Eric Bibb - Dear America
Blues man, folk singer and global griot Eric Bibb has long been known for making insightful social commentary in his songs, not surprising since he came up out of the early New York City folk scene where on occasion he hung around with Bob Dylan and other likeminded artists. So Dear America
, a 14-song set, can be thought of as sort of an open letter to his countrymen and women, to the hopeful and the makers of change. Before any social commentary here though Bibb begins Dear America
with "Whole Lotta Lovin'," a song of appreciation of music, food and relationships where his acoustic guitar playing and singing is accompanied only by delicate bass tones from the legendary Ron Carter. "Born of a Woman" is a chilling cut about domestic abuse of women where Shaneeka Simon guests on vocals, "Whole World's got the Blues" echoes the hard times the planet has been going through recently and includes an appropriately stinging guitar solo from guest player Eric Gales. "Dear America" moves to a Delta blues groove and offers a similar sentiment but focuses on racism and hate; "Emmett's Ghost," a reference to Emmett Till, is also about racism and violence and again features Ron Carter on acoustic bass. "Talkin' Bout a Train" plays out in two parts, Part 1 is about wanderlust and the search for something better somewhere down the rail and of course features plenty of blues harp from Billy Branch; Part 2 on the other hand is a funky spiritual about a train to glory. Driving home the point of the album is the closing cut, an alternate version of "Whole World's got the Blues" where the electric guitar work of Eric Gales ventures into the psychedelic and is more prominent in the song. Dear America
releases on Sept. 10.