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Ben Harper’s “Take My Hand” is a blues-infused gospel masterpiece

J-P Mauro - published on 07/30/18

Harper's collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama continues to impress.
Take my hand when you are worried
Take my hand when you’re alone
Take my hand and let me guide you
Take my hand to lead you home

In 2004, Ben Harper joined with the Blind Boys of Alabama for the album, There Will Be a Light. A true collaborative effort, Harper wrote 7 of the 11 tracks specifically with the Blind Boys of Alabama in mind; they worked with Harper to better blend their very different styles. The album was a huge success for both parties, winning the 2005 Grammy award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album, as well as Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the track “11th Commandment.”

Harper sings the tune as an impassioned plea, often sounding as though he’s on the verge of tears. The Blind Boys of Alabama fill the choruses with their signature rumbling bass tones, all the while accompanied by a Rhodes keyboard, which provides a soft blues atmosphere.

The Blind Boys of Alabama are a long standing gospel group that has been active since 1939. Several of the founding members were a part of There Will Be A Light. Over the last 80 years the group has produced more than 60 recordings and has won 6 Grammy Awards and 4 Dove awards. The Blind Boys of Alabama have sung on many of Harper’s albums in the last 10 years, adding gospel tones to his blues/folk-rock style.

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