Eric Bibb‘s version of the blues is hushed and elegant, as much or more about redemption as it is about despair. His best songs, often built on traditional patterns and rhythms, are wise and affirming, and they fall to the brighter and more hopeful side of the blues, a vision that makes him the spiritual descendant of Blind Willie Johnson, say, more than Robert Johnson.
Bibb isn’t about to go down to the crossroads and make some deal with the devil. His version of folk-blues isn’t about that sort of stuff. It’s closer to gospel in tone, with a strong commitment to betterment and change, bereft of personal demons, and filled instead with cultural ones.