After five decades of a fruitful career and thirty-six albums behind him, Eric Bibb, in the tireless pursuit of his musical journey of blues, folk, gospel and Americana represents for me a style, a genre in itself. Faithful to his deep roots, his rich family musical legacy, his positive philosophy and style, he breathes his music, his voice and his approach into the spirit of the times for whoever wants to listen. His latest opus, Live at The Scala Theater in Stockholm, flows and unfolds harmoniously with the close, heartfelt collaboration of his musician friends. The instrumentation used is rich and includes acoustic and electric guitar, slide guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass and double bass, drums, harmonica, violin, kora, mandola (alto mandolin of Algerian origin), piano and keyboards. The use of a string quartet for two songs, as well as three vocalists for the final tune, demonstrates that he did not skimp on the means and efforts to make the best possible arrangements work. The ensemble of musicians, as in a concert of roots music, tastefully renders Americana that is sweet to the ear, peaceful to body and soul as well as to the live audience who basked in this human and warm celebration! The repertoire includes the traditional “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad”, “500 Miles” and “Mole In The Ground”, arranged in his own unique style. The blues pioneers, Leadbelly and Walter Vinson of the Mississippi Sheiks are revisited and we are also treated to some compositions by Bibb, “Silver Spoon”, “Along The Way”, “Rosewood”, co-written with Glenvin Anthony Scott, his musical director, as well as “River Blues”. 

These tell us more about Bibb’s life experiences and his view on the facts of life. At the end of the show, he invites the audience to sing with him the chorus of the simple and beautiful “Mole in the Ground”, this sing-along resulting in a warm and feel-good finale! Eric Bibb represents for me the sharing of music, and sung poetry that never goes out of style, well rooted in the tradition and evolving with the seasons! It’s a generosity, a charm, an enchantment! (Pierre Jobin)