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Night Train to Nashville

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Album Review

Tab Benoit has gone the live route before on his recordings, and he's smart to keep reminding listeners every so often that that's where he's at his best. Which is not to take away from Benoit's studio recordings, all of which — including last year's excellent Power of the Pontchartrain — are admirable showcases for his consistently solid blues guitar chops and gritty vocalizing. As on the last effort, Benoit is backed here by the New Orleans fixture Louisiana's Leroux, who provide the kind of muscular foundation that makes Benoit's funk that much funkier. They're all most at home when churning out a basic boogie like "Muddy Bottom Blues," one of a trio of songs on which Benoit and band are joined by Wet Willie's Jimmy Hall, and "Too Sweet for Me," which spotlights Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds on harp. But on the occasions when they lay low, like "Fever for the Bayou," with guest Jumpin' Johnny Sansome sailing on the accordion, Benoit finds a deeper connection with the soul of New Orleans, a soul that, in this post-Katrina age, we all need to connect with more than ever.


Born: 17 November 1967 in Baton Rouge, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Tab Benoit makes his home near New Orleans in Houma, Louisiana. Born November 17, 1967, he's one of a handful of bright rising stars on the modern blues scene. For most of the 1990s and into the 2000s, he's worked each of his records the old-fashioned way, by playing anywhere and everywhere he and his band can play. Unlike so many others before him, Benoit understands that blues is not a medium in favor with 50,000-watt commercial rock radio stations, so as a consequence,...
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Night Train to Nashville, Tab Benoit
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