Exploring the themes of unity, inclusiveness, and social justice from a spiritual perspective, Eric Bibb delivers a double-disc masterpiece in Global Griot, an album ideally suited to the temper of progressive times, or “challenging times,” in Bibb’s words. Recorded in a dozen studios around the globe, Global Griot finds Bibb immersed in the West African tradition of history and storytelling while addressing issues relevant to all cultures. Singing with deep feeling, commitment, and authority over mostly acoustic soundscapes occasionally fleshed out by horns, background singers (a Griot Choir on “Gathering of the Tribes,” for instance), koras, even pedal steel (on “Picture a New World”), Bibb takes the measure of the moment but always tempers harsh reality with optimism (the bluesy “Human River”). He allows himself a humorous, albeit scathing, assessment of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in “What’s He Gonna Say Today” (“We’re talking pure madness here”) but most often yearns for the higher ground of spiritual enlightenment and connection for all humankind in prayerful, folkish missives such as the Jesse Winchester-like “Let God.” Bibb’s message? “Let the spirit give us wings.” Amen to that, brother.