The Blues Music Award nomination of Benoit in December 2007 followed the release of his Telarc CD, Power of the Pontchartrain (CD-83654), six months earlier. Power of the Pontchartrain is an 11-track set that features the backup unit of Louisiana’s LeRoux, the enduring blues/rock/pop collective that has been a regional mainstay since the late ‘70s.
Benoit’s most recent recording is Night Train To Nashville (CD-83674), released on Telarc in April 22, 2008. Night Train To Nashville captures the magic and intensity of Benoit in a live setting, joined once again by LeRoux, and a series of guests representing some of the most talented voices on the current blues, Cajun and country scenes: harpist/vocalist Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie), guitarist/vocalist Jim Lauderdale, harpist/accordionist Johnny Sansone, fiddler/washboard player Waylon Thibodeaux and harpist/vocalist and Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson.
The self-proclaimed “new kid from the old school,” Benoit is a Louisiana bayou native and a life-long disciple of the rich, Cajun-flavored blues tradition. Power of the Pontchartrain and Night Train To Nashville embody the rich history and multicultural spirit of the Louisiana Delta – the small corner of the world that spawned some of the greatest music ever made.
Yesterday’s Blues Music Award is the latest chapter in an eventful career trajectory for Benoit. In 2006, he received the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year (Fever for the Bayou, CD-83622, released on Telarc in 2005) and a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album (Brother to the Blues, CD-83639, released in 2006). He won Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year at the Blues Foundation’s 2007 Blues Music Awards.
In addition to constant touring and recording, Benoit has also served as president of Voice of the Wetlands, the environmental organization that he founded in 2003, and played a prominent musical role in Hurricane on the Bayou, a 2006 documentary by filmmaker McGillivray Freeman that chronicles life in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
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