Migration Blues the story unfolds under Eric Bibb Blues Mastery

Migration Blues
the story unfolds under Eric Bibb Blues Mastery

When you listen to a new Eric Bibb album you expect extraordinary blues, he is one of the best. Does Migration Blues reach my expectations? Yes, the album surpasses expectations.  The reason fo the album name, Migration Blues is the connectivity between now and the past. As Eric said “ Fleeing war & hardship is something people have been doing all over the world for millennia – nothing new … Whether you’re looking at a former sharecropper, hitchhiking from Clarksdale to Chicago in 1923, or an orphan from Aleppo, in a boat full of refugees in 2016 — it’s migration blues.”
On the album, Eric joined by JJ Millaeu with his harmonica and the multi–instrumentalist John Browne on guitar, fiddle and banjo. Also on the album are sympathetic drumming, at times harking back to the pain of slaves forced migration out of Africa from Olle Linder, Big Daddy Wilson and Ulrika Bibb’s backing vocals. It is Eric Bibb that drives the album directing tone and tempo as he emotionally sings the lyrics with strong and at times painful stories to tell. Bibb is the modern man of the blues he is the real deal.

The context of the album is Migration, the impact, hurt and pain of leaving home whether from Aleppo in 2016 or the migration from rural South to industrial North. Scratch the surface and we all have migrants in our ancestry, moving from home is a shared history. The parallels weave through the album from contemporary to historical migration.  Shaped and discussed on social media, and news stories, on migration blues the elegant simplicity tells the truth of the pain of migration.

Opening with Refugee Moan, the plucked strings deep and redolent of journeys yet to take and we board the train at the heart of many a blues song. Eric Bibb, implores to be able to ride the train, let me board the ship this is a song of the desperate need for deliverance into the great unknown. Powerful messages pen your minds and take the journey through the vocals and words of Bibb the bluesman for today. With simple arrangements acting as gentle punctuation and soundscapes for the power of the lyrics redolent with meaning and the human condition. Every track is special. Highlights for me are the prayerful intoning of Prayin’ For Shore, as you want to reach a stranger’s land unknowing if help or violence will greet you the harmonica cries in harmony with the lyrics. The deep southern blues of Migration Blues, an instrumental with the depth of his twelve string resonator and the imploring of the harp cries the pain that no words are needed to explain.  The stunning cover of Bob Dylan’s Masters of War fits perfectly in the track list of the album, as does Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land. The hope of a better life is there with Brotherly Love and the closing Mornin’ Train. Once more Eric Bibb has captured today in the simplicity of his blues shining and pure.  This is an album that makes you think, feel the plight of others and be slower to condemn and quicker to find out the story behind the stranger in a strange land as Eric says Peace and Love.

Eric Bibb – Blues Migration – Dixiefrog Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Refugee Moan
  2. Delta Giveaway
  3. Diego’s Blues – 01
  4. Prayin’ For Shore
  5. Migration Blues
  6. Four Years, No Rain
  7. We Had To Move
  8. Masters Of War
  9. Brotherly Love
  10. La Vie C’est Comme Un Oignon
  11. With A Dolla In my Pocket
  12. This Land Is Your Land
  13. Postcard From Brooker
  14. Blacktop
  15. Mornin’ Train

Migration Blues the story unfolds under Eric Bibb Blues Mastery