A welcome return to our Rootie channel is Eric Bibb. I can still remember buying his 1997 album Good Stuff from the basement folk section of Rays Jazz in London. He has maintained that smooth baritone and unfancy guitar delivery since. His lastest release Booker’s Guitar is no exception.
The album and title track refer to Booker (Bukka) White’s guitar, you can blame the mispelling of Booker on his record label Vocalion back in 1937. Anyway, the name stuck. He was a delta blues guitarist and singer (1906-1977) who came back to fame in the US 60’s folk-revival thanks, indirectly, to Bob Dylan’s cover of Fixin to Die, which aided a “rediscovery” of White in 1963 by guitarist John Fahey and ED Denson which propelled him onto the scene.
Whilst Bibb knew of the guitar’s existence it was lucky for him that it was now owned by a fan. So it was, that Bibb got to play the title track Booker’s Guitar on that guitar:
That track and that guitar became a spring for the remainder of the album even though the remaining tracks were recorded on his own guitars.
Once I had written that song, I really wanted to make a complete statement and document my connection to the Delta blues tradition. I really wanted to put myself in the position of my heroes, but in a contemporary context, and create songs that I feel could have been part of their repertoire and could have come from their own experience.
Bibb’s baritone voice and relaxed yet craftman like acoustic delta blues make this a winning combination. He is without doubt, one of the finest Folk Bluesmen on the circuit.