Internationally renowned Tab Benoit to perform in Mankato

Mark Reynolds
Staff Writer

Blues artist Tab Benoit will be performing March 17 at Hooligan’s Neighborhood Pub, 1400 East Madison Ave., Mankato.

Co-sponsored by KMSU and Minnesota State Univeristy, Mankato’s Performance Series, the concert will start at 7 p.m. Whiskey Bayou Revue will start the show. It’s a band composed of artists from Benoit’s record label “Whiskey Bayou Records,” featuring Eric Johanson, Eric McFadden, Corey Duplechin and Tab Benoit on drums. 

Hailing from Houma, Lousiana, Benoit learned blues from living blues legends including Tabby Thomas, Henry Gray and Raful Neal while playing at the Blues Box in Baton Rouge.

Now, his virtuosity is known worldwide. He was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album and has won five Blues Music Awards including two B.B. King Entertainer of the Year awards, which offbeat magazine said is “universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded musicians and songwriters in Blues music.”

“On his own, Benoit plays the whole band on his guitar, picking, strumming, banging… and he does it effortlessly, in a style that’s as comfortable on an arena stage as it is on a back porch,” said John Kessler of NPR.

Benoit also appeared in the 2009 Voodoo Music Arts Experience, an annual music festival in New Orleans, along with a massive array of high-profile artists including the Foo Fighters, Marilyn Manson, Eminem, KISS, Deadmau5, Neil Young, My Chemical Romance and many more.

Outside of his music, Benoit has been a major activist for the conservation of Louisiana wetlands. In 2004, he founded “Voice of the Wetlands,” an organization dedicated to spreading awareness of declining conditions in the wetlands of Louisiana. 

Voice of the Wetlands also hosts music festivals as part of their awareness programs. They provide traditional Cajun food, music, art and history of Louisi

ana. They invite people to “come fall in love with the Wetlands and you too will see how special they are.”

“The more I dug into things – the more I looked for ways that I could make a difference in the world, the more I realized that music was that way,” Benoit said in an interview in the documentary “Expedition: Blue Planet.”

Benoit’s music carries the true spirit of blues, and it is fueled by deep Louisiana history. He proudly continues the Blues tradition, and anyone looking to experience real, raw American music should join him for a great performance.

Concert admission is $22 in advance; $25 day of show. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Tickets are available at Hooligans. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to www.mnsu.edu/music/. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507)-389-5549.

Feature photo courtesy of Tab Benoit.

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