About Painting Signs (Pure Pleasure) by Eric Bibb:
"Painting Signs" stands up as a complete work from beginning to end. Eric Bibb makes a fine case for blues as a music of introspection, warmth, and supreme nuance. Easily his most mature album to date, "Painting Signs" continues Bibb's formula of socially aware songs performed from an acutely personal point-of-view; standout tracks "Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down" and a cover of "Hope In A Hopeless World" hammer home his message of individual freedom and the responsibilities that accompany it. (It's no coincidence that Pops Staples, to whom Bibb dedicates this album, once recorded the latter song.) That's not to say "Painting Signs" is overly didactic or, indeed, 'heavy' in any way; even the most serious songs here, like the plea for peace and unity "Got To Do Better," are leavened by a musical backdrop that's soulful and immediately accessible. Gospel-leaning backing vocals by Linda Tillery and her Cultural Heritage Choir help flesh out several cuts, and robust accordion fills by Bibb's longtime accompanist Janne Petersson add a subtle Louisiana flavor to the rolling, propulsive "Kokomo" and, to surprisingly good effect, the deep-grooved version of Jimmy Reed's "Honest I Do". Elsewhere, he keeps a minimalist tone dominated by acoustic guitar, an arrangement that's particularly mesmerizing on the chilling title track. With its emphasis on sophisticated songcraft and its gentle blend of folk, gospel, and country influences, "Painting Signs" presents Bibb as an artist intent on blurring the line between blues and 'roots music' in general.
- Eric Bibb (vocal, guitar)
- Wilson Pickett (vocal)
- Dave Bronze (bass, guitar, vocal)
- Robbie McIntosh (guitar)
- Hans Theesink (mandolin)
- Janne Petersson (organ, piano, electric piano, accordion)
- Henry Spinetti (drums)
- Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Choir (backing vocal)
Format: 2LPs 33rpm / gatefold sleeve
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.