Eric Bibb & North Country Far with Danny Thompson: The Happiest Man In The World

Easygoing bluesman joins Finnish/English musicians.

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Eric Bibb always sounds simultaneously refined and rustic – not an easy feat, and one that’s even more impressive considering he’s averaged more than a record a year since the dawn of the millennium. Fitting for an album recorded in the English countryside, the balance tilts toward the rural side this time, with several originals – the spry, lusty I’ll Farm For You and the storytelling waltz Creole Cafe – referencing the farming life. A spirit of laid-back camaraderie courses through these songs, and the folky nature of the material makes sense, because Bibb is really a singer-songwriter at heart, more inspired by the blues than defined by it.