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Friday, December 3, 2010

Live review: Tab Benoit and Friends

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Tab Benoit and Friends f. Anders Osborne and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

Visulite Theatre

Dec. 2, 2010

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The Deal: Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux bring a taste of the bayou into Charlotte.

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The Good: The show started off with Tab Benoit and his trio hitting the stage and warming up the crowd with some good Louisiana-style blues. Only a few songs into the set, Benoit noted that it is a "Tab Benoit and Friends" show so he should bring out a friend. Anders Osborne hit the stage and, though it took him a song to warm up, he was tearing through riffs in no time.

Osborne and Benoit didn't literally trade riffs, but they did seem to feed off of each other. Osborne appeared to relish the role of a sideman, as he playfully added notes in all the right spots. He has his own turn to shine here and there as he led a few songs which Benoit could solo over.

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, in full feathered regalia, hit the stage about an hour in and led a few songs of his own. The band played for about 90 minutes before taking a 20-minute break before the second set.

The second set was more of the same, though it opened with Benoit solo on guitar. After a few songs that way, Benoit took a seat behind the drum kit and hammered away at an extensive solo. His bassist then came out and the two rocked and funked for a good five minutes. At that point, the rest of the band, and Osborne returned to get the show back into full swing.

The group offered a thorough taste of New Orleans' blues style and brought a tasty groove into the music scene. I'll be honest and say I didn't know most of what was played by name or familiarity, but it wasn't hard to pay attention to the New Orleans and bayou based lyrics in most songs and be captivated by the guitar work of two skilled players.

The Bad: Splitting it up into two sets lost a bit of the crowd and also seemed to kill a bit of the momentum the band had going. Sure, the second set started off strongly, but it took a bit to get the crowd warmed up again.

The Verdict: A healthy serving of great music. I hope shows like this come through town more often.

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