Jimmy Thackery / Tab Benoit

Jimmy Thackery / Tab Benoit

Whiskey Store

Telarc Blues

Separately, Tab Benoit and former Nighthawks mainstay Jimmy Thackery have been playing blistering electric blues for seemingly ever, now they join forces and give it a go together. And for the most part it works. Joined by veteran harp player Charlie Musselwhite on a few cuts, and backed by Double Trouble (Reese Wynans, Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton), these 11 cuts find the two pros trading vocals and guitar parts back and forth, and it sounds more like an after-hours jam than a recording session. When it doesn’t work, it’s not the players, but their choice of material. “Unknown Legend” by Neil Young is a fine song, but it isn’t blues, and no amount of fretboard fire can hide that fact. Likewise for The Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time,” which is a little too much rock for the proceedings. But Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” has always been 12 bars of weird, and they do it justice here. The rest of the cuts are solid, Stevie Ray Vaughn-ish blues that sounds good here, and probably even better live.

Telarc Blues: http://www.telarc.com

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