Global Griot, the 2-disc set from Eric Bibb on Stony Plains records, features special guest appearances by World Music star Habib Koité, with whom Eric recorded the acclaimed Brothers in Bamako album in 2012, as well as acclaimed West African musician Solo Cissokho, a master of the kora, the 22-stringed harp creating cascades of notes and beautifully-addictive grooves. Eric’s long-time friend and music compadre Harrison Kennedy is also a special guest.
“‘Global Griot’ – two words that describe many of my friends and myself, as well,” says Eric Bibb about his new album. “Connecting to the West African tradition of storytelling and oral history through music, this album features brothers and sisters from around the globe – serving the listener a tasty gumbo, spiced with hope for these challenging times.”
On Global Griot, the masterful Eric Bibb adapts the West African historian and oral storyteller tradition with his own background of blues, folk and world music for a scintillating blend of sound that is absolutely mesmerizing. Bibb also pulls no punches with his songs that tackle our current state of affairs in the world, with socio/political commentary on everything from our desire for conspicuous consumption (“We Don’t Care,” the album’s first single) to the present occupant of the White House (“What’s He Gonna Say Today”).
“An incredible, mighty record that shows there wasn’t a single lesson learned over the last 50 years that was lost on Bibb. A double cd, recorded all over the world with a host of killer players, this set pulls together world, roots, soul, politics and more into a theatrical journey that’ll just blow your mind. As he’s a known quantity, all this is no surprise but the way it’s all pulled together is just mind boggling. Certainly sounding like nothing you’d expect, this is something that has to be heard to be believed. A high octane, high quality experience throughout.” – Midwest Record Entertainment
Eric Bibb was born into a musical family and raised in New York City. His father was noted folk singer Leon Bibb, and his uncle was John Lewis, the world-famous jazz pianist and composer of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Legendary actor/singer/activist Paul Robeson was Eric’s godfather, and some of the musical friends who could be seen and heard around the Bibb household in those days included Pete Seeger, Odetta and Bob Dylan.
Over the course of many album releases in the intervening years, Eric Bibb has been nominated for multiple Blues Music Awards in several categories. He received a Grammy nomination for his 2017 album, Migration Blues, in addition to one for the Shakin’ a Tailfeather children’s album (which also featured Taj Mahal). Some of his other noted albums included A Family Affair, which teamed him up with his father for a series of duets and solo tunes; and Friends, which included special guests Taj Mahal, Odetta, Charlie Musselwhite and Guy Davis.
Eric first met Habib Koité 15 years ago, when both were invited to play on the album Mali to Memphis (Putumayo). They struck a chord, exchanged a few notes, then a few songs. A connection was established, friendship followed. Both recognized that blues has its roots in Africa. The dialogue continued and a follow-up meeting launched the project that would become Brothers in Bamako in 2012. Both men draw on the organic material of tradition and the world realities that demand their comment, to release a sung vision, a musical cry of hope.