Tab Benoit: Brother to the Blues

Louisiana native Tab Benoit, a potent blues guitarist and singer with a 15-year track record, reveals his Cajun and country roots on this appealing collaboration with Louisiana LeRoux, a cult favorite along the Bayou since the mid-’70s.

The title track is a little bit country, “So High” is a little bit rock ‘n’ roll and the Freddie King vehicle “Pack It Up” is a whole lot of blues. Benoit delivers Hank Williams’ melancholy prison ballad “I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow” in stirring fashion, then lays down some slamming funk on “If You Love Me Like You Say.” The guitarist switches to pedal steel on the countrified “Comin’ On Strong,” which features Billy Joe Shaver on vocals and Wayne Thibodeaux on fiddle. Benoit plays with soulful restraint on the bluesy meditation “Somehow,” then cranks up the funk factor on the N’awlins second-line-flavored closer, “Can’t Do One More Two-Step.”