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December 1999

Tab Benoit
These Blues Are All Mine
Vanguard

A product of Louisiana, guitarist Tab Benoit sticks closer to the straightahead blues tradition on his fifth album as a leader, These Blues Are All Mine (Vanguard 79546-2; 55:56). A potent plectorist with a harsh-throated, John Fogerty-ish vocal delivery, Benoit deals authoritatively in raw, house rockin' shuffles (his own "I'm Tired," Albert Collins' "Travelin' South" and Henry Gray's "Raided That Joint"), mournful slow blues (title track), earthy funk (Collins' "Lights Are on but Nobody's Home") and his own homestyle cajun brew ("Crawfishin'," the revved-up "Bayou Boogie" and a raucous rendition of the Hank Williams classic "Jambalaya"). The Houma native reveals a subtle side on a laidback acoustic rendition of Memphis Slim's "Mother Earth" then tears it up with Chicago styled flair on Willie Dixon's "29 Ways." Once again, the Albert King influence comes through with razor sharp intensity throughout, particularly on a convincing cover of the Albert signature piece "Crosscut Saw." Credit keyboardist Marc Adams with all-important Hammond B-3 cushioning and drummer Allyn Robinson with laying down the wide beats that makes for that quintessential good-feelin' Southern groove.

Originally published in December 1999
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