Two artists get together and record a live album. Could be disaster, could work great.
Jimmy Thackery is a veteran who knows his way around a song, and Benoit is a marvel. About six months ago, I swore off online forums and chat rooms after some “genius” notified everybody else that his favorite player was so much better than “guys who can’t play, like Tab Benoit.” If this was the kind of guy who ventured his opinion, I didn’t want to read any more.
Anyway, Benoit has carved a niche as being a bit off-the-wall, with an almost chicken pickin’ style and dangerous approach. At times it sounds like he’s about to fall off a cliff. But he never does. And that’s what it’s all about.
On this CD, the fellas rip through nine songs, playing great solos and sharing leads and vocals. Jimmy, as you’d expect makes the guitar sing and soar. Tab juts in and out like a boxer biding his time. Check out “Strange Things Happen” for a good example. The band cooks during the entire tune. Actually, that can be said for the whole record. “Bone Pickin'” is an out-of-control (in the best way) stomper that lets both fellas show their strengths. And I’d be remiss to not mention saxophonist Jimmy Carpenter, who solos with the boys step-for-step.
Fans of both players will love this. If you’re unfamiliar, this might be a good place to start. Nothing spectacular, but steady and solid.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Sept. ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.