Tab Benoit Biography

17 November 1967, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Benoit started out playing classic rock cover versions in local bands. A gifted young guitarist, he was satisfied with this kind of music until a friend played him a copy of a Buddy Guy record. His musical world turned upside-down, Benoit set about recreating Guy’s deep-rooted emotion, adopting his style and researching more about the blues tradition. Rejecting a potential career as a pilot, he worked with a brace of Cajun bands, before finding someone receptive to the idea of a white man just out of his teens playing the blues. His first appearance on record placed him in awe-inspiring company - the Justice Records compilation, Strike A Deep Chord: Blues Guitar For The Homeless - with his own contributions sitting next to selections from Dr. John, Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown and Johnny Copeland.

Benoit’s debut album was released in 1992, and featured contributions from Gregg Bissonette (drums), Steve Bailey (bass) and Paul English (keyboards), and production from Randall Hage Jamail. Although no new ground was broken with his second album he continued to show his dexterity with the Fender Stratocaster. The 1995 release Standing On The Bank featured the new rhythm section of Greg Rzab (bass) and Ray Allison (drums), borrowed from Buddy Guy; the album was more ‘authentic’ in feel than his previous efforts.

Benoit signed to Vanguard Records in the late 90s for the release of These Blues Are All Mine, before finding a more permanent base with the jazz label Telarc Records. Notable recordings for Telarc have included Wetlands (2002), Voice Of The Wetlands (2005) and Power Of The Pontchartrain (2007), and two collaborations with fellow guitarist Jimmy Thackery. Benoit’s reputation continues to grow and, most importantly, he is no longer seen as the new boy.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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