Bibb, Davis keep the blues fresh

Duo to perform Thursday at FLC

Blues Pilgrims Eric Bibb and Guy Davis will perform an evening of blues music and stories Thursday night at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Radio Paradise

Blues Pilgrims Eric Bibb and Guy Davis will perform an evening of blues music and stories Thursday night at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

It will be about two years exactly on Thursday since Eric Bibb performed at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

On that night in 2010, Bibb was on his “Booker’s Guitar” tour, paying homage to the traditional Delta blues of Booker White. This time around, the message will be similar, and he’ll have help delivering it. Bibb will be joined by fellow bluesman Guy Davis for Blues Pilgrims. The duo will aim to connect a traditional blues message with a modern audience.

That’s no easy task, but both musicians are committed to the cause. Last spring, Bibb released his latest album, “Troubadour Live,” a recording of a show at a small club in Sweden. It’s a perfect example of Bibb’s style – raw traditional blues melded with more modern-guitar riffs and beats. Hints of reggae and soul creep into Bibb’s songs more during his live sets than his studio tracks.

And for all of Bibb’s almost theatrical skill of musical storytelling, Davis might have him beat. Later this month, Davis will release “The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed with the Blues,” an “audio play” that combines Davis’ original music with songs by Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson and others (Davis also played Johnson in “Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil” in the 1990s). He’s been performing “Fishy Waters” material since 1994, portraying a man who traveled the South and met famous people, and relates the tales through words and music.

“Storytelling is the most ancient, most powerful magic of the universe,” Davis said of the project.

Expect to see a hearty preview of music from the new album, which also features tunes by Blind Willie McTell and the Reverend Gary Davis (no relation, though Davis is the son of actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis). There might be a few snippets from the play as well – consider it a dress rehearsal, as Davis will open a string of one-man shows of “Fishy Waters” at the end of February at the Crossroads Theatre Co. in New Brunswick, N.J.

ted@durangoherald.com

Blues Pilgrims Eric Bibb and Guy Davis will perform an evening of blues music and stories Thursday night at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Richard Dowdy

Blues Pilgrims Eric Bibb and Guy Davis will perform an evening of blues music and stories Thursday night at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.