Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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