Tab Benoit

With Supporting Act, Ghalia Volt

The bayous of southern Louisiana have a tradition rich in good food, good people, and good music. Tab Benoit is one of the most impressive guitar players to emerge from the bayous in recent years; his guitar tones can be recognized before his Otis-Redding-ish voice is heard. He doesn’t rely on special effects and his set up is simple: a guitar, cord, and Category 5 Amp. The effects you hear come from his fingers.

Born in Baton Rouge, Benoit grew up in the nearby oil and fishing town of Houma, where he still lives. Musically, he was exposed early on to traditional Cajun waltzes and the country music broadcast in his hometown’s only radio station. His father was a musician and the home was always filled with instruments. The younger Benoit began playing the drums but switched to guitar because the only gigs around were in churches and at church fairs, and they wouldn’t allow loud drums to be played.

Benoit has come a long way since those early days. A Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and guitar player, he has built a remarkable 30-year career on the foundation of his gritty and soulful Delta swamp blues. He has won five Blues Music Awards, including the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award twice, and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He has recorded and performed with Junior Wells, Dr. John, Willie Nelson, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Maria Muldaur, Cyril Neville, Allen Toussaint, Jimmy Thackery, Kenny Neal, Ivan Neville, and Alvin Youngblood Hart.

In addition to music, Tab Benoit has another passion, the environmental health of his native Louisiana wetlands. In 2004, he released Wetlands, an album that combined many musical styles indigenous to Louisiana. It was a mile marker in his journey to finding his own original sound and style. Following the release of Wetlands, he founded Voice of the Wetlands, a non-profit organization working to preserve the coastal waters of his home state. In 2010, he received the Governor’s Award for Conservationist of the Year from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation. He also starred in the IMAX movie Hurricane on the Bayou, a documentary about the effects of Hurricane Katrina. His all-star band, featuring some of his musical friends including Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Johnny Sansone and others, became the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars. They have released two CDs and occasionally tour the country.

Guitar World named Tab Benoit one of the 30 best guitar players currently performing. That’s high praise for a man who took up the guitar because the drums were too loud. He’s been compared to Albert King, Albert Collins and even Jimi Hendrix, but he’s all Tab Benoit and that’s more than enough.