Friday, March 16, 2012

More New Blues For You - Unplugged Edition

FBF continues our look at some interesting upcoming releases. 

This one's still a few weeks out, but I promise it will be worth your time when it gets here on March 27.  Eric Bibb comes from a musical family....his father is folk singer Leon Bibb and his uncle was the late John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.  Bibb himself has been playing guitar since the mid 60's, when he attended New York City's High School of Music and Art.  He had some great teachers over the years, including Bob Dylan and Mickey Baker, and has amassed an impressive body of work in the field of blues music since the late 90's. 

Bibb's upcoming Stony Plain release, Deeper In The Well, is a smooth, refreshing take on the music of Louisiana that meshes Creole and  country with his traditional blues sound.  Backed by a stellar set of musicians (including Dirk Powell on mandolin, accordion, fiddle, and banjo, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Cedric Watson on fiddle, and Grant Dermody on harmonica), Bibb eases his way through a laidback set of classy originals ("Bayou Babe," "Money In Your Pocket," ) and solid covers (Dylan's "The Times They Are A'Changin'," "Sinner Man," and Taj Mahal's "Every Wind In The River").  Bibb has never been hesitant to venture into new directions and this move suits him just fine.  This one will appeal to fans of blues and roots music.

Continuing in the same vein, an acoustic one, is an interesting new release by Guy Davis that may capture your attention.  Davis, the son of actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, has always mixed acting with music, appearing in the soap opera, One Life To Live, and the movie, Beat Street, during the 80's.  He was finally able to combine the two in the early 90's, when he appeared on Broadway in the Zora Neale Hurston/Langston Hughes play, Mulebone, and later in an off-Broadway appearance as Robert Johnson.  Just prior to starting his recording career in earnest, Davis wrote and starred in a one-man play, called The Adventures of Fishy Waters, which was an off-Broadway production and received critical acclaim, despite a limited run.

Davis recently recorded the play as a 2-CD set on his own Smokeydoke Records.  The play is a mixture of song and narration, both tall tales and serious recollections, and captures the setting perfectly.  There are some songs written by Davis and a few songs from artists like Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Willie McTell, and Reverend Gary Davis.  It's a wonderful journey, done masterfully by Guy Davis, and definitely worth a listen for any blues fan.

An upcoming release, this one of the non-acoustic variety, that I will be reviewing for you shortly is from one of Friday Blues Fix's favorite bluesmen, Mr. Larry Garner.  His newest release, Blues For Sale, looks like it could be one of his best.  I've heard four songs from the new disc so far ("Miss Boss," "Broken Soldier," "Talking Naughty," and "It's Killing Me") and they are excellent additions to the Garner catalog, so naturally I am looking forward to hearing the rest soon.  It will be out on March 20, on Dixiefrog Records, so keep an eye out for it.  While you're waiting, if he happens to make an appearance near you, please make every effort to check him out.  You can thank me later.


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