American blues going to the heart of Scotland

Eric Bibb and Michael Jerome Brown play Darvel: 3 May 2014

There’s a little town in Scotland that’s home to one of my oldest friends. He’s an Englishman, like me, or, should I say, he was an Englishman, once. After marrying a Scot, he moved to Darvel, East Ayrshire, in the heart of the land of the thistle. He’s now been there so long, he has a Scots accent and even supports Scotland over England in sport. I won’t name him in case nobody up there actually knows he’s a Sassenach, but let’s call him, Keith.

People travel from all over the UK and overseas to Darvel each year,
Keith tells me, to enjoy their annual music festival. It won’t surprise to
learn this is called the Darvel Music Festival, an event that’s
increasingly gained in stature since its inception in 2001.

Acoustic bluesman, Eric Bibb.

The first in this year’s Concert Series is on Saturday 3 May, 2014, at Darvel Town Hall, with appearances by Grammy-nominated American bluesman Eric Bibb supported by roots music virtuoso, Michael Jerome Browne.

Eric Bibb is an acoustic blues singer-songwriter originally from New York City who, like Keith, married a foreign girl, in Eric’s case a Finn. He currently lives in Helsinki.
(Reminds me of Californian blues musician, Seasick Steve, who married a Norwegian and went to live in Norway; and of myself, who married an Australian and went to live Down Under for many years. That’s what happens to you, guys.)
Eric Bibb, whose Godfather was the late, great African-American singer and actor, Paul Robeson, has recorded with a host of artists over a long and distinguished career including Taj Mahal, Odetta (a family friend), Charlie Musselwhite and Pops and Mavis Staples.

As the sign says, this is Michael Jerome Brown.

He has also been nominated for many W.C. Handy Awards and for
Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year an incredible six times. Eric Bibb, whose
latest album is ‘Jericho Road, will appear at Darvel with his band.

Also on the bill on 3 May is Montreal-based Michael Jerome Browne was actually born in Indiana, USA, and plays many different blues styles on guitar, harmonica, banjo, fiddle and mandolin.
If you’re going to be in Scotland this Northern Spring and fancy some great acoustic blues from two top acts, don’t miss the Darvel Music Festival. Tickets, which include early bird discounts until 1 April 2014, can be bought on-line at www.darvelmusicfestival.org
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