Southern Louisiana native and guitarist/vocalist Tab Benoit has been a significant proponent of raising awareness and funds for Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands. And on his latest outing, the bluesman conveys a sense of oneness with the folklore and mysticism of New Orleans and tales of the land.
A capable guitarist who chooses his notes wisely and effectively, Benoit’s cross genre permutations of blues, rock, gumbo-funk and swamp-rock shine glowingly here. Nonetheless, the artist’s methodology is radio friendly via his upfront vocals and penchant for generating tunes with catchy melody lines. With his band, the leader performs within solid rhythmic underpinnings while laying down a few raspy-toned riffs, drenched with a bit of distortion and ringing upper register phrasings. And with a slight Cajun-edge to his singing style, Benoit instills a folksy disposition.
His gritty, swamp-blues rendition of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s classic "For What It’s Worth, serves as one of the album’s genial highlights. Then he takes the listener to a Louisiana bayou during the Zydeco-tinged piece titled "Sac-au-lait-Fishing." On "Somebody’s Got You," keyboardist Nelson Blanchard’s rollicking acoustic piano soloing adds to the funky rhythms and spunky groove amid Benoit’s soulful lyricism. But they temper the flow during the Van Morrison-like ballad titled "I’m Guilty Of Loving You." To that end, it’s an irrefutably appealing musical statement and one that should more than satisfy the guitarist’s legion of admirers. In addition, Benoit sings with conviction and an unwavering sense of purpose. It’s mighty persuasive, indeed,