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EarthBeat!; (800) 346-4445
Acoustic blues styles have made a popular comeback in recent years, thanks to Keb Mo, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Corey Harris, and others. None resonate with more authenticity than the folk-blues of Eric Bibb, who, as the son of ’60s folk movement figure Leon Bibb, comes naturally to such songs as “Satisfied Mind,” “Tell Ol’ Bill,” “Woke Up This Mornin’,” and “Lonesome Valley.” Bibb lives in Sweden and records his Taj Mahal-inspired records with members of his Stockholm-based band Needed Time, who brilliantly bridge the cultural divide implied by such names as Goran Wennerbrandt (slide guitars), Christer Lyssarides (mandolins), Olle Eriksson (bass), Bjorn Gideonsson (drums), and Janne Persson (accordion). On Spirit and the Blues, his second Earthbeat! release, the warm-voiced singer sandwiches his traditional-sounding original compositions between old tunes from the black church, the Mississippi Delta, and the civil rights movement. A gospel quartet called the Deacons adds glorious four-part harmonies, and the entire album, recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, has a cozy, camp-meeting feel.