Tag Archives: Live From Mars

Tune In Tuesday: Live Albums

Today’s installment of Tune in Tuesday features six live albums.  The live album is always a risky proposition but when it is good, it is oh, so good.

So, let me regale you with the melodious sounds of live music.

Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Van Morrison

This was an amazing studio album and only gets better with the live element.  Van is in fine form vocally and the musicians are incredible.  If you are fan of Van the Man, than you need to check this out.  If you are not a fan you need to get checked out. 

Live From Mars

Ben Harper

If you are going to own one Ben Harper album, this is the one.  A great cross section of his material, a high energy set, and a few incredible cover tunes (Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”, Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, and the Verve’s “The Drugs Don’t Work”).  All of this jam packed into a double CD with 25 tracks.

Brothers of a Feather

Chris & Rich Robinson

The brotherly duo behind the greatness of the Black Crowes perform as dueling guitarists while showcasing songs from their respective solo careers as well as songs from the Crowes catalog.  Stand out tracks on this album are “Thorn In My Pride”, “My Heart’s Been Killing Me”, and “Someday Past Sunset”.

Undone: A Musical Tribute to Robert Earl Keen

Various Artists

Wade Bowen, Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada, Walt Wilkins, Chris Knight, Randy Rogers, Roger Creagar, Max Stallings, Cory Morrow, Jason Boland, and Robert Earl himself appear on this album.  If you have any understanding or appreciation for the greatness of Robert Earl Keen, then this album is for you.  Not a bad set on the whole album. 

MTV Unplugged

Alice In Chains

This album never gets old and the songs never get bad.  This was, in my opinion, one of, if not, the best MTV unplugged shows.  Layne’s vocals are just as tortured and haunting as the first time I listened to this album.  Stand out tracks “Would”, “Angry Chair ”,“ Nutshell” and every other song on the album.

Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

Rage Against the Machine

This is the last thing that was done before the breakup of the band in 2000 and the release was delayed three years due to the breakup and subsequent formation of Audioslave.  The performance is energetic and embodies all that was great about this band.  The mix and sound quality is not the greatest but still well worth the listen.  This performance  was also available as a DVD.

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


Ben Harper

Today’s hot topic is slide guitar extraordinaire and multi band leader (Innocent Criminals & Relentless Seven) Benjamin Chase Harper! 

Ben Harper (In all incarnations) Discography and Best Song From Each Album:

  • Pleasure & Pain (1992)
    • This is a limited edition release prior to Harper signing with a major label.  It is the only album of his that I do not have nor do I have track listing.
  • Welcome to the Cruel World (1994)
    • Waiting on an Angel
  • Fight For Your Mind (1995)
    • Excuse Me Mr.
  • The Will to Live (1997)
    • Glory & Consequences
  • Burn to Shine (1999)
    • Please Bleed
  • Live from Mars (2001)
    • Sexual Healing
  • Diamonds on the Inside (2003)
    • Amen Omen
  • There Will Be Light (2004)
    • Wicked Man
  • Live at the Apollo (2005)
  • Both Sides of the Gun (2006) (Double CD)
    • Morning Yearning
    • Better Way
  • Lifeline (2007)
    • Having Wings
  • Live at the Twist & Shout (2007)
  • White Lies for Dark Times (2009)
    • Faithfully Remain

Top 5 Ben Harper albums:

  1. Diamonds on  the Inside
  2. Welcome to the Cruel World
  3. Live From Mars
  4. Burn to Shine
  5. Fight For Your Mind

Top 10 Ben Harper Songs:

  1. Amen Omen
  2. Please Bleed
  3. Burn One Down
  4. Touch from Your Lust
  5. Steal My Kisses
  6. Glory & Consequences
  7. Fool For a Lonesome Train
  8. Skin Thin
  9. I’ll Rise
  10. Walk Away

Read, review, and respond!

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Ben Harper!

Whether Ben Harper is playing with the “Innocent Criminals”, “The Blind Boys of Alabama”, or “The Relentless Seven”, he is making some pretty amazing music.  His style is as varied as his influences: Funk, Soul, Blues, Gospel,Reggae, Rock, and R&B, it all comes out in his music.  He is renowned for his ability on the slide guitar.

 Ben had a cult following in the decade of the 90’s and started to gain some commercial success in 2000 with the single “Steal My Kisses” from his album “Burn to Shine”.  His expressive voice and varied musical styles offer his fans a kaleidoscope of ear candy.  Another example of this is his stunning 2004 collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama “There Will Be Light”.   With each album it seems that he further embraces his influences such as Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and of course, Jimi Hendrix, while continuing to explore and expand his own.

 To really appreciate Ben Harper, you must see him live.  I have had this privilege on three separate occasions and in three different phases of his career.  The first time I saw him was four or five years ago at Austin City Limits Music Festival.  He was energetic and engaging and had the entire crowd of thousands completely enthralled.  The next occasion was on his “Lifeline” tour with his backing band ‘The Innocent Criminals” at the Majestic Theater in Dallas.  The tour was billed as acoustic and intimate and it was indeed both of those things.  The fans were seated for the entire show and captivated by the music.  The most recent concert was the 2008 Austin City Music Festival.  He was touring with his new band “The Relentless Seven”.  His hour long set was tight and focused on his new material from “White Lies for Dark Times”.  He was in fine form and his new band sounded great.

Ben Harper Discography

  • Welcome to the Cruel World
  • Fight for Your Mind
  • The Will To Live
  • Burn To Shine
  • Diamonds on the Inside
  • Live From Mars
  • There Will Be Light
  • Both Sides of the Gun
  • Lifeline
  • Live at the Twist & Shout
  • White Lies for Dark Times

 Top 5 Ben Harper Songs according to Butler (Albums listed to right of song):

  1. Amen Omen (Diamonds on the Inside)
  2. Having Wings (Lifeline)
  3. I’ll Rise (Welcome to the Cruel World)
  4. Excuse Me Mr. (Fight for Your Mind)
  5. Better Way (Both Sides of the Gun)

 If you have never listened to Ben Harper, then I highly recommend “Live From Mars” as your introductory sampling. It is a great selection of his music and some covers songs from artists such as Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin, and The Verve.

 Give Ben Harper some love and let me know what you think.

 Ben Harper’s music is available is available on iTunes, record stores and www.benharper.com.

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Great music awaits!