Singer and guitarist Benjamin Booker's signature "Tent City Rivival" sound is what hipsters play to their children instead of lullabies. Booker's gravelly voice evokes a chipper Tom Waits with the timeless vocal simplicity of Bruce Springsteen (had The Boss been raised on the Bayou, not Long Branch). So you could imagine our surprise when a soft-spoken voice greeted us from New Orleans, prior to our phone interview.
Tampa, Florida, native Booker fell in love with New Orleans while working for Americorps' Hands On New Orleans program. The demo he recorded there on a shoestring budget, intended only for friends, landed in the right hands on the internet. Now Booker is opening for Jack White prior to even releasing a proper studio album.
Before Booker's Monday show at Turf Club, we spoke with the soulful 25-year-old about his red-hot career and the Plan B he'll never have to follow.More »