Finding Your Inner Blues Troubadour

Level 3

Are you inspired by the playing of Skip James, Reverend Gary Davis, Son House, Elizabeth Cotton and Taj Mahal?  Do you want to make your guitar sound like a barrelhouse piano and find your own voice in the Blues?   Eric Bibb says yes to all of the above.  Son of singer/actor Leon Bibb, nephew of John Lewis (of the Modern Jazz Quartet) and the godson of Paul Robeson, Eric grew up in New York's Greenwich Village during the formative Folk music boom of the 1960s, learning directly form many of his musical heroes.

Indeed a great piece of advice told to a young Eric Bibb came from Bob Dylan during a party at his parent's house,  "Keep it Simple."  Eric's role models were self-accompanying artists such as Odetta, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan and Richie Havens, to name a few.  In this workshop he will give you pointers to serve you in developing your own style for self-accompaniment. Starting with a foundation of elemental Blues structures, Eric will illustrate how to expand on the basics.  Emphasis will be on inspiring and teaching you to develop your own personal style.

Your guitar work is an important dynamic in performance and this class will examine moving bass lines, arrangements, extended harmonies, guitar tunings, adding an exciting chord to a basic Blues structure,  intensity in playing.....all elements that will show you how to make the most of six strings. The class will also take time to study Blues songwriting.  You will look at how to write new songs in the pre-war Blues style and new ways to play songs in the Folk and Blues tradition.

As a songwriter and Blues interpreter Eric Bibb's voice is unique.  Prepare to discover your own voice in this intimate Fur Peace Ranch workshop.  Learn how to lock into a groove, find the right bass line, incorporate melody, sing out and find your inner blues troubadour.


About Eric Bibb

A professional player at 16, playing in the house band for his father’s television talent show, Something New, Eric went on to study (psychology and Russian) at Columbia University, but “after a while it just didn’t make much sense; I didn’t understand why I was at this Ivy League school with all these kids who didn’t know anything about what I knew about,” he says now. Aged 19, he left for Paris, where a meeting with American studio guitarist Mickey Baker focused his interest in blues guitar.

A few years later he moved to Sweden and settled in Stockholm, where he found a creative environment that, oddly, reminded him of his teenage days in Greenwich Village. He made a handful of albums, starting in 1972, and began meeting and playing with local musicians as well as newcomers from all over the world. He laughs: “There was a budding world music scene going on, long before it became a marketing concept.”

His breakthrough album, Good Stuff, was released in 1997 and led to Eric signing to a British label, which in turn released Me to You, featuring appearances from some of his personal heroes, among them Pops and Mavis Staples and Taj Mahal.

The album furthered Bibb’s international reputation and was followed by tours of the UK, the United States, Canada, France, Sweden and Germany. And so it went through the 90s and the first decade of the new century — he made consistently good records, and built audiences from Stockholm to Sydney, Vancouver to Vienna, Paris to Peoria, New Orleans to Newcastle, and from B.B. King’s club in New York to the Bluebird Café in Nashville.



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