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Ben Harper

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Claremont, Los Angeles CA, United States (October 28, 1969 – present)

Ben Harper (born October 28, 1969) is an American -winning singer and songwriter. A native of California, he grew up listening to , , , , and . Harper’s blend of groove-laden and handcrafted acoustics helped him to gain cult status during the course of the 1990s and widespread attention toward the end of the decade. Harper combines elements of classic singers, revivalists and jam bands and is embraced by critics and college kids alike. Harper’s body of work sells consistently and he tours constantly, building a solid, dedicated fan base.

Harper began playing guitar as a child in his hometown of Claremont, California (in California’s Inland Empire). He eventually specialized in the acoustic slide guitar (Weissenborn guitars). As a young man, he recorded an LP (Pleasure and Pain) with fellow folk guitarist Tom Freund. After this limited edition record, Harper got a record deal with Virgin Records, who released his debut album, Welcome To The Cruel World (1994).
This was followed by the incendiary Fight For Your Mind (1995) which became a college radio favorite and generated an abundance of songs which still fill his set list to this day.
In 1999 at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Harper met Jack Johnson, who was unknown at the time and had not recorded. Harper obtained a demo tape of 12 of Johnson’s songs that he forwarded to his producer, J.P. Plunier, with whom Johnson recorded his first album. (ref)

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