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Diamonds on the Inside
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Ben Harper (vocals, various instruments); Ladysmith Black Mambazo (vocals); Nicky P., Al Anderson (guitar); Greg Leisz (pedal steel); Amy Wilkins (harp); Danielle Charles-Hunter (violin); Darrell Sims (viola); Rebecca Yeh (cello); Leo Chelyapov (clarinet); Barbara Nightengale (accordion); Ron Blake (trumpet); David Ralikce (trombone); Greg Kurstin (electric piano, Clavinet, celeste, Hammond B-3 organ); Juan D. Nelson (bass); Oliver Francis Charles (drums, background vocals); Leon Mobley (percussion, background vocals); Carla L. Benson, Misty Love (background vocals).
  • Recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California.
  • Personnel includes: Ben Harper (vocals, various instruments); Ladysmith Black Mambazo (vocals); Nicky P., Al Anderson (guitar); Greg Leisz (pedal steel); Amy Wilkins (harp); Danielle Charles-Hunter (violin); Darrell Sims (viola); Rebecca Yeh (cello); Leo Chelyapov (clarinet); Barbara Nightengale (accordion); Ron Blake (trumpet); David Ralikce (trombone); Greg Kurstin (electric piano, Clavinet, celeste, Hammond B-3 organ); Juan D. Nelson (bass); Oliver Francis Charles (drums, background vocals); Leon Mobley (percussion, background vocals); Carla L. Benson, Misty Love (background vocals).
  • Recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California.
  • Audio Mixers: June Murakawa; Todd Burke.
  • Recording information: Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, CA.
  • Photographers: Warren Darius Aftahi; Jon Shapiro; Blue Sky; Summer Comstock.
  • In the three years-plus interim between this and his last studio album, Ben Harper traversed the world, and the already introspective singer/songwriter has clearly done even more soul-searching and emerged with his most earnest (and that's no mean feat), focused set to date. DIAMONDS ON THE INSIDE flows organically with that transcendent feeling exemplfied by lines so simple and revealing as "can you look into my eyes, or has your heart gone blind," which harbor the ability to subtly wend their way into the subconscious and the heart simultaneously.
  • Harper's gathered his acclaim via trenchant lyricism and his knack for adeptly and sincerely blending many styles into a rocking, grooving concoction. On "Brown Eyed Blues," he channels Al Green before breaking down into a jam reminiscent of Santana or War, then follows it with the P-Funk-esque "Bring The Funk." He recalls Sam Cooke's spirituals on the breathtaking "When She Believes," and can pull off a reincarnation of Cat Stevens at his apex on the title track, as well as on "Amen Omen," and "Everything." With this solid, thoughtful record, Harper continues the heartfelt soul-folk-funk-jam. that won him a cult following from Deadheads to indie rockers.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (3/20/03, p.64) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Harper works out of a tradition that is older than rock: the African-American church and its more secular members' tradition of blending gospel righteousness with pop grooves..."

Rolling Stone (3/20/03, p.64) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Harper works out of a tradition that is older than rock: the African-American church and its more secular members' tradition of blending gospel righteousness with pop grooves..."

Entertainment Weekly (3/21/03, p.112) - "...Harper and his Innocent Criminals segue from reggae to rock to funk to blues and even gospel with terrifying ease..." - Rating: B-

CMJ (03/17/03, p.6) - "...With Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley still living in equal parts in his music on DIAMONDS ON THE INSIDE, Harper offers one of his most diverse collections of songs yet..."

CMJ (03/17/03, p.6) - "...With Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley still living in equal parts in his music on DIAMONDS ON THE INSIDE, Harper offers one of his most diverse collections of songs yet..."

Vibe (5/03, p.162) - 3 out of 5 - "...Harper was one of this musical generation's original Sensitive Men....Harper's still conscious and refusing to fit into the mold of Top 40 music..."

Vibe (5/03, p.162) - 3 out of 5 - "...Harper was one of this musical generation's original Sensitive Men....Harper's still conscious and refusing to fit into the mold of Top 40 music..."

Mojo (Publisher) (4/03, p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Possessed of an eerie high voice and quasi orchestral virtuosity on the Weissenborn lap slide acoustic guitar, Calfornia-born but Delta-dreaming Harper has a coat-of-many colours soul..."

Mojo (Publisher) (4/03, p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Possessed of an eerie high voice and quasi orchestral virtuosity on the Weissenborn lap slide acoustic guitar, Calfornia-born but Delta-dreaming Harper has a coat-of-many colours soul..."
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