After touring with the Dave Matthews Band for most of July, Ben Harper And The Innocent Criminals have just embarked on another round of concert dates to support their "Burn To Shine" album, and Harper is also prepping a live record for release early next year.
Harper told MTV News that he is currently compiling tapes of shows for the live album, a planned double-disc set of both band and solo material that would feature songs from all four of Harper's LPs, dating back to his 1994 debut, "Welcome To The Cruel World."
"We multi-track every show to a 24-track [board]," Harper said. "We're going to put out a live record in the third month of 2001, in March. It will focus on all four records, but just [from] playing the songs [in concert] over the last year.
"There's definite notes kept as far as which shows are at the forefront of [contributing to] the record," he added. "It's gonna be a double-record disc. It's gonna have one album of Innocent Criminal band material, 12 songs or so, and then a second CD of [solo] acoustic songs live. It will be a well-rounded representation of the music that I make."
Harper, who made several live tracks available online earlier this year (see "Ben Harper Offers Live Tracks, Steals "Kisses" Single"), also indicated that while he has yet to make any firm decisions about what will appear on the live record, he's leaving open the possibility that a cover or two might make the cut.
Harper and his backing band, The Innocent Criminals, which features bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Dean Butterworth, and percussionist David Leach, have routinely incorporated
of covers into their concert repertoire, including Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," and Pearl Jam's "Indifference."
To that end, Harper noted that the he and the Criminals were particularly pleased with a Hendrix tune that has become a part of their sets during the various "Burn To Shine" tour runs over the past year.
Aside from the planned live LP, Harper also recently recorded a version of Bruce Springsteen's "My Father's House" for the upcoming benefit album "Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's 'Nebraska,'" due out in November.
Son Volt's Jay Farrar,
Billy Bragg, and Aimee Mann and Michael Penn have all contributed tracks to "Badlands," which will raise money for Doctors Without Borders, the Nobel Prize-winning independent international medical relief agency.
Dates for Ben Harper And The Innocent Criminals' expanded fall tour of North America:
8/22 - Edmonton, AB @ Francis Winspear Centre
Pittsburgh, PA @ A.J. Palumbo Center