"A Family Affair" - 2002
Pretty much everyone agrees that Eric Bibb is going from strength to strength these days. His busy touring schedule and media presence have turned this American artist into a bit of a star on the roots music scene. Eric still lives in Europe and is touring the European and North American continents frequently. His fan base is broadening continuously. But it’s not the quantity of his work that makes Eric Bibb special but the quality of his music and his irresistable stage presence. Eric Bibb is a soulful artist and the special spiritual quality of his art comes from a special place. The foundation of which was laid in New York City — the town the Bibb family called home for many years.
A FAMILY AFFAIR re-unites Eric Bibb with his father Leon Bibb. This is not only a match made in heaven, but presumably also a pairing that was top priority on both men’s list of musical projects. Leon Bibb is an accomplished singer and actor in his own right and a living legend to those familiar with the history of the New York folk scene. Leon Bibb was an influential presence on that scene in the 50s and 60s. Naturally, this is also the social and musical background Eric Bibb was born and raised in. A FAMILY AFFAIR brings these two American voices together on record for the very first time. They have crafted and recorded new music that is truly inspirational.
In 1996, Eric Bibb’s career as a performer and recording artist got a serious boost, when he realized there were other new black players appearing on the scene with a similar agenda. People like Corey Harris or Keb’ Mo. Always adding to the tradition, these days Eric’s original songs are taking up more and more space in his repertoire. For the A FAMILY AFFAIR project, however, the Bibbs took a look back into their mutual past and re-introduce classic songs by Leadbelly, Pete Seeger along with a number of traditionals and a couple of Bibb originals. Quite surprisingly, a version of Sting’s "Fields of Gold" can be found as well, inspired by the voice of the late Eva Cassidy.
As much as a concert appearance by Eric Bibb is a very uplifting experience, A FAMILY AFFAIR delivers a moving set of songs and a lasting impression of the Bibbs’ freshness and depth. This is an album about the soulfulness and vitality of the music, taking the tradition right into the present. "...a celebration of the music and the journey we share", is how Eric Bibb puts it into words himself.