|Photo by Ken Sears|
"Witness" is very different from the songs on his self titled 2014 debut. At least with "Witness," the firey MC5 meets Nirvana hyped up rockabilly sound is replaced with soul. I'm sure that's more than partially due to Mavis Staples' guest starring for the chorus. Booker and Staples doing a song together is an absolute fantasy pairing for me. Booker is channeling James Brown on this song, with just the slightest hint of hip hop. Of course, that could be because early 90s rap borrowed quite heavily from James Brown and soul, but the sound just edges in for me. It's an interesting change in sound, while still keeping in step with Booker's roots.
Benjamin Booker's new album (I'm thrilled to be able to say that), which is also called Witness, is due June 2 on ATO Records. You can listen to "Witness" below. For more on Benjamin Booker, be sure to check out his website. He also does a fantastic interview with NPR about the song and album. You can find that here.