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Originally published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:30 AM

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A gritty new blues collaboration

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Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite, ‘Get Up!’ (Stax)

The special chemistry between Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite is unmistakable on the duo’s powerful new album and DVD, “Get Up!”

Bluesman John Lee Hooker recognized that chemistry more than a decade ago, when Harper (known for his eclectic blend of blues, rock, folk and soul) and Musselwhite (the master blues harpist) joined him on a recording project. The two artists — from different generations — finally combined forces for the soulful blues album featuring such songs as “Don’t Look Twice,” “You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend)” and the boisterous “She Got Kick.”

Harper (on vocals, guitar and slide guitar) and Musselwhite (harmonica) complement each other on songs that crackle with energy. “I Don’t Believe a Word You Say” is a tempest of gritty blues artistry, with Harper wailing, “Don’t know what to do without you/ Don’t know what to do with you.”

The accompanying DVD includes video of the recording of three songs (listeners will want to turn up the volume for full effect), as well as a mini-documentary about the making of “Get Up!” that features Musselwhite’s reflections on the Chicago blues scene of the ’60s after relocating from Memphis.

The veteran bluesman says that during the sessions for Hooker, he and Harper “really locked in, musically and personally ... kind of like kindred spirits.”

Other new releases

Tegan and Sara, “Heartthrob” (Warner Bros.)

Charlie Wilson, “Love, Charlie” (RCA)

Eric Burdon, “Till Your River Runs Dry” (ABKCO)

Gene Stout, Special to The Seattle Times

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