Eric Bibb

REVIEW: Eric Bibb “Ridin”


Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb has a brand new release, Ridin’ (Stony Plain Records), which was produced, mixed and arranged By Glen Scott.

Crisp meandering banjo notes open the album’s opener, “Family,” and then quickly settle into a groovy, layered, gritty bluesy song.  “I am like you, woman born… someone making’ money by keeping us afraid of each other…. you are like me, family.” The pointed observations are palpable amidst the driving funk beats.  It’s immediately likable as it effortlessly permeates both your mind and soul.

“Blues Funky Like Dat” features Taj Mahal and Jontavious Willis and again it starts with crisp banjo and spins out into a very grassroots, gritty song, taking its sweet time to dance with you.  Sometimes funk bands use electric bass and turn the volume up to demand attention — here, quite the contrary, Eric Bibb, flanked by Taj Mahal and Jontavious Willis, slide up into your backbone nice and easy like, and have you willingly swaying like a willow in the breeze and grooving from the inside.

“Hold the Line” features Russell Malone on guitar and breathy harmonies and a slower sultry groove.

“Call Me By My Name” has jangly strings and features vocals by Harrison Kennedy, and this song is a serious pushback to the history of one race belittling another entire race.  “In 1917 mama said call my name, I’m a man, not your boy.”

The traditional spiritual song “Sinner Man” was recorded live at Wheatland Festival with a full string band and is as hand slappin’ your thigh as they come as it.

“Free” featuring Habib Keith is a hushed storyteller’s tale with island influences to remind you, gloriously, that you’re free.

This album is 15 songs of sometimes dark, sometimes, bright, sometimes twisted, honest relatable bluesy songs in Eric Bibb’s clear vocal delivery.

Musicians on the album are Eric Bibb on lead vocals, 6-string banjo, acoustic guitar, and acoustic resonator guitar; Jontavious Willis on lead vocals and acoustic guitar; Taj Mahal on vocals, harmonica and acoustic guitar;  Glen Scott on backing vocals, organ, drums, percussion, programming, bass, foot stomps, Wurlitzer, E Gtrs, Slide, acoustic guitar, synth and vocals.

Paris Renita,Ida Sandlund,Ulrika Bibb, UMOJA Choir (Leonella Bosch, India Scott, Aretha Scott, Linda Butseme, Rachel Idrona Biirah, Nicole Grenhagen, Jasmine Ahmad, Livia Panico ) and Ash Haynes on backing vocals

Additional musicians include Ola Gustafsson  on pedal steel and slide guitar; Amar Sundy on electric guitar; Esbjörn Hazelius on fiddle; Staffan Astner, Chuck Anthony, Russell Malone, Christer Lyssarides and Michael Jerome Brown on electric guitars; Harrison Kennedy  and Ash Haynes of vocals; Tommy Sims on acoustic guitar and vocals; Steve Jordan and Danny Devillier on drums; Dirk Powell on banjo; Cedric Watson on vocals and fiddle; Grant Dermody on harmonica; Habib Koité on nylon string acoustic guitar and vocals; Lamine Cissokho on Kora; Nicci Notini on additional drums; and Esbjörn Hazelius on fiddle and cittern.

Engineers on the album were Glen Scott, Chris McGreevy, Joel Hamilton, Niclas Lindström, Daniel Bracken, Larry O’Malley, and Danny Boivin.

It was mastered By Larry O’Malley and Dyre Gormsen.

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