Bibb possesses one of the most distinctive sounds among today's blues players, and Painting Signs—his fourth album for EarthBeat—is the best articulation yet of what informs his music.

Bibb possesses one of the most distinctive sounds among today's blues players, and Painting Signs—his fourth album for EarthBeat—is the best articulation yet of what informs his music. He is primarily an acoustic guitarist who makes no practical distinction among folk, blues, and gospel—which, in 1935, would have made him a typical country blues artist. From "Kokomo" to "Delia's Gone" to the title track, it is clear that Bibb's main concern is the feel of a song; he likes his music in the contemplative vein. Even when he busts out on his cover of Jimmy Reed's "Honest I Do," he sings it like a loud love song. Bibb may be the quietest blues player out there, but he is also becoming one of the best. His next album can't arrive soon enough.—PVV

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