Eric Bibb — ‘Migration Blues’
Label: Stony Plain Records
The album offers a blend of originals and American folk classics (Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” and Bob Dylan’s “Masters Of War”), all of which deal with refugee or migrant crises. In the liner notes, Eric Bibb cites Cicero: “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history.” Blues is so often a glance backward. Eric Bibb embodies a look forward.
There is a unified trio at the heart of Migration Blues: Eric Bibb (charismatic vocals, perfect guitars, six string banjo, contrabass guitar), Michael Jerome Browne (sublime guitars, vocals, banjos, superb mandolin, triangle), and J.J. Milteau (exquisite harmonicas). Along with additional support from Olle Linder (drums/percussion, bass), Big Daddy Wilson (vocals) and Ulrika Bibb (vocals), they will guide you through the current turbulent times with grace and gratitude for the journey. Eric Bibb is always a reassuring force, but this album is emotionally sturdier than ever.
These songs, and especially the gentle way that Bibb relates them, reaffirms one’s faith in the possibility of a peaceful process of the seemingly constant migrant experience. At some time or another, we all have to move, whether of free will or not. Eric Bibb’s music, with it hushed, sensible, insistent tones, will smooth the sacrifices along the way.