Tab Benoit's latest Mona Lisa,The Sea Saint Sessions (Telarc) once again blends Delta blues with cajun bayou spice for a sound that belongs uniquely and souly to him. I say souly because that is exactly what you will find in abudance on this barn burner of a record due largely to Tab's commanding raspy vocals throughout, but particularly on "Solid Simple Thing," and "What I Have To Do," Benoit has a liking for cutting tracks live in the studio in one or two takes which gives The Sea Saint Sessions a radiant spontaneous feel over all eleven numbers. The sparkling and very funky "Hustlin Down In New Orleans," which evokes memories of Little Feat, finds Neville Brothers guitarist Brian Stoltz exquisitely trading off licks with Benoit while the very bluesy "Monks Blues," showcases Big Chief Monk Boudreaux's gruffly smooth vocals and segues neatly into the driving beat of "Making The Bend," a high energy piece featuring George Porter's booming bass line. What I find truly amazing about the three numbers just mentioned is that they were co written and performed with the guest artists as these sessions were taking place with minimal rehearsal or refinement. Now that, ladies and gents, is spontaneity at it's finest. All but two tracks are originals, with the covers consisting of a smoking version of Howlin' Wolf's "Howlin For My Darlin," that contains a completely wicked guitar solo, and "Plareen Man," the volcanic closing number contributed by Cyril Neville who is on hand for lead vocals and percussion. Two other pieces that are thoroughly enjoyable and if they fail to get your hips shaking immediately might mean you are dead, are the album's opening frenetic tune "Baby Blue," which has Brian Stoltz sitting in and the following "Boat Launch Baby," that I can hear covered easily by any of the top zydeco/cajun bands. Backing Tab are his usual comrades, Carl Dufresne on bass and Darryl White on drums who are one of the most powerful rhythm sections it's ever been my pleasure to hear. I mean these two guys just blast through a tune like dynamite. As for Mr.Benoit.... he's positively maginificent on this outing firing off melodic runs up and down the fretboard while at times bending notes until they seem ready to break into a million pieces while singing his heart out in his slightly nasal but soulfully expressive voice. Tab Benoit has for years been grossly underrated as both a blues guitarist and singer and is finally beginning to receive the national recognition he has always deserved as both a musician and a fine songwriter. Last year's Wetlands was a great album but The Sea Saint Sessions just plain knocked me out of my socks and across the room. One of his best that should not be missed!