Tuesday, November 6, 2007

An Evening with Eric Bibb reviewed by Steve Jones

An Evening with Eric Bibb
Eric Bibb
M.C. Records
14 tracks/64 minutes

I became very intrigued with Eric Bibb a couple of years ago at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. On stage, all alone with his acoustic guitar , standing lean and tall, he presents a stark appearance. When he begins to play the stage transforms and fills with the presence and timbre of this man who is cool, comfortable and immensely talented. He grew up in NYC in a musically blessed family and the great music DNA continues with Eric.

The CD, released in September, presents Eric live and paints a great picture of the this folk blues artist and his abilities. Recorded live The Basement Night Club in Sydney, Australia back in 2002, it captures the soul and heart of the artist. Most of the tracks are originals and the few covers offer up a great mix.

The CD features Eric on acoustic guitar and Dave Bronze on bass. The pair of stringed instruments weave a seductive and appealing web of roots music. Whether he is strumming out a soulful, folksy ballad and getting down to it, Bibb’s music truly captivates the soul.

Whether secular or sacred, his vocals and guitar work portray a man who is in tune with his music. “Panama Hat” is a cute little finger picking tune about a fixated but patient guy breaking in a new hat. The Reverend Gary Davis’ tune “I Heard the Angels Singing” was the show’s encore and is the last track on the CD. Eric’s version is a moving piece of music.

“Don’t Ever Let Your Spirit Down” and “Right on Time” are also powerful, spiritual numbers that evoke emotion and fire. “Sebastian’s Song” is a tight little instrumental he wrote for his then 10 year old Son; the fingers seem stroll across the strings effortlessly in this cool track.

Acoustic music is always best in a live environment. Studios often do not adequately showcase the feelings that emanate from the music. This live set aptly capture Bibb and his repertoire as he moves back and forth from silky and sultry ballads over o bouncy finger picking and then to fiery spirituals with ease. He is an exceptional artist and this CD is a must for fans of acoustic music.

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