"This new CD from the great Eric Bibb is one of the very best-sounding guitar recordings I have ever heard." (the audiophile voice)
A compendium of Eric Bibb's best recordings from the past decade. 50 tracks, 3 CD's, three hours and twenty minutes of outstanding music. Considering the high level of quality that any Eric Bibb album has, one can imagine how exciting a collection of his favourite tunes, recorded between 2003 and 2013, would be! Here it is - The crown jewels indeed! As a bonus, Bibb re-recorded three especially cherished songs : a brilliant conclusion to the third CD.
Friends is the accurate and revealing title for New York bluesman Eric Bibb's tenth album since 1997. There are 15 cuts here, each of them featuring rootsy folk and blues collaborations with different "friends" in differing small group settings. The set starts with a killer acoustic slide duet between Bibb and Guy Davis on the nugget "99 ½ Won't Do." The contrast between Davis' sweet and smoky delivery and Bibb's husky wail – akin to Blind Willie Johnson's in places – offers a double-sided dimension in interpretation for the listener, as well. Elsewhere, Charlie Musselwhite gives a killer snaky harmonica performance on "Six O' Clock Blues." Taj Mahal makes two appearances; one in a duet on "Goin' Down Slow," and one in a trio with Bibb and Malian guitarist Djelimady Tounkara on a medley of the traditional "Kulanjan" and Bibb's own "Sebastian's Tune."
Eric Bibb's Good Stuff, is a clever fusion of contemporary folk and classic country-blues and classic gospel that emphasizes the guitarist's skill at fusing genres, as well as his flair for writing solid bluesy songs. Not all of the material really catches hold, but it all shows promise, and the very best moments on the record confirm that he's one of the more intriguing new bluesmen in the late '90s.