Benjamin Booker

Benjamin Booker

The New Orleans–based bluesman Benjamin Booker created a near-immediate stir before he’d released a thing, stunning audiences at industry showcases and at Lollapalooza with a sound clearly influenced by the greasy garage rock of The White Stripes. A summer jam session with Jack White and an opening performance on White’s tour seemed to be the seal of approval necessary to prove Booker was, in fact, the real deal. This self-titled debut album made with Alabama Shakes’ producer Andrija Tokic is a pure effort that captures the young man in various settings, from the self-explanatory vibe of “Violent Shiver” to the organ-led soul ballad “Slow Coming.” The hard-shuffling power of “Wicked Waters” demonstrates the no-nonsense appeal of music that comes from the gut. The catchy cadences of “Have You Seen My Son?” were part of Booker’s TV debut and made strong impressions on the late-night-TV crowd, who immediately recognized this man’s obvious talents. For anyone who thinks rock ’n’ roll is dead, play them this set. It’s one great rock ’n’ roll album. 

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