Night Train to Nashville


smoking hot blues guitar on albums like Fever for the Bayou and Power of the
Pontchartrain, but by also doing so with his Louisiana heritage never far from reach.Backed by Louisiana’s Leroux, Benoit takes the same approach here, although his
lineup of guests gives many of these songs a new feel. The recording starts off
with “Night Train”, as do many of Benoit’s shows, showcasing one of his signature
riffs (later in the set, he revisits it in slightly revised form on “Muddy Bottom
Blues”,
“Muddy Bottom Blues”), harpist/accordionist
Johnny Sansone (“Fever for the Bayou”), and fiddler/washboard player Waylon Thibodeaux
(“Stackolina”)

Overall, the performances caught on Night Train to Nashville possess a loose,
light vibe, as if Benoit’s taking a victory lap instead of trying to prove himself.
That’s certainly not a knock on Night Train to Nashville, which burns in all of the
right ways. Not every show can be a

Night Train to Nashville captures a unique night in Tab Benoit’s career. Prior to
receiving both Best Contemporary Male Performer of 2006 and B.B. King Entertainer
of the Year at the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN, Benoit
played two guest-filled nights in Nashville. Both awards were well-deserved, as
Benoit has spent his career not only playing 

but it’s such a good rhythm, it’s hard to fault Benoit for favoring it). From there,
it’s a stroll through highlights from Benoit’s catalog, aided by guests like Fabulous
Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson (“Too Sweet for Me”, “Stackolina”), Jim Lauderdale
(“Moon Coming Over the Hill”), Wet Willie vocalist/harpist Jimmy Hall (“Rendezvous
with the Blues”, “New Orleans Ladies”, and

tooth-and-claw grind, or else road warriors like Benoit would burn themselves out. Instead, this is the sound of Benoit and his friends/heroes having a lot of fun and playing a lot of good blues tunes in the process. It’s probably telling, though, that nine of Night Train‘s eleven tracks are Benoit compositions. No doubt, at this point, he’s perfectly comfortable with the way his career’s developed-and may even be ready for folks to realize he’s more than a scorching guitarist.PopMatters,
Andrew Gilstrap 2008