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Eric and Leon Bibb
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"This is heart and soul medicine, and that's the best blues can offer." - The Victoria Times-Colonist.

Leon and Eric pic
Family Affair

Family Affair - 2002

Oh, I Had a Golden Thread
Sylvie
Look Over Yonder
Five Hundred Miles
Love Like a Good Song
Let Me Fly
Deep River / I've Known Rivers / Mirey
There's A River (WMA)
Turn on All the Lights
Look Inside Your Heart
Fields of Gold
Balm in Gilead

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Biography

Leon Bibb grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, but made his name in the Greenwich Village folk scene in the '50s and '60s. He is a classically trained singer who grew up with all kinds of influences, including spirituals played by his aunt in church.

When Leon put together a folk act, all of those influences came together, and he covered a lot of musical ground. He included field hollers, chain-gang songs, spirituals, and English, Scottish and Irish ballads. One of the places he took his folk act was to Russia. Being politically active at the time, what with one thing and another, he ended up as one of the performers who got blacklisted. But he continued to play college campuses, as they would take folk performers, most of whom were known to be 'left of center'.

Leon didn't stop with music, though. He was trained as an actor and appeared in many Broadway productions, movies and TV shows. He first saw his current home of Vancouver, BC when he was touring as the opening act for Bill Cosby in the 1960s.

The elder Bibb is a well-loved pillar of Vancouver’s theatre community. Leon appeared in three films with Sidney Portier, and since making Vancouver his home in 1969, has starred in numerous plays including 'Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris'.

Eric is a brilliant acoustic blues musician who has received a Grammy nomination and two WC Handy Award noms for his solo recordings. He was born in 1951 in New York. His uncle is the world-renowned jazz pianist, John Lewis, of The Modern Jazz Quartet, and his godfather was singer/actor/activist Paul Robeson. His father introduced him to all the greats of folk in that era, including Dylan who gave him guitar tips, Woody Guthrie and Joan Baez.

Eric has been around the world and back, enjoying success in Britain, USA, Canada, Japan, France, Sweden and Germany. He's pais his dues and absorbed musical influences. From Africa, through Europe, to the Mississipi Delta, this acoustic guitarist and singer appears to be heir to the roots/blues throne created by Richie Havens & Taj Mahal.

In the early 90s, the folk community in Vancouver had heard rumours about Leon’s talented son who lived in Sweden. With Eric’s 1996 appearance at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival they finally had a chance to see both Eric and Leon together on the same stage. The event was magical. Since 1996, Eric has toured throughout the world.

Jack Schuller of Jericho Beach Music recalls "When I first saw Eric and Leon perform together at a workshop stage at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, I began dreaming of a recording of the two together. Their set was relaxed and warm, and charged with a special excitement. It was obvious that performing together was hugely important to both of them. The recording I dreamed of took six years to come together but it was well worth the wait."

This recording contains such folk classics as 'Oh, Had I a Golden Thread' by Pete Seeger, and 'Sylvie' by Huddie Ledbetter, as well as four new songs written by Eric. The family chemistry of Eric and Leon performing together is a magical event.

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Reviews
Like a timeless spiritual idea, my father's voice has been my companion for as long as I can remember. At eighty, his singing is as strong and beautiful as ever and recording together was a powerful and wonderful experience. Ultimately, A Family Affair became a tribute to my dad, a greeting to his many fans, and a celebration of the music and the journey we share.
- Eric Bibb.
At 80, Leon Bibb still sings beautifully. Both Bibbs capture the essences of these songs and transport their listeners to other times and places. As on his recent solo albums, Eric's original songs on this disc help point the way to a better world and stand tall next to the time-tested classics. This is a very inspiring album.
- Sing Out!
He sings as he doesn't even have a dachshund on his trail, creating some of the most untroubled-sounding blues this side of the Reverend Gary Davis. (Eric) Bibb is just about stunning.
- The Los Angeles Times.
Family Affair by Leon and Eric Bibb documents blues music's deep, familial roots, as the father-son team weave a moving sonic tapestry celebrating their love. It's a beautiful, transecendant collection of smouldering, passionate performances of traditional spirituals, folk songs and brilliant orginal blues by Eric Bibb. Leon's son didn't fall far from the tree. This is heart and soul medicine, and that's the best blues can offer.
- The Victoria Times-Colonist.

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