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Tribute To An Era

04 FEB 10 DAVID NATHAN

New York-born singer/songwriter Eric Bibb was on a visit to London when an eager fan brought him a 1930s vintage Resophonic National steel-body guitar that belonged to Delta blues legend Booker White. For Bibb, a W.C. Handy Award nominee, it was a soul-touching experience -- one that would lead to the inspiration for the title track to Booker's Guitar, his sixth recording for Telarc.

Bibb has been recording since 1977 and said, "The experience of playing Booker White's guitar took my personal connection to traditional country blues to another level."

The result is a heartfelt tribute to blues musicians of a bygone era. Bibb offers his own highly satisfying take on tunes like the spiritual "Nobody's Fault But Mine" (recorded by among others Blind Willie Johnson), the time-honored "Wayfaring Stranger" and the New Orleans-inspired "Rocking Chair."

The standout track "Flood Water" -- based on the catastrophic Mississippi flood of 1926-1927 -- could just as easily have been written about Hurricane Katrina and its effect on the Big Easy, a testimony to Bibb's ability to be a decades-bridging musical conduit for one of America's greatest art forms.



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