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Jericho Road

Eric Bibb

Stony Plain 2013

Review by David Bowling

 

Counting solo, live, and duet albums, Eric Bibb’s count has now passed the 40 mark. He will shortly release his newest effort, Jericho Road, this month.

Bibb is a blues singer/songwriter who incorporates some African rhythms into his traditional brand of American blues. Much of his work has had a somewhat simple and even stark sound at times. On his newest release, however, he has filled in the sound with a band and even horns in places. Through it all he remains an excellent story teller who travels in a gentle direction.

He has often added spiritual elements to his music. The title of the album is taken from the road that connects Jerusalem and Jericho where the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan took place.

All of the songs were written or co-written by Bibb and he has a knack of producing incisive lyrics. While songs such as “Freedom Train,” “The Lord’s Work,” and “With My Maker I Am One” are suited for his laid back brand of folk and blues; they can also be translated in other musical styles and directions as well.

“Death Row Blues” and “One Day At A Time” tell wonderful stories and present the more traditional blues side of his music.

Eric Bibb has been producing excellent music for decades and his Jericho Road is the latest in his chain of releases. He continues to combine American and African elements into his music, which allows him to create a unique brand of blues that can move in a folk direction at times. It is an album that is well worth a listen.

Rating: ***1/2

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