There is no doubt that their album, No Mercy In This Land, is a blues record. At first glance, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite might seem an unlikely pairing, but these two storied musicians were born to play together.

There’s a moment in the title song, a mere few seconds, that powerfully capture the friendship and unique collaboration between the two. The music, a primal and intimate blues, stops with the exception for a sustained organ note. Musselwhite leans in and delivers the lines, “Father left us down here all alone, my poor mother is under a stone. With an aching heart and trembling hands, is there no mercy in this land?” And with those words, that weary voice, you can hear it all—the highs and lows, the adventures, the sadness and all the loss.

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