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Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb - Diamond Days - 2007 - Telarc

The international troubadour, Eric Bibb, makes his strongest, yet most personal statement to date with his new album Diamond Days. This is an album to read as much as listen to. It is a journey into and through this unique artist. No other compilation of songs gives you a greater insight into the workings of the wonderful Mr Bibb – from the glorious, moving personal crossroad of "Heading Home", to the loving humility in the tribute to those who formed his music, "Still Livin' On", through the upbeat celebration of life that is "Shine On". Eric Bibb has written and recorded the album of his career in Diamond Days. © 2008, ABC Online Home

Eric Bibb, the folk blues singer-songwriter has been performing around the world for over thirty years. This acoustic album demonstrates his eclectic approach with a variety of styles, including the African-flavored "Tall Cotton," the romantic, gospel-tinged "Story Book Hero," and an expert fingerpicking version of Dylan's "Buckets of Rain." An excellent album, and HR by A.O.O.F.C


- Tall Cotton
- Destiny Blues
- Shine On
- So Glad
- Storybook Hero
- Diamond Days
- Dr Shine
- Heading Home
- In My Father's House (Live)
- Forgiveness Is Gold
- Buckets Of Rain
- Still Livin' On
- Worried Man Blues (bonus track)


Eric Bibb - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, baritone guitar
Glen Scott - keyboard, snare drum, percussion, background vocals
Kim McLeod - background vocals
Jenny Bohman - harmonica
Staffan Astner - electric guitar
Janne Robertson - drum, percussion


To call Eric Bibb a bluesman would be to oversimplify things. This New York-born artist has spent much of his career abroad and has a diverse musical pedigree that's long enriched his take on the genre. With revered jazz pianist John Lewis for an uncle and singer/actor/activist Paul Robeson as his godfather (Robeson's also the subject of a tribute album Bibb recorded recently with his father Leon), it's hardly surprising that he should have such an eclectic store of influences. 'Diamond Days' digs deep into this rich heritage and elsewhere for inspiration, kicking off with the splendid Tall Cotton which features slinky Congolese-style guitar from Kahanga 'Master Vumbi' Dekula. Still Living On namechecks significant role models like gospel icon Pops Staples and there's more of that gospel flavour on So Glad. The autobiographical Heading Home showcases Bibb's storytelling skills, as does Dr Shine which finds him convincingly mimicking the sales patter of a shoe-shine boy. The only cover is Dylan's Buckets Of Rain with Bibb's smooth, reassuring voice backed by the finger-picking talents of Britfolk legend Martin Simpson. There's more than a hint of bluegrass and country here, a feel that's reprised on Worried Man Blues. The arrangements are just as varied as the inspirations, with Bibb's nimble baritone acoustic and 12-string guitars augmented by hand-claps, keyboards, harmonica, muted trumpet and even tuba in a couple of places. Diamond Days is the sound of a mature artist taking stock and finding there's plenty of water left at the bottom of the well. - HMV Choice, Aug 2006, © HMV 2008

There is an old cliché that has often been applied when assessing the potential of an individual describing them as “a diamond in the rough.” There are no rough edges on Diamond Days or Eric Bibb the blues artist behind this fabulous new CD. The man is so effortless when he plays that one has difficulty determining where the guitar stops and where Bibb begins. He reminds me of one of my favorite guitar players, Eric Clapton. In particular, “Storybook Hero” prompts images of Clapton’s Unplugged (Live) album. “Storybook Hero” is an easygoing bayou song featuring Levi B. Saunders’ banjo backstopping Bibb’s acoustic guitar. Glen Scott’s doo-wop vocal support is as silky smooth as Bibb’s own voice. Gilles Bouvier’s French accordion creates a quaint personal ambience. Saunders and Bibby combined to write an old-fashioned song about a man confessing his love for his woman. The earthy “Dr Shine” is a ballad that allows us to see life through the eyes of a shoeshine man. This song is about a man who shines shoes for a living but takes great pride in his work. Bibb has an astounding ability to use words to create portraits of real life scenes. He brings to life the interaction between the traveler and the shoeshine man. Björn Gidonsson’s uneven drum beats run counter to Janne Peterson’s funky Wurlitzer chops as Bibb strums and sings the faith based “In My Father’s House”. The song is one of hope and acceptance for those who are at the end of the line. Often it is said that an artist must experience heartache and disappointment to give his or her voice the right inflection for singing the blues. Eric Bibb blows that myth away as he tells stories with a positive spin. He has retained the simple, ballad, earthy, and acoustic elements of traditional blues but this “ain’t no man singing about how the world dun him wrong.” The bonus track, “Worried Man Blues”, most emulates that theme but the singer turns an unfortunate event into a brighter day. There are twelve vocal tracks on Diamond Days, and all of them are to be treasured. Sometimes producers get in the way of the artist and obscure their talent but that is not the case with this CD. Producer/engineer Glen Scott created a simple acoustic environment and allowed the artists to play through. Honorable mentions need to go to Jim Shearer for his tuba work on “Still Live On”, Gary Compton (harmonica) on “Worried Man Blues”, and Paul Waller’s playing of the Hilo Hawaiian Lap-steel guitar on “Worried Man Blues”. Numerous other incredible musicians also appear on this project. [26 January 2007 - Rating 7, © Joe Montague, © 1999-2008 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved]

BIO (Wikipedia)

Eric Bibb was born in New York, NY August 16, 1951 is an American acoustic blues singer/songwriter who is based in London, and launched his career in Europe. Eric's father, Leon Bibb, is a singer in musical theatre who made a name for himself as part of the 1960's New York folk scene. His uncle was the world famous Jazz pianist and composer John Lewis, of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Family friends included Pete Seeger, Odetta and actor/singer/activist Paul Robeson, Eric's godfather. Eric was given his first steel-string acoustic guitar aged seven. Growing up surrounded by talent, Eric recalls a childhood conversation with Bob Dylan, who, on the subject of guitar playing advised the 11-year-old Eric to "Keep it simple, forget all that fancy stuff". Eric Bibb remembers from his early teen years; "I would cut school and claim I was sick. When everyone would leave the house I would whip out all the records and do my own personal DJ thing all day long, playing Odetta, Joan Baez, the New Lost City Ramblers, Josh White." At 16 years old, Eric's father invited him to play guitar in the house band for his TV talent show "Someone New". Bill Lee, who played bass in this band, was later to appear on Eric's albums "Me To You" and "Friends". In 1969, Bibb played guitar for the Negro Ensemble Company at St. Mark's place in New York. He went on to study Psychology and Russian at Columbia University, but did not finish these studies. Aged 19, Eric left for Paris, where he met guitarist Mickey Baker who focused his interest in blues guitar. He moved to Sweden and lived in Stockholm, where he immersed himself in pre-war blues and the newly discovered World Music scene, while he continued to write and perform. The album "Good Stuff" was released in 1997 on Opus 3 and American label Earthbeat. Eric signed to the British based Code Blue label, but only released one album: "Me to You", featuring appearances from some of Bibb's personal heroes: Pops and Mavis Staples, and Taj Mahal. This was followed by tours of the UK, USA, Canada, France, Sweden and Germany. In the late 90's Eric joined forces with his then manager Alan Robinson, to form Manhaton Records, in Britain. The albums "Home to Me" (1999), "Roadworks" (2000) and "Painting Signs" (2001) followed, as did another Opus 3 release, "Just Like Love". After that, "A Family Affair" (2002) - the first ever album recorded together by father and son - Leon & Eric Bibb. "Natural Light" then "Friends" - 15 tracks featuring Eric duetting with friends and musicians he has met on his travels such as Taj Mahal, Odetta, Charlie Musselwhite, Guy Davis, Mamadou Diabate and Djelimady Toukara. Eric has appeared on major TV and radio shows including Later with Jools Holland and The Late Late Show. Eric and his band have played at most of the world's major festivals including Glastonbury (twice) and the Cambridge Folk Festival in the UK. He joined Robert Cray on two U.S. tours in 2001 and 2002 and opened for Bonnie Raitt on a recent UK tour, and Ray Charles in the summer of 2002. In 2005 "A Ship Called Love" (Telarc CD-83629) was released and Eric went on another successful world tour, including a major 30-date US tour with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers and Robben Ford . "A Ship Called Love" was nominated for Acoustic Album of the Year in the 2006 Blues Music Awards. In 2006 "Praising Peace" the Leon Bibb/Eric Bibb tribute to Paul Robeson, was released on Stony Plain Records. While in September "Diamond Days" was also released (Telarc CD-83660). It was produced by Glen Scott and recorded in UK, Sweden and Canada. It includes a live recording of 'In My Father's House' featuring Eric's long-time recording and touring partner Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton Band). As usual, there is a world tour resulting from this release. Eric's talent for both performing and songwriting has been recognised with a Grammy Nomination (for "Shakin' a Tailfeather") and 4 W. C. Handy Award nominations (for the albums "Spirit and the Blues" and "Home To Me"; for 'Kokomo' as Best Acoustic Blues Song of the Year, and for Best Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year). His songs have featured on TV shows such as BBC TV's Eastenders and Casualty, and The District in the USA. Eric's version of I Heard the Angels Singin was included in the feature film 'The Burial Society' and Eric appears on Jools Holland's double platinum-selling album "Small World, Big Band", singing his own composition 'All That You Are'. In Australia, Eric has appeared several times on ABC national television on the 'Live At The Basement' series. Eric has an ability to meld traditional blues styles with more contemporary sounds. As one critic put it "Eric's singing and versatile guitar playing fuses a variety of genres to become a New World Blues". "Eric is one of the new, young singers that has appeared on the scene that, much to my delight, has a great voice, is an excellent performer and has a great knowledge about the roots of this music" - Taj Mahal


Anonymous said...

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A.O.O.F.C said...

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bulfrog said...

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A.O.O.F.C said...

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