Blues, Bayous, and Benoit: The Melodic Journey of Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit isn’t just a renowned Cajun blues guitarist and singer-songwriter: he’s also a staunch conservation advocate who has made significant contributions to the music industry and environmental activism. Despite his incredible guitar skills, Benoit views himself primarily as a singer and songwriter, emphasizing the musicality and context of his songs over his technical prowess​​. 

Here’s what you should know about this extraordinary artist — and where you can catch a Tab Benoit music performance in an equally unique concert venue.

Early Life and Path to Music

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and raised in Houma, Benoit was heavily influenced by classic country and blues artists such as Hank Williams, George Jones, B.B. King, and John Lee Hooker​​. His affinity for blues music began in his teenage years. It led him to the guitar, an instrument he felt naturally lent itself to the blues genre. 

Launching a Career

Benoit’s music career took off with the release of his first recording, “Nice and Warm,” with Justice Records in 1992. The title track became a hit on AAA Radio. His sound — channeling blues guitar legends like Albert King, Albert Collins, and Jimi Hendrix — catapulted him into a rigorous touring schedule of about 250 shows a year, a pace he maintained for over two decades. 

Coming Into His Own

Benoit recorded four albums with Justice Records before moving to Vanguard Records, where he was given the freedom to produce his own recordings. His album These Blues Are All Mine was released in 1999 under the new label, marking a significant step in his musical journey​​. 

In 2002, Benoit’s music underwent another evolution when he signed with the Telarc International/Concord Music Group. He began focusing on a three-piece group arrangement, which offered him further freedom as a guitarist. This period also marked his increased involvement in addressing Louisiana’s coastal erosion issues. This is evident in his album Wetlands, released under Telarc/Concord International, which blends various musical styles indigenous to Louisiana​​. 

Benoit’s environmental advocacy led him to found nonprofit Voice of the Wetlands (VOW) in 2004. Through this platform, he gathered musicians to raise awareness about coastal erosion in Louisiana. VOW’s band, The Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, has featured notable artists like Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, and George Porter Jr., among others. The band has released two CDs and occasionally tours to promote their cause​​. Benoit’s dedication to Louisiana’s environment and his musical heritage is evident in his over fifteen albums of country blues. 

Major Achievements

His 2006 album “Brother to the Blues” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album, showcasing his ability to blend blues with hardcore country elements​​. This blend of genres and his advocacy work reflect his deep connection to his Louisiana roots and his commitment to using his music as a platform for change. 

In 2012, Benoit achieved a significant milestone in his music career by winning three Blues Music Awards: Contemporary Male Artist, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, and Contemporary Blues Album for his album Medicine. Released in 2011, Medicine is a collaboration with songwriter Anders Osborne, and was recorded at the renowned Dockside Studio in Louisiana. The album features a blend of blues and swamp-pop, highlighting Benoit’s diverse musical influences and his commitment to authentic songwriting​​.

See Tab Benoit at Main Street Crossing

Enjoy a Tab Benoit concert in an intimate setting at Main Street Crossing on February 27 and 28, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets. 

Main Street Crossing in Tomball, Texas is one of the best small music venues in the Houston metro area. This unique nonprofit in a historical venue hosts country, Americana, folk, blues, and other types of music artists in an intimate setting: the furthest seat is only 45 feet from the stage. MSC also offers food, beverages, table service, and community seating, making it easier to interact with fellow concertgoers and even performing artists. Parking is convenient and stress-free.

Main Street Crossing additionally functions as a multi-use venue for church services, concerts, and more located in Tomball. Check out our event calendar and enjoy entertainment in support of good causes!