"Home to Me"
by Putnay Thomas
Review date: September 1999
1999 KBA Award Winner|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by the Blues Foundation
There is precious little in the liner notes of this CD to give the listener clues about when Home to Me was recorded, when the songs were written or information on the record label. Assuming that these are all new songs and a recent recording Iíd have to say that Eric Bibbís latest recording is as exciting and memorable as his previous CDís. The songs are less traditional blues and gospel songs and more Eric Bibb songs. He wrote, adapted, or arranged (as usual), all of the 12 songs on the CD except for one. He seems to be defining his own gospel-blues based sound on this recording. For instance on his song "Mandela Is Free" he incorporates South African high-life rhythms and instrumentation but his pleading vocal intonation recalls the blues. Bibb certainly has been schooled in folk music from his dad (Leon Bibb) but a good analogy would be to the way Richie Havens can turn a folk tune into a folk-blues tune. Bibb has that same skill. He has crafted a few of his best songs ever for Home to Me. For the acoustic blues purists there is "No More Cane on the Brazos" and "Come Back Baby." With just his voice and his Gibson J-45 he is able to wring more sorrow and feeling than anyone Iíve heard in ages. Bibb covers the gamut of feelings, the previously mentioned songs are down and out blues but he also has two songs that are totally happy and optimistic. On "New Shoes" he sings about the joyous effect of having a new pair of shoes, even if itís the only thing in the world you own. The best way to convey the hopefulness of the song "Liviní, Loviní, aní Doiní" is to reprint the chorus (quote):|
"Liviní, loviní, aní doiní the things weíre here to do/
"Liviní, loviní, aní doiní you for me, me for you/
"Liviní, loviní, aní doiní the things so dreams come true/
"Wakiní up in the morniní to find this olí world is new."
Eric Bibbís time is now. This CD, Home To Me, presents a supremely talented folk-blues musician who is in full bloom. The music on this CD doesnít feel like a pair of "new shoes" but rather, like a pair of comfortable old shoes. One listen and youíll want to "bring it on home."
This review is copyright © 1999 by Putnay Thomas, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.