Eric Bibb – Blues People | Album Review

ericbibbcd2Eric Bibb – Blues People

Stony Plain Recording Company

www.stonyplainrecords.com

15 tracks

Stony Plain Records from Canada is a truly premier roots record label and the release of Blues People adds even more credence to that accolade! Bibb is an accomplished singer, song writer and musician who has assembled in this album a collection of originals, collaborations and covers that are based on the concepts of change and hope. It focuses on African American history, from slavery to emancipation and from hard time share cropping to the Civil Rights movement. The dreams of men and women dragged into or born into slavery and then the dreams that they have had as freedom came to them in dribs and drabs over the 150 years since the end of Civil War are depicted in this CD.

Joining Bibb here in the song writing are Guy Davis (“Chocolate Man”), the Reverence Gary Davis (I Heard The Angels Singin’”, Taj Mahal and Glen Scott (arranged the traditional ““Needed Time”). He is joined by many great artists and songs, featuring the likes of Popa Chubby (“Silver Spoon”), Guy Davis (“Chocolate Man’), “I Heard the Angel Singin’ ” (The Blind Boys of Alabama and J.J. Milteau), “Dream Catchers (Harrison Kennedy and Ruthie Foster), “Chain Reaction” (Glen Scott), “Needed Time” (Taj, Ruthie, and the Blind Boys), “Remember the Ones” (Linda Tillery), “Home” (Andre De Lange) and “Where Do We Go” (Leyla McCalla).

Bibb does not go completely solo on the remainder of the tracks. Glen Scott is featured on many cuts in a variety of roles, Staffan Astner plays a variety of guitars and stringed instruments on a half dozen tracks as does Michael Jerome Brown. Paul Robinson appears on drums and percussion on a pair of cuts. Bass services come from Neville Malcom (3 tracks) and Desmond Foster (one track). A variety of other artists also perform on a single track here and there and a backing “Choir” of 6 folks appear on a couple of more cuts.

There are so many great tracks on this CD. “Chocolate Man” is a lot of fun with Bibb and Davis doing a smash up job together. Chubby and Bibb blend nicely on their guitars on the opening “Silver Spoon.” “Driftin’ Door to Door” is a great song of hope with beautiful finger picking. There’s some great slide on “Turner Station” and “Pink Dream Cadillac” is a sweet song of materialistic dreams. “Needed Time” may be my favorite, mixing an old time banjo opening with an updated hymn-like version of the song. Both songs with the Blind Boys of Alabama are moving as is the funky “Dream Catchers” with Ruthie Foster. “Remember the Ones” is a great straight up 60’s soul tune. All the cuts here have merit and are worth many a listen.

Bibb is a great artist who shows his artistry in all his endeavors. Here we find him doing a fantastic job with this album, which is destined to be one of his best. If you like Eric or acoustic blues, this CD is for you! Bibb is at his best again here!

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