New Album–Old State

Music  Monday

Chicot Lake, Louisiana
Chicot Lake

Destination: Louisiana

Artist: Tab Benoit
Album: Legacy: The Best of Tab Benoit (Telarc International) NEW. Release Date April 3,2012.

By Kerry Dexter

(Note from VMB: Pictures used in this article are from a road trip that Ken and I made through Cajun country in 2006. Musicians are everywhere in Cajun country, although none of these musicians are directly related to Tab Benoit.  However Kerry Dexter tells me that the wetlands picture at the top serves as a reminder that in addition to being a musician, Benoit is an activist in saving the wild lands of Louisiana. See Voice of the Wetlands.)

Louisiana–from the forests up north by Shreveport and Bossier City to the Great River Road at Baton Rouge to the rebuilding and thriving port of New Orleans, to the bayous, swamps, and wetlands of Plaquemines, LaFourche, and Terrebonne–is a crossroads of cultures, and of creativity.

Cabin in Washington, Louisiana
Cabin in Washington, Louisiana

That plays out in the work of Louisiana native Tab Benoit. Known as a top notch blues guitarist, he’s also a singer and songwriter who infuses his work with the spices of  Cajun, jazz, soul, rock, and folk along with Delta and swamp blues.

Daigle Family band jamming at the Church Point American Legion
Daigle Family band jamming at the Church Point American Legion


Musicians jamming at the Church Point American Legion
Musicians jamming at the Church Point American Legion

Legacy: The Best of Tab Benoit  would make a fine soundtrack for thinking about,  learning about, and traveling to Louisiana.  It’s a collection of fourteen tracks which mark high points of his recordings thus far. To get a flavor of Benoit’s style, give a close listen to

  • Night Train, a Benoit original that’ll have you stomping your feet and singing along on this traveling song.
  • I Put a Spell on You, a soul classic reworked with a tinge of bayou mystery and spookiness.
  • Whiskey Store, a gut bucket blues about love.
  • For What It’s Worth, the Steven Stills rock anthem with added lyrics to celebrate the heart and soul of the people of post Katrina New Orleans.

In 2012, Louisiana is celebrating two hundred years of being a state. A fine time to  learn about its history, its music, and its future.

Cajun Music Museum, Eunice
Eunice, LA
Kids dancing at D.I.'s Restaurant, near Eunice
Kids dancing at D.I.’s Restaurant, near Eunice

As a policy of A Traveler’s Library, we tell you about affiliate links. The links included here may make it possible for you to listen to excerpts of the music, and the ones to Amazon in this post are affiliate links. If you buy anything through the affiliate links in this post, you will be supporting the site Music Road . Thank you.

All Photos in this post are the property of Vera Marie Badertscher. Please do not reproduce without specific permission.
Have you traveled in Louisiana’s Cajun country? It took us a while to get outside of New Orleans, but we loved the music that greeted us everywhere in Cajun country west of Lafayette. (Not to mention the food!) What do you think of when you think of Louisiana?
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About Kerry Dexter

Kerry Dexter is a regular contributor to A Traveler’s Library, bringing her knowledge of music and musicians who share a sense of place and travel. Her work also appears in Journey to Scotland and the Encyclopedia of Ireland and the Americas, among other places. Check out her bio on the contributor’s page to learn more and see her site at Music Road.

9 thoughts on “New Album–Old State

  1. Love this. I’m fascinated by everything in Louisiana, from the music to the food to the accents. Highly recommend it for a slow road trip in the spring or fall.

  2. Great article. I just move to New Orleans and am still getting used to its music, food and lifestyle. I should listen to Tab Benoit now.

    1. Brette,
      Vera’s photographs and what she says reflect Cajun music. I’d gently point out that not all Louisiana music is Cajun. Tab Benoit’s music is more closely involved with several styles of blues.

      When we did our road trip visit to Louisiana a while back, one of the recordings I mentioned was by Balfa Toujours. That’s a good group to check out to hear Cajun music.

      1. Sorry, Kerry. Didn’t mean to imply that All Louisiana music is Cajun. Its just that Ken and I were deep in Cajun country, so that is what we heard and the musicians we saw. I’m definitely going to listen to Tab Benoit and hear some of the other music of the state. Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to relive my musical trip through one corner of southern Louisiana where there was music around every bend in the road.

        1. glad you included your trip, too, Vera, and that music was a part of it you and Ken enjoyed and remember. Louisiana is indeed a state with, as you point out. music around every bend in the road.

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