Archive for David Honeyboy Edwards

Review: Keeping the Blue Flame Alive

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on April 29, 2008 by 30daysout


Today’s blues artists are the best living link to the giants of the past.  Some of the old guys are still around, still playing the old sound, but the new guys offer great hope for the future of this vital American music.

David “Honeyboy” Edwards is perhaps the oldest of the old-timers.  On his new album Roamin’ And Ramblin’, this 93-year-old Delta bluesman reaches back on songs like “Crawling Kingsnake” for the classic acoustic sound championed by people he once played with, like Little Walter and the great Robert Johnson.  This album combines new sessions with older live tracks, and has plenty of guests.

Elmore James Jr. has a pure lineage – he is the undisputed son of the legendary Elmore James, father of the electric slide guitar.  “Going Back Home,” which comes early on Daddy Gave Me The Blues, recalls his dad’s classic “Dust My Broom.”  The apple didn’t fall far from this blues tree; Junior’s got his own stinging style on the guitar.  Although things get a little slick at times, this solid Chicago-style blues album rarely loses its energy.

Slick is perhaps a better description for Lowdown Feelin’, the third studio release from The Mannish Boys, a group of veteran blues players including guitarist Kid Ramos.  “These Kind of Blues,” the opener, kicks off with a flamenco guitar and a Mexicali horn that makes you wonder if you wandered into the wrong album by mistake.  Other songs take you on a tour through various blues (and other) styles – it’s all very competently played.  What’s missing is the feelin’, lowdown or otherwise.

And our little blues tour winds up down in the Louisiana bayou, where Tab Benoit rides the Night Train To Nashville.  This live recording is propelled by Benoit’s fiery guitar and boosted by guest spots from Kim Wilson, Jim Lauderdale and a band that’s a New Orleans legend: Louisiana’s LeRoux.  This is the best one of the bunch; it rocks from beginning to end and even tosses in, for the old timers, a faithful cover of the LeRoux standard “New Orleans Ladies.”  This one’s a keeper.


MP3: Crawling Kingsnake by David “Honeyboy” Edwards

MP3: Going Back Home (electric) by Elmore James Jr.

MP3: Fine Lookin’ Woman by The Mannish Boys

MP3: New Orleans Ladies by Tab Benoit w/Louisiana’s LeRoux