Since his 1992 debut Nice And Warm
, you always know exactly what you'll get from a Tab Benoit record
: honest, rough-and-ready electric blues with a dash of Cajun seasoning, soulful bayou ballads and a two-step or two thrown in for good measure,
In many ways, that can sum up Benoit's new offering, Medicine
, too. I'm still waiting for Benoit to take the easy way out dub over his guitar, or accentuate his songs with anything more than an occasional organ or banjo from a guest player, but he's still making records as fuss-free and grounded as he did twenty years ago.
Well, actually, there is
a second guitar present this time, but it's coming from fellow Louisiana-based rootsman Anders Osbourne
. Osbourne's contributions are felt more in the co-writing partnership he forms with Benoit, and Benoit/Osbourne songs make up seven of the eleven tracks.
The helping hand seems to have reinvigorated Benoit, which along with a few inspired covers like Broke And Lonely," makes this one of the strongest set of songs Benoit has put forth in a while. Add some cameos from Ivan Neville (B-3) and Michael Doucet (fiddle), and capacious but intimate production by David Z, and Medicine
out since April 26is just what this Cajun blues doctor ordered.