Monday, November 10, 2008

Meet Honeyboy Edwards

I still owe you a post or two about our trip to that incomparable blues mecca, Walt Disney World, last month ;-P .... we had a great time, and yes, we did find some decent blues while there! But for now I'll catch you up on my latest blues show.

Last night I experienced a true slice of history, when I was privileged to see David "Honeyboy" Edwards performing at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, NH. Honeyboy is the Real Deal... an original Delta bluesman, born in 1915 (ten years older than B.B. King!) and playing guitar in jukes before he was a teenager. He used to gig through the south with Robert Johnson himself back in the 30's, and was actually with Johnson the night he was (purportedly) poisoned and died.

This was a show in the tradition of the oldest delta style, albeit electrified... two men with guitars, plus an accompanist on blues harp. The second guitar was a guy named Rocky Lawrence, himself a dazzler with the acoustic guitar and someone I'll be watching for in his own right; Rocky opened with an acoustic set of his own before Honeyboy joined him on stage and his playing is fantastic, in a style very much patterned after Robert Johnson himself.

Honeyboy's first set was a little disjointed at first, as they had some amp problems that resulted in trying to mix Honeyboy's electric Gibson through, as near's I could figure, the same line as Rocky's mic'd acoustic. But the soul was there and when Honeyboy sang, he drew us right in. The second set, on the other hand, was magical. Honeyboy was locked in, playing in his own world leaving his accompanists doing there best to follow along! He also told a few great back-in-the-day stories, or riding the rails in the 40's, stowing away on freight and mail trains to get from place to place. Fantastic. The man was also gracious as could be... 93 years young and still waiting for every autograph to be satisfied, not seeming to mind chatting with all comers.

I fear there are fewer and fewer players like Honeyboy around every day... see them when you get the chance, for you won't get many.