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Music Review: Winter Is for Lovers

Winter Is for Lovers

ANTI-RECORDS

Winter Is for Lovers makes up in stylistic diversity what it might lack in timbral variety. Consider it a sampler platter of musical flavors from all over the globe, presented in a style unique to its make.”

Winter Is for Lovers Ben Harper ANTI-RECORDS With his latest project, folk/blues musician Ben Harper has taken the idea of a solo album to its logical extreme. Gone are Harper’s vocals, as is his usual backup band The Innocent Criminals. Winter Is for Lovers consists entirely of sounds emanating from a Monteleone lap steel guitar. The textural sparseness creates an atmosphere simultaneously warm and barren, perfectly suited to the album’s title. Harper recorded Winter at his grandparents’ instrument shop, The Folk Music Store. While working in that shop as a child, he met luminaries like Leonard Cohen, Ry Cooder, Jackson Browne, and Taj Mahal, the last of whom taught him to play fingerstyle guitar. Along with blues guitarists like Mahal, this album pays tribute to the classical, flamenco, Hawaiian, Indian, and so-called “American primitive” players who furthered Harper’s musical development. As opposed to songs, these 15 pieces are intended to be experienced as movements in a symphony. Each section is named after a part of the world that provided musical inspiration for this project. …


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