Can a dude sing the blues with a smile on his face? Can that same dude also infuse a good-time spirit into stories about hard times and paying dues? Well, Eric Bibb certainly seems able to. Delivered in smoky, mature vocals and seasoned with sure-handed gutbucket guitar, Bibb's tales of woe are likely to crack a smile. With deceptive ease and obvious savvy, Bibb approaches classic blues storytelling from the perspective of the present-day singer-songwriter.
The son of '60s folk figure Leon Bibb and nephew of John Lewis (pianist and founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet), a young Eric hobnobbed about New York with such folk legends as Pete Seeger and Odetta, and later gigged with bassist Bill Lee -- Spike's father and a true jazz stalwart. With more than a dozen discs, countless tours, and a Grammy nomination behind him, Bibb just served up Diamond Days, one the year's top offerings.