Tab Benoit with Louisiana's Leroux Night Train to Nashville

Tab Benoit arrived on the scene in ’92, steeped in the undeniable influences of his Baton Rouge homeland. Over the course of 15 albums, he’s matured into a distinctive artist who has married all of his influences into a highly spiced gumbo. From R&B to rock, Cajun to soul, Benoit has proved a tireless road warrior and his vocal style has become every bit as distinctive as his guitar playing. At home on the stage, it’s no surprise that Night Train To Nashville is a natural. Add in backing band Leroux and guest artists like Wet Willie’s Jimmy Hall, Jim Lauderdale, Waylon Thibodeaux, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone and Kim Wilson and you’ve got something bordering on the combustible. Confidence never sounded so good and Tab rises to the occasion, unexpectedly so in such company. His telecaster fires off non-stop jagged lines as his beefy, soulful drawl squeezes truth out of every lyric. Standouts include his slippery "Darkness,” the comparably upbeat "Moon Comin’ Over The Hill,” with Lauderdale, Hall’s "Rendezvous with the Blues” and rowdy Cajun gang-bang "Stackolina,” with Wilson and Thibodeaux adding piquant to the sauce. This is an uplifting party that can’t be missed. (Telarc)