Monday, November 21, 2011

Music Monday: Tab Benoit.

I first heard Tab Benoit in 2006— not live, but as one of the musicians who contributed music to the film  “Hurricane on The Bayou”.  Saw it at the New Orleans Imax (and bawled—we evacuated for Katrina, but to see the aftermath on the Imax screen, larger than life…it was pretty overwhelming); if you haven’t seen this movie, you need to rent it ASAP.  The filmmaker began filming it in early 2005.  The original theme was just centered around the erosion of the wetlands of Southern Louisiana, and was intended to sound an alarm as to what could happen if a major hurricane hit New Orleans…then Katrina & her sister Rita arrived, and there were no more hypotheticals.

Tab was one of the featured musicians, interviewed in the film, as he’s also the founder of the Voice of the Wetlands festival which has been around since 2004.

A person doesn't have to be from the region to feel empathy for people who are losing their land and their natural protection from Mother Nature. One of my first professional projects was doing a land loss study of the parishes southeast of New Orleans from the time before and after the hurricanes. I saw first hand in the data that I worked with for 6 months--tens of thousands of acres, just GONE. Islands eroded away to nothing. Valuable habitat for land creatures converted to shallow mudholes--the grass ripped from the earth like a bad bikini wax.

...sorry....that's my soapbox pirouette for the evening. :D

ANYWAY...I wish I could find a clip from the film, showing this scene, but it just stuck with me ever since that moment, and despite his laundry list of CDs and other great songs, that first song I heard is still my favorite.  Slow and passionate and slightly haunting, it’s just one of the most beautiful songs I know…possibly because there could be no more perfect song to have been played in conjunction with a film about the flooding of New Orleans and the disappearing wetlands, than “When A Cajun Man Gets The Blues”:


I’ve seen Tab perform a dozen times since then, either at the VOW festival, or at public concerts in Lafayette/Houma.  I could post any number of videos here, but I’ll just let you search the YooToobs yourself.  However, here’s Tab singing one of the more “well-known” Cajun songs:

No comments:

Post a Comment