This episode features Tab Benoit, a Cajun man who’s definitely got the blues. A guitar player since his teenage years, he hung out at the Blues Box, a ramshackle music club and cultural center in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana run by guitarist Tabby Thomas. Playing guitar alongside Thomas, Raful Neal, Henry Gray and other high-profile regulars at the club, Benoit learned the blues first-hand from a faculty of living blues legends.

The nightly impromptu gigs were enough to inspire Benoit to assemble his own band – a stripped down bass-and-drums unit propelled by his solid guitar skills and leathery, Cajun-spiced vocal attack. He took his show on the road in the early ‘90s and hasn’t stopped since.

More than just an acclaimed bluesman, he is an indefatigable conservation advocate. Benoit is a driving force behind Voice of the Wetlands, an organization working to save Louisiana’s wetlands.

Also on this episode, Hope Country - a band started by Brent Johnson in 2011 to create an environment and place of hope. Born and raised on a farm in Wisconsin, Brent had a desire to see the world and travel at an early age. He began playing in bands at 17 and has since toured in over 40 states as well as all over Canada. With an emphasis on strong songwriting and storytelling lyrics, Hope Country has developed into a prime example of modern-day Americana.

Direct download: 18-4_-_Tab_Benoit_-_Hope_Country.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:59pm CDT

Our featured performer on today’s show is self-proclaimed “wild child” singer songwriter Brett Dennen. Sometime around the halfway mark I’ll share a story about the consequences of self-inflicted sugar bombs. We’ll also sneak in musicby Quito Rymer and our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Direct download: 18-3_-_Brett_Dennen_-_Quito_Rymer.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 4:52pm CDT

Join host Michael Perry as he hosts another edition of Tent Show Radio from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua.

 
 Big Top gave a warm welcome to Indie songwriter Josh Ritter to the tent. The New York Times says: “The literary-minded songwriter Josh Ritter…recharges his music on his eighth studio album, Sermon on the Rocks…Harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery.” And, “A guileless, boy-next-door voice belies the depth and ambition of Josh Ritter’s songs, whether he is confessing a simple crush or following his thoughts on a long, Whitmanesque incantation.”

While the music made by Perry and the Long Beds has been variously described as ‘country folk,’ ‘roughneck folk,’ ‘folk-twang,’ and Americana, they prefer the description given by an audience member after a benefit concert in Perry’s old high school gym: “You sound just like Gordon Lightfoot… only zippier!” Nice – but there are limits. “Zippy or not,” says Perry, “when ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ comes on the radio, we sit down, shut up, and listen.”

Direct download: 18-220-20Josh20Ritter20-20Long20Beds.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 8:51pm CDT

Our featured performer on today’s show is Ray Benson, founder of legendary Texas country and western swing outfit Asleep at the Wheel. Sometime around the halfway mark I’ll share a story about surviving the New Year and Colonoscopies. We’ll also sneak in a pair of tunes from Ray Benson’s Lone Star pal Dale Watson, and—for local flavor—one from our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra.

Direct download: 18-120-20AATW20-20Dale20Watson-FIXED.mp3
Category:Tent Show Radio -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

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