Danny Clinch recently photographed Ben Harper and harmonica-master Charlie Musselwhite for their upcoming album “Get Up!” We took the opportunity to interview Danny about his experience collaborating with the two musical legends on this assignment.
Q: You have a history of photographing both artists individually, how was it different working with them then and now?
A: Ben has really settled into his career nicely. His music and his vibe are classic, it will never go out of style. He isn’t really following any trends, just following and making music he loves. What I love about Charlie is that he is steeped in the blues yet he is the go-to guy on harmonica for any type of music. Look at his work with Tom Waits and his solo records as well. I love that he says he is only really playing one song and adjusting it to the music at hand. Going with the flow.
Q: What is the relationship like between Charlie and Ben?
A: Well, Ben reveres Charlie. He has been listening since he was a kid. Ben grew up in a musical household. We should all be so lucky. I think Charlie is a mentor to Ben, but again, when you’re in the studio it’s a collaboration and I saw Ben owning it in there as well.
Q: What was your most memorable moment from this shoot?
A: Well , one was sitting on a cliff looking over the Pacific Ocean filming ben and charlie playing ”I’m in, I’m out , I’m gone.” Everyone there was blown away. Two was having a jam session in Ben’s studio. I play harmonica and I was standing right next to Charlie and he was killin’ it as usual, then he handed me his custom Charlie Musselwhite harp mic and nodded to me, here ya go, your turn. So, then it was sink or swim!! And I swam my ass off!