Eric Bibb and JJ Milteau have teamed up for Lead Belly’s Gold, a live album that pays tribute to the blues pioneer.
The 16-track title is launched on October 2 via Dixiefrog and sees the duo delivering a set of Lead Belly classics along with a handful of their own compositions.
One of their aims is to demonstrate how many of the icon’s themes remain valid in the modern world.
Dixiefrog say: “It’s no accident this recording kicks off with Grey Goose, a poetic depiction of social ostracism that finds an echo today with the African and Middle-Eastern migrants who cross the Mediterranean by the thousands on makeshift rafts.
“The same could be said of the prison song Midnight Special, still valid today when African-American males make up 40% of inmates in the US, while they represent a mere 13% of the American population. Titanic and its clear reference to racism rings appallingly true in the wake of Charleston and Ferguson.
“The most topical song might well be Bourgeois Blues, an open denunciation of the colour caste system that prevailed when Lead Belly recorded it in 1938. It proves that the presence of a black president in the White House hasn’t turned the tables in a world of discrimination.”
But Bibb and Milteau aim to deliver a positive message of “peace, hope, tolerance and non-violence.” Dixiefrog add: “Their rare musical understanding makes Lead Belly’s Gold one of the most exciting recordings of their respective careers.”
- Grey Goose
- Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – When That Train Comes Along
- On A Monday
- The House Of The Rising Sun
- Midnight Special
- Bring A Little Water, Sylvie
- Where Did You Sleep Last Night
- When I Get To Dallas
- Pick A Bale Of Cotton
- Good Night, Irene
- Rock Island Line
- Bourgeois Blues
- Chauffeur Blues
- Swimmin’ In A River Of Song