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Eric Bibb|Ridin'

Ridin'

Eric Bibb

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Blues and roots veteran Eric Bibb follows 2021's provocative and profound Dear America with Ridin', a continuation of many of its themes and topics. The Stockholm-based musician revisits in song the activism of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggle for equality, current events, and personal experiences. Its ethos was inspired by painter Eastman Johnson's 1862 painting "A Ride for Liberty," depicting a Black family fleeing slavery during the American Civil War. Bibb was inspired by the "hope, determination and courage in the work that is at the core of the African American experience and needed now throughout the world." Produced and mixed by Glen Scott, Bibb enlisted friends including bluesmen Taj Mahal, Jontavious Willis, jazz guitarist Russell Malone, African guitarist/vocalist Habib Koité, and kora master Lamine Cissokho, among others. "Family" is a banjo-, snare-, and organ-driven intro that introduces the album's overarching theme: "I am like you/You are like me," in call-and-response with a gospel choir. It's haunted and haunting; Bibb knows there should be no need to state the obvious. The title track is a rolling, electric Delta choogler that recalls the swampy blues of RL Burnside about riding on the metaphorical freedom train, as Bibb bridges the Civil Rights era with the continued racial strife and oppression of the 2000s underscored by a searing slide guitar solo atop the boogie. Mahal and Willis aid on the stomping rural roots of "Blues Funky Like Dat." While it deviates topically, its gutbucket back porch groove underscores the album's theme. The union of the three men's voices improvising and affirming Bibb adds force and authority. Jazz guitarist Malone makes his first appearance on "The Ballad of John Howard Griffin." Its subject was the author of the historic "Black Like Me," a journalistic account of a white man who underwent medical procedures to live as a Black man in the South. Rhythmically driven by fingersnaps, acoustic and electric guitars swing in dialogue; Bibb relates his tale accompanied by a doo wop choir. "Tulsa Town" is a hypnotic country-blues that relates the harrowing story of the city's 1921 racial massacre on Greenwood Avenue, the home of Oklahoma's "Black Wall St," by jealous whites. Bibb is joined by Harrison Kennedy on "Call Me by My Name," an original that recounts the abundant contributions Black people have made to core American history across the centuries and a refusal to be acknowledged for anything less. "Free" weds a gospel chorus to twinned lead vocals by Bibb and Koité amid skilled interplay between the guitarists and Cissokho's sparkling kora. "People You Love" is a country song complete with pedal steel, a lilting melody, and poetic lyrics; it's one of the most incisive songs Bibb has ever composed. Ridin' is prescient in equating history's achievements, tragedies, and struggles with those occurring in the 21st century, buoyed by a sublime musical palette of blues, folk, and Americana that matches and amplifies its profound lyric themes and stories.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Ridin'

Eric Bibb

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1
Family
00:04:46

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

2
Ridin'
00:05:23

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

3
Blues Funky Like Dat
00:03:25

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Taj Mahal, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist - Jontavious Willis, Composer, FeaturedArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

4
The Ballad of John Howard Griffin
00:05:16

Glen Scott, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist - Russell Malone, FeaturedArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

5
500 Miles
00:03:30

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

6
Tulsa Town
00:03:57

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

7
Onwards (Interlude)
00:02:48

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

8
Hold The Line
00:03:31

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist - Russell Malone, FeaturedArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

9
I Got My Own
00:05:19

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist - Amar Sundy, FeaturedArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

10
Call Me By My Name
00:02:48

Glen Scott, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist - Harrison Kennedy, FeaturedArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

11
Joybells
00:05:29

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Tommy Sims, Composer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

12
Sinner Man (with Eric Bibb String Band - Live at Wheatland Festival)
00:05:12

Glen Scott, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

13
Free
00:03:57

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist - Habib Koite, FeaturedArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

14
People You Love
00:03:11

Glen Scott, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

15
Church Bells (Outro)
00:02:12

Glen Scott, Composer, Producer - Eric Bibb, Composer, MainArtist - Esbjörn Hazelius, Composer

2023 Dixiefrog 2023 Repute Records under exclusive licence to Dixiefrog

Album review

Blues and roots veteran Eric Bibb follows 2021's provocative and profound Dear America with Ridin', a continuation of many of its themes and topics. The Stockholm-based musician revisits in song the activism of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggle for equality, current events, and personal experiences. Its ethos was inspired by painter Eastman Johnson's 1862 painting "A Ride for Liberty," depicting a Black family fleeing slavery during the American Civil War. Bibb was inspired by the "hope, determination and courage in the work that is at the core of the African American experience and needed now throughout the world." Produced and mixed by Glen Scott, Bibb enlisted friends including bluesmen Taj Mahal, Jontavious Willis, jazz guitarist Russell Malone, African guitarist/vocalist Habib Koité, and kora master Lamine Cissokho, among others. "Family" is a banjo-, snare-, and organ-driven intro that introduces the album's overarching theme: "I am like you/You are like me," in call-and-response with a gospel choir. It's haunted and haunting; Bibb knows there should be no need to state the obvious. The title track is a rolling, electric Delta choogler that recalls the swampy blues of RL Burnside about riding on the metaphorical freedom train, as Bibb bridges the Civil Rights era with the continued racial strife and oppression of the 2000s underscored by a searing slide guitar solo atop the boogie. Mahal and Willis aid on the stomping rural roots of "Blues Funky Like Dat." While it deviates topically, its gutbucket back porch groove underscores the album's theme. The union of the three men's voices improvising and affirming Bibb adds force and authority. Jazz guitarist Malone makes his first appearance on "The Ballad of John Howard Griffin." Its subject was the author of the historic "Black Like Me," a journalistic account of a white man who underwent medical procedures to live as a Black man in the South. Rhythmically driven by fingersnaps, acoustic and electric guitars swing in dialogue; Bibb relates his tale accompanied by a doo wop choir. "Tulsa Town" is a hypnotic country-blues that relates the harrowing story of the city's 1921 racial massacre on Greenwood Avenue, the home of Oklahoma's "Black Wall St," by jealous whites. Bibb is joined by Harrison Kennedy on "Call Me by My Name," an original that recounts the abundant contributions Black people have made to core American history across the centuries and a refusal to be acknowledged for anything less. "Free" weds a gospel chorus to twinned lead vocals by Bibb and Koité amid skilled interplay between the guitarists and Cissokho's sparkling kora. "People You Love" is a country song complete with pedal steel, a lilting melody, and poetic lyrics; it's one of the most incisive songs Bibb has ever composed. Ridin' is prescient in equating history's achievements, tragedies, and struggles with those occurring in the 21st century, buoyed by a sublime musical palette of blues, folk, and Americana that matches and amplifies its profound lyric themes and stories.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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