Britt Festivals
2013 Season

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Ben Harper

Tuesday, July 3 • 7 p.m.

BenHarper.jpgBen Harper’s own genre of funky handcrafted acoustic folk-rock is twenty years in the making. Harper won commercial success with the radio single, "Steal My Kisses" in 2000. He was Rolling Stone’s Artist of the Year in 2003. In 2005, he won two Grammys for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album. Harper uses his music to promote his activism and humanitarianism.

He reaches new levels of complexity and autobiographical sincerity in his latest release, Give Till Its Gone. “It’s a real extension of the last year and half in my life, and all these sounds are inspired by my experiences. It’s as honest a musical statement as I could make,” Harper says. His latest release pays homage to such influences as Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne and Roy Orbison.

Harper intended the title of his liberating anthem, the album's first single, "Rock N Roll is Free", to have multiple meanings. “Rock ‘n’ roll has never been as free as it is now, in every sense of the word,” he says. “It’s just waiting for you all the time, and it won’t cost you to take musical chances, to expand your palette and your mind. It’s great to be part of this transitional age that’s happening."

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Tom Freund

It’s in the seemingly effortless ease with which he delivers his conversational lyrics and mellifluous melodies, this natural magic that is at the heart of Tom Freund’s music. Though he’s well-schooled and widely-traveled in a variety of genres — from hearftelt folk to buoyant pop to boho jazz to straightforward rock ‘n’ roll, and beyond — Freund ultimately comes across simply as a singer-songwriter with his own singularly distinctive and engaging voice.

Collapsible Plans, Freund’s fourth full-length album, puts that voice — in terms of both his artistic identity and his evocative singing — front-and-center. Produced by his longtime friend Ben Harper, and featuring piano and vocal contributions from Jackson Browne on two tracks, Collapsible Plans is Freund’s most focused and fully realized recording to date, combining top-shelf musicianship with the strongest set of songs Freund has yet gathered on a single disc.

“I wanted to make a record for a long time that really felt like ‘a time and a place,’ the way records used to be made,” Freund says. “My last couple were done in different states and with different folks; this one feels very tangible to me and my life at this time. It was great having Ben in the room with me; I trusted his sensibilities as a fellow songwriter.”

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Table Rock City Stage Performer: Phoenix Sigalove & Luke Thomas

Phoenix Sigalove & Luke Thomas will be performing on the Table Rock City Stage.

Watch video of Ben Harper

Watch video of Tom Freund (with Ben Harper)



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