Call It What It Is
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Call It What It Is

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

Call It What It Is is an incisive, bold, poetic statement that could only come from these long-time musical partners, one of popular music’s most essential, cohesive and dynamic ensembles: Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals!

The standout title track showcases Harper’s unmatched ability to blend the personal and political. Invoking the names of Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, and Michael Brown over an agitated blues riff, Harper cuts to the quick: “There’s good cops / bad cops / white cops / black cops / call it what it is / Murder.” The genre-spanning collection contains many highlights including the sun-kissed groove of “Shine” and the album’s swaggering lead track “When Sex Was Dirty.”

It had been seven years since Ben Harper last played a show with the Innocent Criminals, so when the time came to reunite for a live tour in 2015, the band-percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates, and guitarist Michael Ward-quickly discovered that Harper had more in mind than simply revisiting the group’s prodigious song catalog. In fact, Harper had been quietly amassing material for a new record and the first recording sessions were scheduled to begin even before the rehearsals for their triumphant four-night sold-out reunion run at the Fillmore in San Francisco last March.

Tracing their roots back to 1993, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals were at the heart of most of Harper’s projects until the band went on hiatus in 2008. The band toured internationally and released a string of groundbreaking albums, including ‘Fight For Your Mind,’ ‘The Will To Live,’ ‘Burn To Shine’ and the Grammy-nominated ‘Lifeline’ in 2007. The Innocent Criminals also backed Harper and The Blind Boys of Alabama on the double-Grammy-winning ‘There Will Be A Light’ in 2005.

Track listing:

  1. When Sex Was Dirty
  2. Deeper And Deeper
  3. Call It What It Is
  4. How Dark Is Gone
  5. Shine
  6. All That Has Grown
  7. Pink Balloon
  8. Finding Our Way
  9. Bones
  10. Dance Like Fire
  11. Goodbye To You



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