Brother to the Blues
Taking a break from his normal bayou blues and his regular backup band, Benoit went into the studio with Louisiana’s Leroux and a few special friends to do a tribute to the music that influenced him — country, blues and soul — and fans of those sounds will feel right at home.
On first listen, it sounds like any other Benoit album, with the funky blues scorcher “Pack it Up” opening. But that is quickly followed by a stirring rendition of the soul classic “Bring it on Home to Me” that lets you know to expect the unexpected here. The title track show some of his country roots, but Benoit’s Nashville inspiration is never felt more strongly than when he slows things down for his version of the Hank Williams classic “I Heard That Lonesome Whistle.”
As for the guest stars, Billy Joe Shaver takes over the vocals for “Comin’ on Strong,” while Waylon Thibodeaux provides some rousing fiddle work. Up and coming guitarist Jim Lauderdale provides main and backing vocals on several tracks, including the aforementioned “I Heard That Lonesome Whistle.” Just to remind listeners who they are dealing with, Benoit closes with a Cajun bayou rocker that showcases Thibodeaux’s fiddle work as well as his own familiar guitar in “Can’t Do One More Two-Step.”
Benoit has built an album to pay homage to his influences, and in doing so, has crafted possibly his strongest work to date. It shows off his versatility in multiple genres, with no visible weaknesses. This is the perfect introductory album for anyone new to Tab Benoit, so if you have never taken the plunge, dive in, and if you are a longtime fan, toss in one of your friends.
Tab Benoit: http://www.tabbenoit.com