Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Bibb plus Booker equals new music...
. . . .

Bibb plus Booker equals new music

Kristi Kates - January 24th, 2011
Bibb plus Booker equals new blues
By Kristi Kates
American-born and European-based, blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb was given his first steel-string acoustic guitar at the age of seven, encouraged in part by a remarkable lineup of supporters and family friends that included Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, singer/activist Paul Robeson (Bibb’s godfather), and the legendary Bob Dylan.
And that’s not even including the members of his actual family. His father - 1960s folk singer and TV personality Leon Bibb, and his uncle - jazz pianist/composer John Lewis.
It’s no wonder the young Bibb’s immersion in music led to a career of his own.
When Bibb was 16, his father invited him to play in the house band for the senior Bibb’s television talent show series, Someone New. Bibb later spent some time in New York City studying at Columbia University and playing with an ensemble company, and then left for Paris before he hit the age of 20, where he performed in restaurants. Eventually, he found his way to Stockholm, Sweden, where he was signed to the Swedish branch of BMG as a writer in the early ‘80s.

Bibb has continued to be, as they say, “big in Europe,” probably largely due to the fact that the music he’s so deftly importing - the Delta blues - isn’t as regularly played by live performers there or in the UK as it is stateside. Bibb’s choice of residence would also play a pivotal role in his newest album.
While playing a show in London, Bibb met a fan who, little known to him at the time, would give him inspiration for an entire set of songs.
The fan - carrying a guitar case - approached Bibb after his show. Inside the case was the unexpected - a 1930s vintage Reso-Phonic National steel-body guitar that had belonged to Booker White, an older cousin of B.B. King’s and a respected Delta blues musician in his own right. White had disappeared into obscurity after being imprisoned in Memphis, but was discovered later during the ‘60s folk-blues revival.
“Holding the guitar that Booker White had played for so many years,” Bibb states in his press release, “seeing his actual handwriting on a set list that had been taped to the side of the guitar - I felt like this guitar finding its way to me was a signal I had journeyed far enough to be able to make an honest tribute to the music of my heroes.”
That tribute would begin as a singular song, and that song would turn into the aforementioned entire album.

Booker’s Guitar was released last year on Telarc International, and has been nominated for a 2011 Blues Music Award (Best Acoustic Album), while Bibb himself is nominated for Best Acoustic Artist.
“Booker White was someone who I listened to while I was growing up,” Bibb said - “I followed his career from his earliest recordings to the time when he was rediscovered and started touring - which is how my friend, Keith, eventually came into possession of his guitar.”
The title track was recorded in England using that very same guitar; the rest of the album, while still inspired by the same, was recorded back in America, in Ohio, on Bibb’s own lineup of instruments. Bibb explains that once he had written the title song, he wanted to make a “complete statement” and document his own connection to the Delta blues tradition, but in a contemporary context.
His only accompanist on the album is harpist Grant Dermody, and the only two songs not written by Bibb himself are the old folk hymn “Wayfaring Stranger” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Bibb’s own compositions include “Turning Pages,” his bluesy ode to the pastime of reading; the sanguine “New Home”; and the armchair travels of the album’s closing track, “A-Z Blues,” which sings of the many places Bibb and his fellow blues musicians have traveled while working on their craft.
Bibb will be adding one more place to that list this month, of course - Traverse City, where he’ll be performing this Tuesday. Given his skills at adapting his life experiences into music, who knows - perhaps TC itself will find its way into a future Eric Bibb Delta blues song.

Eric Bibb will be performing at the InsideOut Gallery at 229 Garland Street in TC on Tuesday, January 25 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20; for tickets and additional info, telephone 231-929-3254.
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