by Robert Bell
This is definitely one that the bona fide blues buffs out there won't want to miss, but they've probably been hip to Tab Benoit for a minute and have been looking forward to this show for weeks.
For those who aren't, this South Louisiana axe-man has been wringing swampy white-boy blues out of his Telecaster for a couple of decades now, earning an induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame last year. The whole time, he's eschewed welding any trendy alt-rock affectations onto his craft, instead faithfully continuing on the trail blazed by the likes of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Across more than a dozen albums Benoit has collaborated with the likes of Jimmy Thackery, Charlie Musselwhite, various Nevilles and members of Beausoleil, Louisiana's LeRoux and Vaughan's band Double Trouble. In terms of subject matter, he's tackled the trad blues themes: women, drinkin', trouble, etc. But he's also a vocal advocate for wetlands preservation, heading up the Voice of the Wetlands nonprofit. On "A Whole Lotta Soul," from this year's "Medicine," Benoit asks "What you gonna tell the spirit / when the heart of the bayou bleeds."
Opening up the 18-and-older show is local blues quartet Brown Soul Shoes, which has been stirring up a potent mix of Delta-style blues and classic Memphis soul for a couple of years now.