Artist: Eric Bibb & North Country Far with Danny Thompson
Album: The Happiest Man In The World
Label: Stoney Plain Records
Release Date: 05/06/2016
Eric Bibb may have a good reason for being The Happiest Man in the World, with top quality music seemingly pouring from the guy on a regular basis. This is his second release inside twelve months, following hot on the heels of the highly acclaimed Lead Belly’s Gold which featured French harp-man Jean Jacques Milteau and was released on the same label.
This time round, Bibb is joined by one of the finest double-bass players on the planet with England’s Danny Thompson thumping along rhythmically throughout. Thompson has played with almost everyone of note in the modern roots/folk music world from his days with Pentangle, through Richard Thompson (no relation), Jerry Douglas and Scotland’s late John Martyn.
The result, is pretty much as might be expected. An album of simply wonderful blues-tinged acoustic music featuring Bibb’s distinctive and mellow vocals alongside his fine fretwork on both guitar and banjo. Thirteen of the fourteen tracks are penned by Bibb himself here, together with a laid-back take on The Kinks/Ray Davies’ old 1960s hit “You Really Got Me,” and as usual with the man, he sticks to tradition at the core while always moving the music forward with thoughtful lyrics and plangent melodies that linger.
An absolute gem, and a must-have album for lovers of Bibb and his refreshing style of acoustic roots/blues music.
– Iain Patience