Guest Author - Chris Curtis
As you might imagine, the lure of the deep rooted music of the Louisiana Bayou calls to my musical soul. While my dancing feet feel the rhythms of the cajun and zydeco beats, the soulful blues and funk are also integral voices resonating from the people of the Louisiana Bayou.
Tab Benoit fronts a new band of highly accomplished, world class Louisiana musicians who have banded together to raise the awareness about the environmental crisis caused by the denigration of the wetlands and its ecological and economic impact on the Louisiana coast. Although Tab may have initiated this tour through the not-for-profit organization, Voice of the Wetlands, he truly shares the stage with these musical greats rather than leads them. The heart of each musician on this stage cries for the danger created by the loss of these precious wetlands in their beloved bayou. This is a problem with national consequences.
Touring as Tab Benoit and the Voice of the Wetland's All Stars Band, this show delivers amazing energy. This ensamble of musicians include Cyril Neville (percussion and vocals), Anders Osborne (rhythm guitar and vocals), Waylon Thibodeaux (fiddle and vocals), Johnny Vidacovich (drums), Jumpin Johnny Sansone (harmonica/accordion player and vocals), and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (vocals).
This band of musicians are self-appointed ambassadors delivering their message with an engaging mixture of Louisiana soul, blues, funk, hoodoo, cajun and zydeco spirit and power. This show has been blowing the roof off every venue and is not to be missed. This is Tab Benoit as you have never seen him; passionate about his homeland which exudes from every note played. I believe the energy behind the driving force of this band is emanating from the hearts and souls of each of these musicians because they believe wholeheartedly in the importance of this cause.
From this band, with support from other Louisiana renowned musicians, came two CD "Voice of the Wetlands -VOW All Stars" and "Box of Pictures - VOW All Stars". Both of which the proceeds from the sale of these projects are contributed toward the efforts to regenerate the wetlands. Many of the cuts from these two releases support the voice to be heard from this organization; Box of Pictures is intended to be an "illustration of Louisiana's resilience, a love story of survival, hope, and inspiration." The title cut Box of Pictures itself is a sad lament of the aftermath of Katrina. Since October, 2004, the Voice of the Wetlands organization hosts an annual three day festival in Houma, LA in the heart of the Louisiana wetlands featuring some of the best Louisiana musicians.
I encourage you all to go to the Voice of the Wetlands website (www.voiceofthewetlands.org) and investigate the significance of this effort. I would also encourage a viewing of "Hurricane on the Bayou" to awaken your senses to the reasons behind the devastation Katrina caused in New Orleans.