Tab Benoit's funky, ragged blend of Louisiana swamp blues and East Texas guitar, with hints of funk, soul, and country thrown in to give the gumbo just the right spice, has served him well since he burst on the scene in the early '90s. Since Benoit hasn't essentially changed his sound since, this collection of sides made up largely from his early releases for Houston-based Justice Records (all of Benoit's Justice albums have been reissued by Vanguard Records in recent years) makes an ideal introduction to what this guy is all about, and although Best of the Bayou Blues covers a five-year span from 1992 to 1997, the tracks all fall together in a completely coherent sequence. Opening with the Benoit original "Voodoo on the Bayou" from 1992's Nice & Warm and running through several originals and some interesting covers (including country-funk takes on Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" and Willie Nelson's "Rainy Day Blues"), this set spotlights Benoit's southern Louisiana take on contemporary blues.
2017 collection from the British merry music makers. Madness continue to cement their position as the UK's favorite band, with their House Of Common and House Of Fun events becoming annual fixtures in every fan's calendar. Madness are national treasures, with a huge following. Their shows consistently sell out and sales of their current album confirm that, after nearly 40 years, they are still as relevant as they ever were. The last Madness best-of, Total Madness, was released in 2012 and comprised 23 singles. Since then the band have released two more studio albums: Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da and their current record, Can't Touch Us Now, each spawning three or four singles. Full House is a best-of and then some, featuring 42 of the band's very best songs, including the hit singles from all of their records (including the above), plus a few of the band's favorite album tracks. It is a joy to listen to; in mostly chronological order, the set charts the highlights of their career, from 1979's 'The Prince' to 2017's 'Another Version Of Me', with smash hit singles like 'Our House' and 'It Must Be Love' nestling in between.