Let’s open with a fun story about me, shall we? (If you don’t want to, too bad – it’s my blog *evil laugh*)
When I was 16, I was caught in a rainstorm. Some jerk was tailing me pretty close and making me nervous. So I sped up to get away from him and ended up sliding off of the road, and into a ditch. My car rolled – it went up onto the drivers side.
And in that moment, Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” was cranked up on my radio.
Between that experience and my love of Back to the Future, Chuck Berry’s twangy guitar and duck walk hold a special place in my heart.
So when my friend queued up Benjamin Booker, his raspy vocals and the familiar guitar licks made me perk up.
Her other music selections had me going, “That’s nice,” “That’s okay,” “That’ll do.” But when Benjamin Booker popped up, I couldn’t help but burst out, “I LIKE THIS ONE!”
She knowingly nodded and told me that I needed to buy the album. No shit!
“Violent Shiver” is the first song off of Booker’s 2014 self-titled debut album.
And what a kick-off it is! With Booker belting out lyrics while slapping his guitar, he’s the embodiment of the throwback sound that’s happening right now. But he does it right.
Unlike Leon Bridges, Booker would have still floated onto my radar if we lived in the era that his sound originated. The nice thing about Booker is that while his sound is rooted in the past, his vocals and approach are full-steam ahead and steering into 2016 and beyond. He’s not merely a throwback artist.
With a strong debut under his belt, there’s no doubt that Booker’s influence will spread from underground videogame soundtracks to being a mainstay on radio stations. Let’s hope they do him right.