Leon and Eric Bibb
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Leon and Eric Bibb


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The best kept secret in music


"A Fitting Musical Tribute to an American Hero by Mark T. Gould"

There can be no doubt that, as he usually does, Bruce Springsteen has caught both an uplifting and a legacy spiritual connection to the many American folk song standards popularized by the American poet, singer and icon Pete Seeger in his recent release “We Shall Overcome.” However, it would be a shame if the “Boss’” popularity dwarfed another, perhaps even more inspiring, recorded tribute to another American musical and historical pioneer.

The musical, human rights and spiritual legacy of the late, great (and even that word doesn’t do his work and message justice) Paul Robeson is beautifully, my God, virtually perfectly, captured in the astonishing, jaw-dropping, and emotional tribute, “Praising Peace: A Tribute to Paul Robeson,” recently released on Canada’s great Stony Plain Records. Recorded and performed by one of Robeson’s closest friends, Leon Bibb, and Bibb’s son, and Robeson’s god son, Eric Bibb, a popular roots/blues artist in his own right, it is, in so many ways, the epitome of a tribute to this remarkable man.

Robeson, in many ways, was the precursor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in American politics and society. An actor, singer, writer, athlete and peace activist in the 1950s, and, alongside Dr. King in the 1960s, Robeson’s politics and protests got him blacklisted in the dark days of the McCarthy era Communist witch hunts in the 1950s. Despite that, he continued to perform, and get his message across, literally, with concerts on the Canadian side of the US border, and by telephone, most notably to Scottish miners.

In the liner notes of this incredible tribute, Leon Bibb writes that he met Robeson after a performance of the play “Othello” by the latter in New York City in the early 1950s. Not merely a friendship, but an inspiration, to use Leon Bibb’s words, was struck that day, so much so that Leon Bibb made Robeson godfather to his son, Eric, who followed in their footsteps and became a great musical artist, himself.

The performances on this album, classics and standards alike, much like Springsteen’s song selection, will blow you away. Leon Bibb, now 83, sounds as fresh and exhilarating as, well, Robeson. There is no way you will be able to listen to the reading of “Ol’Man River,” Robeson most famous and arguably signature song, the proud majesty of the folk standard “Joe Hill,” or the magnificent “Shenandoah/The Water is Wide,” which, by the way, is also performed on Springsteen’s release, without tears in your eyes and a proud feeling of goodness in your heart for the gifts of all three of these men, the two Bibbs and their shining light, Robeson.

Paul Robeson used his singing voice as a way to calm the waters of prejudice, hate and ridicule. By way of this glorious tribute, Leon and Eric Bibb carry on that responsibility and journey. - Sound Waves Magazine


-Praising Peace: A Tribute To Paul Robeson (2006), Stony Plain Records
-A Family Affair (2002), Jericho Beach Music


Feeling a bit camera shy


Eric Bibb is one of the most acclaimed blues/roots music artists on the international scene. Working with his father, the legendary Leon Bibb, they have created an historically important tribute to Eric's late Godfather Paul Robeson.

Paul Robeson was a black American renaissance man of the 50's and 60's who was an internationally known actor, singer, writer, athlete and peace activist. He was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He continued to perform concerts however, playing to American audiences from the Canadian side of the border and by phone to Scottish miners.

Leon Bibb was also a star in New York during the 50's and 60's and was a close friend of Paul Robeson's. Leon now lives in Vancouver and continues to perform and educate.

This heartfelt tribute CD revisits the music of Paul Robeson and his message of 'singing and praising peace through the lands.'