The Happiest Man in the World

The Happiest Man in the World

by Eric Bibb & North Country FarEric Bibb & North Country Far


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Journeyman singer/guitarist Eric Bibb has made a career out of inspired collaborations and displaying the kind of versatility that can only be learned from traveling the world with ears open. A New York bluesman with a classic folk pedigree -- his father was respected 1960s folksinger Leon Bibb -- Eric opted to base himself out of Europe, where he found a fan base eager to embrace American roots music. At one point, while living in Helsinki, Finland, he befriended brothers Janne (drums) and Olli Haavisto (Dobro, pedal steel), who then introduced him to Petri Hakala (mandolin). After collaborating on a number of projects together, this Finnish trio soon took on the name the North Country Far when backing up Bibb. For this pastoral and pleasantly laid-back set, Bibb also reached out to legendary British bassist Danny Thompson (Pentangle, Nick Drake, Tim Buckley), and the extended group met up at a rural U.K. studio near Norfolk called the Grange for a week of recording. An all-acoustic mixed bag of country blues, folk, and some high-grade picking, The Happiest Man in the World is brimming with warmth and comfort. A breezy back-porch feeling extends throughout its somewhat lengthy 15 tracks as Bibb and his crew tumble through playful cuts like "I'll Farm for You" and "Born to Be Your Man," a pair of tracks whose casual demeanor belies their expert musicianship. A good-natured tenderness underlies many of Bibb's characters, like the amiable couples in "Creole Café" and "On the Porch" and the upbeat dreamer in "King Size Bed." Where he really excels, though, is on some of the quieter, more introspective songs like "Prison of Time" and "Wish I Could Hold You Now," two beautiful cuts of dreamy melancholia that softly celebrate the richness of life. There are even a couple of fine instrumental pieces in "1912 Skiing Disaster" and the Irish tin whistle-aided "Blueberry Boy" that round out the collection. Lovingly played and written and certainly easy on the ears, The Happiest Man in the World is an apt title for this plate of musical comfort food from Bibb and his band.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/06/2016
Label: Stony Plain Music
UPC: 0772532139021
catalogNumber: 321390
Rank: 93783

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eric Bibb & North Country Far   Primary Artist
Janne Haavisto   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Danny Thompson   Bass,Group Member
Eric Bibb   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Petri Hakala   Fiddle,Guitar,Mandolin,Mandola,Group Member
Michael Jerome Browne   12-string Guitar,Slide Guitar,Group Member
Olli Haavisto   Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Hawaiian Guitar,Weissenborn,Group Member
Ahlquist Pepe   Harmonica,Group Member
Mary Murphy   Irish Whistle,Group Member
Ulrika Ponten   Background Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Ray Davies   Composer
John Guth   Engineer
Keith Richards   Liner Notes
Eric Bibb   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Petri Hakala   Composer
Bruno Boussard   Artwork
Traditional   Composer
Wendell Berry   Composer
Olli Haavisto   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Chris McGreevy   Engineer
Dave Williams   Engineer
Paul Keim   Engineer
Ulrika Ponten   Composer

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