in the blues pond
Eric Bibb is an American music blue-blood. His father (Leon Bibb) led the New York Folk Revival of the '60s; his uncle (John Lewis) was the founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet. As a child, he learned from master bluesmen like Taj Mahal and folk statesmen like Bob Dylan. As an adult, he became an acclaimed master in his own right. His music is a beautifully realized and utterly unique blend of gospel-infused folk and blues.
Eric Bibb's vocals have been compared to melted butter when it hits a hot skillet, which sounds pretty cool but probably doesn't help explain his appeal. He can play the guitar, banjo, mandolin, accordion, pump organ, and zither. Wow! What's a zither? But what really sets him apart is sincerity. Bibb's music is honest, soulful, and passionate. For those looking for an alternative to the anemic offerings of the VH1 hit parade, Bibb delivers. The master bluesman performs in the intimate, slightly kooky environs of the Bamboo Room (25 S. "J" St., Lake Worth) Tuesday. The show starts at 9:30 p.m.; tickets cost $22. Call 561-585-2583. -- Jeff Megahan
Hey, Hey, Hey
Make us laugh, Dr. Huxtable
Bill Cosby is funny, even if he's been in the recent news less for laughs than for curmudgeonly excoriation of the African-American community. (Oh, there was also that film version of Fat Albert. But that should never, ever be mentioned again.) Last May, at an NAACP event in Washington, D.C., commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education decision, old man Cosby slammed African-American youth for not following up on groundwork laid by mid-20th Century civil rights leaders.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal," he was reported to say. "These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids -- $500 sneakers -- for what? And won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics." Strangely, said with different inflection, this sounds like it's leading to a punch line. Cosby's comedy show starts at a kid- and curmudgeon-friendly 4 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets start at $19.50. Visit www.browardcenter.org, or call 954-462-0222. -- Dave Amber
Definitely Not Bland
C'mon -- you buy tickets at the liquor store!
Bobby "Blue" Bland grew up listening to Aretha Franklin's dad preach in his church and sang "I Pity the Fool" about 30 years before Mister T cribbed the phrase. In 1992, after releasing some 65 hits, he was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame; in 1998, he scooped up a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Blues Foundation. When Bland tours, it's usually along the "chitlin circuit" -- which brings him to Belle Glade's Club 21/Banyan Tree Lounge (1533 NW Ave. "L") on Saturday. Buy tickets in advance at the liquor store, Golden Glades Liquors, next-door for $25 or at the door for $30. Bland turns 75 on January 27, but you wouldn't know it by his bedtime -- his show doesn't even start till 11 p.m. Miss it and suffer in a hell full of Hilary Duff clones for eternity. The punishment should fit the crime. Call 561-992-5334. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Back in Bloom
When the Gin Blossoms disbanded in 1997, the bands that grew out of its ashes were Billboard nonstarters. So the Blossoms eventually did the sensible thing and re-formed under the old moniker. And because there's no admission charge to Wednesday's show at the Seminole Paradise (5700 Seminole Way at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood), you'll have money to blow on whatever products the band is toting. Show starts at 8 p.m. Call 954-583-3250. -- Jason Budjinski