Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
“The blues is really about life, about all that we experience,” Eric Bibb told the crowd at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, “except matrimonial bliss.” Then he proceeded to correct that thematic omission with his self-described “bluesy love song,” “Saucer ‘n’ Cup.”
Acoustic bluesman Bibb and his co-star for the evening, Texas blues singer Ruthie Foster, certainly weren’t afraid to step outside the normal parameters of the blues. And they made a perfect match for their co-headlining concert. Both of them emphasize the positive, life-affirming aspects of the blues rather than the low-down, my-woman’s-been-cheating-on-me-so-I’m-gonna-get-a-shotgun-and-drink-some-whiskey end of the spectrum.
“He did not know he could not fly, so he did,” sings bluesman Eric Bibb on his recently released “Troubadour Live” CD on the Telarc label. Although this song “The Cape” is one of the few songs on this record (and in his repertoire) that he did not write – it was written by Americana artist Guy Clark and his wife Susanna Clark – it most assuredly is autobiographical.
“The Cape” first appeared on his “Friends and Songs” LP in 2004, and it is a staple of his live repertoire, often beginning his set, one that we certainly can expect him to sing at Club Helsinki in Hudson Friday (July 22). Eric had never really thought much about “The Cape” as a defining song. It was his fans who gravitated toward it.
“The thing that really got me for keeping it on the list was people’s response to it. It was just as if the song really – what can I say? I think everybody really feels that desire to really trust their cape and fly. So many of us are inhibited by all kinds of things, and that natural gene to take off and fly is slowly but surely stamped on and kind of suppressed through the years. So that song kind of – I guess it starts with an eight-year-old boy, and people can kind of relate to that.
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