Forget where the rubber meets the road – rock, folk, dancehall and reggae are about to square off in capacity-filled sheds and arenas this summer, laid down by two tireless road warriors known for their rollicking live shows. Grammy winner Ben Harper will be joined by Grammy winner, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, for one of this year’s most festive tours.
"Both Sides Of The Gun" is an apt calling card for the two month trek which kicks off – with Harper and his band the Innocent Criminals as headliner – on August 10th at Phoenix, Arizona’s Dodge Theatre and winds up on September 15th at Atlanta, Georgia’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre. In between, the tour will hit the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles for two nights August 11th and 12th, Chicago, Illinois on August 27th, and two New York City Central Park shows at Rumsey Playing Field, September 5th and 6th. Harper and Marley will then join up again playing the same stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival September 15th - 17th.
Both artists have earned their reps with genre-mashing live shows that have turned into memorable concert “events,” while still managing to mine social undercurrents in their music. Harper will feature past favorites as well as live versions of songs from his new double-disc release Both Sides of the Gun. Released March 21, the album held a #1 slot at AAA radio for four weeks and earned a four star lead review in Rolling Stone Magazine. Marley, accompanied by his five piece band, two backup singers, and a flag man will be performing songs from his Grammy-winning current release Welcome To Jamrock, as well as tracks off of his first album "Mr. Marley,” and from the Grammy-winning album Halfway Tree, along with selected songs recorded by his father Bob Marley.
Ben Harper has busied himself with a slew of independent projects while working on his new album. He participated in the Vote For Change concert tour organized by Moveon.org, in 2004, and released a Grammy-winning collaboration with The Blind Boys Of Alabama in 2005, the gospel influenced disc There Will Be Light. Since the release of 2006’s Both Sides of the Gun, Harper has been busy touring internationally at theatres and festivals. He appeared at Hawaii’s Kokua Music Festival, which kicked off on April 19th. More festival appearances followed including headlining slots at The Sasquatch Festival (USA). Next are upcoming appearances at the Oxygen Festival (Ireland), Rock Werchter Festival (Belgium) and T in the Park (Scotland). A favorite guest of many television talk shows, Harper was invited by Last Call with Carson Daly to appear for a full week as their musical guest – the first time ever offered to any artist by the show. Harper is currently headlining a five-night sold out run at the Olympia in Paris, France.
The youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, Damian “Jr Gong” Marley garnered his own place in music history earlier this year when he became the first ever Reggae artist to win a Grammy outside of the Reggae category, taking home an award for Best Urban/Alternative performance for the “Welcome To Jamrock,” single. The acclaimed breakthrough 2005 disc also won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Marley was also a big winner at this year’s International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), picking up all six honors that he was nominated for. Since the release of Welcome To Jamrock, the tireless Marley has been touring non-stop shaking up stages all over the world with his band the Empire, including landing the coveted opening slot on U2’s record-breaking jaunt. Heralded by Rolling Stone as one of the ‘Top 10 new artists to watch’ in 2006, Damian also displayed his liv