Oct. 22nd 2011
Louisiana blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Tab Benoit came to Ramona and played a truly wonderful show at the Main Stage Theater, which he commented on numerous times throughout the show how much he liked the sound quality of. Besides being an outstanding showman and musician he did one of the best jobs of connecting with his audience that I’ve ever seen. For a little historical prospective my older brother took me to my first concert to see Stevie Wonder when I was 11 in 1963 and I have been to over 500 concerts since as well as worked in the record business from 1973 to 1986. All throughout the night Tab told numerous stories about growing up in his small hometown of Houma, La., his musical influences and how he plays his guitar plugged straight into his amp and sings without any effects added to either. He said something to the effect that if he couldn’t play and sing well enough to make it so it sounds good without the effects he had no business up on the stage taking our money to listen to him. I can tell you that Tab with just his bass player and drummer had absolutely no problems sounding good.
He played for over 2 ½ hours and played songs spanning over his 17 album career that started in 1992 for the now defunct Justice label. He has recorded for several labels over the years and his new release, Medicine, was recently released by the Telarc label which has a reputation for being one of the highest quality recording companies available. Telarc is the premiere label for classical and jazz artist and has started recording blues in the past few years, thank you Telarc!
Tab played numerous cuts from some of his older releases including Night Train and Shelter Me-which some of you may know as the lead in music to the Discovery channel’s Sons of Guns show. He played a cut from the Whiskey Store release he recorded with Jimmy Thackery on guitar and Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, both of whom are outstanding blues players in their own right. If these three where not enough on their own they were backed up by Stevie Ray Vaughn’s band, Double Trouble. He asked the audience several times for request and played many of those then finished up by playing some cuts off his new release, Medicine.
I had the pleasure of taking my oldest son to this show for his 21st birthday and first major concert experience. I am guessing that by the smile on his face throughout the show that he enjoyed it as much as I did.