A compendium of Eric Bibb's best recordings from the past decade. 50 tracks, 3 CD's, three hours and twenty minutes of outstanding music. Considering the high level of quality that any Eric Bibb album has, one can imagine how exciting a collection of his favourite tunes, recorded between 2003 and 2013, would be! Here it is - The crown jewels indeed! As a bonus, Bibb re-recorded three especially cherished songs : a brilliant conclusion to the third CD.
Eric Bibb's music is a rich blend of the blues with elements of folk, country, gospel, and soul, thanks in part to his being the son of New York folksinger Leon Bibb, which afforded young Eric exposure to a wide variety of music and opportunities to meet performers like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. Bibb launched his career in Europe, performing at blues and folk festivals in London, Cambridge, and Dublin, sometimes with a full band and sometimes with slide guitarist Göran Wennerbrandt; he eventually settled permanently in Sweden, where he works as a music and voice teacher when not performing.
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."