January 2006

David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards
January 27– 28, 2006 Cozy’s Bar and Grill Sherman Oaks, CA
A Living Legend
by Gloria Ellis
Legend is not a word to throw around lightly, but when blues critics and blues enthusiasts depict David “Honeyboy” Edwards as a legend, the label has much meaning. However, for those of you who have doubts or have not quite made up your mind, what are you waiting for? The man has been in the blues business for over seventy years. Honeyboy has learned from some of the best blues players in the history of the blues as he tells in his autobiography, The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing.

Friday and Saturday (1–27 thru 1–28, 2006) night, a nice little hot spot called Cozy’s Bar & Grill in Sherman Oaks CA was packed — standing room only — to hear Honeyboy Edwards treat us to the real history of the blues.

Honeyboy makes his way to the stage with his thin, lean build, steppin’ spryly as ever, so you would never know he was approaching ninety-one years of age. The crowd lets out a hearty round of applause and a couple of booming ‘Honeyboy’s’. As he tunes his guitar in earnest, there is no denying the focus of his mission. His manager and harpist Michael Frank joins him on stage, and as Honeyboy starts to play, the sound is unmistakably Delta blues.

His song is a haunting sound — moaning at times — a low sound expressing pain or misery, describing brief biographical incidents or anecdotes of an imaginary nature. Honeyboy’s playing and vocals elicit warm applause, shouts for requests, and screams of encouragements.

During intermission, Honeyboy meets and greets fans poised for pictures, autographed CDs and copies of his autobiography. He begins a second set, still bucking with fire, laying down his Delta blues with Michael Frank playing harp and Rich Delgrasso, mandolin in hand, with some Delta flavor of his own.

One would think that after over seventy years in the blues business Honeyboy would get tired or bored with the day in and day out same thing. Not Honeyboy! He continues to be imaginative and artistically creative, so he never gets bored.

Born August 28, 1915 in Shaw, Mississippi Honeyboy is one of the few remaining true Delta blues-men alive today. He learned much from Big Joe Williams. He played with Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Walter Horton, Robert Johnson and many other great blues musician who never recorded or whose name never made it to print. Honeyboy took it all in, and was determined to create his own style, one that would set him apart from other blues musicians. When that distinctive sound falls upon your ears, you know that’s Honeyboy, and no other!

We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
Gloria Ellis
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The Live Music Report

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