Could you please introduce yourself in three words ?
World, blues, troubadour.
AM : I think you are, yes.
That would be in three words, I think a good description.
Why do you always wear a hat ?
I love them ! I have always loved hats. When I was fourteen a friend of mine gave me the hat of a matador.
You know this black Spanish hat matador and I thought it looked so cool and I've been wearing hats every since then.
I think many of my blues contemporaries and heroes are gentlemen who wear hats. It seems to go with the music, it's a good image.
You were born in New-York, the melting-pot city and now you live in London ?
Well, I have lived in England for a long time, now I live in Scandinavia again.
AM : Oh yeah.
AM : Why have you chosen to settle down in London for a while ?
I think you know with music the contacts that you collect, there are many.
I have many associates and friends and partners in business, I've had management from England.
That was the original reason why I moved to England, connection with management, and these things
change but I really am a world citizen, I feel at home in many places.
AM : And you like to live in Scandinavia, it's very different.
Yes. You know I spent many years in Sweden, in Stockholm. I got to know parts of Scandinavia, Finland and Norway.
I'm comfortable in that part of the world, I speak Swedish. So really I just need to be near a good airport, yeah, I travel all the time.
AM : You lived also in Paris in the seventies, why France rather than another European country ?
Pourquoi non ?
AM : Why not ?
I think really it's because many musicians, Americans, jazz, blues, have always been drawn to the city of lights.
It's a city that appreciates great music particularly African and American music and I think many Americans feel very at home.
I think music has always been part of your life thanks to your dad and thanks to your uncle.
AM : When have you realised that you would become a professional musician too ?
I think before I was a teenager, I knew that I wanted to be a musician.
I had other interests but only music really was something that I never let go off.
Once I was interested from very early age, 6-7 years old, it's been the one thing that
I've held on to and developed all through the years no matter what.
Who have been your best influences ?
Good question. The earliest one was of course my father and of course my uncle was a role model,
very wonderful musician who was world famous when I was young. Odetta is another one, the great singer Odetta,
she passed away recently. Richie Havens is also hero of mine, Taj Mahal is a big, big influence and there are many,
many older musicians to Mississippi John Hurt, Gary Davis, Son House, Howlin'Wolf, Leadbelly on and on and on...
There is an English word that I like, it's serendipity. Do you believe in serendipity ? in the music business for instance...
I believe that in life nothing is an accident, nothing is coincidence.
I think there is a plan, you could say divine plan and I think there is a reason why we have
this word serendipity. It's a way of describing that cause makes synchronicity that is a big part of life,
I think. When we are doing the things that we are born to do, then we are fulfilling our destiny,
I think we meet the people we need to meet to make our destiny and when we're really doing that,
consistently then we have the serendipities experiences all the time, every day, several times you
know and it just let you know that you are on the right track, tells you keep going, everything is good you know.
Let's talk about your CD, it's called "Spirit I am".
'Spirit I am' indeed, yes thank you.
AM : And it's a double CD, the first one is "Get on Board".
AM : And the second one is "Field Recordings".
AM : And there is also a little interview video in it.
Yes, there is.
AM : Can you speak about it ?
First I must tell you that this double record is exclusive to
the French edition. My good friend Philippe Langlois is very supportive of my work.
He always thinks the big picture is dedication, is to the art, to the music. He is a good business
man but really his commitment, his devotion is to the music. So when I told him
I really see this record as two discs, I want to put new songs out there but I also want a second
disc with some older traditional material to let people know my foundation, my roots to let them know that
I went from here to there and they would be able to hear the connection. it's been difficult to do this
everywhere because it costs more you know, but Philippe is somebody who really understood so
I was so happy that we were able to do this more ambitious edition, I'm very happy with it, yes.
Dixiefrog the label that has everything to do with my continuing success in France, yes we are very, very close.
When people go to your gigs they always say : "Eric Bibb is good-looking, always smiling, full of charm and seduction,
he's got a kind of aura, he's a great musician and a songwriter and he sings with his heart". How do you explain that you and your songs captivate the audience ?
I am first of all, just very grateful, thankful that those qualities are what people remember about me.
I'm not trying to be something I'm not. I feel like people see me and they see somebody who is mostly himself,
even though I'm a musician, a celebrity, I feel like people appreciate the natural person that I am, so
I can relax, I don't have to have some kind of show, some kind of act, some kind of false persona.
So my job is really easy because I get paid for being who I am and you know I love to make music,
I would make music even if there is no audience so for me it's like, we like you and we like who
you show yourself to be, we like the way you present yourself, we like your music and I think, I'm in heaven.
AM : And I'm pretty sure that what people say is right.
AM : Because we saw you twice and what I say is really true, I've never seen, people, believe me,
I've never seen, I saw a lot of, lot of gigs, I've never seen people just gathering and moving closer and closer one by one near and near the stage like this.
Thank you, I take it on board, yeah, and I tell you with this group, I have a beautiful group
of people with me, great musicians and great people, and the chemistry is so good, so I'm experiencing,
a kind of renaissance, you could say, I've always felt very comfortable here in France and now that
I have other people on stage with me who are in tune with me, it makes it a big, big joyous,
kind of family, you know and to share that is wonderful for me. Thank you.
AM : You're okay.
AM : Do you speak French ?
AM : Un petit peu.
Oui un peu, je parle un petit peu.
AM : I saw in your video interview, that you say that you want to write lyrics in other languages ?
Yes, French would be the first choice because I speak some French and I like the way it sounds with music,
so maybe it would begin with some kind of collaboration with a French artist. It will come for sure.
AM : We would be very happy to hear some French songs in your next album.
That would be good.
AM : Okay ?
AM : Thank you very much.
Maybe we would have one in the next album. We would start with one, yes.