Yes, BlueNotes has been away for a while. No Excuses. No explanations. You'll have to learn to live with it. (Hint: Too much sun causes temporary blogging blindness.)
Meanwhile, we have a new CD from the superb singer-songwriter Eric Bibb, who can do blues with the best, but -- much like fellow troubadour Keb Mo -- flows like a deep and thoughful river through the many genres of blues-related music.
Bibb's latest, "Deeper in the Well" (his Stony Plain debut, released last week), takes New Orleans -- where it was recorded -- as its starting point and moves elegantly with rhythms that range from the bayou to gentle ballads.
From the opening "Bayou Belle," with its fine fiddling, Bibb spins a series of songs that reflect the best of lyrical story-telling combined with a smooth musical sensibility. And story-telling is what the album is about, whether the songs have been crafted by Bibb or someone else (they're mostly his own).
"Could Be You, Could Be Me" is a good example of a story that's at once a contemporary and timeless story ... "rock for a pillow, cold ground for a bed.... we are the homeless." And "Money in Your Pocket" is another little ode to the troubles many have seen.
"Sittin' in a Hotel Room" is another lovely story of watching the world go by and making the best of it. Then he takes a couple of tunes from other songbooks and works small wonders. "Every Wind in the River" by Taj Mahal and Dylan's "The Times They Are a Changin'" get masterful readings.
All in all, this is another fine outing by Bibb, who's become a master at taking the world as he finds it and spinning out trenchant observations wrapped in a rrich, gentle music that leaves you the better for listening.
The backers here deserve a mention for their excellent music: Dirk Powell on many things, the excellent Creole fiddler Cedric Watson, Danny Devillie on drums and Gant Dermody on winsome harp.
Here's a video of "Bayou Belle" -