evening with John Mayall, Robben Ford &
Eric Bibb at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing
Arts Center – 10/29/05
The seventy-one year
old, Godfather of British Blues, John Mayall
is joined by guitar great Robben Ford and Grammy
Award-nominee Eric Bibb for this Rockin’
start, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts
Center at UMSL is outstanding. This three-year-old
auditorium has plush velour seats for 1,200
– 1,400 and makes for an exquisite venue
for music and a great evening.
thought Eric Bibb stole the show with his solo
acoustic six songs. Starting his short set was
a 1928 John Hurt song. “Tell Riley”
is a great song about B.B. King. Bibb played
this on his 12 string. Bibb’s style is
easy going, highly animated and very comfortable
playin’ and singin’ as if just jammin’
with/for his close friends. A “Ship Called
Love” is a slow gospel tune from his new
CD. “I Heard An Angel Singing” featured
Robben Ford on electric guitar with Bibb on
his acoustic. Street Teamer UJ Miller said when
Eric started playin’, he just sat back
Ford also played six songs – the first
and last songs were loud rock with loads of
guitar. “Cannonball Shuffle” was
an instrumental tribute to Freddie King featuring
back-and-forth between Fords Gibson Les Paul
and Bluesbreaker Buddy Whittington’s Fender
Strat. I preferred the slower Willie Dixon cover
over the others.
Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (Buddy Whittington
– guitar, Joe Yuele – drums and
Hank Van Sickle – bass) performed some
ten to twelve songs. Mayall’s harmonica
solo was outstanding. The highlight for me was
Buddy’s fifteen medley of lots of songs.
There were songs from the very first album with
a couple from the new CD.
I liked “Road Dogs”, and could have
done without the one-sided political commentary
from an Englishman ripping on a U.S. President.
Robben also joined the Bluesbreakers for a song
adding his skilled guitar chops. Bibb played
acoustic and sang for the last song.
The evening ended with a “Room To Move”
encore. Joining the Street Team at the show
was musician Ron Hendricks, who mentioned he
could have listened to the Bluesbreakers all
night, and especially enjoyed Whittington guitar
for now, peace.