Review: Tab Benoit – Legacy: The Best Of (Telarc, 2012)
Louisiana singer, songwriter and guitarist Tab Benoit has been honing his craft for twenty-five years, developing a primal blues tone in both his guitar playing and singing. He’s been recording for Telarc for more than a decade, and this fourteen track collection picks highlights from that catalog. The set opens with two particularly fierce tracks, a percussive cover of Julie Miller’s “Shelter Me” and the rolling stock buzz of his original “Night Train.” He covers Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You” with fellow guitarist Kenny Neal, and adds some Creedence-styled twang and bass to Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” Additional guests in this collection include Jimmy Thackery, Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon Thibodeaux, Cyril Neville and Jimmy Hall. He crosses into country for Shaver’s “Comin’ on Strong” and croons soulfully on a cover of “These Arms of Mine” and, thankfully, resists the temptation to add any contemporary sheen to his blues. For a taste of his earlier work on Vanguard, check out Best of the Bayou Blues.
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