Eric Bibb Painting Signs
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- Released: August 7, 2001
- Label: EarthBeat
Q - 8/01, p.1233 stars out of 5 - "...Bibb smolders with such old-time voodoo-Christian religion he can make angels scary....He chimes acoustic guitar like a funeral bell and sings of heaven as if Robert Johnson's hellhound was on his tail..."
Living Blues - 1-2/02, p.43"...His most personal and fully realized release to date....balancing traditionalism and originality..."
NAPRA Review - 11-12/01, p.69"...Bibb's music defies genre: bluesy without being maudlin, gospel-y without preaching..."
- 2.Hope In A Hopeless World
- 3.Five Miles Above
- 4.I Heard The Angels Singing
- 5.Delia's Gone
- 6.Got To Do Better
- 7.The Light Was Worth The Candle
- 9.Walkin' Home
- 10.To Know You
- 11.Honest I Do
- 12.Paintin' Signs
- 13.Don't Ever Let nobody Drag Your Spirit Down
Personnel includes: Eric Bibb (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Wilson Pickett (vocals); Colin Lindon (acoustic guitar); Chuck Anthony, Richard Studholme (guitar); Robbie McIntosh (slide guitar); Christer Lyssarides (slide guitar, dobro); Steve Simpson, Hans Theessink (mandolin); Janne
Petersson (accordion, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ); Jon Saas (tuba); Dave Bronze (bass, programming, background vocals); Bjorn Gideonsson
drums, percussion); David Rokeach, Henry Spenetti (drums); Cultural Heritage Ensemble (background vocals).
Engineers include: Richard Studholme, Benji Farquhar, Frank Sanderson.
Personnel: Eric Bibb (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar); Wilson Pickett (vocals); Richard Studholme (guitar, electric guitar); Chuck Anthony (guitar); Colin Linden (acoustic guitar); Christer Lyssarides (dobro); Hans Theessink, Steve Simpson (mandolin); Bj”rn Gideonsson (drums, percussion); Dave Rokeach, Henry Spinetti (drums); Rafael Sida (percussion); Dave Bronze (programming, background vocals); Elouise Burrell, Rhonda Benin, Linda Tillery (background vocals).
Recording information: Leon C. Studios, Southend, Essex, England; Ljudhavet Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; Max & Micke's Studio, Stockholm, Sweden; MOH Production, Stockholm, Sweden; Room With A View Studios, Ringwood, Hampshire, England; Skyline Studios, Oakland, CA; Tone Zone Studios, Kent, England.
Photographer: Gary Compton.
With Painting Signs, Eric Bibb makes a fine case for blues as a music of introspection, warmth, and supreme nuance. Easily his most mature album to date, Painting Signs continues Bibb's formula of socially aware songs performed from an acutely personal point-of-view; standout tracks "Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down" and a cover of "Hope in a Hopeless World" hammer home his message of individual freedom and the responsibilities that accompany it. (It's no coincidence that Pops Staples, to whom Bibb dedicates this album, once recorded the latter song.) That's not to say Painting Signs is overly didactic or, indeed, "heavy" in any way; even the most serious songs here, like the plea for peace and unity "Got To Do Better," are leavened by a musical backdrop that's soulful and immediately accessible. Gospel-leaning backing vocals by Linda Tillery and her Cultural Heritage Choir help flesh out several cuts, and robust accordion fills by Bibb's longtime accompanist Janne Petersson add a subtle Louisiana flavor to the rolling, propulsive "Kokomo" and, to surprisingly good effect, the deep-grooved version of Jimmy Reed's "Honest I Do." Elsewhere, he keeps a minimalist tone dominated by acoustic guitar, an arrangement that's particularly mesmerizing on the chilling title track. With its emphasis on sophisticated songcraft and its gentle blend of folk, gospel, and country influences, Painting Signs presents Bibb as an artist intent on blurring the line between blues and "roots music" in general. ~ Kenneth Bays
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