Eric Bibb review 03-26-12…

ERIC BIBB

DEEPER IN THE WELL

STONY PLAIN CD  SPCD 1360

BAYOU BELLE–COULD BE YOU, COULD BE ME–DIG A LITTLE DEEPER–MONEY IN YOUR POCKET–BOLL WEEVIL–SINNER MAN–IN MY TIME–MOVIN’ UP–NO FURTHER–EVERY WIND IN THE RIVER–SITTIN’ IN A HOTEL ROOM–THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’

For his debut album for Stony Plain, “Deeper In The Well,” world-traveling troubadour Eric Bibb journeyed to Point Breaux, Louisiana, to the Cypress House Studio.  Teamed with some of the world’s finest folk, blues, and roots players, Eric has forged one of his finest albums to date.  He is joined by harp man Grant Dermody, Danny Devillier on drums, Cedric Watson on fiddle, and multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell.

The set starts off with the trance-like groove of “Bayou Belle,” with great fiddle and harp interplay over Eric’s vocals.  The traditional tunes “Sinner Man” and “Boll Weevil” are excellent examples of country blues, while the incomparable Jerry Douglas adds dobro to the sweetly-soulful “In My Time,” a tune that teaches the lesson that “the best thing you can be is a faithful friend.’   Counting your blessings is the theme of “Money in Your Pocket,” while the evils of addiction are addressed in “No Further.”

We had three favorites, too.  The lively title cut, learned by Eric from a Doc and Merle Watson recording, lets us all know that nothing worth having comes easy.  And, the set closes with a unique, banjo-infused version of “The Times They Are A-Changin.”  Perhaps the most straight-ahead blues cut was Eric’s poignant look at how society views the plight of the homeless, “Could Be You, Could Be Me,”  written by Canadian soul/blues musician Harrison Kennedy, and punctuated by Grant Dermody’s call-and-response harp.

As he sings in “Music,” Eric Bibb explains that one can call it by any name, but if it “soothes my soul” and “if I feel it, it’s good enough for me.”  That sums up this excellent collection of songs that comprise “Deeper In The Well,” from one of the best contemporary players proudly carrying on the sounds and emotions of traditional blues.    Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

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