PREVIEW AN UP-COMING SHOW
This his a short preview for a show at the Cedar Cultural Center on the west Bank of Minneapolis.
A SHOW TO TAKE NOTICE OF.
Two of the last surviving roots bluesmen of the twentieth century.
Friday October 21st. 2005 The Cedar Cultural Center is hosting what should be a very special night of blues from the delta. A virtual history lesson of the idiom of the blues conducted by two of the surviving originators of the music that spawned Muddy Waters, BB King, Eric Clapton, John Hammond, Big Jack Johnson and all the others that have come since. As Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Otis Rush and others were considered the second generation of Chicago blues artists, these 2 men Robert Lockwood Jr. and David “Honeyboy” Edwards are two of the last of the second generation of delta blues kings, raised up and weaned on the music of Tommy Johnson, Charlie Patton, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson and many others, these 2 men are perhaps the last direct links to the legendary Robert Johnson.
Edwards hobo’d the countryside’s with the legendary musician and Lockwood by age 11 was receiving guitar lessons from his part time “stepdad” (Johnson) who was romantically involved with his mother, it was the older Robert that taught the younger, timing and rhythm on the guitar as well as the subtle technique which he has adapted and cultivated into one of the most remarkable styles in the past 60+ years of recorded music.
As a session player, Robert Lockwood as much as any other guitar player helped to shape the sound of modern blues; recording behind Rice (Sonny Boy Williamson II) Miller, Little Walter, Sunnyland Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, Eddie Boyd and countless others his signature sound, subtle and filled with jazzy grace not only complemented the recordings it helped to inspire these and other artists he worked with to push the accepted boundaries of the times. Playing a 12 string electric Gibson, Robert Lockwood is a rarity with a great jazz sensibility steeped in a deep traditional blues foundation he is as likely to amaze with an astounding flurry of notes reminiscent of Wes Montgomery as he is to give the audience chills as he recalls the bone shaking intensity of Robert Johnson’s Devil Got My Woman or Crossroads Blues. Weather solo or with his band of seasoned musical vets, Robert Lockwood Jr. is the real thing.
As for David “Honeyboy” Edwards he is also a genuine living legend with a history in Chicago that goes back to the late 40’s and another 20 odd years before that riding the rails throughout the southern delta with among others Robert Johnson, Johnny Shines, Rice Miller (S.B.W.II) he was a student of the blues of Charlie Patton, Big Joe Williams and in particular Tommy Johnson as he writes in his autobiography, ‘The World Don't Owe Me Nothing‘, "...it was in '29 when Tommy Johnson come down from Crystal Springs, Mississippi. He was just a little guy, tan colored, easy-going; but he drank a whole lot. At nighttime, we'd go there and listen to Tommy Johnson play." Honeyboy continues, " Listening to Tommy, that's when I really learned something about how to play guitar." It was in 1942 that library of congress archivist Alan Lomax found Honeyboy in Clarksdale MS and recorded 15 sides all of which went un-released until the early 1990‘s, Edwards didn’t record again for nearly a decade it was ‘51 when he recorded for the Artist label then in 53 he recorded a number of sides for Chess which all remained un-issued until an anthology contained his inspired rendering of ‘Drop Down Mama’. through it all he has remained an almost exclusively acoustic artist in the deepest tradition of the original delta blues weather solo or accompanied by as little as a harmonica player or a full band, Honeyboy Edwards is a real Delta Blues Man. He captivates and enthralls with his haunting guitar tone and his gentle demeanor is deceptively comforting as he recalls the darkest and most impassioned of the delta blues.
Now with both of them at age 90 (Lockwood was born March 27, 1915 and Edwards was born June 28, 1915) this could be the last trip to the Twin Cities for either of them. I have had the chance to see both men in resent years and neither are showing there age but you never know and as for the performance I can say with confidence that separately these two great artists are remarkable and one can just hope that they share the stage for at least a little while at this truly legendary show.
For info. You can contact the Cedar at: 612) 338-2674 or
go on-line to www.thecedar.org