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Eric Bibb /USA/
When in 2012 Eric Bibb played at BLUES ALIVE together with Mali guitarist Habib Koito in the Brothers in Bamako project, he was so satisfied with the festival service and reactions of Šumperk audience that he wanted to play here again soon, this time outside his supplementary projects, and present music which is most peculiar to him – acoustic blues. It took five long years before both parties agreed on a way how to make this wish fulfilled.

Eric Bibb (1951) couldn´t be born into a better family. His father was Leon Bibb, one of the singer-songwriters who performed on the developing New York scene. His uncle was a famous jazz pianist and composer John Lewis of the style-forming Modern Jazz Quartet. His godfather was a famous black singer Paul Robeson and the Bibbs house was regularly visited by a great number of other ´uncles´ from music circles. One of them, Bob Dylan, told the eleven-year-old Eric, as early as then an owner of an acoustic guitar, how to do it: ´Play in a simple way, leave all the showy things alone.´ He stuck to it. Although he is a master of guitar fingerpicking and other techniques, he never displays them, he uses them in a functional way as a bluesman in the purest sense.

In spite of the fact that he made his first records in the 70s being on the music scene ever since, the most successful period in Bibb´s career started as late as in the 90s. It was then when interest in musicians who revitalized interwar acoustic blues and based their characteristics on it grew significantly. These were, for example, Corey Harris, Guy Davis or Keb ´Mo´. Eroc Bibb was one of them. Since then this creative musician has been making one album after another (and let´s add that one better than another). Now, he is one of the most significant figures on the acoustic blues scene.

One of reviewers wrote about his newest album Migration Blues: ´On his album composed of his own songs as well as covers, Bibb offers various points of view on today´s so frequently discussed migration and he comes, for example with analogies between the exodus of black population in the south of the United States during the economic crisis and current Syrian escape to Europe. He is, of course, aware of the fact that most present-day Americans have in fact migrant roots – and their music gives evidence of that, whether it is blues coming from Africa or cajun, music of French settlers of Louisiana. Although Bibb works with various styles, thanks to the intimate character the whole album holds together very nicely. And despite its general message, thanks to its naturalness, it doesn´t remind the listener of newspaper editorials.´

 

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