Benjamin Booker ©️KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Benjamin Booker

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Benjamin Booker by Bobby Dixon of Kollective Fusion

TAPING SETLIST

Benjamin Booker Setlist

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and rocker Benjamin Booker makes his Austin City Limits debut in advance of his greatly anticipated sophomore release Witness, out in June. Born in Virginia Beach and raised in Tampa, Booker attended a magnet school for the arts before matriculating at the University of Florida, studying music journalism. After selfreleasing his 2012 EP Waiting Ones, he signed to ATO, who released his eponymous debut in 2014. “Singing with a maturity beyond his years,” said The Guardian about the criticallyadored LP, “he crafts hooks that pay homage to Robert Johnson, Sam Cooke and the shambolic punk he grew up listening to.” With Witness, the New Orleans-based Booker has created his most ambitious work yet by digging deep into his passion for eccentric soul, R&B, and blues – drawing on everything from William Onyeabor’s 70s African psychrock to Freddie Gibbs and Pusha T, while never straying too far from the garage-punk intensity that made his self-titled 2014 debut such a creative breakthrough. The title track has already been released as a single and features gospel legend and ACL alum Mavis Staples. Booker said the song was inspired by events that took place during a songwriting trip to Mexico City where James Baldwin’s observation that “Once you find yourself in another civilization you are forced to examine your own” took on the weight of experience. Booker says “‘Witness’ asks two questions I think every person in America needs to ask. ‘Am I going to be a Witness?’ and in today’s world, ‘Is that enough?’”

EPISODE LIST

NEWS

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