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Eric Bibb Mixes Southern, Country Blues on 'Deeper In The Well'

  • Doug Levine

Eric Bibb

Singer-songwriter Eric Bibb delivers a stirring rendition of a ‘60’s folk anthem while melding Southern and country blues on his latest album, Deeper In The Well.

The best advice Bibb ever got about playing guitar came from Bob Dylan, who once told him to “Keep it simple and forget all that fancy stuff.” He was 11 years old at the time, and he’s been keeping it simple ever since. On the album, Bibb honors Dylan with an update of “The Times They Are A Changin’,” a tune Dylan described as “an attempt to create an anthem of change for the moment.”

Eric Bibb's "Deepter in the Well" CD
Eric Bibb's "Deepter in the Well" CD
Bibb traveled to the heart of Cajun country near Lafayette, Louisiana to record Deeper in the Well and to soak up the region’s bountiful supply of Cajun, folk and Creole-flavored blues.

Born and raised in New York City, Bibb inherited his passion for music from his father, folk singer and actor Leon Bibb. His uncle was pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, and family friends included folk stars Pete Seeger and Odetta.

Bibb's early influences included jazz and classical music, but after moving to Europe, he decided to focus on writing and playing the blues.

“I think blues is a language which is perfectly suited to expressing whatever you’re experiencing in life, and it’s a real life-friendly language and it’s a truthful language,” he says.

One of Bibb's longtime musical heroes is bluesman Taj Mahal, who composed “Every Wind In The River” - also found on the new album.

Bibb's band on Deeper In The Well features harmonica player Grant Dermody and fiddler Cedric Watson, as well as local standouts Danny DeVillier on drums, Dirk Powell on banjo, and Dirk’s wife Christine Balfa on the Cajun triangle.