For Benoit, a hurricane of emotions adds weight to storied career

Sunday, July 22

Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit

That he won last year’s B.B. King Award for Blues Entertainer of the Year speaks volumes about Cajun musician Tab Benoit, but to him, it’s merely the fruits of years of hard work. For more than a decade, the Louisiana product has paid his dues on the blues circuit with a just-folks attitude.

“Blues is not like the pop world,” Benoit tells LEO. “There you have people who might never have toured before; all of a sudden, they’re playing stadiums. (With blues), you have to put your time in, work for 20 years. You should have to earn it, and it takes a long time to learn your craft.”

Change the subject to Katrina, and you hear the sounds of patience worn thin. Benoit narrated the IMAX film “Hurricane on the Bayou,” which was called “Hurricane Warning” before the storm hit. New Orleans’ devastation, compounded by the federal government’s slow-poke response, affected Benoit so deeply that he hasn’t written new material since the hurricane.

“Katrina was just a way to open a door so that everybody else could see the kind of problems that we’ve had for years,” he says. “I haven’t able to write much since, because everything I wrote was about trying to prevent that scenario from happening.”

Benoit visits Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar (230 E. Main St., 582-9945) Saturday night. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Cover is $18. For more information, check

Friday, July 20
Late-Night Salon, the brainchild of Jazz Factory owners Ken Shapero and Dianne Aprile, turns a year old Friday. To celebrate, some of the acts that have graced the stage at 815 W. Market St. (992-3242) over the course of the last annum are turning out for a special night of experimental, large-group jazz and folk music. Scheduled to appear: Liberation Prophecy, whose members used to back Norah Jones (yes, that one), Ut Gret, The Commonweath, Squeeze-bot, Jamie Barnes and The Phoenix Collective. Cover is $10; doors at 7:30 p.m. Check for details.

Saturday, July 21

Yep Roc artists The Gourds, which released its eighth album, Noble Creatures, last week, are making Kentucky one of their prime targets. They’re still hilarious, Creatures rises above novelty folk and bluegrass with choice cuts like “How Will U Shine,” “Promenade” and “A Few Extra Kilos.” On Thursday, the Austin, Texas, outfit plays the Dame in Lexington (156 West Main St., 859-226-9005); then it’s on to Somerset Friday for the Master Musicians Festival (UK Drive, 606-677-2933). On Saturday, Louisville is the beneficiary of the three-date swing when the Gourds perform at Gerstle’s Place (3801 Frankfort Ave., 899-3609, Local alt-country rockers Edgehill Ave. headline the night. Music starts at 9 p.m.

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