On Saturday May 12th, I had the honor of attending the first night of a 4 night residency by Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. These two have record 2 albums together and are embarked on a series of residencies, most of them completely sold out.
The first thing to report about the concert..is that it's not just Ben and Charlie. It's a full band with an extra lead guitarist. Ben mostly plays slide guitar.
The second thing to report is that everyone there got their moneys worth. They played for a very long time...no opener so the entire night was a blues fest like no other.
In addition to playing songs off the 2 albums there were a few blues standards and a couple of rock covers....a Beatles cover of "yer Blues" and and thoroughly driven version of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks".
The crowd (which was older than a normal Ben Harper concert, but about average for a Belly Up crowd) enjoyed every song and the place stayed packed to the very end.
Ben went through about a dozen different guitars, from acoustic 6 and 12 stringer to many different electrics. Charlie had a little suitcase full of harmonicas to play as well. Charlie sang lead on 3 or 4 numbers as well. He may be old...but he isn't tired...or even close to it!
Below are some pics from the show...if it comes back to So Cal for another leg of the tour in the fall...get your tickets early..it'll sell out quick again!