Now, though, he is retired and open for business. As will be apparent when he plays the 100 Club, Oxford Street, W1 (0171-636 0933) tomorrow, Louisiana native Kirkpatrick (above) is a distinctive talent, at once steeped in the grand old Texas guitar tradition and open to other influences. His real secret weapon, though, is his voice. As he says in the liner notes: "BB King was my main man, then and now." And it shows.
In what seems only a matter of months, Eric Bibb has come up with three records that have cut a swathe through the current rush of blues-related releases. The first two - on the obscure Optis 3 label - would have been notable if only for the fact that they had been produced in Sweden with the aid of European musicians. But their heart-warmingly original compositions and fresh renditions of country blues and gospel standards had critics rushing to make comparisons with the best of Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal. Me To You (just out on the Warners affiliate Code Blue) has Mahal - with whom Bibb toured earlier this year - and Pops and Mavis Staples along for the ride; it should continue Bibb's feat of winning over those who would never normally even look at a blues record while still thrilling purists. Enjoy him while he is still playing small venues when he appears at Watermans Arts Centre (0181-568 1176) on 28 Nov.
And finally. Jazz fusionists who saw Wayne Shorter with Herbie Hancock last Monday can check out another Weather Report stalwart; Joe Zawinul brings his Syndicate to the Blackheath Concert Halls (0181-463 0100) tomorrow night.Reuse content