Part of a new breed of bluesmen, New Orleans-based guitarist Benjamin Booker draws equally from post-war electric blues and trashy garage punk. This much was evident from his eponymous debut, released on ATO Records in August of 2014. He recorded the effort with producer Andrija Tokic, who helmed the debut by kindred spirits and labelmates Alabama Shakes. He followed up its release with touring during 2014, including a Lead Belly jam session with Jack White that seemed a bit like a passing of the torch.
Such success suggested Booker was an overnight sensation, and it is true the Tampa Bay native had a sudden rise to success. After spending some time in Gainesville and New Orleans, he returned to his home in Florida and had been playing in a duo with drummer Max Norton -- the two were billed as Booker & Norton -- for just over a year prior to signing to ATO Records. Subsequent to the signing, Booker went out as a solo artist while retaining Norton as his main collaborator, with Tokic helping to fill out the sound in the studio. Benjamin Booker came out a few months after its recording, appearing in August of 2014. Early the following year, Jack White's label both hosted and released Booker's concert album, Live at Third Man Records. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine