Eric Bibb in Concert
Venue: Capilano College Performing Arts Theatre
Date: 26 October 2003 at 8.00pm
Reviewer: Lois Carter
In the past the Blues has always been a genre that I found difficult to relate to.
When I was a music student, it felt as if it sounded more like 'music to slash your wrists to' rather than an inspiring and uplifting experience for the soul.
I had always associated some of the depressing whiskey-inspired lyrics about social prejudice, injustices and lost love with a self-indulgence that did nothing to inspire my musically-hardened conscience toward reform. In addition, it was probably not helped by listening to several wannabe Blues performers demonstrating musical ability of mind-boggling mediocrity.
I confess I had never heard of Eric Bibb until enthusiastic friends who had attended his show in London, England invited us to hear him in Capilano College, Vancouver.
in New York, Eric attended the High School of Music and Art. At sixteen, he went
on to play in his father's band. He then moved to Paris and on to Sweden and has
toured Europe and North America ever since.
Tonight's performance of songs (mainly his own composition) are undoubtedly an integral part of his whole persona. He does not play to you; he engages with you. He sings stories about his life, particularly in 'Champagne habits' and 'Shingle by Shingle', his experiences in 'Shaving talk', and his imagination in 'Panama hat'.
He sang around fifteen songs altogether with one intermission. There was no backing group or band, just a man and his electronically enhanced acoustic guitar, playing with technical excellence that puts you on the edge of your seat. There is an ease in his voice that produces a vocal quality that is pure joy.
In 'Saucer 'n'Cup' he says "You're looking at a satisfied man". There was no question that by the end of this evening and after two standing ovations he was looking at a satisfied audience.
© 2003, Lois Carter