Tab Benoit & Jimmy Thackery Whiskey Store Live

Most live albums end up exposing the musical shortcomings of the artist and are generally to be regarded as little more than a timepiece. There are notable exceptions and this is one of them. The pairing of Jimmy Thackery’s tough, Washington-born, Chicago-based, Nighthawk-schooled blues to Tab Benoit’s swampy, soulful take on the blues of Texas and Louisiana seemed an odd one for the release of last year’s Whiskey Store record. Live is another matter entirely — this is just what the bartender ordered for over 70 scorching minutes. Both artists are known for their live prowess and this release bears out these skills as they tear through tracks from the studio album plus songs from both repertoires that lend themselves to self-ignition. From the instrumental start of "Freddy’s Combo” to ”I Got Loaded” and Benoit’s "Bone Pickin’” (Benoit’s raggedly soulful vocals work overtime with the dual guitars and Jimmy Carpenter’s steamin’, screamin’ sax support) drive Whiskey Store Live forward with a bullet-proof groove. Thackery’s guitar tone is king throughout this slinky, jam-like workout as Benoit injects equally inspiring solos, making even the most casual listener wish this release could’ve been stretched into a double disc, because the party ends way too soon. (Telarc)