Tab Benoit- the power of the bayou
After seeing his name on a marquee at a Boston club this summer and vaguely remembering who Tab Benoit was, I took a chance and paid the cover charge. Boy was I happy that I did.
While he's got the nice gruff voice you wanna hear on a blue singer, this NOLA resident is a a great guitar player who makes his music swing. Not since I'd seen Dave Alvin at a Blasters reunion had I heard a guitarist who would pull off one amazing solo after the other with each of them sounding better than the last one. But that's how strong Benoit's playing is. I kid you not.
Modest soul that he is, he informed the crowd at the small club that "I don't have any greatest hits so there's nothing that you'll feel disappointed in missing here. You might as well shout out any request you like!"
His latest album is Power of the Pontchartrain, referring to the lake that flooded New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. The title track is a nice Robert Cray-like rocker and he also registers a soulful version of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" (that I already like better than the original).
According to his bio, he's had his songs placed on Melrose Place and even appeared on a episode of a Baywatch spin-off. But as you can guess, and as I found out, the best place to experience him is live, which shouldn't be too hard since he's on the road most of the year anyway.