Eric Bibb 

Get Onboard

Eric Bibb, son of legendary folkie Leon Bibb, grew up surrounded by music. Like his father, he's interested in early African-American folk music from the time when blacks and whites all drew from the same well of blues, country, gospel, and old-time music.

His albums are an eclectic lot, moving between acoustic guitar and vocal outings and full band excursions.

On Get Onboard, Bibb shows off both aspects of his music, with original tunes that are down-home and funky. "Spirit I Am" rides a relaxed funk groove with Bibb dipping from a righteous growl to a high-keening moan. If Funkadelic ever went to church, they'd sound like this. There's a Memphis soul feeling to "If Our Hearts Ain't in It," a secular spiritual that features Bonnie Raitt's slide guitar and sanctified organ work from producer Glen Scott. On the acoustic tip there's "Pockets," a jazzy love song with fine picking and a sly sexy vocal, and "River Blues" which salutes the art of doin' nothin' with some nice bent note-picking and the warm tones of viola and cello adding to the tune's mellow ambience. "Stayed on Freedom," a '60s civil rights anthem, is given an uplifting bounce by Bibb's rousing vocals and jumpy acoustic, and goosed along by Grant Dermody's bubbly harmonica. (Telarc)

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