Artist: Benjamin Booker
Album: Benjamin Booker
Release Date: 19 August 2014
Reviewer: Mitch Kampf – Station Manager
Review Date: 17 September 2014
Raw and full of soul, singer-songwriter Benjamin Booker’s first album release comes highly anticipated after performances at the Newport Folk Festival and Lollapalooza, as well as touring with Jack White this year. Despite his young age of 22, Booker’s music pays homage to artists like Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, and even modern artists like The Black Keys. The beauty of this album, however, lies in its simplicity. The tracks are not clean, but hold a quality of raw distortion that envelops you like a live performance would.
Booker’s self-titled album is everything a true blues rock album should be, mixing intimate moments of vulnerability with unrestrained, high speed jams. The New Orleans native re-envisions blues rock for the modern era through soulful lyricism and boogie rhythms mixed with the raw guitar distortion. Booker’s fast paced guitar strumming becomes his signature throughout the album starting at full speed in “Violent Shiver” with guitar licks reminiscent of the 1950s. However, slower tracks like “Slow Coming” and “Spoon Out My Eyeballs” show Booker’s full range of talent and musical expertise. Not only can Booker provide us with a fast paced blues boogie, but he skillfully slows down for a more intimate blues performance.
While “Violent Shiver” has already received great radio play as a single, we can expect to see and hear more from Benjamin Booker following the release of his debut self-titled album on August 19, 2014. Leaping into the new music spotlight, Booker’s broad range of talent deserves the praise he is receiving.