At a relatively young 37, Tab Benoit makes a strong case that white men can jump -- or at least bend a blue note with conviction. On his latest effort, Fever for the Bayou, Benoit, who hails from the Louisiana delta, shakes, rattles and rolls through a tasty blend of material that includes the works of Elmore James, James H. Moore and Buddy Guy. But the most compelling cuts on Bayou are Benoit's. The title cut serves as the high-water mark, while "Lost in Your Lovin'" shines like a fistful of new Mardi Gras beads. Guest spots by Monk Boudreaux, Cyril Neville, Norman Ceasar, Taj Mahal and Jimmy Carpenter lend even more bayou cred to this thoughtfully seasoned gumbo. In addition to gritty Tele-driven fretwork and agile vocal mojo, Benoit demonstrates further dexterity with a soulful acoustic take on Clarence Williams's "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It," wrapping up a well-rounded trip to the Big Easy and beyond. Blues: Benoit, done that.
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