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My wife and I went with Doctor Steve to see the Robert Johnson Centennial Tour that is organized by Big Head Tod Mohr. It features Tod's band, Lightning Malcom, with special guests Hubert Sumlin and Honeyboy Edwards.
It was a great night of blues music, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed with Honeyboy. His playing was disjointed and all over the place. He changed chords at seemingly random moments, making a 12 bar blues progression almost impossible to follow along with. His stage presentation was virtually non existent, and there was no effort on his part to play up to the audience. If you were going to see him for his music, I think you would be disappointed. That said, kudos to him for still touring at age 97. Maybe I should cut him some slack since he is pushing 100.
Hubert Sumlin was a different story. He was entertaining, affable, and was thoroughly enjoying his time on stage. He lost a lung to cancer a while back, and has to bring oxygen with him on stage, but doesn't let that get in the way of his performing. The highlight of the show was Hubert doing his version of Sitting On Top of the World.
Still, it was worth the price of admission. The tour ends in the midwest in a few weeks. If you get a chance, it is a good time
Hi - Good to hear the Honey Boy Edwards is still going strong. Remarkable.
I was lucky enough to see him way back in 1990 / 91 and he was excellent. Incredible that he is still doing it at 97.
Hey Dan, I'm glad to hear you all had a good time. Just a quick comment on Honey Boy's chord changes. This is one of the things that's sometimes really difficult about listening to the old-timers. Keep in mind that the 12-bar progression evolved over time. A lot of the old-timers will have a seemingly random number of bars at times. It is said that this is due to irregularities in field and work songs (and that "Western music" relies more heavily on symmetry and consistency than other world music). I guess the only way to know if it was this reason or if it was just that he's old is if you can find a recording of him doing it the same way.
I used to play with a 95 year old piano player and things weren't exactly standard either, but probably more together than Honeyboy. You had to listen real hard and follow what he was doing, not the other way around.
It's been awhile since I've seen Honeyboy, probably 10 or 15 years ago? I've seen Hubert be kind of disjointed too. I'm sure a lot of it depends on their health status. I'm glad to hear Hubert is doing better. Both he and Honeyboy are really nice guys.
And I second the idea that we'll all be lucky if we can still be playing in our 90's.