Born: Nov 17, 1967 in Baton Rouge, LA
Styles: Swamp Blues, Modern Electric Blues, Modern Electric Texas Blues
Instruments: Guitar, Vocals
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Tab Benoit makes his home near New Orleans in Houma, LA. Born November 17, 1967, he's one of a handful of bright rising stars on the modern blues scene. For most of the 1990s, he's been working each of his records the old fashioned way, by playing anywhere and everywhere he and his band can play. Unlike so many others before him, Benoit understands that blues is not a medium in favor with 50,000 watt commercial rock radio stations, so as a consequence, he's worked each of his releases with as many shows as he can possibly play. Since the release of his first album for Justice, Benoit has taken his brand of Cajun-influenced blues all over the U.S., Canada and Europe. Nice and Warm, his debut album for Houston-based Justice Records, prompted some critics to say he's reminiscent, at times, of three blues guitar gods: Albert King, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix.
Although the hardworking, modest guitarist scoffs at those comparisons, and doesn't think he sounds like them (and doesn't try to sound like them), Benoit doesn't appear to be one who's easily led into playing rock & roll in favor of his downhome blend of swamp blues and east Texas guitar-driven blues. Talk to Tab at one of his shows, and he'll tell you about his desire to "stay the course," and not water down his blues by playing items that could be interpreted as "alternative" rock. Despite the screaming guitar licks he coaxes from his Telecaster and his powerful songwriting and singing abilities, Benoit's laidback, down-to-earth personality off stage is the exact opposite of his live shows.
Benoit's releases include Nice and Warm (1992), What I Live For (1994), Standing on the Bank (1995) and Live: Swampland Jam (1997), all recorded for Vanguard. Benoit then made moved over to the Telarc label for These Blues Are All Mine (1999), Whiskey Store (2002, with Jimmy Thackery), Wetlands (2002), and The Sea Saint Sessions (2003). In 2004, Benoit released Whiskey Store Live, recorded with Jimmy Thackery on the support tour for Whiskey Store. 2005 saw the release of Fever for the Bayou on the Telarc label. 2005 also saw Voice of the Wetlands come out on Rykodisc.
Considering many of Benoit's records have surpassed the 50,000 mark he's well on his way to a career that could rival the kind of popularity that the late Stevie Ray Vaughan enjoyed in the late '80s.
-Richard Skelly & Al Campbell (All Music Guide)