Chico, CA 95928
When a vintage 1930s Resophonic National steel guitar that once belonged to Delta blues legend Booker “Bukka” White found its way into the hands of Eric Bibb, he was inspired. “I really wanted to put myself in the position of my heroes, but in a contemporary context, and create songs I feel could have been a part of their repertoire and could have come from their own experience.” The result is Booker’s Guitar, 13 originals and two covers (the traditional “Wayfaring Stranger” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”) that pay homage to old-school Delta blues. The album kicks off with the half-spoken, half-sung title track taped in England using White’s guitar. The rest of the disc was recorded in rural Ohio and plays on familiar blues themes—the Mississippi flood of 1926-27, the road, a good woman—all infused with Bibb’s ever-present spirituality. The disc ends with the upbeat “Tell Riley” giving props to B.B. (Riley) King, a younger cousin of White and “A-Z Blues,” a musical travelogue naming places he’s played. Through it all is Bibb’s soulful voice, easy playing and classic finger-picking style accented by Grant Dermody’s harp.