ‘nothing else could save a sinner like me but an angel’s word’. From the slow bluesy soul of ‘Where could I go’ Harper fuses gospel, Hendrix like soloing and church style lyrics all in an absorbing and powerful ‘Church House Steps’. Harper’s spiritual power takes over in the next few tracks with the mysterious ’11th commandment’ and the original sounding Dylan cover ‘Well, Well, Well”. Honestly, in this cold and scary world, Harper brings a warm sense of hope in the album’s title ‘There Will Be a Light‘.
This might sound like an omen to Harper from a fan, but the reality is Ben Harper and ‘The Blind Boys of Alabama’ have created some heavenly inspiring music here and it should not be overlooked. Want to rekindle your love for life? Take a chance.
By Ari Schwartz


  1. What a great review! It was creative and comprehensive. The reviewer has a well rounded knowledge of modern music. It made me want to go out and buy the album during my lunch break.

  2. couldn’t have said it better myself! i bought the colector’s edition of this cd and the review is right on the mark, from my ear. having said that, i admit a rather strong bias: to my ear and soul, there is music and then there is ben harper. whatever he does is well done at least, and brilliant at best. blessed to be a witness!!

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