Today Ben Harper has shared a new video in which he performs his new solo album Winter Is For Lovers (ANTI- Records) in full, from front to back. The mesmerizing performance, featuring just Ben and his Monteleone lap steel guitar, was filmed at The Folk Music Center, the famous music shop that his grandparents opened in the late 1950s in Claremont, CA. The Folk Music Center is central to the story of this album, which is out now and has been met with raves.
Watch Ben perform Winter Is For Lovers in its entirety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN6M5BViuvI
Winter Is For Lovers (ANTI- Records) is in many ways a culmination of Ben’s entire musical life. The intimate and ambitious solo recording is his first-ever entirely instrumental project, 15 original compositions that seamlessly flow together, imagined as a symphony for guitar.
“Virtuosic, heartfelt and quietly but compellingly brilliant” - Uncut Magazine, 8 out of 10 stars
“Winter Is For Lovers may be the perfect album for our time” - Folk Alley
“A lovely, sweet, immaculately recorded and performed set perfect for Sunday morning coffee” - American Songwriter
“The melodies are memorable, the flavours warm. It’s calming and rich and rather beautiful” - Financial Times UK
The music heard on Winter Is For Lovers is deeply ingrained in Harper’s DNA and leads directly back to aforementioned Folk Music Center. The shop and community center has hosted music legends of all stripes, many of which Ben met while working there. Some of the album’s many musical inspirations were visitors, including John Fahey, the godfather of the American Primitive movement, slide guitar master Taj Mahal, who Ben would later study with, plus the likes of Leonard Cohe, Jackson Browne, Doc Watson.
Winter Is For Lovers also swirls with the music Ben heard growing up, listening to the blues, Hawaiian and classical guitar masters in his mother’s record collection. He gravitated early on to the distinct wail of the slide guitar, learning finger picking from Taj Mahal and later studying with Chris Darrow of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - a lap steel virtuoso who had a major influence on Harper’s lifelong embrace of the instrument.
Ben has since made appearances on a wide range of programs to discuss the album, including WNYC’s All Of It and WNYC’s Soundcheck. He was also on the September cover of Relix Magazine, alongside Rhiannon Giddens (they released a recording of Nick Drake’s “Black Eyed Dog” in July), and spoke at length about the “sublime” album’s key influences. Harper also released the single “Don’t Let Me Disappear” in May, and earlier in September appeared with Ziggy Marley on The Today Show and The Late Late Show with James Corden to perform “Play With Sky.”
The first pressing of a 2,000-piece limited edition vinyl of Winter Is For Lovers sold out in just 24 hours, but fans can order both digital and additional physical versions of Winter Is For Lovers here.