Brother to the Blues
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Tab Benoit has been doing his brand of bayou-fed blues-rock for some time now, and while it is tempting to call Brother to the Blues a departure, it is really only a subtle one, straying as it does to the country side of things, but again, only a little bit, and there is probably little-to-no-chance that Benoit will turn into a hat act with a big belt buckle anytime soon. True, he covers Hank Williams here ("I Heard That Lonesome Whistle," with some vocal help from Jim Lauderdale), a touchstone for country if ever there was one, but he also pulls off a passable version of Sam Cooke's soulful "Bring It on Home to Me," takes a North Mississippi country blues approach on "Moon Coming Over the Hill" (featuring some cool Cajun fiddle from Waylon Thibodeaux), and ratchets into familiar swamp rock territory with the hard-charging opener "Pack It Up," and the impressive, wry "Why Are People Like That?," before tying everything together with the set ender, "Can't Do One More Two-Step," which somehow manages to be swampy, rocky, country, and bayou blues all in one package, as well as giving Benoit plenty of room to trade guitar runs with Thibodeaux's fiddle slides. But there is a little bit of a change going on here — if you listen closely you can hear string band-style banjo on several tracks — and one wonders what Benoit has in mind for his next step down the road. There are a thousand ways to the river, as they say, but in the bayou the river is everywhere at once. There's a little bit of that feel here.
Adding some country to the blues
On this great album from Tab, we are treated to some country music stylings mixed with the his typical blues. I personally don't like country music too much, but those are only four or five of the songs offered here. If you don't like country, you can save a whole dollar and get just the blues songs. Or you can expand your musical tastes and just buy the whole album. Either way it is a great album.
Grammy nominated album!
Even though it is countrified ( a favor for his label) and not his bluesiest album, It is nominated for Best Traditional Blues album. Go figure. All these songs are much more bluesy when he performs them live. It's worth getting. And he is a MUST SEE live.
Don't worry about labels
Another solid effort for Tab and company. This might not be the favorite of hard-core purists, but I enjoy the fusion of the country and blues sounds. It's just good music, so I'm not worried about what label to put on it. Highlights are Moon Coming Over The Hill, I Heard That Lonesome Whistle, Why Are People Like That?
Born: November 17, 1967 in Baton Rouge, LA
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s
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