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Friday, May 26, 2006


Tab Benoit et al "Voice of the Wetlands"

Perhaps the only good to come out of the Hurricane Katrina disaster has been the many excellent New Orleans music compilations, whose profits are going to those dispossessed by the storm and the ensuing chaos. The most political and most passionate of these is Tab Benoit and company's "Voice of the Wetlands."

Assembled long before the hurricane hit, the all-star band supports a non-profit organization for the preservation of Louisiana's vast wetlands. Political but not preachy, they pull no punches when it comes to polluting companies, overzealous developers or the Corps of Engineers, but most of the themes spring naturally from the water-based culture of the bayous.

From the direct protest of "We Ain't Gonna Lose No More" with Dr. John on lead vocals and keyboards to the joyous zydeco of "We Make a Good Gumbo" from blues guitarists Tab Benoit and Anders Osborne, each song expresses Louisiana's uniqueness. "Me Donkey Want Water," an explosive funk number led by Mardi Gras Chief Monk Boudreaux, closes out a CD that shows contemporary bayou music is not yet an endangered species.

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