Benoit throws a bit of a curveball by adding country music to his always fun mix of blues, R&B, funk, rock, and Louisiana music. He even plays the pedal steel!
But fans needn’t worry, as there’s also plenty of the stuff you’ve come to expect, starting with the funk-blues opener, “Pack It Up,” tailor-made to get the joint hoppin’ with Tab’s staccato bursts. “Why Are People Like That” is one of those boogies where you can’t help but tap along, right into the fine solo. The very fun “Can’t Do One More Two-Step” may, in fact, have you doing another two-step. Benoit’s double-stops and bends and pinched notes are distinctive, and as much fun as the lyric.
The country element surfaces on the title cut, which has a great mix of fiddle and pedal steel and a great country vocal that displays more of Benoit’s seemingly endless talent. The soulful country of “I Heard That Lonesome Whistle” is helped by a backup vocal from Jim Lauderdale. Benoit’s chordal work is beautiful.
There are other guests here, too. Billy Joe Shaver sings on a fine cover of “Comin’ On Strong.” Speaking of remakes, while we may not need another version of “Bring It On Home to Me,” when it’s as soulful and heartfelt as this version, it’s hard to argue. Remember the band Leroux? Well, here they back up Benoit on most of the record, and it’s a perfect complement.
It’s fun to watch players grow, and Benoit simply wants to play great music and on occasion step out of his “normal” role. Here’s to more of that in the future.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s July ’06 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.