23 MAY 11 JONATHAN WIDRAN
After four decades of exporting American blues to every corner of the world, Eric Bibb has at last documented the power of his dynamic live performances with Troubadour Live, a single show recorded in late 2010 at Katalin and All That Jazz -- a venue located by the train station in Uppsala, a university town about an hour from Stockholm.
It's a place near and dear to the former resident of Stockholm, who now resides in Finland. Believing that great blues is largely a collaborative effort, Bibb vibes on this set with Swedish guitarist Staffan Astner, whom Bibb has been recording and touring with for over 20 years. (Astner's worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Celine Dion.) Also on hand for four tunes are old friends Glen Scott, Andre De Lange and Paris Renita, the gospel trio collectively known as Psalm4.
Twice nominated for W.C. Handy Awards, the New York born and raised resident of Finland recorded his first album in 1977, but has been most prolific over the past 13 years, a period that includes some rich output on Telarc, including his 2010 release Booker's Guitar. Bibb is the son of 1960s folk and musical theatre singer and TV personality Leon Bibb, the nephew of pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet and the godson of singer/actor/activist Paul Robeson. He was given his first steel-string guitar at age seven and he's still going strong on the 6 and 12 strings.
Bibb said of Troubadour, "A live record is a way to give people a sense of the way an artist communicates with his or her audience," says Bibb. "It's intimate, and that's a big part of what I like to do."