Saturday ACL Fest Record Reviews

Benjamin Booker

Witness (ATO/Rough Trade)

Saturday ACL Fest Record Reviews

Ringing fundamentally bluesy, with political punk inflections, singer-guitarist Benjamin Booker's soulful second full-length straitjackets all of the Virginia/Florida/New Orleans dweller's influences into 32 barbed minutes. Not specifically an activist statement, Witness tackles racism on the gospel-infused, Mavis Staples-backed title track, intoning terror via "Everybody brown can get the fuck on the ground." Standout "Believe" finds a wandering Booker searching for answers: "I don't care if it's right or wrong/ I just want to believe in something/ How can I make it on my own?" (3pm, Miller Lite stage)

***

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Benjamin Booker, ACL Fest 2017

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