An Evening With Eric Bibb is just over an hour of stellar music. For anyone not familiar with Bibb you would be hard-pressed to find a better introduction. The sterling production work perfectly creates the feel of sitting in the front row for an intimate performance with a small group of enthusiastic friends.
Fourteen tunes from this blues-grounded singer-songwriter you carry you smoothly along from beginning to end without your barely noticing the passage of time. Ten masterfully crafted originals are delivered here with a level of skill that should be studied by any aspiring performer. The set opens with Bibb's own Good Stuff. He has some good stuff of his own. This is a tune that he should have let cook even longer. So great but it just ends way too soon.
When an artist working with traditional forms creates a song so faithful to the genre it can be mistaken for an old traditional tune they have done something especially great. Don't Ever Let Your Spirit Down is just such a song. Bibb calls on his godfather, Paul Robeson, during the spoken introduction. This song makes the entire CD worth the effort. Again though, the only criticism is it ends too soon. I could listen to him ramble along inside this song for twice its four-minute length.
Part of what makes Don't Ever Let Your Spirit Down work so well is the powerful bass provided by Dave Bronze. Bronze blends perfectly with Bibb all the way through the evening, always knowing when to lay back and when to step out. These two men seem to sense just were they need to be going with each tune.
Not only are the individual tunes all powerful but the flow from one tune to the next is perfectly worked also. Following the more serious Don't Ever Let Your Spirit Down is a light original, Sebastian's Tune. A showcase for Bibb's finger-picking of the guitar. Somewhere between American finger-style guitar and Piedmont blues there are beautiful instrumentals like this one. Dedicated to Bibb's "favorite 10 year old guy" it is a piece of pure joy and love.
Three traditional tunes are also reworked. Included in these is a truly inspired version Lonesome Valley that fill you with the strength to walk that lonesome valley is nothing else will! And there is one great Rev. Gary Davis tune. I can't help but believe that the Reverend himself would surely approve of the way Mr. Bibb treats this great tune.
The folks in the audience really got a special treat to be at the recording of this CD. If you ever get the chance you should spend An Evening With Eric Bibb. I know I will.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Website design by David N. Pyles