Eric Bibb - Blues People

Published Thursday 8th January 2015
Eric Bibb - Blues People
Eric Bibb - Blues People

STYLE: Blues
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 153960-22691
LABEL: DixieFrog DFGCD8768

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Like the 1963 book by renowned African-American writer Amiri Baraka, this latest release from the much-loved folk and blues man charts the black Americans' path from slavery to citizenship and seeks to bring to the forefront once again the civil rights issues that the likes of Bibb's father Leon, folk singer Odetta and Martin Luther King highlighted back in the day. As a result, this is an understandably emotive piece of work from the peerless Bibb who, together with a host of collaborators to complement his captivatingly rich vocal delivery, succeeds in bringing new songs that suggest that many of the civil and racial problems in his homeland still exist to this day. As always, Bibb's faith plays an integral part in proceedings with the likes of a faithful version of the Reverend Gary Davis classic "I Heard The Angels Singing" and a further take of Bibb's signature song "Needed Time" - both with help from the Blind Boys Of Alabama - offering up the hope in Christ that many American slaves clung onto amidst seemingly hopeless situations. Elsewhere, the melding together of Christian and voodoo terminology in "God's Mojo" is something of a strange and spiritually unwise move although a duet with Leyla McCalla on the thought-provoking "Where Do We Go" prompts the listener to consider their eternal destiny with sensitive candour. More light-hearted moments such as "Pink Dream Cadillac" and the Guy Davis song "Chocolate Man" - the latter chock full of thinly-disguised double entendre - showcase the more carnal nature of the blues whilst "Rosewood" - Bibb's telling of the horrific and hushed-up race massacre that took place in the eponymous town in 1923 is completely arresting and highlights the man's innate ability to communicate matters of prime social, historical and spiritual importance through his own matchless brand of the blues.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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