Eric Bibb and Needed Time: Spirit and the Blues

The son of folk blues singer Leon Bibb, Eric has established himself as an engaging troubadour with an assured, buttery smooth vocal delivery that recalls Josh White and a fine fingerpicking style on both acoustic guitar and dobro, as he so ably demonstrates on the unaccompanied instrumental “Where Shall I Be” and on his duet with Goran Wennerbrandt, “Water Under the Bridge.” There is a decided gospel element throughout, particularly on the three energized tracks featuring vocal accompaniment by The Deacons, a gospel-styled quartet formed specifically for this album. Just as striking are the solo spirituals “I Am Blessed” and “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me.” On the secular side, Bibb gets funky on the lazy stroll “Braggin’.” A fine followup to last year’s Good Stuff, this one might’ve been titled Mo’ Betta Good Stuff.