I Dare You You Won't

Meeting Tab Benoit

August 6th, 2021

by David Klockau

I had the opportunity to meet with Tab Benoit as he finished his last encore at the 2019 MVBS Blues Festival.  I know it’s a cliché, but Tab is about the most approachable, down-to-earth person you could meet.  He was still pretty pumped from his performance, so he shared some life experiences as one of the most talented contemporary Blues artists in the U.S. 

 As I am a somewhat retired performing musician (i.e., getting paid), and now mainly play guitar and drums for fun, he shared some musician-based observations about dealing with prima donna types.  He has no use for them, and no matter how talented they may be it hurts the performance of the entire band.  He said it’s important not just to enjoy the music you’re playing but the people you play with. We also shared some of our favorite “drummer jokes,” and he was kind enough to autograph the Zildjian cymbals hat I was wearing.

I asked Tab how he got started, and he shared with me that he grew up in Houma, Louisiana, and his Dad was a working drummer. And in fact, his Dad met Tab’s Mom at a gig-Imagine that!  Tab actually started his musical journey as a drummer and still sits in with his own band from time to time. He’s got some great chops and grooves! As he was following in his Dad’s footsteps, he had been promised his Dad’s sky-blue pearl Gretsch drum set when he was old enough. However, a fire at a storage unit destroyed these drums. Tab was so devastated, he decided to switch to guitar, so we can thank this fire for the amazing talent we now enjoy. According to Tab’s website bio, he also switched to guitar because the only gigs to be had in rural Louisiana at the time were at churches or church fairs, and organizers would not allow drums to be played at these events.  Wow, shades of the original Grand Ole Opry.

Tab continues to tour the U.S.  playing his blistering brand of Blues along with his Son, Tab Jr on guitar.  Although due to Tab’s schedule, he was not able to be booked for the 2021 MVBS Blues Festival, he will be appearing at the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, IA, on August 12th. Check him out!

Posted in Aug 2021

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