There’s really nothing like hearing a pristine, raucous, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll record. I can never put my finger on what makes it so damn good, but it definitely has something to do with it being loud, raw and no-holds-barred. This is where guitar whiz kid Benjamin Booker comes into play. The phenom from The Big Easy is putting out his self-titled debut and it’ll make you jump out of your chair, do the boogie woogie and cause a stir. It’s a gem that shines so boldly that musically, it’s worth its weight in gold.
Benjamin rocked Rhode Island music audiences during this year’s Newport Folk Festival and his debut album introduces audiences to the heart Benjamin shows on every track. Whether it’s lightning fast or solemnly slow, Benjamin exhibits sheer intensity on each track while presenting his soul in the most genuine of ways. You can sense that the music is done by a man with a blue-collar aesthetic — he puts his all into everything he does — a striking quality that made me fall in love with everything Benjamin Booker creates on his six-string.
For the 50th time in my life I heard that World War III is approaching and that we’re all going to die in a nuclear war. Before the world ends, check out the top tracks off of my Album Of The Week. It won’t save humanity from self-destructing, but it’ll definitely save your music taste.
“Violent Shiver” opens the album and the opening solo and the clash of riffs and drums will make you jump up and down so hard you could cause a few dents in your floor. What I like most about “Have You Seen My Son” is the noisy jam session during the last two minutes. It’s sheer insanity with complex rhythmic energy lashing out from all directions. The keys in the background of “Chippewa” really give the song a lot of groove; this one will get the ladies’ hips shakin’ in no time.
Benjamin Booker will officially release his debut on August 19 and he’ll perform at the legendary Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas (October 3 – 5 and 10 – 12) after a tour of the west coast and United Kingdom. Let’s hope Benjamin graces The Ocean State with his presence once again soon. If he’s as good as he was in Newport, then it’ll be a treat for any rock ‘n’ roll enthusiast. Until then, get yourself a copy of Benjamin’s debut when it hits record store shelves. Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t dead, it’s alive and well.
Benjamin Booker’s website: