Ben Harper Plans U.S. Tour, Talks Business

After a short break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Ben Harper is heading back on the road for another extended global outing in support of his newest album, “Burn To Shine.”

Harper and his band, The Innocent Criminals, will launch their next U.S. tour on January 27 in Charleston, South Carolina, and continue through a February 26 concert in Los Angeles with the British band Gomez.

Following those dates, Harper and The Innocent Criminals will then travel to Europe for a string of dates in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and Switzerland.

In a recent interview with MTV News, Harper talked about some of the challenges of bringing material from “Burn To Shine,” his most ambitious (and realized) album to date, to the stage.

“We’ve had to take time to relearn the songs after we’ve recorded them,” Harper said, “because they take on a new life by way of making a record.
We’ve just worked it out to where we have spent enough time in the studio rehearsing the songs to be confident in them.”

“The more you play [the songs],” he added, “the more they grow. The more you play the music live, the stronger your abilities come through in confidence and knowing the songs that much better.” [RealAudio]

But as much and Harper enjoys performing with his Innocent Criminals cohorts, he also admitted in not taking much solace out of the pencil-pushing, numbers-crunching aspect of the business.

“I’m really split up into three parts,” Harper said. “Thirty-three and a third of me is always focused on the business and not only making sure that things go smooth, but wondering why
they’re not smoother
in other areas.”

“And 33-1/3 of me is just appreciative for what there is,” he added. “And 33-1/3 of me could give less than a f*** about any of it, really, and just wants to sing and write and play guitar.”

“So I’m a different one of those, or a fraction of all of them at any given moment,” Harper said. “I’m almost a different person every 20 minutes.” [RealAudio]

Ben Harper will be hitting the following U.S. dates with The Innocent Criminals:

  • 1/27 – Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Performing Arts Center
  • 1/28 – Greenville, SC @ Peace Center
  • 1/29 – Charlottesville,
    VA @ Traxx
  • 1/31 – New Haven, CT @ Palace
  • 2/3 – Northampton, MA @ Smith College
  • 2/4 – Burlington, VT @ Memorial Auditorium
  • 2/5 – Utica, NY @ Stanley Performing Arts Center
  • 2/6 – Ithaca, NY @ Cornell University
  • 2/9 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Metropol
  • 2/11 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
  • 2/12 – Cleveland, OH @ Odeon
  • 2/13 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
  • 2/14 – Bloomington, IN @ Indiana University
  • 2/16 – Champaign, IL @ University of Illinois
  • 2/17 – St. Louis, MO @ Mississippi Nights
  • 2/18 – Columbia, MO @ Blue Note
  • 2/19 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
  • 2/20 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater
  • 2/23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theatre
  • 2/24 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
  • 2/25 – La Jolla, CA @ University of California – San Diego
  • 2/26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Universal Amphitheater (w/ Gomez)