Title - Dear America
Artist - Eric Bibb
For those unaware, Eric Bibb has known many different Americas; the good, the bad and the ugly. Born in New York City in 1951, the thunderbolt of the Sixties folk revival remains so alive in the 69-year-old’s memory that he can still recall the idealism on the night air of Greenwich Village and picture Bob Dylan standing in his living room.
Yet just as vivid are the dark societal flash points of the last year, when protesters highlighted the open wound of US race relations while a bitter Presidential election scrawled jagged battle lines.
Now, with the pain of recent events still in the air, Bibb has announced his new album Dear America, out September 10th via Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group, featuring guest appearances by Ron Carter, Eric Gales, Shaneeka Simon, and more.
1. Whole Lotta Lovin’ (feat. Ron Carter)
2. Born Of A Woman (feat. Shaneeka Simon)
3. Whole World’s Got The Blues (feat. Eric Gales)
4. Dear America
5. Different Picture (feat. Chuck Campbell)
6. Tell Yourself
7. Emmett’s Ghost (feat. Ron Carter)
8. White & Black
9. Along The Way
10. Talkin’ ’Bout A Train (Part 1) (feat. Billy Branch)
11. Talkin’ ’Bout A Train (Part 2)
12. Love’s Kingdom (feat. Tommy Sims & Glen Scott)
13. One-ness Of Love (feat. Lisa Mills)
This quite stunning new album, and one that Bibb has admitted is an unabashed love letter “because all of America’s woes, and the woes of the world, can only come into some kind of healing and balance with that energy we call love,” opens on the gentle acoustic guitar, food-imbibed Whole Lotta Lovin’ (featuring Ron Carter) and the rhythmic, Southern twang storytelling of Born Of A Woman (feat. Shaneeka Simon), before we then get the lowbrow, blues balladry ambiance of Whole World’s Got The Blues (featuring Eric Gales), the foot-stomping, grounded blues of the title track Dear America, and then the mid-tempo storytelling of Different Picture (featuring Chuck Campbell).
Up next is the achingly poignancy found within both Tell Yourself and the reminiscing tale of Emmett’s Ghost (featuring Ron Carter), and they are in turn followed by the ornately beautiful White & Black, the rhythmic Along The Way, and then comes the harmonica-driven pairing of Talkin’ ’Bout A Train (Parts 1 and 2, the first featuring Billy Branch), with this simply magnificent, soulful blues album rounding out on the R&B-soul-gospel flow of Love’s Kingdom (featuring Tommy Sims and Glen Scott), coming to a close on the orchestrated balladry of One-ness Of Love (featuring Lisa Mills).
Fiercely literate and historically informed, Bibb is a global citizen whose US motherland – with all its pain and shame, hope and wonder – has bled into his art at every juncture since 1972’s debut album, Ain’t It Grand, announced him as a new force in blues, folk, and any other genre he cared to alight on.
The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter has perhaps never addressed the United States – or shone a light on himself – with such focused eloquence as he does on Dear America.
“I’m saying all the things I would want to say to somebody dear to me,” Bibb considers. “But it’s a self-portrait as well.”
If you could call out to your country, what would you say? When Bibb embarked on the title song that would galvanize the Dear America album, the songwriter found himself unpacking a seven-decade relationship with a partner of dramatic extremes.
“It’s a love letter,” he explains of the record’s root concept, “because America, for all of its associations with pain and its bloody history, has always been a place of incredible hope and optimism. To be American, and particularly to come from New York City, is to be blessed.”
Eric Bibb - Born Of A Woman (featuring Shaneeka Simon) [Official Video]
Eric Bibb - Whole World’s Got the Blues [Official Music Video]
Eric Bibb - Emmett’s Ghost [Official Lyric Video]
Official Purchase Links
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