Eric Bibb – Ridin’ (ENG review)


When Eric Bibb invites his friends to an album, it’s not just for show. Here, surrounded by Taj Mahal, Amar Sundy, Habib Koité, and Harrison Kennedy, Eric Bibb, one of the most brilliant bluesmen today, starts with a song about John Howard Griffin, an American writer and journalist best known for his book “Black Like Me,” published in 1961. In this book, Griffin tells of his experience passing as a black man in the southern United States in the early 1960s to better understand the life and experiences of African Americans in a segregated society.
The book sparked a great debate at the time of its publication and was considered an important testimony on racism and racial discrimination in the United States. It was translated into French under the title “Noir comme moi” and was well received in France as well, which certainly would not be the case today in a France that has become extremely racist.
From beginning to end, Ridin‘ is a condensed cultural, intellectual, and musical masterpiece. The social themes of this album fall at an opportune time when the USA is divided into a significant extreme right and a far-left that seeks to unite without really succeeding. This album also comes after a series of racist crimes in recent years, so it should also be seen as a banner that allows us not to forget.
It is therefore not surprising to hear him in a duet with Harrison Kennedy, another artist whom we give a large place on Bayou Blue Radio. This album is to be listened to deeply, not only for the intellectual quality of the content but also for the very high quality of the arrangements. The pleasure is real on every track, the great album of a great man, whom we salute for his intelligence.
Here there is material to analyze, dissect, and a lot of things to learn, and we love the turn of this album up to the final note. There is no doubt that this album will certainly be one of the most important blues albums of 2023, and the editorial teams of Paris-Move and Bayou Blue Radio are proud to present this album, which is why we had to give it the sticker of indispensability.

Thierry Docmac
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, February 21st 2023


Eric Bibb in concert:
13.04 | Marcq-en-Barœul | Théâtre Charcot, Jazz en Nord
14.04 | Vitry-Le-François | Bords 2 Scènes
18.04 | Bezons | Théâtre Paul Eluard
23.04 | Paris | Philharmonie

Album available for sale here