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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Honey Boy Edwards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Honey Boy Edwards. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The Michael Packer Blues Band rolled into Chicago from New York City on Wednesday morning October 19th tired, ragged but ready to donate their time for a celebration of David Honeyboy Edwards life in a evening performance of blues. Buddy Guy's Legends club opened about 11 am and to my surprise and delight when I introduced myself and told the manager that we had just drove from New York. He said ":Welcome!" and with open arms proceeded to show us 2 green rooms upstairs where we could relax and take it easy so we would be ready for the nights event. They basically gave us the run of the joint. My hat goes off to the management and staff @ Buddy Guys. They made us feel at home and we were. Home of the blues in Chicago.

The night started with a VIP party and acoustic acts with everyone telling their Honeyboy Edwards stories. To me the highlite was listening to Liz Mandeville who has recorded several CDs for Earwig Music which is owned by Honeyboy's manager and side-kick for 40 years Michael Frank. I had the honor of presenting Michael Frank with a Blues Hall Of Fame Award as well as a Blues Hall Of Fame Legendary Blues Artist Award for Honeyboy which was given to his family.

My band shortly took the stage and brought our New York blues to Chicago and got the party started. By the looks of the faces of the crowd we brought some joy and that is what Honeyboy was all about so we did our job. It then proceeded into a jam with guest artists most notably Earwig Artist Tim Woods and Blue Skunk artist harmonica ace Deak Harp. Grammy nominees Ronnie and Wayne Brooks and their band took the stage with the marvelous Chicago harp player Billy Branch. The night concluded with the real deal Chicago Bluesman Johnny Drummer.

The event was a huge success raising money for The Honeyboy Edwards Fund @ The National Blues Museum. The Michael Packer Blues Band made our way into the night soon after Johnny Drummer sang "Sweet Home Chicago". We had a gig in New Jersey the next day. The Chicago blues and Honeboy Edwards were still in are heads but most of all in our hearts when we headed east on route 80 as we took the blues highway home.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

My Friend "Honeyboy Edwards" - Correspondent Mike Packer

I have to admit I am probably one of the luckiest musicians in the world to be able to say I knew and played guitar with Honeyboy Edwards. I have been playing 2nd guitar with him for the last year and a half and sometimes with my band which was nicknamed "The Honeyboy Band". Even at 96 he could still play. His slide work was still top shelf."Sweet Home Chicago", "Dust My Broom". I certainly admired his playing, I was learning from the master but it was his manner, his voice and his storytelling was what I found most compelling.

Honeyboy knew and played with Robert Johnson. He was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1942. Those recordings are simply fabulous. Honeyboy was an american legend in blues history but it took years to gain the respect from the music world. It did finally happen. In 2006 he won a grammy for his "The World Don't Owe Me Nothing" CD and in 2010 he won the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.

I went to Clarkdale Missisippi last April and played guitar with Honeyboy on the mainstage @ The Juke Joint Festival which was Honeyboy's last gig. I could actually see and feel that his touring days were coming to an end. I saw the plantations and the cottonfields and realized what he must have endured growing up. His grandfather was a slave and his father a sharecropper who bought him his first guitar at the age of 8. Honeyboy was the blues.

Honeyboy Edwards is the last of the true Delta bluesman. I am proud to say I knew and played guitar with him. I will keep his name alive by mentioning his name at every gig I play from now on until I meet up with him again down that blues highway.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gamblin' Man - David "Honeyboy" Edwards

David "Honeyboy" Edwards (June 28, 1915) is a Delta blues guitarist and singer from the American South.
Edwards was born in Shaw, Mississippi. Edwards was 14 years old when he left home to travel with bluesman Big Joe Williams, beginning the life as an itinerant musician which he lead throughout the 1930s and 1940s. He performed with and was a friend of iconoclastic blues musician Robert Johnson. Honeyboy was present on the night Johnson drank poisoned whiskey which killed him, and his story has become the definitive version of Johnson's demise. Edwards knew and played with many of the leading bluesmen in the Mississippi Delta: Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, and Johnny Shines.

He described the itinerant bluesman's life:
“ On Saturday, somebody like me or Robert Johnson would go into one of these little towns, play for nickels and dimes. And sometimes, you know, you could be playin' and have such a big crowd that it would block the whole street. Then the police would come around, and then I'd go to another town and where I could play at. But most of the time, they would let you play. Then sometimes the man who owned a country store would give us something like a couple of dollars to play on a Saturday afternoon. We could hitchhike, transfer from truck to truck, or if we couldn't catch one of them, we'd go to the train yard, 'cause the railroad was all through that part of the country then...we might hop a freight, go to St. Louis or Chicago. Or we might hear about where a job was paying off - a highway crew, a railroad job, a levee camp there along the river, or some place in the country where a lot of people were workin' on a farm. You could go there and play and everybody would hand you some money. I didn't have a special place then. Anywhere was home. Where I do good, I stay. When it gets bad and dull, I'm gone. ”

Folklorist Alan Lomax recorded Edwards in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1942 for the Library of Congress. Edwards recorded 15 album sides of music. The songs included "Wind Howlin' Blues" and "The Army Blues". He did not record again commercially until 1951, when he recorded "Who May Be Your Regular Be" for Arc Records under the name of Mr Honey. Edwards claims to have written several well-known blues songs including "Long Tall Woman Blues" and "Just Like Jesse James". His discography for the 1950s and 1960s amounts to nine songs from seven sessions. From 1974 to 1977, he recorded material for a full length LP, I've Been Around, released in 1978 on the independent Trix Records label by producer/ethnomusicologist Peter B. Lowry.

Edwards authored the book, The World Don't Owe Me Nothin', published in 1997 by Chicago Review Press. The book recounts his life from childhood, his journeys through the South and his arrival in Chicago in the early 1950s. A companion CD by the same title was released by Earwig Music shortly afterwards. His long association with Earwig Music and Michael Frank spawned many late career albums on a variety of independent labels from the 1980s on. He has also recorded at a church-turned-studio in Salina, Kansas and released albums on the APO record label. Edwards continues the rambling life he describes in his autobiography as he still tours the world well into his 90s.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Love In Vain" - The Real Willie Mae

John Hammond interview with Willie Mae who was Robert Johnsons girlfriend and Honey Boy Edwards who is of course robert Johnsons cousin.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago's Grant Park will be filled with every style and sound in the blues when the 28th annual Chicago Blues Festival is held from Friday, June 10 through Sunday, June 12, 2011. Sponsored by the Mayor's Office of Special Events along with various commercial supporters, the Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free admission blues festival in the world.

This year's event follows the lead of the 2010 festival, restricted to three days (instead of the traditional four) due to the economy; the festival will still feature more than 60 performances on 4 stages over the weekend as well as tributes to Delta blues great Robert Johnson and the 40th anniversary of Chicago's Alligator Records label. Read more about the Chicago Blues Festival 2011....

With the temperature rising and spring starting to take hold across the U.S., 'tis rapidly becoming the season to listen to some great blues music in an open field with several thousand of your new best friends! The blues festival season is kicking off, and from now through September there are literally dozens of events scheduled that promise to excite and entertain.

We've taken a look at some of the performers hitting the festival trail this year, and you can catch such talents as Elvin Bishop, Janiva Magness, Robert Cray, Michael Burks, and Big Bill Morganfield out on the road at a festival near you. The Reverend has compiled an extensive list of blues festivals 2011 with handy links to check out each event's website for line-ups and details.Chicago Blues Festival