The Great Void
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Band Review

Tab Benoit
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Band Review

Sorry, I got so lit, I walked out leaving my notes on the table. Here’s what remains of my Un-Total Recall.

Fender bass black and white, Ampeg bass amp.

Hollow body Telecaster guitar. He broke a string twice and swapped between songs, but played identical guitars, wood grain with a white “face plate?” One had a very worn finish. I’ve got a color photo of it (and him) from the PD. Kerm called it a garage sale git. I thought it was totally cool. He obviously favored it, because after swaps he’d return to it. Maybe it’s his lucky guitar. I wonder if he sacrifices live chickens? Had a black and white one there too, that he didn’t go to.

TWO Fender amps! Super Reverb and Twin Reverb. They were also miked.

Sabian cymbals, the kick, snare and high hat were miked. Kermit felt he couldn’t hear the toms well enough and still could not hear the kick enough. Undersized “toy” kit. 18” kick, 10” and 14” toms. Kermit knows the make. Pretty amber wood finish.

They played through the house PA and house monitors circled the front of the stage with another on two milk crates to put it head high next to the drummer. I assume the board was behind a half wall by the door, I should have peeked. I enjoyed the sound, it filled the place at a rockin’ level without being harshly loud. It was only a little difficult to talk.

Tab was the star and his vocals and guitar were up in the mix. I didn’t notice the backing vocals, which I think means they could have been neither bad or outstanding I only assume they were there because of a microphone. The 3 piece band was unbelievably tight which they showed off with interesting breaks and starts. They used varied dynamics and tempos. Kermit noticed at one point they mixed it up by playing chords on the bass and a bass line on the guitar. I think for the most part you would describe it as standard blues fare but it felt fresh and never seemed tired. Lots of originals. Most are really good. We should do one, of course. He covered “I’m Going Down” and “Seventh Son” (loved them, too) and Kermit said “Hole in my Bucket” was a Hank Williams song. He started the second set playing a few songs by himself, including that one. Both his vocals and guitar work were absolutely excellent. He sometimes creates fun effects with his guitar in his live show. I bought his 2005 CD and listened to most of it this morning and I didn’t hear that stuff. Stuff like scraping the pick on a string or holding down all the strings and scrubbing on it like a washboard. He had no pedals. Their stage presence was cool concentration. All three kept their eyes shut a lot. There was not a lot of banter mixed in, until at one point late in the second show they stopped and Tab talked for a while. (With a really dreamy Cajun accent, by the way) They did a great job of keeping up a driving rhythm. For a while, the crowd reverentially stayed in their places, treating it more as a concert than a bar gig. Two people were stand against the wall right by the stage dancing in place. After warming up with a double shot of tequila, I couldn’t take it any more and I thought, if I get up there, I bet those two will bust out also. And sure enough, it worked. I danced much with many people and just had an all fired good old time. The atmosphere built all night and people were hootin and hollerin. I let out a really long yell from the dance floor at one point. That felt just fantastic.