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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jimmy Thackery & Tab Benoit 2002 Whiskey Store

Genre: Blues
Rate: 320 kbps CBR / 44100
Time: 00:51:49
Size: 118,55 MB

United States

Review by Hal Horowitz

The first summit meeting for these two journeymen roots-blues-rock guitarists is a rousing triumph. On paper, Tab Benoit's less aggressive New Orleans style wouldn't seem to mesh with Jimmy Thackery's boozy, tough, rough and tumble approach. But like Lennon and McCartney, each complements the other. Benoit lets his Delta and Texas-styled roots seep into the proceedings, tempering Thackery's more bombastic leads. Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble rhythm section and keyboardist Reese Wynans provide dexterous support, as does ace harp master Charlie Musselwhite. Most importantly, this isn't just a bunch of songs built around endless jams.

The selections are mostly covers, but the wide range of writers involved -- from Bob Dylan, the Stones, and Neil Young to obscurities from legends like Percy Mayfield and Eddie Jones -- shows the scope of the guitarists' influences. Only on the Benoit-penned slow blues "Nice and Warm" -- reprised from his solo debut and at almost eight minutes the album's longest track -- do the guitar pyrotechnics overwhelm the song. But even here, the musicians are obviously inspired by each other and deliver dazzling solos, each more jaw-dropping than the last. Everything sizzles, yet a mid-album detour into a laid-back version of Neil Young's country-ish ballad "Unknown Legend" works surprisingly well, especially with Musselwhite's poignant harp solo. Jagger/Richards' "The Last Time" gets a rootsy rave-up treatment, as does Dylan's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," and the duo clicks into shuffle mode on Thackery's instrumental Freddie King tribute, "Freddy's Combo."

For the most part, the over the top guitar shenanigans this partnership threatens thankfully never materialize, with both six-string benders providing short, succinct, yet scorching solos within the framework of the tunes. Lead vocals are shared, although Benoit is clearly the better singer, with Thackery's rasp getting by on sheer enthusiasm. A treat for fans of both artists as well as a stirring contemporary electric blues album by any yardstick, Whiskey Store successfully joins two gifted guitarists in a session that proves greater than the sum of its very talented parts.


01 - I Ain't Broke 03:10

02 - Whiskey Store 03:26

03 - Away, Away Too Long 03:30

04 - Strange Things Happen 04:40

05 - Nice And Warm 07:37

06 - Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat 05:50

07 - Unknown Legend 04:45

08 - Bad Luck Blues 06:14

09 - Freddy's Combo 04:26

10 - The Last Time 03:47

11 - Bone Pickin' 04:24

Jimmy Thackery & Tab Benoit here:

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