Sharing quarters with a massive collection of vinyl, Bibb eagerly soaked up all that came within earshot. Then, at 19, he moved to Paris, where he came under the guidance of Mickey Baker—he of the popular jazz guitar instructional book. A decade or so later, Bibb found himself the director of a Swedish children’s choir before launching a recording career in the mid-’90s. His latest, A Ship Called Love [Telarc Blues], is turning a lot of heads.
Despite two decades of residence in France, Sweden, and the U.K., your music still has such an American, rootsy feel.American folk music—meaning everything from ragtime to Delta blues to country gospel and western swing to Dock Boggs mountain music—that’s what really first influenced me. It was the world in which I grew up, because my dad was involved in that world, and it stuck. I’ve had many musical interests all along, but my anchor—musically, emotionally, spiritually—was the music that I grew up with: music like Leadbelly, Mahalia Jackson, Pete Seeger, and Robert Johnson.
Yet A Ship Called Love is quite modern, with solid pop and R&B influences. What else goes into the songwriting mix?I’ve been writing a long time. In addition to the more unrefined folk music that has gone into the hopper all these years, I’ve also been an avid follower of pop music: Ernie Ford singing “Sixteen Tons,” the Four Tops, Sly Stone, Bobby Womack, the Beatles, and the whole British Invasion. All that stuff was very much in my soundtrack growing up, along with the folkier stuff.
You have quite a collection of unique guitars, some fairly quirky. What are your favorites?My main guitars are Fylde Guitars. I travel with a 6-string and a 12-string. I have some really interesting 12-strings: I have a parlor-sized slotted-headstock 12-string. It’s quite celestial and chimey. And then I have a very special Jones-Kendall guitar, a beautiful little ragtime guitar with a trapeze tailpiece.
Looking back, what was so noteworthy about the Village scene in your youth? The music was far greater than simply the songs and the players and the careers that people were striving for. They were ambitious—people wanted the same things musicians today want: record deals and all that. But somehow the music was inextricably attached to a whole way of thinking, a whole set of ethics. It was socially aligned with things that were going on, with civil rights and other kinds of progressive movements. It seemed less self-conscious and more about making the world a better place. And that feeling is starting to come back.
And in those days you had interactions with Seeger and Dylan. What do you remember?I remember when I was three, Pete Seeger used to come over our house and play banjo with my Teddy bear. He was a family friend. Dylan once came to a party my dad threw at our house when I was 11, Bob was 21 and about to bust wide open. He told me, “Keep it simple. Forget all that fancy stuff.” That really sank in.
Watch Jacob Umansky of Painted In Exile's "House of Cards" Bass Playthrough (VIDEO)
Fodera Releases The New Victor Wooten Yin Yang Deluxe Series III
Glenn Hughes Releases Music Video for "Long Time Gone"
Time+Space Presents Sculptor Massive Whooshes from Gothic Instruments
Auralex Now Shipping Updated SonoFiber Materials
Luftrum/KVR Charity Auction Ends October 31
Butch Boswell Wants Every Guitar He Builds to Be a Knockout
Pentatonic Boxes That Donâ€™t Suck
Brian May, Battling â€œPersistent Illness,â€ Scraps 2016 Dates
New Avenged Sevenfold Album, 'The Stage,' Out Tomorrow, October 28
Refused Announce New 'Servants of Death' EP
Exclusive Interview: Life In Your Way's Founder Joshua Kellam Discusses the Band's Reunion After a Five Year Hiatus
Red Hot Chili Peppers Admit They Copied Jimi Hendrix on â€œBreaking the Girlâ€
10 Essential Electric Guitar Design Innovators
Watch Ritchie Blackmore and Rainbow Perform â€œPerfect Strangersâ€ in Pro-Shot Video
Copyright ©2016 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470