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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Stony Plain Records artist: Eric Bibb and North County Far with Danny Thompson - The Happiest Man In The World - New release Review

I just received the newest release, The Happiest Man In The World, from Eric Bibb and North County Far with Danny Thompson and it's quite fun. Opening with title track, The Happiest Man In The World, Eric Bibb creates his upbeat blues style with a rural flair joined by Danny Thompson on upright bass, Ollie Haavisto on slide guitars and Janne Haavisto on drums and percussion. Toolin' Down The Road is a really cool track with a nice weave of acoustic instruments bringing instant comparison in my mind to early Ry Cooder work. Very nice. I'll Farm For You has a cool little guitar riff and Bibbs superb vocals supported by light but intriguing slide work. Tossin' And Turnin' has a real smooth feel a nice blend of acoustic and resonator guitar work and upright bass and features Petri Hakala on fiddle. Creole Cafe' has a real nice 3/4 time making it one of my favorite tracks on the release. Bibb really has a nice voice and with lightly appointed mando work, this track is super. With a light funk, Born To Be Your Man, has a bit more drum and jazzy instrumentation giving it a fuller sound. Prison Of Time is a really strong ballad with a lightly salted Hawaiian feel. King Size Bed has a Piedmont style and a happy go lucky feel. With light percussion, a cool mandolin solo and nice slide, another favorite on the release. 1912 Skiing Disaster is a nicely textured instrumental. With it's solid melody and beautiful bass lines by Thompson, balanced against Bibb's acoustic guitar and Olli on slide this track is excellent! Wish I Could Hold You Now is a solemn ballad featuring Petri's mando and Olli on slide providing a beautiful canvas for Bibb's extremely sensitive vocals. Instrumental, Blueberry Boy, is very nicely crafted, again showing superb bass lines, articulate guitar work and a cool Irish whistle solo by Mary Murphy. Wrapping the release is Ray Davies' You Really Got Me. One of my all time favorite rock tracks, Bibb gives it a sensitivity that I suspect never entered Davies head when he was writing it. Pepe Ahlquist on harp and Michael Jerome Browne add nicely to this total blowout of this classic rock track (with a surprise country blues acoustic guitar finish). Very nice closer.
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