Ben Harper recently teamed up with “American Idol” Top 20 contestant Alejandro Aranda for a performance of the former’s song with The Blind Boys of Alabama, “There Will Be a Light.” The duo dueted and played acoustic guitars on the spiritual, uplifting number and was later joined by a full band. Harper and Aranda’s harmonies on the chorus got a “wow” out of Lionel Richie. Check it out above.
As Jambase reported, Harper and Aranda’s musical connection goes back much further than “American Idol.” Both artists hail from the Pomona, California area. “Alejandro Aranda was born and raised in Pomona,” Harper said. “I was born in Pomona Valley Hospital blocks away from his house and grew up one town over. I used to hear him play in my family’s music store.”
“There Will Be a Light” is the title track from Ben Harper’s critically-acclaimed 2004 album with The Blind Boys of Alabama. The song nabbed a nomination for Best Gospel Performance and the record took home a Grammy for Best Gospel Album. The There Will Be a light track "11th Commandment" also garnered Harper a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Ben Harper recently released a collaborative album, No Mercy In This Land, with legendary blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. Read our interview with Harper about the album here. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals will hit the road this summer with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Both bands will close out the weeklong grand opening of Denver’s Mission Ballroom on Monday, Aug. 12. Purchase your (Tickets) here.