Published March 2019
by Joseph Jordan
Featured Interview - Eric Bibb
With over forty superb albums, a five-decade career that’s made him an international star, and as one of the most remarkable performers in any musical genre, Eric Bibb is a singer, songwriter and ultimately, a very special artist.
In concert, and in recordings, he touches people, goes into their hearts, and stays there. He’s an artist who reaches listeners with his stories and songs, much like that of influential performers such as Guy Davis, Doug MacLeod, Corey Harris, and Keb’ Mo’. Bibb is a troubadour, telling tales and relating loving lessons through his music. Bibb’s music is one of honest simplicity, yet roaring with humanity.
His rapport and simpatico with his audiences is extremely special, and his story-telling abilities and penchant for brilliant original and cover songs create an immediate connection with listeners.
Bibb was born in New York City in August of 1951 and his upbringing was an engaging one. His parents were especially creative & encouraging his father, the late Leon Bibb (a senior fixture of the NY folk scene and social activist,) was extremely musical.
“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.”
Their home was filled with musicians and major musical presences… Bob Dylan, Paul Robeson Pete Seeger, the Reverend Gary Davis, Judy Collins and many others. Bibb’s uncle is the superb pianist & composer John Lewis, founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet. The monumentally-important artist/activist and consummate American Paul Robeson was Bibb’s Godfather.
“Paul’s influence was at a distance, but was nonetheless powerful throughout my upbringing and continues to be. He just had that personal, powerful effect on people and he had a huge effect on my Dad developing both as an artist and as a political activist. Paul’s philosophy of life and his story has been a part of our family’s fabric, so he’s always been there.”
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