Tab Benoit - guitar, vocalist With all the makings of an American music icon, Tab Benoit has become one of the premiere roots stylists of the century. Tab has paid his dues as a road troubadour playing 250 nights a year performing at venues across North America, honing his guitar chops and becoming part of Louisiana folklore. Tab Benoit is a Cajun, born November 17, 1967; he grew up in Houma, Louisiana. A guitar player since his teenage years, he hung out at the Blues Box, a ramshackle music club and cultural center in nearby Baton Rouge run by guitarist Tabby Thomas. Playing guitar alongside Thomas, Raful Neal, Henry Gray and other high-profile regulars at the club, Benoit learned the blues first-hand from a faculty of living blues legends. The nightly impromptu gigs were enough to inspire Benoit to assemble his own band�"a stripped down bass-and-drums unit propelled by his solid guitar skills and leathery, Cajun- spiced vocal attack. He took his show on the road in the early '90s and hasn't stopped since. Benoit landed a recording contract with the tiny, Texas- based Justice Records and released a series of well- received recordings, beginning in 1992 with “Nice and Warm,” an album that prompted comparisons to blues guitar heavyweights like Albert King, Albert Collins and even Jimi Hendrix. Despite the hype, Benoit has done his best over the years to maintain a commitment to his Cajun roots, a goal that often eluded him when past producers and promoters tried to turn him and his recordings in a rock direction, often against his better instincts. “These Blues Are All Mine,” released on Vanguard in 1999 after Justice folded, marked a return to the rootsy sound that he'd been steered away from for several years. That same year, he appeared on “Homesick for the Road,” a collaborative album on the Telarc label with fellow guitarists Kenny Neal and Debbie Davies. Homesick not only served as a showcase for three relatively young but clearly rising stars in the blues constellation, but also launched Benoit's relationship with Telarc that came to fruition in 2002 with the release of “Wetlands” arguably the most authentically Cajun installment in his entire ten-year discography. Later in 2002, Benoit released “Whiskey Store,” a collaborative recording with fellow guitarist Jimmy Thackery. Also along for the ride on Whiskey Store are harpist Charlie Musselwhite and Double Trouble, the two-man rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that backed Stevie Ray Vaughn on his brief but luminous blues career.