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Eric Bibb brings hopeful blues to Adelaide

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Wandering musician Eric Bibb is touring Australia this May and is celebrating his 37th blues album, Global Griot, at The Gov.

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Global Griot, pronounced GREE-OH, is a collaboration album put together with his friends from all over the world. Parts of the album were recorded in France, Sweden, Jamaica, Ghana, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Griot is a French word which describes West African oral historians, poets, musicians,” Bibb said.

“I decided to call the album Global Griot because, I think of myself as a musician, an oral storyteller, and a global one.”

Bibb is touring with a few of his friends, including Staffan Astner on guitar, Neville Malcolm on bass, and Paul Robinson on drums.

“I’m inspired by a lot of things, including the collaborative process with friends.”

Bibb’s music contains elements from old-school blues musicians predating the Second World War.

“My style is really based on original acoustic country blues,” he said.

“I think there’s something about the language of the blues that speaks to humanity in a very powerful way, which is why you will find people playing this and singing it all around the world.”

Bibb brand of blues is more about life and hope, rather than feeling blue.

“I think you just have to be alive, and be excited about living, and want to share that experience with other people,” he said.

“If you think about it in a narrow way, as a man complaining of this or that, I think that’s erroneous. There’s definitely joyous blues, there’s blues you can pour your sorrows into, it’s all encompassing, really.

“It can be about relationships, it can be about the weather, it can be about the state of affairs in the world, it can be about anything.”

Bibb believes that the blues is more than just music, it’s also a vehicle for his hopeful message about world harmony. He wants to encourage the human community to get together and unify instead of divide into conflicting factions – a view he has gained as a traveling musician.

“Traveling and experiencing other cultures has widened my whole perspective on humanity,” he said.

“I do write about the state of affairs in the world among other things.

“I want to keep this music as a way of encouraging myself, and others, to come together right now.

“I think harmony on the planet, is essential to stopping all this incredible waste, and polluting of the planet.”

Bibb believes his music is helping achieve his goal of hope and harmony, one fan at a time.

“It’s really gratifying to know that the songs I’m sharing with people are basically helping them through life.”

“It’s a blessing to have your work travelling around the world, and meeting like-minded people who really appreciate what you do.”

Bibb grew up in the company of a talented family – his father Leon Bibb had been a singer, and his uncle, John Lewis, was a well known jazz musician who started the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Music has therefore been an essential part of Bibb’s life, and he released his first album at the age of 17.

“I can’t imagine not being able to make music, or wanting to make music and sharing it. It’s a part of who I am. It’s been following me and I’ve been following it.”

“It’s been a way for me to kinda get to know myself, as well as tell other people who I am.”

Bibb said his need to create music comes in sporadic bursts and that the song writing process is still a bit of a mystery to him.

“Sometimes I find a recording studio while I’m on tour, or on day off, and if there’s a new song I wanna get down, I make it,” he said.

“I love to record, I love when the songs come through – I don’t control that really.

“If it’s powerful enough, inspiring enough, the song kinda unfolds on its own, in its own kind of way.

“You can sit down and try to force something to come through, but you know really quickly if it’s a real song.”

Eric Bibb & Band will play at The Gov on May 22. Click here to buy your tickets online.

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