Recorded during a month in Louisiana and sounding it, Tab Benoit's sixth album is a swampy example of the best of that state's music. Rocking, bluesy, and filled with soul, guitarist/vocalist Benoit keeps his sound stripped down to just a three-piece, giving his voice and greasy guitar plenty of room to maneuver. From obscure Professor Longhair second-line tunes ("Her Mind Is Gone") to a cover from zydeco king Boozoo Chavis ("Dog Hill") to a version of Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" that makes it seem like a lost New Orleans classic, Benoit traverses a lot of territory over this hour of music. Like his influences, Benoit never overdoes his approach, preferring to keep the focus on his gritty voice, lean guitar, and stark accompaniment of his backing duo. This is music caught between rootsy rock, funk, R&B, and blues, but far from sounding schizoid, it revels in its multiple inspirations. Benoit is in wonderful voice and spirits throughout, sounding loose yet in control regardless of what style he's playing. His guitar solos are taut and succinct, capturing the essence of the atmosphere without reverting to needless showboating. This is music from the heart, played with class, subtlety, and a reverence for its past squeezed into every spirited groove.
On his Vanguard debut, guitarist Tab Benoit favors his usual workmanlike approach, serving up standard blues and Cajun riffs with ease. Though not technically flashy, Benoit is a solid songwriter with enough musicality to more than make up for the lack of fireworks. He can give his songs a restrained ("I'm Tired") or relaxed ("Raided That Joint") feel and he emotes as well as anybody on the title track. The rollicking "Crawfishin'" and "Jambalaya" recall Louisiana, and Benoit closes things off with the frenetically up-tempo "Bayou Boogie." The one possible misstep here is his take on the Willie Dixon classic "Twenty-Nine Ways (to My Baby's Door)"; anyone who remembers Koko Taylor's earthshaking version will find this one a little tame./quote]