Ben Harper is recording an album with a new band, Relentless7, and will play a handful of club shows next month to introduce the material.
"White Lies for Dark Times" is due in May via Virgin and finds Harper backed by guitarist Jason Mozersky, drummer Jordan Richardson and bassist Jesse Ingalls, the latter two of the Los Angeles band Oliver Future.
Relentless7's Web site is now streaming a ripping cover of Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times" (which Harper played with Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and Roots drummer ?uestlove at Bonnaroo in 2007) and the original "Serve Your Soul," a riffy blast which fades out into piano and violin.
The group debuted Oct. 29 during a Beastie Boys-led "get out the vote" show in Youngstown, Ohio, and will be back on the road starting Dec. 3 in Solana Beach, Calif.
A Harper spokesperson says the artist's longtime band, the Innocent Criminals, has not broken up and that Harper simply wanted to try something different this time around.
His last album, 2007's "Lifeline," has sold 173,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Here are Relentless7's tour dates:
Dec. 3: Solana Beach, Calif. (Belly Up Tavern)
Dec. 4: Los Angeles (Spaceland)
Dec. 5: Los Angeles (the Mint)
Dec. 7: Santa Cruz, Calif. (the Catalyst)
Dec. 8: San Francisco (the Independent)