STYLE: Blues RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 161934-24004 LABEL: Dixiefrog FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
The title of the 36th album from US-born and Helsinki-based bluesman Eric Bibb seems to sum up his delight at being back where he feels most at home - with an acoustic band recorded live on the studio floor playing his now trademark upbeat brand of blues and roots music. The band in question has been dubbed North Country Far for the project and consists of Olli Haavisto on dobro and pedal steel, his brother Janne on percussion and Petri Hakala on mandolin and fiddle with the added bonus of folk legend and Pentangle member Danny Thompson on double bass. As you would expect from a collective of such pedigree, the 14 songs on this release are expertly delivered with an ease and feeling that sees each player at the top of his game. Bar a laidback cover of the Kinks' hit "You Really Got Me", a welcome return to the traditional "Tell Ol' Bill" and the haunting Haavisto/Hakala-composed instrumental "1912 Skiing Disaster", each track is penned by Bibb and tracks like "Born To Be Your Man", the title track and "King Size Bed" showcase the man's innate skill at being able offer up a warm take on the blues with an equally warm guitar and vocal performance. Elsewhere, the likes of "Prison Of Time" and "On The Porch" see Bibb use the words of the poet Wendell Berry in thought-provoking fashion. Yet another exemplary release from arguably acoustic blues music's leading light.
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