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Benjamin Booker

Benjamin had on a sweater that was a little big for him, a tee shirt with a nibbled collar and a disarming smile of delight and sincerity, one of a kid ready to discover anything and poised for silliness, for adventure. Max was calmer and never put down his drumsticks. They arrived a little late and, while we were getting to know each other and setting up the microphones in an isolated café, we knew that the yard sale where we wanted to play was in the middle of packing up.

In fact, as soon as we showed up on the little suburban street next door, there was nothing left but a couple odd stands and, all over, abandoned objects that a team of garbage collectors was lazily gathering and throwing into a big rolling dumpster. We don’t know anymore who started it all, if it was Benjamin or the head garbage collector. But we had hardly said what we could do when we saw the musician scale the dumpster, try to stand up and start to play.

 

We talk often, when it comes to Take Away shows, about artists that we have to push to play outside of their comfort zones. No need for that with Benjamin. He was eager from the start to tackle an unfamiliar environment. He’s a kid with crazy energy, a kid with the voice of an old veteran, a voice that’s carried a thousand pains but that asks for more, ready to play, wherever it is.

 

Translated by Lauren McCracken