由於家学渊源，艾瑞克．毕比对於音乐的热爱从小就获得良好的环培育，并造就出他精致的涵养。然而他的成名却从法国巴黎开始，直到1990年代他才被美国唱片公司注意到。前几年转至Telarc唱片之后，他清新的民歌风更让乐迷们感到趣味无穷。从「Tall Cotton」、Storybook Hero」到「Heading Home」多首歌曲都在他空心吉他的伴奏下呈现清恬的都会民谣风貌。最特别的是CD中还附带一段11分鐘的音乐画面，放进电脑中就可以看到他回到旅居巴黎时常去的一家吉他经销店，他不但试弹吉他同时也自己弹唱多首歌曲。珍贵的画面也让乐迷对於艾瑞克．毕比音乐的亲切更加瞭解。
The folk blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb has been performing around the world for over three decades. This acoustic 2007 album demonstrates his eclectic approach with a variety of styles, including the African-flavored "Tall Cotton," the romantic, gospel-tinged "Story Book Hero," and a dexterous fingerpicking version of Bob Dylan's "Buckets of Rain."
Personnel: Eric Bibb (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, baritone guitar); Kahanga Dekula (guitar, bass guitar); Figge Boström (acoustic guitar); Staffan Astner (electric guitar); Jenny Bohman (harmonica); Glen Scott (keyboards, snare drum, percussion, background vocals); Janne Robertson (drum, percussion); Paris Gilbert, Kim McLeod (background vocals).
Dirty Linen (p.78) - "His songs speak to possibilities, not lost opportunities. And that's a refreshing approach to the blues."
Living Blues (p.40) - "A smart lyricist....Bibb manages to discuss specific contemporary politics while speaking in timeless, universal themes on 'Heading Home'."
Eric Bibb - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, baritone guitar
Glen Scott - keyboard, snare drum, percussion, background vocals
Kim McLeod - background vocals
Jenny Bohman - harmonica
Janne Robertson - drum, percussion
Staffan Astner - electric guitar
Product Description: Time and again over the past three decades and beyond, Bibb has demonstrated his ability to not only capture those singular moments when the spiritual and the everyday come together, but also extract the priceless nuggets of truth and wisdom that emerge from those moments.
Diamond Days is filled with just such gems.The twelve-song set leads off with "Tall Cotton," a track whose title was inspired by a guitar maker friend in Canada, says Bibb. "As I was walking out the door of her studio, she said, `Man, you're walking in tall cotton,'" he recalls. "I said, `What?' She said, `My mother used to tell me that.
It means you're doing fine. You're on top of your game.' So the expression eventually turned into a song." The track features Congolese guitarist Kahanga "Master Vumbi" Dekula, who plays in a distinctly African style. "For me," says Bibb, "to talk about tall cotton, which is a very southern American expression, and to connect it to African culture is musically, historically and personally very resonant."
Further in, "Story Book Hero" is a tongue-in-cheek tune reminiscent of the romantic ballads of the 1930s, when male singers would brag to the ladies about their masculine charms. "Smooth talkin' playboys may try an' get your number," Bibb sings, "but I wanna show you how good a man can be, I long to deliver your every heart's desire, Darlin' you're my destiny." The song closes with the singer rattling off names like Robin Hood, John Henry and other folk heroes who emerged from the collective consciousness of past generations to embolden the downtrodden. "It's intended as a spirit-over-circumstances kind of song," says Bibb, "but in a lighthearted way."
"Heading Home" is a song that Bibb considers very autobiographical. "My roots are really in American folk music in all of its glorious forms - from Southern blues and gospel to mountain music, bluegrass and country - and later on, the folk singers of the `50s and `60s who gathered all of that together and made their own statements," says the New York native, who has lived in various parts of Europe and the UK since the early 1970s. "The song is about being disillusioned in the late `60s," he says. "It's about finding a way to gather up those wonderful threads that made us so optimistic at that time, and try to bring it back home."
Bibb ratchets up the energy to a near rapturous pitch in a live rendition of "In My Father's House," a driving, spiritually charged profession of brotherhood that's reminiscent of the soul classic "People Get Ready." On a more intimate scale is the earthy "Buckets of Rain," a song originally penned by Bob Dylan and delivered here in a cheery midtempo arrangement featuring guitarist Martin Simpson's intricate fingerpicking.
The closer, "Still Livin' On," is Bibb's nod to past masters and musical influences - Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten, Pops Staples and other heroes of blues and gospel whose spirit and influence still lives in their music.On the good days as well as the bad, Bibb continues to channel these resonant voices from long ago and make them an integral part of his own music and world view. The lesson in Diamond Days is that the road of life is filled with peaks and valleys, and Bibb's sage advice is to accept it all with courage and grace.
Notes: Calm, cool, and collected, folksinger Eric Bibb approaches his craft in a style similar to that of Keb' Mo'. His honeyed voice and clean acoustic guitar wrap around songs like a flannel blanket. Bibb's music is filled with hope and uplifting sentiments without being spiritually pedantic. "Forgiveness Is Gold" and "So Glad" tell their stories in the titles alone. Even the lowly shoeshine man can approach his job and life with exuberance ("Dr. Shine") as he helps others improve their lives in his own small way. While these feelings could be juvenile, or--worse--corny, in the wrong hands, Bibb's songwriting and presentation elevate the material with a persuasive professionalism and integrity achieved through a career that spans ten years and as many albums. Credit also goes to producer Glen Scott, who brings just enough changes to the mix. Occasional tuba, snare drum, muted trumpet, and his keyboards add deeper, richer shades to these smooth watercolor sketches. The disc's lone live track, "My Father's House," injects subtle rawness into the proceedings and is certainly a highlight. "Still Livin' On" name checks Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, Rev. Gary Davis, Son House, and Pops Staples. It shows Bibb's dedication to, and love of, the folk/blues artists who have influenced and preceded him. The music and soul of these legends is imbedded in Bibb's own style that connects on this fine release despite--or maybe because--of its breezy, easygoing charm.
Review: For a while now I've been a freak for Eric Bibb's music, especially his "spiritual" songs. I confess to being partial to sweet music and uplifting lyrics, mixed in with a little bit of funk. That might be a lame mix for a lot of people, but for me it is potent one - and Eric Bibb fulfills it more than anyone I know. Combine all that with his music's accessibility, and with what seems his genuine sincerity and open heartedness, and dude, it is enough for me to get happy. Last year's "A Ship Called Love" is one of my favorite records and I listened to it seemingly almost incessantly for months. So I was seriously looking forward to the new record, though with a little trepidation of being disappointed. And I'm very happy to say I really like "Diamond Days" already. It is still pretty new on my box, but I know that there is a lot of music here I'm going to be listening to for a long, long time. What more can you ask for? I ain't got the ear or knowledge to be a music critic so I ain't going to try to tell you what is happening in that kinda way on this record. Though I will say that on first listening I thought a couple of the sides were a little unnecessarily over produced for my taste, given my love for the seeming simplicity of Eric's voice and music. But now I am even liking many of those little studio things too. If you like Eric Bibb's music, buy this cd. Then again, if you like his music, you don't need me to encourage you. From what I see, the man keeps getting better and better.
01. Tall Cotton - 3:27
02. Destiny Blues - 3:34
03. Shine On - 3:45
04. So Glad - 3:54
05. Storybook Hero - 2:44
06. Diamond Days - 3:32
07. Dr Shine - 3:33
08. Heading Home - 3:36
09. In My Father's House - 5:18
10. Foregiveness is Gold - 4:33
11. Buckets of Rain - 2:22
12. Still Livin' On - 9:24