Eric Bibb review….Dec. 21, 2014…

ERIC BIBB

BLUES PEOPLE

STONY PLAIN CD  SPCD 1379

SILVER SPOON–DRIFTIN DOOR TO DOOR–GOD’S MOJO–TURNER STATION–PINK DREAM CADILLAC–CHOCOLATE MAN–ROSEWOOD–I HEARD THE ANGELS SINGIN–DREAM CATCHERS–CHAIN REACTION–NEEDED TIME–OUT WALKIN–REMEMBER THE ONES–HOME–WHERE DO WE GO

Eric Bibb describes his latest album, “Blues People,” as a tribute to the “rainbow tribe” of artists from all cultures and backgrounds who travel all over the globe to spread the gospel of the blues.  As for Eric, he’s one of the most visible of these artists, and this set brings him together with some of his best friends, including Taj Mahal, Ruthie Foster, Guy Davis, and The Blind Boys Of Alabama, just to name a few.

Eric’s “mission,” as it were, for this album was to link the history of the blues from slavery times thru the days of the Freedom March thru current times.  This set offered up so many outsanding cuts, favorites were hard to choose.  “Rosewood” deals with “ships with human cargo, chained down below,” and the centuries of subsequent hardships, while “payin’ dues while playin’ these blues” is the theme of the leadoff “Silver Spoon,’ featuring Popa Chubby on guitar.  The Blind Boys Of Alabama join Eric and J. J. Milteau  on “I Heard The Angels Singin”  and they return with Taj Mahal and Ruthie Foster on “Needed Time.”

There are a few light-hearted cuts, too.  “Pink Dream Cadillac” and a duet with Guy Davis, “Chocolate Man,” are both full of sly double-entendres’.

Some of the album’s most powerful moments deal directly with the struggles during the civil rights movement.  These include “Out Walkin,” and “Remember The Ones,” a duet with Linda Tillery.  The set closes with a banjo-filled duet with Eric and Linda McCalla, “Where Do We Go,’ pondering the afterlife.

With an almost-daily barrage of news dealing with racial strife across America, Eric Bibb’s “Blues People” is as relevant and powerful as any set he has ever crafted.  This one is not to be missed.  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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