Childhood Home

Childhood Home

Ben Harper comes from a musical family and here’s the proof. This ten-track, all acoustic album features duets between Ben and his mother Ellen Harper, who wrote four songs to Ben’s six. The elder Harper’s parents founded the Folk Music Center and Museum in Claremont, California over 50 years ago and Ellen still works there. As a single mom, she raised Ben in these surroundings and he soaked up masterclasses taught by David Lindley, Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. Childhood Home is a concept album, essentially, about the meaning of love and family and a young person’s sense of identity that causes them to leave the nest and to one day return to it with a greater understanding of their roots. Ben’s “A House Is A Home” covers this territory, with Ellen responding on “City of Dreams” with the tale of her hometown being swallowed up by suburban sprawl. The songs take largely a folk-country sound, with harmonies between Ben and Ellen striking a timeless pose on tunes like “Farmer’s Daughter,” “Memories of Gold” and “Altar of Love,” a waltz that speaks of her route to motherhood and the sacrifices it required.

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