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Forgotten Series: Tab Benoit - Wetlands (2002)

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By Pico

Ten years before Wetlands, a young Cajun kid from Baton Rouge walked into a Houston studio and produced some of the most refreshingly honest rock-tinged swamp blues ever heard.

Yet, one worried that Benoit would go the way of may bluesmen who've tasted success and eventually dilute the pure sound of 1992's Nice And Warm until he becomes just another rock axe grinder miscast as a bloozer.

We needn't have.

Six albums later, Tab's sound was even more basic and grittier than where he started; every one of the thirteen tracks on Wetlands was played as if he was in a bar trying to earn his supper, and the electricity of a nightclub setting comes through on a session obviously recorded live in the studio.



Benoit's voice—always fine, despite critics' assertions that he “over-emoted"—had by 2002 developed a bit of a gruff sound and the confidence of a guy who is dead certain of how to phrase the lyrics.

And his guitar work had gotten leaner, as he rationed the wailing for maximal effect.

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