Review: Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker


benjaminbookerIf he’s not the Future of Rock and Roll, Benjamin Booker is certainly the buzz act of the present. He is currently tearing it up on the festival circuit with his liberating mix of punk, soul, rockabilly and blues. This is a guy who lets it all hang out, rockwise. Sir Rocknuts, take note.

His debut, self-titled album was released late last year, and it neatly captures the range of his talents and influences. The lead single “Violent Shiver” crackles with an almost visible energy, a manic ode to lost opportunities:

Exhale her or breathe in and return to center
Fuck it up on a five-year bender
I can know that just I’ll never leave her
Please won’t be the same

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Energy is Benjamin Booker’s key offering. It is a vital and genuine force, driven mainly by the frenetic rhythms powering away on his Epiphone hollow body guitar. His lead guitar playing is workmanlike, mostly melody lines. It is really all about the rhythm. Plus his incredible honey-and-sandpaper voice, which is something to write home about.

On the track “Have You Seen My Son”, the drummer channels Ginger Baker in a brilliant mid-song breakdown.

On “Happy Homes” Booker brings the tempo down to shuffle, and on “I Thought I Heard you Screaming”, down further to slow sweet acoustic blues. You could hear a pin drop. Now that’s range. It will be fascinating to see how much this guy crosses over into the mainstream like the Black Keys, another blues-based group.

Release date: August 19, 2014.

One comment to “Review: Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker”
  1. Pingback: Great New Music: Benjamin Booker – “Witness” | Rocknuts

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