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Monday, October 28, 2013
Stony Plain Records artist: Eric Bibb - Jericho Road - New Release Review
I just received the newest release, Jericho Road, from Eric Bibb and it's masterful. Opening with Drinkin' Gourd, a quiet but powerful track Bibb crafts a beautiful track complimented by African drums and woodwind. Freedom Train has a broad expression of openness and unconstrained feelings. Let The Mothers Step Up steps up the jazz feel with feelings of the best of Joni Mitchell jazz rock or Steely Dan. Have A Heart is a terrific song with the strong jazz fusion sound crafted by Meshell Ndegeocello. Vocals floating lightly on a bed of musicianship makes this a delightful track. Guest vocals by Ruthie Foster add a a textural warmth as well. The Right Thing is more of a musical chant featuring Victor Wooten on bass and lush vocal backing by Paris Renita and Glen Scott. Can't Please Everybody is a really cool track with an irregular beat kind of a mix of blues, funk and jazz rhythms. I really like this track, crafted like a 3 dimensional song. A sonic sculpture. There is also a nice slide guitar solo on this track that meets up with the tight drumming by Glen Scott. Excellent! The Lord's Work has a much more straight forward blues rock sound with reverb on light guitar work adding significant interest. Session Horns Sweden add cool horn interweaving and guest vocalist Cyndee Peters is nicely featured. With My Maker I Am One has the simplicity of Mali blues but overlaid with contemporary American sounds. Cool. They Know is a cleanly finger picked acoustic number with only Bibb on vocals. Very nice. She Got Mine has a lot of the sounds of country blues roots but with contemporary styling. Gospel like vocals give the track very strong highlights. Good Like You is another track with an unconventional rhythm pattern. Bibb's vocals are particularly solid on this track and the acoustic is forward in the mix over additions of backing vocals and sound effects by Glen Scott, Oscar Bibb, the harmonica of Jenny Bohman and Session Horns Sweden. Lastly, One Day At A Time is a predominitely vocal ballad with vocals by Glen Scott, Chinika Simon and featuring fretless gourd banjo by Michael Jerome Browne and Neville Malcolm on upright bass.
This is one of the best Eric Bibb releases that I have heard and certainly the best one that I have had the opportunity to review.
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