Ben Harper has announced the return of the backing band he used throughout much of his career, The Innocent Criminals. The singer-songwriter made the announcement in a video on YouTube that showed footage of him and the backing band throughout the years, which ends with a message "2015 Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals."
Harper hasn't worked with the group since 2008 but will kick off their reunion tour in San Francisco with four shows at the Fillmore Auditorium March 25-28.
The Innocent Criminals are comprised of percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates and guitarist Michael Ward. They first worked with Harper in the early '90s but weren't credited until 1999's Burn To Shine.
"The Innocent Criminals are a family," Harper said in a statement. "We've remained very close over the years and it seemed like we couldn't wait another minute. It's time for us to get back on the stage together. We've all come full circle in our own ways and it is time we pick up where we left off. It's creatively time for us to do this."
In recent years, Harper has worked with the backing band, Relentless 7, who he joined at one point to back Ringo Starr. He also collaborated with a variety of artists including the super-group Fistful of Mercy (Joseph Arthur, Dhani Harrison) as well as blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite, which won him a 2014 Grammy for Best Blues Album. He also recently put out an album with his mother, Ellen Harper.
Watch the video announcement below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!