Eric Bibb

New York singer/songwriter, guitarist and pioneer of the 1990s’ country-blues revival. Josh White Jr., son of folk singer Josh White, is Eric Bibb, singer, songwriter and guitarist. He was born in the folk tradition of Leon Bibb, the folksinger. John Lewis, a jazz composer and pianist who is well-known worldwide, was Bibb’s uncle. Bibb was brought up in a musical household. His family included Odetta, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger. Paul Robeson was Eric’s godfather. Bibb was seven when he bought his first steel guitar. Dylan gave him some great advice: “Keep it simple, forget about all the fancy stuff.” At the age of 13, Bibb enrolled at New York’s High School of Music and Art. There he studied piano, double bass, and vocals. His father asked him to be a guitarist in his house band for the TV talent show Someone New, when he was 16. Bibb moved to Paris in 1970 with his father, who was from New York City. He met Mickey Baker, a guitarist. He began to concentrate on the blues guitar and, after moving to Stockholm in 1970, became obsessed with the prewar blues. He continued to perform and write songs, and he returned to New York in 1981 to pursue a career of a folk-blues singer. Five years later, he returned to Sweden and performed again. He also taught music at school. Spirit and the Blues was his debut album. It featured the sounds of accordion and mandolin as well as a gospel group. This was inspired by other recordings that paired bluesmen such Lead Belly and gospel groups such the Golden Gate Quartet. In 1996, he performed at the London Blues Festival, sharing a set alongside Corey Harris and Keb’ Mo’. He quickly followed that up with 1997’s Good Stuff. His third album Me to You featured collaborations and performances with some of his musical idols, including Pops.

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