Eric Bibb – Booker’s Guitar


Eric Bibb – Booker’s Guitar
CD Review by Ian Dearden

From the start, let me tell you that Eric Bibb is one cool dude, and sexy too.
As a mature and respectable female friend of mine whispered to me, while watching Eric perform at Woodford Folk Festival a couple of years ago – “His boots, my bed, anytime!”
During a UK tour, Eric Bibb was offered, out of the blue, the opportunity to play (and be photographed with) the National Steel guitar of legendary Delta bluesman Booker White, who died in 1977.
As Eric says in the album liner notes “spiritually, the experience of playing Booker White’s guitar took my personal connection to traditional country blues to another level.
It actually felt like an initiation and a benediction.
I felt like the time was right to offer a handmade tribute to the music and the musicians of a bygone era.”
Recorded in just two days in a 19th century general store in an historical village in Ohio, featuring Eric’s honeyed voice, elegant country blues picking, and Grant Dermody’s harmonica, this is an album that speaks to us all, through the gospel of the Blues.
For the completists/obsessives (like me), we also get full details of the recording chain (Royer SF-24 and AEA RE-88 mikes, Millenia Media M2B and AEA RPQ pre-amps, given you asked!)

Twelve original songs (and an original tune), Blind Willie Johnson’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine, and the traditional Wayfaring Stranger, add up to one of the most delightful and enjoyable albums I’ve heard in years.
Starting with a tribute to Booker White (Booker’s Guitar), Eric then covers familiar blues tropes including the Mississippi flood of 1926-27 (Flood Water), dreams of a better life (New Home), racism and economic exploitation (Walkin Blues Again), and religion (One Soul To Save).
In particular, Eric’s stunning arrangement of Wayfaring Stranger, underpinned by his delicate baritone guitar playing and topped off with Grant Dermody’s lyrical harmonica playing, will have you and me, and a host of others, lined up for the ferry across the Jordan River.
Just in case it’s not already clear, I think Eric Bibb is a certified genius, and this, his latest album, is exhibit 1.
No further proof required!

5 in stock

SKU: TN1578-21 Category:


Eric Bibb to tour Australia


Eric Bibb will tour Australia in February and March, 2023, and he’s booked for 26 shows in that period.

Australian Lloyd Spiegel will join Eric Bibb as special guest for two of those shoes in Melbourne on March 3 at the Thornbury Theatre and on March 9 at the Memo Music Hall.

How do you measure a person like Eric Bibb’s life?

There are a lot of metrics, success, awards and wealth to name a few.

But there are other ways to leave a legacy.

It isn’t always having the right answer for every occasion.

What if we evaluated our lives not by the answers we give but by our questions?

The deep things we ask ourselves if we are brave enough to try.

Eric Bibb puts those queries to music, singing: “Am I the change I long to see?”

It is easy to point to Eric’s accomplishments, a five-decade career recording with folk and blues royalty, two Grammy nominations and multiple Blues Foundation awards, and a following that not only crosses borders, it crosses continents.

But what Eric Bibb is, is much, much larger than that.

To meet Eric is to be struck by both his humility and his warmth.

There is no pretence in him.

He is remarkably centred, his convictions are based in the values of the civil rights movement of the sixties.

Eric’s music works in service of that dream, holding out a hope for a new world.

He challenges us to do better, to reach higher, and strive harder.

Like Mavis and Pops Staples, he wants to take us there.

Eric carries this mantle honestly.

His father, the late Leon Bibb, was an activist, actor, and folk singer who marched at Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King.

Eric’s youth was spent immersed in the Village folk scene.

Names like Dylan, Baez, and Seeger were visitors to his home.

He was deeply influenced by Odema, Richie Havens, and Taj Mahal and he has synthesised all of that into his very own style.

Eric is an artist who preserves the best traditions of pre-war blues, even while he expands his own oeuvre.

Marketing tags him as a bluesman, but troubadour is the word that best describes him.

He slides neatly between genres as he builds bridges with musicians from the UK and Europe, pickers from North America, and Kora players from West Africa.

His collaborations with the likes of Michael Jerome Browne, JJ Milteau, Danny Thompson, and Habib Koite have produced music that is both ecstatic and exquisite.

Fortunately for us, Eric shows no signs of slowing down.

Prior to the pandemic, he had been touring a stage show he developed entitled ‘Tales of a Blues Brother’.

The program intersperses photographs and film clips with gripping oral tradition and rapturous song, tracing Eric’s personal journey through the heady days of the sixties folk music and civil rights movements.

In one moment he manages to entertain, educate, and motivate us.

Eric provides a grounding in the truth which we desperately need in these days of rancour.

A vision we need in a world of divisive rhetoric and veiled allusions to “the other”.

“When I think about my musical journey so far, I’m mostly grateful and amazed at where and who I am today.

“I also realise how many musical dreams of mine have come true.

“Listening to my earliest recordings, I’m immediately aware of how my voice and guitar playing have evolved.

“I keep getting closer to the goal, even though the goalposts seem to continually move,” Eric remarked recently.

Eric sings of the Freedom Train.

He believes it and he lives it.

He wants to take us on that ride.

Multi-award winning ‘Blues Artist Of The Year’, Lloyd Spiegel, will join Eric Bibb for two shows only, when the two-time Grammy nominee returns to Australia.

Spiegel has won fourteen Australian Blues Awards.

Known for his guitar wizardry, powerful lyrics and humorous story telling, Spiegel is thrilled to be joining Bibb in his home town, and fans of both artists are in for one hell of a treat.

Excited to be announced as Eric’s special guest for the two exclusive shows, Spiegel says, “For me, Eric Bibb is the perfect example of the link between modern blues and its origins.

“He effortlessly balances respect for the traditions of the genre with forging his own sound.

“It’s what all blues artists should wish to achieve.”

Returning for the Aussie summer, Bibb will perform the classics he is known and loved for, whilst introducing brand new material from his much anticipated forthcoming album, titled Ridin’, which will be available ahead of its release date exclusively at these shows.

On the Ridin’ tour, Bibb will perform intimate solo gigs in February before ramping it up with his sensational band in March.

The two month tour will include performances at Port Fairy Folk Festival in Victoria, the Blue Mountains Folk Festival in New South Wales and a slew of metropolitan and regional venues throughout these states, as well as Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.

Bibb is the ultimate ‘blues brother’.

A fiery singer with true soul, his career spans five decades and almost 40 albums.

He is known and revered globally for having carved his own musical destiny with honesty and power.

Grounded in the folk/blues tradition with contemporary sensibilities, Bibb’s music continues to reflect his thoughts on current world events, whilst remaining entertaining, uplifting, inspirational and always relevant.

Whether in solo or full band mode, an Eric Bibb show promises to be a remarkable experience, not to be missed.

As Blues Brother actor, Dan Aykroyd, famously declared to the American born singer, ‘You are what the blues in the new century should be about.’

Eric Bibb’s band during the March leg of his Ridin’ tour will be: Eric Bibb – Guitar and main vocals; Christer Lyssarides – Guitar; Paul Robinson – Drums; and, Glen ScoI – Bass, keyboards, backing vocals.

Additional information

Weight .200 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 1 cm


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