Album Remarks & Appraisals:
2010 release. Eric Bibb's Booker's Guitar is the first representation we have that accurately mirrors his magnetic and charismatic acoustic live shows. True to tradition and yet uniquely his own, Eric's new recording is a history lesson in finger picking acoustic Blues. Songs mainly penned by Bibb tell stories of endless travel, rocking chairs on the porch, and morality all simple with extremely heavy meanings just under the surface. Inspired by Bibb's encounter with a 1930s vintage Resophonic National steel-body guitar that had once belonged to Delta blues legend Booker White, this is the natural progress of the original American art form of Blues music.
Living Blues (p.37) - "Bibb crafts a moving collection of songs inspired by Delta bluesman Bukka White....The simplicity of the overall album is what makes is so compelling..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.105) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Bibb can envelop the listener in the ambience of a song, using no more than voice and a gentle guitar."
Personnel: Eric Bibb (vocals, guitar); Grant Dermody (harmonica).
Audio Mixer: Michael Bishop .
Recording information: Bainbridge Store, Burton, OH (11/11/2008-11/12/2008); Bainbridge Store, Geauga County Historical Society Cent (11/11/2008-11/12/2008).
Editor: Michael Bishop .
Photographer: Keith Perry.
The genesis of this deeply moving album was in an almost chance encounter at a London hotel, where Eric Bibb had just played a set. He was approached by a fan with a beat-up guitar case, which turned out to contain a 1930s National steel guitar that had been owned and played by legendary Delta blues legend Bukka White. Bibb was inspired to write a half-spoken, half-sung ode to White, which he then recorded in London using that guitar; the remainder of the album, though inspired by that experience, was recorded in the U.S. on his own instruments and finds Bibb approaching the Delta blues tradition from a variety of highly personal angles. There's the gospel-inflected blues of "With My Maker I Am One" (which features harmonica player Grant Dermody, and which you won't realize is inspired by Deepak Chopra unless you read the notes), the possibly (but not necessarily) Katrina-inspired "Flood Water," a wonderful version of the traditional "Wayfaring Stranger," and an equally spectacular rendition of the Blind Willie Johnson classic "Nobody's Fault But Mine." One of the album's best and most affecting tracks is an all-too-brief guitar instrumental, a deceptively simple-sounding and decidedly not blues-based piece; another is the gently beautiful "Rocking Chair," which evokes '50s doo wop as much as it does the Delta blues. The overall impression given by Booker's Guitar is that of a richly varied but deeply rooted tribute not just to a particular man, but also to the great tradition he exemplified and the wide variety of musical streams that flowed into it. ~ Rick Anderson