Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eric Bibb -- "Deeper In The Well"

Eric Bibb is now on Stony Plain Records. This cd will be released by them on March 27. Bibb is a vocal treasure, truly one of the best vocalists in either folk music or blues. This cd has Bibb on vocals, guitars and banjo, backed by multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, creole fiddler Cedric Watson, drummer Danny Devillier and harmonica ace Grant Dermody. Special guests include Michael Jerome Browne, Michel Pepin, Jerry Douglas and Christine Balfa. Everything was recorded at Dirk Powell's Cypress House Studio in Pont Breaux, Louisiana, and everything sounds acoustic and analog. The sound is deep and wonderful. As usual with Eric Bibb, the song list features a number of Bibb originals, and it also has a few interesting covers--including Harrison Kennedy's "Could Be You, Could Be Me," Roger Dale Bowling & Martha Jo Emerson's "Dig A Little Deeper In The Well," Taj Mahal's "Every Wind In The River," and Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin'." The Bibb originals are fine, and the playing on the covers is terrific--if this was your introduction to the music of Eric Bibb you might believe he has always been a Louisiana bluesman. He isn't, but this time out the music is really good swamp folk-blues. Bibb may be the only blues vocal artist out there (with the possible exception of Rory Block) who could interpret Leadbelly, Taj Mahal and Bob Dylan and make them all "work."

The emotional centerpiece of the cd, though, is the two traditional songs in the center of the disc--"Boll Weevil, best known perhaps from Leadbelly's version, and "Sinner Man," best known perhaps from The Swan Silvertones' version. On "Boll Weevil" Bibb and Dermody and Powell weave a rich cajun gumbo with guitars, harmonica and fiddle while Bibb sings passionately about the current economic situation. On "Sinner Man" Bibb's vocals and Dermody's harmonica and Powell's fiddle float above a deep bed of guitars, telling the story of the ultimate human question, "Where You Gonna Run To?"

On these two songs, both standouts, and on every other song here, Bibb delivers the goods on every song. This is my favorite Bibb disc since 1997's Grammy-nominated "Shakin' A Tailfeather" children's album.

You can buy this cd at

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