Eric Bibb @ The Gov, Adelaide 19/2/2023
Adelaide’s Fringe season is now in full swing and with that comes some amazing shows. Sunday night, The Gov played host to what I think will be my highlight event for the Fringe.
Cocooned by the most exquisite guitars, two chairs sit upon a stripped-down stage awaiting the arrival of blues legend Eric Bibb. Appreciating that this is an intimate sit-down show, the crowd applaud as he makes his way toward the centre of the stage, grabbing a guitar and taking a seat. The night begins with his autobiographical song Silver Spoon, which earns approval from the audience.
A master storyteller through his music, every song was precluded by an engaging anecdote. Like the fact that he brought three guitars because he could, or that his song Tall Cotton was inspired by his great-grandmother who, at Eric’s request, always made an amazing lemon meringue pie whenever she visited, never asking his sisters what they wanted!! Or growing up in New York and being surrounded by musicians like Pete Seger, Odetta, Josh White and Bob Dylan.
Eric tells the story of sneaking out and introducing himself to Bob Dylan as an eleven-year-old. “Hi, I’m Eric and I play guitar too.” Speaking about his formative year Eric told us how Huddie ‘Lead belly’ Ledbetter was a huge influence on not only himself but on music everywhere.
On one of Eric’s new songs off his 2021 album Dear America, Along The Way, a beautiful letter to his children Eric had this to say. “I wrote this one for my children, I wanted to tell them stuff that I thought I should have said to them earlier on in the journeys but um I was too busy playing at the Gov” which got laughs from the audience. Recording a couple of albums while not being able to play for the last few years, he told us that he missed us but had really enjoyed the time off. Enjoying the moments, we were treated to songs like 500 Miles, Come Back Baby and Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down.
Eric was joined on stage by his wife Ulrika for a couple of songs, one being a beautiful song he wrote with Habib Koite – Send Us Brighter Days. You could feel their connection through the emotion filled harmonies. The night ended with the crowd being encouraged to sing along to Mole In The Ground, and a song off his forthcoming album. A magical night of blues that went way too quick. See you again real soon Mr. Bibb.
Live Review By Suze Blacketer