The Blues is a difficult genre to master, especially for an artist who isn't blessed with black skin, a dirt poor background or a drug infested environment. Tab Benoit is the exception and his recent release Brother To The Blues is the testament to his domination of the genre. Mix in some special guests like Jim Lauderdale, Billy Joe Shaver and Waylon Thibodeaux, virtuosos all, and this album becomes one of the best blues albums to be released this year.
"Pack It Up" a Texas Blues number in the vein of Stevie Ray Vaughn kicks off the album, highlighted by Benoit's Cajun vocals and electric finger work on the guitar. Benoit and company do a decent job covering Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me" and Jimmy Davis/Hank Williams' classic "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle." "So High" is a breathless rock-tinged blues number while "Why Are People Like That?" relies more on rock than it does blues. "If You Love Me" returns to the slower mid-tempo flavor Blues before leading into the Cajun country flavored "Comin' On Strong" featuring Shaver's honky-tonk vocals and Thibodeaux's fiddle work.
Brother To The Blues is the kind of album that goes great with a beer from the fridge and sitting on the porch swattin' fly's on a sultry summer evening.