Eric Bibb makes an album that shows us the ills of the past and the oneness of love
The latest album from Grammy winner, Eric Bibb is a love letter. Obviously, this isn't the Hallmark card kind of love, but it's the awareness that change has to happen to restore balance to humanity. It's an ethos that has been around throughout Bibb's life, from the Civil Rights and anti-war protests of the 60s to feminism and Black Lives Matter. Inspired by Bob Dylan's folk simplicity, 'Dear America' follows a similar path.
The album cleverly combines traditional American folk music and country music mixed with African American tones - the blues is layered with hip hop style beats. Just like Hamilton, it fits together to be a homage to America and an ode to its progress but also signals there is still a way to go.
The album is pretty gritty and hard-hitting lyrically in places. There's the terrific 'Born of Wowan' which speaks of violence towards women, but with the line 'she's nobody's slave' parallel's are made between the treatment of people of colour and women for these injustices in our societies. The chilling 'Emmet's Ghost' about the murder of a black kid, that still haunts America. This is an album that knows when to pull punches and when to shine a light. There are some stunning guest appearances on the album too from the likes of Eric Gales, Lisa Mills and Ron Carter among others.
Bibb was born in 1951 and he's seen the World's pain ebb and flow along with America's highs and lows: as a county that is stuck in limbo from the America of Bibb's youth to the America of today that strives to atone for the past: It's a love letter that acknowledges that in order to move forward and heal, love needs to be at the forefront. It's an album that wants to help make the world a better place.