Sign up for our mailing list Real artists creating records on their own terms
Close

Sign up for our mailing list

News

Ben Harper's Solo Lap Steel Album 'Winter Is For Lovers' Is Out Today
Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Ben Harper's Solo Lap Steel Album 'Winter Is For Lovers' Is Out Today

Today Ben Harper has released Winter Is For Lovers (ANTI- Records), an album that in many ways is a culmination of his entire musical life.

The intimate and ambitious solo recording is his first-ever entirely instrumental project, 15 original compositions imagined as a symphony and performed by Harper on his lap steel guitar. The record captures a lifetime of musical inspirations and experiences, and has been deemed “virtuosic, heartfelt and quietly but compellingly brilliant” by Uncut Magazine in their 8 out of 10 star review. American Songwriter says it’s “a lovely, sweet, immaculately recorded and performed set perfect for Sunday morning coffee.”

This week, Harper appeared on WNYC’s All Of It arts and culture radio program to discuss the album’s origins and influences, just a month after his appearance on WNYC’s Soundcheck program, where he performed three selections from it. He was also on the September cover of Relix Magazine, alongside Rhiannon Giddens (they released a recording of Nick Drake’s “Black Eyed Dog” in July), and spoke at length about the “sublime” album’s key influences, spanning David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, Taj Mahal, and John Fahey. Harper also released the single “Don’t Let Me Disappear” in May, and earlier in September appeared with Ziggy Marley on The Today Show and The Late Late Show with James Corden to perform “Play With Sky.”

Previously released singles from Winter Is For Lovers include “Paris,” “London,” and “Inland Empire,” which was covered by Rolling Stone, SPIN, Paste and beyond.

The music featured on Winter Is For Lovers is deeply ingrained in Harper’s DNA and leads directly back to The Folk Music Center, the influential California instrument shop his grandparents opened in the late 1950s where Harper filmed three of the videos for this record. It swirls with the music Harper heard growing up, listening to the blues, Hawaiian and classical guitar masters in his mother’s record collection. He gravitated early on to the distinct wail of the slide guitar, learning finger picking from the great Taj Mahal and later studying with Chris Darrow of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - a lap steel virtuoso who had a major influence on Harper’s lifelong embrace of the instrument.

The first pressing of a 2,000-piece limited edition vinyl of Winter Is For Lovers sold out in just 24 hours, but fans can order both digital and additional physical versions of Winter Is For Lovers here.

Winter is For Lovers Tracklist:

1. Istanbul
2. Manhattan
3. Joshua Tree
4. Inland Empire
5. Harlem
6. Lebanon
7. London
8. Toronto
9. Verona
10. Brittany
11. Montreal
12. Bizanet
13. Toronto (Reprise)
14. Islip
15. Paris

Browse by Artist

1764All Artists 97Tom Waits 70Mavis Staples 57Neko Case 51Lost In The Trees 50Sean Rowe 48Dr. Dog 45The Milk Carton Kids
41Jolie Holland 40Bettye LaVette 37Man Man 35Tinariwen 33Tim Fite 33DeVotchKa 32Son Little 31Islands 31Grinderman 27Galactic 27Wilco 27Saintseneca 24Michael Franti and Spe... 24Glen Hansard 22Bob Mould 22William Elliott Whitmo... 22Doe Paoro 21Nick Cave & The Bad Se... 21The Frames 20Joe Henry 20Christopher Paul Stell... 20Andy Shauf 19Booker T. Jones 19Sage Francis 18Deafheaven 18Delicate Steve 17John K. Samson 17Yann Tiersen 17Gary V 16Ramblin Jack Elliott 16Jason Lytle 16Xenia Rubinos 15Cass McCombs 15The Drums 14Daniel Lanois 13Billy Bragg 13The Antlers 13Calexico 13The Dream Syndicate 12Xavier Rudd 12Peter Silberman 11The Weakerthans 11Lyrics Born 11Rain Machine 11Mose Allison 11Roky Erickson 11Ryan Pollie 10The Swell Season 10The Melodic 10So Much Light 10Jade Jackson 10Yves Jarvis 9Marianne Faithfull 9N.A.S.A. 9Cameron Avery 9Jeremy Ivey 8Solillaquists of Sound 8Greg Graffin 8Cadence Weapon 8The Coup 7Elliott Smith 7Eddie Izzard 7Dead Man's Bones 7Alec Ounsworth 7Beth Orton 7Kelly Hogan 7Title Fight 7Japandroids 7Girlpool 7Ben Harper and Charlie... 7Richard Reed Parry 7Wynonna 6A Girl Called Eddy 6Busdriver 6Os Mutantes 6Kate Bush 6Broken Twin 6Rafiq Bhatia 6Boy Scouts 6Deradoorian 5One Day As A Lion 5The Field 5Keaton Henson 5Beat Connection 5Foxwarren 5Combo Chimbita 5Darrin Bradbury 5Ben Harper 5Josiah Johnson 4Ersi Arvizu 4Marketa Irglova 4Pops Staples 4Curtis Harding 4Lido Pimienta 4The Good Ones 4Purr 4M. Ward 4Hey, King! 3Danny Cohen 3Sierra Leones Refugee... 3Petra Haden 3Walter Wolfman Washing... 3Mothers 3Marc Ribot 2Various Artists: RANGO 2Jeff Tweedy 2Glitterer 2Christian Lee Hutson 1Tricky 1Joe Strummer And The M... 1Youth Group 1Blackalicious 1Antibalas 1Porter Wagoner 1Various Artists: ROGUE... 1The Locust 1Rogue's Gallery 1Kronos Quartet with Br... 1Simian Mobile Disco 1case/lang/veirs 1Merle Haggard 1Half Waif 1ANTI- Records 1Fleet Foxes 1Danny Elfman
See Full List+