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Short Takes: All-American celebration with Letters from Home: Revisiting Patriotism

August 01, 2019

Tab Benoit by Tom Netherland | Special to the Herald Courier

When B.B. King spoke or played the blues, people listened.

Well, listen up. The late king of the blues said “If you really want to know how to play the blues, watch Tab Benoit.”

Now’s your chance. Benoit leaves the swamps of home in Louisiana for the mountains of Bristol, Tennessee, on Friday, Aug. 2 at the Paramount Center for the Arts. He won’t beg. Doesn’t have to. But calling all fans of the blues, again, here’s your opportunity.

See Benoit, hear Benoit, experience the blues. Fender guitar in hand and plugged in, he leans to the Delta as dipped in blues near and well from his home. His raspy voice recalls Otis Redding. Think not? Summon his stroll through Redding’s “These Arms of Mine.” Stop. Listen. Fall madly in love with a voice and guitar tuned well to whatever magic his many heroes left behind. Benoit mines it well. An American original, call him Tab Benoit, blues man extraordinaire.