Although Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) found the Heartbreakers regaining their strength as a band and discovering a newfound ease at songcraft, it just didn't sell that well. Perhaps that factor, along with road fatigue, led Tom Petty to record his first solo album, Full Moon Fever…
Tab Benoit's latest release on Telarc, Fever for the Bayou, continues in what has become Benoit's signature territory, a funky, ragged blend of Louisiana swamp blues and East Texas guitar, with hints of funk, soul, and country thrown in to give the gumbo just the right spice. If it sounds like a formula, well, Benoit's jagged guitar playing and increasingly soulful vocals make it clear that this is the music he loves, so it hardly matters. He touches a lot of bases here, including an eerie approximation of Elmore James' slide sound on a cover of James' "I Can't Hold Out" (which also features some cool tenor sax work from Jimmy Carpenter), then conjures Buddy Guy on Guy's "I Smell a Rat," fires up on the old Slim Harpo chestnut "Got Love if You Want It," and tears through a wonderfully swampy take on Levon Helm's "Blues So Bad" before ending things with an acoustic version of Clarence Williams' "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" (made famous by another Williams, Hank Williams Sr.).
On this episode of "Factory Made", discover how bottlecans, acoustic guitars, lighters and Buckeye candies are made!
Here's the idea, Hector said. He had the Disco Inferno CD in his hand, the one we had all danced to at New Year's Eve, reliving the 70's. ''With percussion, oud and bouzouki we'll play disco as if it were world music''. So we went down to the studio and arranged I Feel Love by Donna Summer, just like that, as if we had never listened to anything else. This was Hector's genius, his method, his study of sound, which began with some small detail, from the rustle of a leaf, from a drum tapped on its edge instead of the skin. Then he left us alone to finish the project. And dance to disco.