Ben Harper’s music has had such an impact on us since the ‘90s, that there’s something poetic about meeting him at the Claremont Folk Music Center—the California music institution and museum he grew up in and now owns. It’s where he first learned to play, was run by his grandparents when he was growing up, and has been in his family for over 60 years. Looking at the rare instruments lining the walls, the shelves of folk relics from around the world, and pictures of the artists who’ve stopped by, you can see the seeds of Ben’s eclectic style. In honor of his first instrumental album, we worked with him on a Corduroy Trucker Jacket and Hampui Hat that he helped design and wear-test over the past year. We captured a full interview and some delicately-played chords on our visit, but you may want to check out the capsule first—like a rare vinyl record, we’re thinking they’ll sell out fast.