Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Introducing Eric Bibb, whose music harkens back to all the blues greats and finds fresh inspiration in the man who shined his shoes.
Weighing his words carefully world renowned blues/roots recording artist Eric Bibb said, "Musicians have the possibility of using music as a healing force. Music has great possibilities and great innate qualities that make it a healer's tool and then the choice is whether you want to focus on that or delve into it or if you want to keep it light and let the vibrations be dictated by entertainment agendas only."
Speaking to me from his hotel room in Minneapolis while preparing for a gig on his most recent concert tour the New York native now living in southwest England said, "Because of the kind of music that I am attracted to I have always been aware of the great spiritual qualities in music. Folk spirituals and praise music was a big part of what I grew up listening to. I have discovered for myself how powerful (that type of music) can be."
Noting that the world in which we live is rife with wars, suffering, animosity and misunderstanding between many cultures Bibb has concluded, "It is obvious to me as a music maker that I ought to let that music be used in the service of bringing people together as opposed to simply entertaining people."
Bibb's rich baritone voice offers comfort and hope, "When you're lonely an' discouraged/An' misery has no end/When you need that helpin' hand/An' no-one wants to lend/When you're down on your knees/When you're beggin' for a friend/Yes, you know you're gonna find one/In my Father's home/" The opening stanza of "In My Father's House" also makes the declaration that there are no requirements for special membership in "My Father's house."
"I am more comfortable with
and it is becoming clearer to me that my role as a musician involves those
things that I spoke about in answering your last question (Should an artist
speak out on social issues?). I am not untouched by the pull of the market
place and the pressure to be more commercially successful such as selling
more records, being better known and all that kind of stuff," he continued.
Once again, Bibb measures his words carefully and said, "I must say that
I have had the good fortune of having a career and building a career that
was from the beginning coming from another place. I didn't start out in
music to be a star. I pursued it because I felt I had to personally and
that nothing else made as much sense as being a music maker, songwriter,
singing and playing. It just seemed to be the most natural of things to
do with my time. I have become more and more comfortable as it has become
clear to me how I have prepared to do just what I am doing. Once you reach
a certain amount of celebrity and
Bibb said that the business
side of music always creates the pressure to follow the most recent trends
and strategies for those who the
Eric Bibb is also a deeply
personal man who cares enough to write a song ("Dr. Shine") about a shoeshine
man that he encountered in an
"It was a wonderful experience. He was a pleasant guy; his whole demeanor appealed to me and (prompted) me to ask a little about his background. I stuck with the idea that there was a song in all of this," recalled Bibb.
When Bibb returned later
with the demo version of the song, "He was amazed that somebody would find
his story important enough to write
Continuing to explain why
the shoeshine man's story interested him Bibb said, "I know that everybody
has a story to tell and I am interested in those kinds of stories. I think
that when you make a hero out of somebody like an elderly shoeshine gentleman
it is the kind of folk hero that I grew up with." Like all good storytellers,
Bibb paints such a vivid account of the dialogue and circumstances that
the listener becomes a participant in the conversation. The easygoing
melody of "Still Livin' On" from the CD Diamond Days, introduces
us to more folklore in the persons of legendary
I asked Bibb about his earthy
finger picking approach to music and he replies, "The kind of phrasing
that appeal to me musically harkens back to an older time. What appeals
to me most musically is perhaps an older way of putting together a phrase.
Certainly, the themes are more matched with acoustic sounds than electric
guitars. I have always played acoustic guitars and never had a burning
passion to pursue playing electric instruments although I enjoy many fine
collaborative relationships with people who play electric instruments.
There is something about the sound of the acoustic guitar that resonates
When you listen to the easygoing
lilt of the bonus track "Worried Man Blues," it is difficult to imagine
Bibb playing in any other fashion than the raw organic notes that he enriches
with fabulous word pictures. At times, it seems that his gentle vocals
and the guitar chords are almost indistinguishable as the two enjoy perfect
unblemished harmony. While touring you will often find Bibb alone onstage
with a signature Fylde guitar or perhaps playing his baritone six string
fashioned by Sydney Australia's Gerard Gilet. During the entire month of
March Eric Bibb is touring in Australia before briefly touching down on
the east coast of the United States in early April. Fans in western Canada
will have many opportunities to
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved
Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague