- Eric Bibb is indeed one of the blues' great storytellers
Written by Don Crow
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Eric Bibb is indeed one of the blues' great storytellers and troubadours. He has just released his latest CD for the Telarc label, "Get Onboard." Recorded here in Nashville, it is arguably his most ambitious set thus far. It is full of Eric's trademark six-string skills, and cleverly-topical songwriting that are the characteristics of his best works. Also, on this CD he is joined by Bonnie Raitt, who adds slide guitar on one cut, and gospel maven Ruthie Foster, with whom he duets on another. One of the things that stands out on this album is its theme of unity throughout, not only as individuals, but spiritually as well. It also can be classified as a modern-day "crossroads" album, only this is a place where the blues meets gospel and soul, and elicits a positive message of hope. Check out the leadoff track, "Spirit I Am," its driving gospel chorus directing the answers to life's questions posed herein. "Get Onboard" has an uptempo vibe, and reminds us all that "you don't need a ticket to ride the love train." Perhaps the two most compelling cuts come from Eric's collaborations with Raitt and Foster. In the former, Bonnie's slide adds an ethereal punctuation to Eric's poignant lyrics, where we learn that you can do all kinds of good deeds, and even "go to church seven days a week," but, "If Our Hearts Ain't In It," ain't nothing gonna change! The latter is a laid-back, acoustic "Conversation" between Eric and Ruthie, where she tries to convey to him that "all work and no play" is exacting its toll on their relationship, and that it is time to slow down and enjoy one another. Eric Bibb has once again penned some powerful songs of inspiration, speaking through his music to spread the message of unity and remaining positive when negativity is all around. "Get Onboard" with Eric, and....ENJOY!!! Until next time....Sheryl and Don Crow.