Medicine, Benoit's seventh solo release successfully joins two gifted guitarists/songwriters in a session that proves greater than the sum of its very talented parts. The 11-track recording features seven new Benoit originals co-written with ace songwriter Anders Osborne (his song "Watch the Wind Blow By" was recorded by Tim McGraw in 2002, hitting No. 1 on the country charts for two weeks and selling over three million albums, and Keb' Mo's 1999 GRAMMY®-winning album Slow Down, featured two songs he had co-written). In an unusual twist, Osborne (who also co-produced the album) uses B.B. King's famous guitar "Lucille" on Medicine. "He played half the album on that guitar, basically anything that's not slide guitar," Benoit says.
Medicine showcases a lean, energetic young band, and vibe-wise it's hipper and groovier than anything Benoit has ever done before. The recording also spotlights the work of keyboardist Ivan Neville (son of Aaron Neville and nephew to members of the Neville Brothers), drummer Brady Blade (Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Dave Matthews) and bassist Corey Duplechin (Chubby Carrier & Bayou Swamp Band). Fiddler/singer Michael Doucet of BeauSoleil makes a special appearance on three tracks.
Medicine was recorded at Louisiana's legendary Dockside Studio (B.B. King, Dr. John, Keb' Mo', Taj Mahal, Buckwheat Zydeco), located on a 12 acre estate in the heart of Cajun country on the banks of the Vermilion Bayou, and engineered by David Z (Prince, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Gov't Mule). The award-winning music producer/engineer worked with Benoit on three earlier releases (Fever for the Bayou, Power of the Pontchartrain and Night Train to Nashville). "When David's in the booth, I don't have to worry," says Benoit. "He's always comfortable with the way I work. We have a lot of fun and like to joke around."
Medicine is more than another strong entry in Benoit's increasingly impressive discography - it's one of his most defining albums. "Magic happens when you least expect it," says Benoit. "Most of the stuff here was played live - these are mostly first takes. When it came down to playing, we weren't trying to structure things. We were open to the moment." If music has the power to help relieve pain and suffering, then Tab Benoit's Medicine might be just what the doctor ordered.
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