Eric Bibb Again

   


Eric doing a sound check

This was my third Eric Bibb concert.
It’s beginning to feel like we’re old friends.

Eric Bibb is a reader.
When I asked him what he’s reading,
he pulled a few books out of his backpack and showed me.

It’s still a thrill.
An internationally acclaimed musician,
in the lovely place we call The Shire.

Family friendly, oh yes!

The Joseph canyon as our backdrop

“There are places I play that are My Kind of Place…as opposed to just a gig.
This is definitely My Kind of Place.”

“Playing outdoors is a whole nother thing.
Nature has perfect EQ.”

Eric brought a friend along.
Grant Dermody is an exceptionally talented harmonica player.

Matthew, a younger harmonica player, is recording a song.

A charming repartee developed between Eric and the audience.
“We having us a good time,” Eric laughed.
“Even the Squares are having a ball!” someone yelled.
Eric instantly perked up.
“Thank you. That’s the title of my next song!”

“I like to write new songs brewed on old vapors.”

Dusk descended, shrouding us in an indigo glow.

    Eric Bibb’s version of Wayfaring Stranger is deep, rich, compelling.
“The great songs last.”


What Eric Bibb brings with his music is passion;
he is fully engaged in every piece he plays.

He promised to come back. And.
He promised to play my favorite song about reading:
Turning Pages

::     ::     ::

   In 2007 I first discovered Eric Bibb.

In 2008 we traveled six hours—through an epic blizzard—to see him.

In 2009, Eric came to us!

Prime Rib and Eric Bibb

I liked the album cover.

I clicked the 30 second samples; immediately I called my husband to join me.  “Listen to this guy– (consulting the screen)…Eric…Bibb.”  After listening to a few licks, Curt said, “Get that CD.” 

People say I sing the sunny side of the blues.
So I’m going to start off tonight with a song called
Goin’ Down Slow.

We thought we had discovered this “unknown” and started talking him up to our friends.  Turns out, they’d been listening to him for years. 

Wow.  I’ve played a lot of places in the world,
but this is the most unique venue.
I grew up in Queens, and you just don’t see
sights like this when you live in Queens.
I feel like I’m on an album cover.

In January 2008, Bibb came to Sandpoint, Idaho, six hours away.  It was close enough.  Friends banded together and we drove through an epic snowstorm for a magical evening.  Unforgettable.  A month ago we learn that Eric Bibb would again be in our region.  Anticipation. 

A thought occurs to someone brilliant: why not bring him to the Rim for a concert?  Sitting on the edge of Joseph Canyon, The RimRock Inn is what’s called a destination restaurant.  Our friends have worked hard to make a meal at the Rim an exquisite occasion.

 

[About four measures into a song, he stopped to retune.]
Tuning a guitar is just like airplane maintenance:
it’s always worth it.

They seated 80-100 people on the outside deck with Mr. Bibb on a platform five feet away.  He introduced each song with a story, some background or introduction.  He plays some thumping 12 chord progressions, clap-along, foot-stomping songs.  But he truly excels, I think, with love ballads that make you want to hold the hand of the one you love.  

 

Marital bliss and conjugal harmony
are not normally considered
suitable topics for the blues.

The sky was a robin egg blue.  The temperature teeter-tottered between perfect sleeveless and grab a sweater.  Our friend Darrell Brann opened with a full repertoire of crowd pleasers. The aroma of fresh bread was followed by a salad with crumbles of chevre; prime rib and baked potato entered; dessert was your choice of rhubarb, marionberry, pecan, apple or mud pie. 

 

My mother is a wise woman.  I haven’t always taken her advice,
but when she heard this song, she told me that I should include
it in every set I play.  And I’ve done that for twenty years.
A Swedish gospel singer asked me to write it; she wanted
to sing a song with a blues feel and she wanted to sing in English.
So here it is: a Swedish-gospel-blues-in-English song.

During the intermission and after the concert there were opportunities to talk to Eric Bibb and his wife.  I told him one of his newest fans is my friend’s mom, who recently received a terminal diagnosis, whose days are numbered.  He asked me to pass on his greetings. 

Isaiah and his folks were at the concert.  Isaiah, saved from a deadly brain injury. 

Afterwards my good friend leaned against the railing looking out towards the horizon, tears on her face.  She said, “I didn’t know any of the people he mentioned in his song One of My Heroes but I know exactly what he means by “dead and gone…still livin’ on.” 

Eric Bibb touched us all.  He made us smile, clap, sing, sigh.  I left thinking of the lyrics of one song he didn’t sing last night: 

Joy is my wine,
love is my food,
sweet gratitude the air I breathe.   

An Evening with Eric Bibb




“Marital bliss and conjugal harmony are not

normally considered suitable topics for the blues.”

Eric Bibb is not your normal accoustic blues singer/songwriter.  He writes love songs to his wife which are soaked in passion, fun and fidelity.  He honors his parents…publicly.  He takes the funky chords and rhythms of the blues, turns the lyrics on their head, and transforms them into sounds of grace and gratefulness.  It is gospel-infused blues.

We just spent a sparkling … magical … enchanted … perfect (as in “how could this be any better?”) evening with Eric Bibb.  Unforgettable.  That smile.  Those chords.  That voice.  Those words.

Our family discovered Eric Bibb last summer; in October we saw a few performances on Youtube.  “If he ever comes within driving distance, we need to go see him,” said my non-concert-going husband.  Well.  One afternoon in December when I should have been writing Christmas cards, I decided on a whim to check Eric’s touring schedule.  He was singing in Paris, Dublin, Cambridge, New York, Chicago, Montana …and Sandpoint, Idaho?  5 1/2 hours away, considered a Sunday drive in our parts.   We didn’t count on one of the biggest snow storms in recent history, so the driving took considerably longer.

I told some friends and we booked a table for 15 at the café where he was playing. The small venue,space for 125 people, was glowing, soft lights inside, huge snow flakes outside.  Long time fans, like the people at the table next to us who had flown up from California for the concert, and folks who had never heard of him joined together for a meal and music. 

When he took the stage, two arm lengths away from me, all the ambiance faded into the background and the music dominated.  We were a responsive audience, calling out favorites, hooting at an amazing guitar riff, listening intently to the ballads and clapping with the thumpin’ songs.  He was humbly delighted with our enthusiasm and promised to come back to Sandpoint.  The kindness of the Lord was evident the entire trip.

Shingle by shingle, I’m patching up the roof,

Row by row, bringin’ in the crop,

Love makes a change, I’m living the proof

New water’s in the well, and I’m grateful for every drop.

My son took a movie from our digital camera.  The graphics are sub par but the sound is pretty good (*other than the fact that there is more audience noise…closer to the camera).  Check it out.   Eric’s newest CD “Evening With Eric Bibb” is his only live concert.  If you like this song, get the CD.        





Eric Bibb and the Blues

 

(waving my hands frantically up and down) 
People! Pay attention!! A new discovery!

We have two queues in our life:  Netflix and yourmusic.com.  I try to keep the three occupants of our home happy with what comes in the mail from these queues.  In truth, the choices are stacked about 3:1 in my favor (i.e. the guys are exceedingly weary with medieval period films).  The point is that I occasionally attempt to get what they’d like.

In the music department, my husband wanted a little less of Vaughn Williams and a little more of Stevie Ray Vaughn.  So I was checking out the Blues when this album cover caught my eye.  The blurb snagged my interest like a shirt on a barbed-wire fence.

Steve Leggett in All Music Guide says: 

 It features his fine acoustic guitar playingand his soothing, nuanced singing, and it shows an increasinglyimproving songwriter as well, and the whole affair is all wrapped upwith a patient, quietly joyous, and ultimately positive vibe. Bibb’sversion of the blues has always been like that, patient and positive,and it serves as a reminder that the blues isn’t necessarily alwaysabout despair, darkness, and ominous guitar riffs but is also built onthe concept of survival and moving forward, on the idea of gettingthrough tough times and reaching brighter days. In Bibb’s hands theblues becomes sustaining, moving closer to the spiritual uplift ofgospel, and the often shaky division between Saturday night blues andSunday morning praise drops away here.

patient and positive – I like that

The Amazon.com product description:

Time and again over the past three decades and beyond, Bibb hasdemonstrated his ability to not only capture those singular momentswhen the spiritual and the everyday come together, but also extract thepriceless nuggets of truth and wisdom that emerge from those moments.Diamond Days is filled with just such gems.

the spiritual and the everyday come together – yes!

Take some time, when you can, to listen to the selections here or here.  The music is quiet, acoustical guitar with a dose of funky blues cadences or rhythms added in.  When my CD arrives it will get a lot of play time.

[Edit: we’ve discontinued our Yourmusic subscription.] If yourmusic.com interests you (one CD a month at $6.99 + free shipping and handling), consider involving me in the process of subscribing [I get a free CD when a friend subscribes][message me and I’ll email you].  We sure enjoy yourmusic; it’s a monthly taste of Christmas, a little touch of frugal, and a small bit of splurge — all wrapped in one package a month.

I’m always late to the party – has anyone else  heard of Eric Bibb?  Any fans out there?