Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tab Benoit – Delicious Anticipation

Tonight I venture out to see Tab Benoit ( at Antone’s, and on Saturday night I will see him again at the Granada Theater in Dallas. This is not my first musical encounter with Mr. Benoit.  I will tell the story of the first one, so that my intentions with this one will be clear. 
Back in January, I took the Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches cruise and Tab was one of the live music acts.  The first night on the boat, most of the musical acts were performing by the pool on the back deck.  I took up position at the bar, Grey Goose in hand, and proceeded to people watch.  Tab was watching the people and the music from the back, smoking little brown cigarettes and drinking brown liquor.  Okay, he’s a good-looking guy, but I was frankly shocked at the women – shamelessly throwing themselves at him.  Music groupies seem to have no shame.  At one point, one of them even had him crawl onto her back for a photo.  I shook my head with disdain and said to myself, “Thank God I will never be THAT girl.”

For the rest of the cruise I watched him.  The women continued to flock to his side.  He responded with polite acknowledgement, never obviously encouraging them. I saw his shows and developed an intense admiration for his guitar work even as my disdain for his groupies grew.  At no point did I approach him.  He was an amazing musician, but I was not THAT girl, that drooling groupie.  No way. Not ever.
The last night of the cruise, at the musical finale, one of my new friends took it upon herself to introduce us.  I was prepared to politely exude icy disdain.  Standing in front of him as she went through the formalities, I noticed an intense energy pouring from him.  And then he talked.  His voice, low and rough, flowed forth with a thick Cajun accent.  I was caught and mesmerized by his dark eyes.  And then he reached out and shook my hand.  An electric current shot straight up my arm and all the way up to my head, at which point my brain was sucked down my arm and out through my hand. 
I could not think of a damn word to say to the man.  My friend turned to talk somone passing by and left me standing there, speechless.  As the awkward silence grew, and I attempted to form a coherent thought, Tab and I turned to watch some of the music on the stage.  A couple of times his upper arm touched mine. My skin burned where he touched it.  Oh mother of god.  I was THAT girl.  As the realization hit me, I found myself unreasonably angry with him.  Does he just blast all women in his path with this charm, indiscriminately taking us down?  I walked away before I gave in to the urge to punch him.
So tonight, I pledge to go to Antone’s and listen to his music.  I will sip my Grey Goose and let his searing guitar solos suck the cares from my head.  But if I get the opportunity to say hello, I will keep a firm grasp on my brain.  I have inoculated myself against his charms.  I have ice water in my veins.  I will NOT be that girl again.

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