Eric Bibb makes map trails for the nearly constant stream of refugees that have crossed the earth for centuries with his latest release, Migration Blues. Eric see no difference for the reasons that guide feet to leave homelands whether the causes are related to feeding or saving a family. Eric Bibb feels that ‘whether you’re looking at a former sharecropper, hitchhiking from Clarksdale to Chicago in 1923 or an orphan from Aleppo in a boat full of refugees in 2016, it’s Migration Blues’. The instrumental title track hosts the rhythms of marching feet as “La Vie C’est Comme un Oignon” encourages those same tired toes to take to the dance floor for a Cajun reel. The plight of exiles is examined in the songs on Migration Blues as Eric Bibb shows their will to live in “Prayin’ for Shore”, sees the past falling behind them with “Four Years of Rain” and watches the displaced find a new home in “Diego’s Blues” as they try to make their way “With a Dolla’ in My Pocket” and a prayer on their lips with “Delta Getaway”.
Eric Bibb backs his guitar and banjo work on Migration Blues with Michael Jerome Browne (guitars, vocals, mandolin, banjos, triangle) and JJ Milteau (harmonica). The original tracks on Migration Blues welcome the work of others who have chronicled the parade of people living on the outer fringes of society with Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”. While making the album Eric Bibb saw oppression become a common ground as he was ‘pondering the current refugee crisis I found myself thinking about The Great Migration, which saw millions of African Americans leaving the brutal segregation and economic misery of the rural South for the industrial cities of the North. Making this connection is what inspired the new songs here’. Migration Blues opens by boarding transportation to a better life as it hears the whistle blow a “Refugee Moan” and exits as Eric Bibb picks a banjo for the traditional tune “Mornin’ Train”.