Grammy winning album Get Up! is the first collaboration between Blues Rock artists Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. With Harper being three times Grammy winning artist, Get Up! becomes the third landmark. Beyond that note, Musselwhite has been playing Blues since the 60s. There was undoubtedly a lot to expect!
Musselwhite is known for his harmonica skills. He received the best harmonist title off the Blues Music Award. Given that, the harmonica was as primary as the guitar in the album. The album beholds a classic sound to it. Both the music and its quality merge to take you into another time dimension.
It all starts with down-tempo ‘Don’t Look Twice’. The title track is funky, and six-minutes long. Lyrically, it has a sense of rebellion. As good as the vocal part is concerned, long instrumental parts and solos are just as great. I would not just say the funk bass line compliments the song, because it is more of a big share of what makes it. The track might be long but it never gets boring. As most of the album, it has a chilling vibe to it, as well as pleasurable melody. Harper’s vocals were another classic factor. He has the melting authentic vocals that fit so warmly with blues.
As ‘I’m In I’m Out And I’m Gone’ comes, its melody reminds me of ‘You Better Run’ by the classic blues-rock band Young Rascals (the songs is more known by the cover of Pat Benatar). The track, as the name implies, has a furious tone. It is another amusing track, although it gets kind of tiresome towards the end. ‘She Got Kick’ is another typical blues track, yet I prefer it to ‘I Don’t Believe What You Say’. I really like how the instruments’ arrangement. The song is one of the few upbeat danceable tracks in this album.
‘We Can End This Way’ has a little bit of everything. Americana, soul & gospel blended with Harper’s vocals and Musselwhite’s harmonica is just… sinful. This track is remarkably refreshing. ‘I Don’t Believe You Say’ is a typical blues-rock track. There is nothing new if you ask me. ‘I Ride at Dawn’ is a down-tempo americana track. Harper’s vocals in action captivate my soul in ‘You Found Another Lover’. It smoothly drags you into his sad state, and he surely knows how to seduce you into the blue.
As ‘You Found Another Lover’ makes you sad, ‘I Ride at Dawn’ somehow makes you feel like you are a cowboy riding to a battle. I can even imagine it. ‘Blood Side Out’ is heavy fast in pace track. It is fun to listen to. It is one of those blues tracks that are to be danced to. All the instruments exclusively do a great job at that one. As for the last track, ‘All That Matters Now’, it is another decent slow paced track, though it gets a bit boring.
What I liked the most about Get Up! is how some tracks tug you in certain moods. Harper and Musselwhite’s click got the thrilling atmosphere on! With the excellent vocal delivery, mastery of harmonica, the pleasant melodies and arrangement, the variety is not missing in the album. I sincerely found Get Up! to be a very intriguing album. Time flied listening to it and I did not even realize that it was over. Though I cannot deny few boring moments and a couple of tracks I would have personally considered as fill ups, the harmony between Harper and Musselwhite is undeniable. I personally hope there is more collaboration coming our way.
I highly recommend it for fans of: blues rock, Americana, and soul.
Edited by: Duha Mousa