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Friends

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Friends is the accurate and revealing title for New York bluesman Eric Bibb's tenth album since 1997. There are 15 cuts here, each of them featuring rootsy folk and blues collaborations with different "friends" in differing small group settings. The set starts with a killer acoustic slide duet between Bibb and Guy Davis on the nugget "99 ½ Won't Do." The contrast between Davis' sweet and smoky delivery and Bibb's husky wail -- akin to Blind Willie Johnson's in places -- offers a double-sided dimension in interpretation for the listener, as well. Elsewhere, Charlie Musselwhite gives a killer snaky harmonica performance on "Six O' Clock Blues." Taj Mahal makes two appearances;...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Friends is the accurate and revealing title for New York bluesman Eric Bibb's tenth album since 1997. There are 15 cuts here, each of them featuring rootsy folk and blues collaborations with different "friends" in differing small group settings. The set starts with a killer acoustic slide duet between Bibb and Guy Davis on the nugget "99 ½ Won't Do." The contrast between Davis' sweet and smoky delivery and Bibb's husky wail -- akin to Blind Willie Johnson's in places -- offers a double-sided dimension in interpretation for the listener, as well. Elsewhere, Charlie Musselwhite gives a killer snaky harmonica performance on "Six O' Clock Blues." Taj Mahal makes two appearances; one in a duet on "Goin' Down Slow," and one in a trio with Bibb and Malian guitarist Djelimady Tounkara on a medley of the traditional "Kulanjan" and Bibb's own "Sebastian's Tune." Speaking of Mali, and Mahal, Bibb also covers the elder bluesman's classic "Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes," with the great kora player Mamadou Diabate that rivals the original. There's also a gorgeous version of Guy and Susanna Clark's "The Cape," with guitarist Martin Simpson, Bibb's moving "For You" with Ruthie Foster, and "Tain't No Such Thing," a bright new folk song written and sung with legendary folksinger Odetta. Mohan Veena ace Harry Manx performs with Bibb on the high lonesome, droning blues of "Needed Time," and with Kristina Olsen on her "If I Stayed." The set closes with the tender "Dance Me to the End of Love," an original, not the Leonard Cohen tune with the Lovin' Spoonful's Jerry Yester playing piano. In addition to the many performers on this collection, there are 15 different engineers! Given that most records of this type are mixed bags at best, with "star-studded" collabs serving to muck up or water down rather than enhance performances, Friends is an anomaly. There is nothing that's obvious or overblown here, everything is subtly shaded, and the performers serve the songs and not themselves. The listener gets no sense of back-patting or self-congratulation, only the great pleasure of hearing this music in a revealing, emotionally honest way. Bravo.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2010
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 5038787201520
  • Catalog Number: 924152
  • Sales rank: 122,670

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 99½ Won't Do (3:36)
  2. 2 Six O'Clock Blues (4:19)
  3. 3 Goin' Down Slow (4:43)
  4. 4 Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes - Mamadou Diabate (3:21)
  5. 5 For You - Ruthie Foster (4:51)
  6. 6 The Cape (3:24)
  7. 7 'Tain't Such a Much (3:33)
  8. 8 Needed Time - Harry Manx (5:04)
  9. 9 If I Stayed (2:05)
  10. 10 Connected - Michael Jerome Browne (4:10)
  11. 11 Ribbons and Bows - Byron Myhre (4:17)
  12. 12 Just Look Up - Michael Jerome Browne (3:38)
  13. 13 Cowgirl Queen (3:04)
  14. 14 Kulanjan/Sebastian's Tune (3:30)
  15. 15 Dance Me to the End of Love (4:40)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Eric Bibb Primary Artist, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Hi String, Guitar (Tenor)
Charlie Musselwhite Harmonica, Amplified Harmonica
Odetta Vocals
Taj Mahal Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, Fretless Banjo
Martin Simpson Guitar, Slide Guitar
Kristina Olsen Concertina, Vocals
Casey Cassone Percussion
Bill Lee Double Bass, String Bass
Djali Madi Tounkara Guitar
Jerry Yester Piano
Led Kaapana Ukulele, Soloist
Guy Davis Harmonica, Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Odetta Felious Gordon Vocals
Kuljit Bhamra Tabla
Leon C. Bass, Percussion, Bass Drums
Pete Thompson Drums, Snare Drums, Hi Hat
Mamadou Diabate Kora
Harry Manx Mohan Vina
Michael Jerome Browne Fiddle, Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Slide Guitar, Mandola
Ruthie Foster Vocals
Janne Petersson Piano, Accordion
Byron Myhre Mandolin, Violin
Levi B. Saunders Banjo, Loops, Drum Loop
Thomas Slaymaker Slide Guitar
Janne Peterson Piano, Accordion
Technical Credits
Taj Mahal Composer
Guy Clark Composer
Kristina Olsen Composer, Engineer
Denis Blackham Mastering
Susanna Clark Composer
Tom Phillips Composer
Jerry Yester Engineer
Dan Lawrence Engineer
Guy Davis Arranger
Mark Tierney Engineer
James Burke Oden Composer
Eric Bibb Arranger, Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Harry Gale Engineer
Leon C. Programming, Producer
Steve Lowe Engineer
Traditional Composer
Jim Rusby Engineer
Bronze Arranger
Ron Litschauer Engineer
Mike Yoder Graphic Design
Dylan Gallagher Engineer
Ron Hatrick Engineer
Rob Hewes Engineer
Levi B. Saunders Engineer, Percussion Programming
Will Russell Engineer
Jim Janosky Composer
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