Eric Bibb (born August 16, 1951) is an American acoustic blues singer/songwriter. He is based in London and launched his career in Europe.
Bibb was born in New York; his father, Leon Bibb, is a singer in musical theatre who made a name for himself as part of the 1960s New York folk scene. His uncle was the jazz pianist and composer John Lewis, of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Family friends included Pete Seeger, Odetta and actor/singer/activist Paul Robeson, Bibb's godfather.
He was given his first steel-string acoustic guitar aged seven. Growing up surrounded by talent, he recalls a childhood conversation with Bob Dylan, who, on the subject of guitar playing, advised the 11-year-old Eric to "Keep it simple, forget all that fancy stuff".
Bibb remembers from his early teen years:
I would cut school and claim I was sick. When everyone would leave the house I would whip out all the records and do my own personal DJ thing all day long, playing Odetta, Joan Baez, the New Lost City Ramblers, Josh White.
At 16 years old, his father invited him to play guitar in the house band for his TV talent show "Someone New". Bill Lee, who played bass in this band, was later to appear on Eric's albums "Me To You" and "Friends".
In 1969, Bibb played guitar for the Negro Ensemble Company at St. Mark's Place in New York. He went on to study Psychology and Russian at Columbia University, but did not finish these studies. Aged 19, Bibb left for Paris, where he met guitarist Mickey Baker who focused his interest in blues guitar.
Bibb moved to Sweden and lived in Stockholm, where he immersed himself in pre-war blues and the newly-discovered World Music scene, while he continued to write and perform.
The album Good Stuff was released in 1997 on Opus 3 and American label Earthbeat. Eric signed to the British-based Code Blue label, but only released one album: Me to You, featuring appearances from some of Bibb's personal heroes: Pops and Mavis Staples, and Taj Mahal. This was followed by tours of the UK, USA, Canada, France, Sweden and Germany.
In the late 1990s Eric joined forces with his then manager Alan Robinson, to form Manhaton Records, in Britain. The albums Home to Me (1999), Roadworks (2000) and Painting Signs (2001) followed, as did another Opus 3 release, Just Like Love.
After that, A Family Affair (2002) - the first ever album recorded together by father and son - Leon & Eric Bibb. Natural Light then Friends - 15 tracks featuring Eric duetting with friends and musicians he has met on his travels such as Taj Mahal, Odetta, Charlie Musselwhite, Guy Davis, Mamadou Diabate and Djelimady Toukara.