Eric Bibb A Ship Called Love
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- Released: September 27, 2005
- Label: Telarc
Dirty Linen - p.85"The title track of balladeer Eric Bibb's latest recording invites listeners to get on board for a journey to peace and love and unity in the spirit of Curtis Mayfield..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1194 stars out of 5 -- "[P]roducer Glen Scott keeps the arrangements simple, putting Bibb's mellow, husky voice and acoustic guitar centre-stage."
- 1.A Ship Called Love
- 2.Victory Voices
- 3.Right Where We Are
- 4.Like Aretha Loves to Sing
- 5.I'll Never Lose You
- 6.The Way You Are
- 7.Stickin' to You
- 9.That's What I Do
- 10.Turning World
- 11.More o' That
- 12.Faded Jeans
- 13.When I Hear the Waves
- 14.Praise 'n' Thanksgiving
Personnel: Eric Bibb (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, nylon-string guitar, background vocals); Eric Bibb; Ruthie Foster (vocals, background vocals); Ira Tucker, The Dixie Hummingbirds (vocals); Glen Scott (various instruments, electric guitar, melodica, piano, celesta, electric piano, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards, vibraphone, snare drum, congas, cymbals, shaker, tambourine, percussion, bells, background vocals); Desmond Foster (guitar, keyboards, percussion, programming, background vocals); Danny Flowers, B.J. Cole (guitar); Figge Bostr”m (electric guitar, programming, background vocals); Amar Sundy (electric guitar); Paul Waller (dobro); Corrina Hewat (electric harp); Jonas Sj”blom (flute, tabla, bells, wind chime); Gary Compton (harmonica); Janne Petersson (Fender Rhodes piano); Jim Pugh (Wurlitzer organ, keyboards); Brian Shiels (upright bass); Gordon Cyrus (percussion programming); Chuck Anthony (guitar, electric guitar); Levi B. Saunders (banjo); Larry Crockett (drums, congas); Rev. Brady Blade (drums, tambourine, hand claps); Nevada Cato (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Eric Bibb; Glen Scott; Levi B. Saunders; Rev. Brady Blade; Gordon Cyrus.
Photographer: Anne Hamersky.
Eric Bibb has been generally categorized as an acoustic blues player, but like Keb' Mo', the contemporary artist he most resembles, Bibb actually only uses blues forms on occasion, and it no doubt helps to get the listener in the door, but what is really on display here is a smooth-as-velvet singer/songwriter. It's curious that he dedicates A Ship Called Love to the great Curtis Mayfield, because Bibb is really much closer to Mayfield in tone and approach than he is to a Blind Lemon Jefferson, say, and the title cut here, which leads off the album, owes more than a little to Mayfield's faux gospel classic "People Get Ready." It also gets things underway nicely here, but as love song after gentle love song rolls by, all meticulously arranged, recorded, and sung with perfectly nuanced emotional presence, A Ship Called Love begins to drift from shore in its own studied smoothness. Not that there aren't high points, like the autobiographical "Troubadour," a fine duet with Ruthie Foster that arrives at about midpoint in the set, and the engaging, gentle reggae lilt of "Turning World," but by the time Bibb gets around to actually playing a blues, the micro-analytic "More o' That," it seems downright radical after so much gentle elegance. The closer, "Praise 'n' Thanksgiving," flirts with folk-gospel, and is so grateful and reverent that it is impossible to resist, even as one wishes that a little of that reverence had been replaced with pure, wild joy. That, in the end, is what this album needs to make it more than a pleasant rumination on the sea of love. It needs a touch of wildness to temper the calm surface of these songs, because love, more so than all the other emotions, benefits from occasional changes in wind direction. ~ Steve Leggett
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