Deeper In The Well
You know when you're sifting through a stack of CD's looking for one to review and there's a picture on the cover of one that really draws you in? Maybe it's just me. Eric Bibb's artwork for Deeper In The Well is not only cleverly designed but features some beautiful photography of himself, his band, and of Louisiana. I was immediately drawn to this record, and once passed the cardboard case, I was enthused by what I found once listening.
The artwork gave me a pretty good idea of what I'd find: Banjos, fiddles, and every kind of guitar, all played with a laid back Cajun Americana style. Bibb is also another artist signed to acclaimed blues label Stony Plain Records from Edmonton, who always seems to get the best on board.
Deeper In The Well deals with a lot of heavy subjects like addiction, politics, and greed. I find that this style of music always translates these issues and ideas so well, making them overwhelming real in a sense that pop music never can. Bibb's voice suits these words, adding to them a certain degree of plight. Also, according to the liner notes, he plays a six , seven, and nine string guitar, a baritone, resonator, and cigar box diddly bow, and a banjo. Other instruments making an appearance are the accordion, fiddle, mandolin, and harmonica. In my opinion, this combination always leads to favorable results. The level of skill exhibited here is astounding as well. It sounds like a live jam was captured for most of the solo parts and everything meshes extremely well.
This album is rich in traditional folk and the lively influences of the southern states. It drips with honesty and a lazy urgency. The messages contained within are real and cohesive. Deeper In The Well will surely make many rounds on my stereo and I suggest it finds its way around yours as well.
There's something comfortable about a good blues rock band. A band you'd expect to hear when you walk into your favorite watering hole, busting out classic and catchy tunes. The Working Class Band is just that, a working band for the working class, and Restless is not only pleasing to the ear, but is a great foundation for letting those Monday through Friday blues melt away.
This is exactly the kind of band I would love to discover on a Friday night out. They have a strong arsenal of instruments and a versatile style. Influences of Reggae, Swing, Soul, and R&B come through strong. The songs are full of great hooks and slick licks, and their small horn section really brings a different element to the typical guitars. Offering the odd solo and reinforcing some great melodies, they really wring out the trombone and saxophone for all they're worth.
One of my favorite tracks on the record, "Lonesome", really got my toes tapping, and was also recorded live which is just a testament to the real talent of these guys.
They put a few popular covers on the record including the infamous "Ain't No Sunshine", which I was really disappointed in. I've heard dozens of bands cover this one song and rarely can it be pulled off, in my opinion. I did enjoy the instrumental breaks but I just felt that it lacked any distinguishing, unique flavour.
Restless is a really easy listen, full of soulful and extremely danceable songs. I really enjoyed their original tunes, packed with too many delicious hooks to count. Try ending your working day with The Working Class and leave your restlessness behind.