Review: Eric Bibb – Me To You

Posted on: Monday, Apr 28, 2014

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Eric Bibb – Me To You

(Manhaton Records: Hatman 2032)

After a staggering 12 years out of print here is a most welcome and overdue re-release for the debut studio solo album that sent Eric Bibb on his way to becoming one of the blues major stars. Originally released in 1997 on Mike Vernon’s Code Blue label this superb 14-track collection is now out on Alan Robinson’s Manhaton Records.

The music was recorded in no less than 11 studios and features a whopping 44 musicians! ‘Heavyweight’ guest spots come from the likes of Pops and Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal  and Paul Jones, together with a most talented and seasoned group of mainly Swedish and British musicians, who include Dave Bronze, Ian Gibbons and Bibb’s long-time collaborator Goran Wennerbrandt.

As ever with Eric Bibb’s music over the years this debut highlights his almost perfect honey-edged vocals and acoustic guitar on a mix of joyous blues, folk and gospel . . . that have seen him stay the course and be still a  major pull on the touring circuit.

The New York City born Bibb of course dominates the music here, ably helped and supported by the vast array of musicians. Highlights are really too numerous too mention, but here goes . . . the truly delightful “Sing Your Song”, with Taj Mahal helping out on vocals; the funky “Between A Woman And A Man”, which showcases Wennerbrandt’s fine slide guitar, as does the following “Talk To Me”.

Pops and Mavis Staples  help out on the beautiful gospel-edged “Something Much Greater”; Bibb takes a solo turn on the folk-blues of “Gonna Walk This Road”, with sweet vocal and fingerpicked acoustic guitar; the strutting blues of “I Need A Vacation” is another treat, with Paul Jones guesting on harmonica and the top rhythm section of Dave Bronze on bass, and B.A. Fox on drums.

A highly recommended re-release, and as producer Mike Vernon says, “If this is your first time with it, enjoy. If you’ve heard it before – enjoy again”. Indeed!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.ericbibb.com

www.manhatonrecords.com

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