Hear Benjamin Booker debut new songs on NPR's World Cafe, watch his Letterman appearance too



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Things just keep heating up for once Tampa-based artist Benjamin Booker and his band (Max Norton of Roppongi’s Ace and The Laurel Canyon, and Alex Spoto on drums and bass, respectively). Last week saw them make their late night television debut on Letterman and yesterday found them at WXPN in Philadelphia, Pa. to tape a session of NPR’s World Cafe.

Over the course of the nearly 20-minute segment Booker, 24, plays lyrical homage to the Hillsborough River while debuting “Happy Homes” — a never-before heard song from his upcoming debut LP (due August 19 via ATO Records). He also played his current single, “Violent Shiver,” and a fuzzed out, rollicking version of an older track, “Have You Seen Me Son?” replete with a garage rock coda that finds the boys presumably blowing World Cafe host David Dye’s ear drums out.

“Wow, that is great,” Dye said after the a song, “a song with a million grooves in it.”

Booker’s World Cafe interview also revealed some details about his upcoming record while providing insight about the addition of Spoto to the lineup as the band got booked to play bigger shows. Booker told Dye he hadn't intended on staying a two piece. “It was about ‘let’s look for the right person.’”

Booker also talked about moving to Florida after his father retired from the Navy, recording his first EP in New Orleans (it was never meant for the masses to hear), playing a few shows in Tampa, and the roles that 1980s hardcore, punk (The Germs, Black Flag) and the blues played in his musical development. “That was really the bond that brought me and Max together,” he said after admitting to finally hearing Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson at age 13. “You don’t really meet many kids our age listening to that kind of stuff.”

You can listen to Booker on NPR’s World Cafe here, and you can see their Letterman appearance below. Pre-order his new LP via ATO Records’ website where you can see the tracklist and hear snippets from each of the album's 12 tracks.

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