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Tab BENOIT, Debbie DAVIES, Kenny NEAL – Homesick For The Road 1999

Posted in BLUES, Debbie DAVIES, Kenny NEAL, Tab BENOIT on November 30, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Tab BENOIT, Debbie DAVIES, Kenny NEAL – Homesick For The Road 1999


Perhaps taking their cue from Alligator’s 1985 Showdown! with Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland, Telarc brought together three fairly young veterans on the contemporary blues circuit for this session. Tab Benoit, schooled in blues in Baton Rouge, steps forward to sing and play guitar on Willie Nelson’s “Nightlife,” Jay Hawkins’s well-worn “I Put a Spell on You,” and his own “Down in the Swamp,” supported in all three places by Kenny Neal on rhythm guitar. Neal, a member of a prominent Baton Rouge blues family, provides vocals and solo guitar for his lament “I’ve Been Mistreated,” a rendition of his father Raful’s “Luberta” (where the elder contributes a spot of singing), and several more album tracks. Also in the thick of things is Debbie Davies, who worked with Albert Collins before carving out her own niche. Her singing and guitar are out front on four Don Costagno songs and parts of three other tunes. Furnishing the grooves behind Neal, Davies, and Benoit is Ronnie Earl’s old Broadcasters band. The three guitarists and their backup players are all good musicians and the material is for the most part OK. But nothing here, nothing at all, is memorable or distinctive. This album is recommended to loyal fans of the headliners.
By Frank-John Hadley.
Homesick for the Road provides a showcase for three fine blues singer/guitarists. The recording is clean and crisp, as is typical of the Telarc label, and the music cooks from start to finish. This disc provides an excellent introduction to each performer, with ample opportunities for each to shine. Debbie Davies brings to mind Bonnie Raitt, with her appealing vocal timbre and bluesy delivery. The youthful Benoit sings with an authority beyond his 31 years, making Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ classic “I Put a Spell on You” his own. Kenny Neal has the scruffy, soulful delivery of a man who knows what the blues are all about. His “I’ve Been Mistreated” sounds like a late ’60s slice of Muscle Shoals soul. All three of the co-leaders are excellent guitarists, and the band is solid and tight. Homesick for the Road rolls down the car window for an enticing look at three relatively young performers carrying the blues torch into the future.
By Jim Newsom.
Three accomplished guitarists and songwriters join forces on Homesick for the Road (Telarc 83454; 54:25). Debbie Davies, Tab Benoit and Kenny Neal mix it up in sympatico fashion on this bluesy set, reminiscent in concept of 1987’s Showdown! (Alligator) featuring Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland. Benoit and Neal, both natives of Louisiana, pair off on Benoit’s “Down in the Swamp” as well as on covers of Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.”
Neal is singled out on a rendition of his father Raful’s “I’ve Been Mistreated.” Davies pairs off with Neal on a rousing “Still Called the Blues” and weaves an alluring spell with her sultry, soulful vocal delivery on the acoustic “So Cold.” But the most sparks here are generated when all three get together and trade licks, as on the organ-fueled shuffle “Bop ‘Til I Drop” and the bouncy title track.
By Bill Milkowski.
Tab Benoit, Debbie Davies, Kenny Neal- Vocals, Guitar
Bruce Katz- Organ
Rod Carey- Bass
Per Hanson- Drums
special Guest;
Raful Neal- Harmonica, Vocals
01. Deal with It (Reale, Tiven, Vivino) 4:41
02. Down in the Swamp (Benoit) 5:19
03. Bop ‘Til I Drop (Walsh) 4:17
04. So Cold (Constagno) 4:05
05. I Put a Spell on You (Hawkins) 4:51
06. Money (Costagno) 4:46
07. Luberta (Neal) 4:55
08. I Can’t Afford My Self (Costagno, Davies) 5:42
09. I’ve Been Mistreated (Neal) 3:26
10. Night Life (Breeland, Buskirk, Nelson) 3:59
11. Still Called the Blues (Forest, Jackson, Miller) 4:35
12. Homesick for the Road (Costagno) 3:41

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