If you saw an image of the musician Benjamin Booker out of context, you might think he was an actor from a civil rights–era period piece. With a vintage image to match his throwback sound—a rock-soul-blues amalgam that’s earthy and analog—he has a style and countenance recalling Harry Belafonte, somewhere between worldly and weary. Civil rights, and what we do with them, have been heavy on Booker’s mind over the last few years. In 2017, he released his second full-length album, Witness, on ATO Records. The rousing title track, featuring Mavis Staples, evokes all the things that potent word might make you think of: gospel (as in, “Can I get a witness?”); bearing witness through truth-telling; and seeing that which you can’t unsee. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Nine Buy Now Related Stories Music Issue 43 Cat Power Musician Chan Marshall opens the door to a different dimension. Music Issue 42 Fatima Al Qadiri The shape shifting star of contemporary electronica. Music Issue 41 Jon Batiste The band leader on his genre-busting year. Music Issue 39 Erika de Casier In conversation with a romantic soul. Music Issue 36 Kali Malone Meet the musician reimagining organ music. Music Issue 35 Devendra Banhart An interview with the soft-spoken pied piper of psychedelic Bohemia.