On 'Lead Belly's Gold,' Eric Bibb teamed up with French blues-harpist JJ Milteau in tribute to folk giant Lead Belly [1888-1949]. Now, 'The Happiest Man in the World' (Stony Plain), has Bibb wandering off into the English countryside with North Country Far and bassist Danny Thompson for one of the best CDs of 2016 so far.
It is said that by the time Janis Joplin reached fame and fortune, most of her voice had been blown out. The soundtrack to Amy J. Berg's highly anticipated 'Janis: Little Girl Blue' (Columbia/Legacy Recordings) starts out with the pre-fame little girl in question belting out Lead Belly's "Careless Love." She was, after all, a blues singer, first and foremost.
It's 'Father's Day' in December as 2014 "Blues Guitarist of the Year," Ronnie Earl, leads his longtime Broadcasters on their ninth Stony Plain Records release.
Eric Bibb comes from a long line of roots heroes like Taj Mahal and Keb Mo who are bound to keep American blues and folk alive for future generations. JJ Milteau is a French harmonica player. Together, with full band, they perform 11 live and five studio interpretations of the legendary Lead Belly [1888-1949], a giant of a man, born Huddie Ledbetter in Louisiana. The release is titled 'Lead Belly's Gold' and is released on Stony Plain.
Among the echelon to perform at "Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster" are icons Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The concert is set to take place April 25 at the Kennedy Center. Others who have signed up to pay tribute to the Americana heavyweight are Buddy Miller with Viktor Krauss, Lucinda Williams, Dan Zanes, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Billy Hector, Valerie June, Shannon McNally and Josh White Jr.
Huddie Ledbetter, more commonly known as "Lead Belly," is having a Smithsonian Folkways moment for his latest tribute: Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection. An anthology and coffee-table book that broadly chronicles Belly's career, it's essential to folk fans of any stripe.