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Eric Bibb Ridin’ High With New Star-Studded Concept Album

The Grammy-nominated bluesman's forthcoming full-length features contributions from Taj Mahal, Jontavious Willis, Russell Malone, Steve Jordan, Habib Koité & more.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Ridin’, the new album from Grammy nominee and blues/roots music legend Eric Bibb, arrives on March 24, Stony Plain Records has announced. The label also released the album’s first single Family. Bibb has already scheduled lengthy tours of Europe and Australia in the first quarter of 2023 to support the new album’s release.

The followup to his award-winning, critically acclaimed 2021 album Dear America, Ridin’ is a continuation of the vision that informs Bibb’s artistry as a modern-day blues troubadour. Grounded in the folk and blues tradition with contemporary sensibilities, Bibb’s music continues to reflect his thoughts on current world events and his own lived experiences, whilst remaining entertaining, uplifting, inspirational and relevant.

“As a songwriter, studying African American history has always been a deep well of inspiration,” Bibb says. “The true stories of my ancestors and their communities are at the heart of many of the songs on my new album Ridin’. Together with co-writer/producer Glen Scott, we’ve created a concept album focusing on the ongoing task of understanding systemic racism and purging it from our world.

“For all its seriousness, Ridin’ is a funky, groovy, hopeful collection of songs that feature stellar guest appearances by Taj Mahal, Jontavious Willis, Steve Jordan, Tommy Sims, Harrison Kennedy, Russell Malone and Habib Koité. At a time when popular political movements are attempting to delete truth from the historical record, I feel called upon to sing songs that contribute to greater understanding and much-needed unity. The making of Ridin’ has been a labor of love. We hope you’ll enjoy the journey.”

The ethos for Ridin’ was hugely inspired by the oil painting by Eastman Johnson, A Ride for Liberty (1862), which depicts an African American family fleeing enslavement in the southern U.S.A. during the American Civil War. In Bibb’s words: “Johnson’s painting embodies all the hope, determination and courage that is at the core of the African American experience and needed now throughout the world.”

A two-time Grammy nominee with multiple Blues Foundation awards, Bibb is known and revered globally for having carved his own musical destiny with honesty and power. Eric’s father, the late Leon Bibb, was an activist, actor, and folksinger who marched at Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King. Eric’s youth was spent immersed in the Greenwich Village folk scene. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Pete Seeger were visitors to his home. He was deeply influenced by Odetta, Richie Havens and Mahal, and he has synthesized all of that into his very own style.

Ridin’ Track List

01 Family
02 Ridin’
03 Blues Funky Like Dat (ft. Taj Mahal & Jontavious Willis)
04 The Ballad of John Howard Griffin (ft. Russell Malone)
05 500 Miles
06 Tulsa Town
07 Onwards (Interlude)
08 Hold the Line (ft. Russell Malone)
09 I Got My Own (ft. Amar Sundy)
10 Call Me By My Name (ft. Harrison Kennedy)
11 Joybells
12 Sinner Man with Eric Bibb String Band (Live at Wheatland Festival)
13 Free (ft. Habib Koité)
14 People You Love
15 Church Bells (Interlude)

Watch the video for Family above, pre-order Ridin’ HERE, hear more from Eric Bibb below, and keep up with him at his website, Facebook and Instagram.


Photo by Jan Malmstrom.