Eric Bibb “Live at the Scala Theatre Stockholm”

Repute Records 2024

The whole world has got the blues.

Critically acclaimed Grammy nominee Eric Bibb is back with a new live album recorded in Stockholm, an entertaining collection of songs from his extensive career. Along with his compositions, the album features Bibb’s unique arrangements of traditional blues standards, as well as a cover of Lead Belly’s classic ‘Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie’ and ‘Things Is ‘Bout Comin’ My Way’ by Memphis blues guitarist Walter Vinson. The latter starts with a mournful fiddle that plays throughout and along with a harmonica break in the middle is as good a version of the song as you could ask for. Tracks like ‘Along the Way’ have a distinctly country feel to it with a lingering steel guitar backing Bibb’s skilful acoustic guitar playing. Bibb sings, “Take the time to give yourself a pat on the back, for makin’ it this far, Stayin on track.”

One of the stand-out songs is ‘Rosewood’  which tells the true story of the horrifying massacre in 1923 which wiped out the African American community of Rosewood in Florida. Bibb sings “Newspapers told how many, whites an’ blacks were counted dead, but the tears had no colour, the tears their families shed”, words that still resonate today and encourage us to learn from the past and not just bury it. There is only minor interaction with the crowd as Bibb allows his music to do the talking. The audience joins in on the version of the ‘Mole in the Ground’ that closes the album, a Bibb arrangement of the traditional American mountain banjo song. “If I was a mole in the ground, I’d root this mountain down, I wish I was a mole in the ground”.

Bibb and his band’s artistry shine throughout this Scandinavian outing. If you are new to Bibb then this is a good introduction, and if you’re a fan it makes for another excellent addition to your collection.

8/10
8/10

About Andy Short 7 Articles
You would think with all the music I listen to I would be able to write a song but lyrically I get nowhere near some of the lines I've listened too. Maybe one day but until then I will keep on listening.
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