Blues People

Blues People

by Eric Bibb

CD

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Overview

Blues People

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. Blues People has all of this on display. It's calm, serious, warm, thoughtful, and wonderfully recorded (the album was produced by Glen Scott), and if it doesn't expand Bibb's musical template much, it isn't supposed to, and it ends up being one of Bibb's finest outings. Taking its title from Amiri Baraka's groundbreaking 1963 book Blues People (Baraka was still LeRoi Jones when the book was published), the album is full of musical guests, from Taj Mahal to the Blind Boys of Alabama, but none of them capsize the emotional balance of the set, adding to, rather than detracting, from the songs they appear on. The album has a stark tone, but also a deep warmth, with songs like "Silver Spoon" (which features Popa Chubby), "Driftin' Door to Door," "Where Do We Go" (with vocal help from Leyla McCalla), and "Needed Time" (highlighted by clawhammer banjo from Taj Mahal and gorgeous vocals from the Blind Boys of Alabama) all giving off a calm, determined urgency. The emotional center of the set is undoubtedly "Rosewood," the narrative story of Rosewood, a whistle-stop town in Florida that was the scene of a racially motivated massacre in 1923, and is a symbol of one of the lowest points in American history. In Bibb's hands, the song not only recounts the story and its horrors, but also draws parallels between the evils of the slave trade and the persistence of intolerance and racism in the 21st century.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2014
Label: Stony Plain Music
UPC: 0772532137928
catalogNumber: 321379
Rank: 84017

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eric Bibb   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Ukulele,Vocals
Taj Mahal   Banjo,Vocals
Linda Tillery   Vocals
Desmond Foster   Bass
Harrison Kennedy   Vocals
Neville Malcolm   Bass,Upright Bass
Popa Chubby   Electric Guitar
Guy Davis   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Petri Hakala   Mandola
Bob Manning   Background Vocals
Andre de Lange   Vocals
Glen Scott   Bass,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Melodica,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Staffan Astner   Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Electric Guitar,Ukulele
Blind Boys of Alabama   Vocals
Solo Cissokho   Kora
Michael Jerome Browne   Acoustic Guitar,12-string Guitar
Ruthie Foster   Vocals
Erik Arvinder   Conductor
Big Daddy Wilson   Background Vocals
Paul Robinson   Percussion,Drums
J.J. Milteau   Harmonica
Paris Renita   Background Vocals
Leyla McCalla   Banjo,Vocals
Shaneeka Simon   Choir, Chorus
Sara Bergkvist   Background Vocals
Israel Tomlinson   Choir, Chorus
Cherelle Braithwaite   Choir, Chorus
Lorna Vassell   Choir, Chorus
Voitek Goral   Soprano Saxophone
Ulrika Ponten   Background Vocals
Tahirah Andrews   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Taj Mahal   Arranger
James Bryan   Composer
Sebastian Danchin   Liner Notes
Rev. Gary Davis   Composer
John Guth   Engineer
Harrison Kennedy   Composer
Guy Davis   Composer
Eric Bibb   Arranger,Composer
Bruno Boussard   Artwork
Andre de Lange   Composer
Glen Scott   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Horn Arrangements
Brent Allen   Engineer
Staffan Astner   Producer,Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Ruthie Foster   Composer
Daniel Boivin   Engineer
Dyre Gormsen   Engineer
Sylvain Mercier   Engineer
Olli Haavisto   Engineer
Steve Kaul   Engineer
Adam Cole   Engineer
Chris McGreevy   Engineer
Erik Arvinder   String Arrangements
Philippe Langlois   Executive Producer
M.J. Browne   Composer
Larry Tillery   Composer
Curtis Richa   Composer
Ben Hito   Illustrations
Peter Kilgour   Engineer
Benoiît Moritz   Engineer
Dan Cimo   Engineer
Evan Black   Engineer
Ulrika Ponten   Composer

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