David "Honeyboy" Edwards - Macallè Blues

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a Jeff Dale film - CD e DVD
Pro Sho Bidness - 2016

David "Honeyboy" Edwards is just like a centuries-old tree. Under the shade of its branches and close to its trunk so much life has gone by and so many fellow musicians have found refuge to make this man what he has really been: the precious witness of almost a whole century of blues history.
Discreet and silent street companion as well as eye witness of many historical bluesmen, from Charley Patton to Big Joe Williams, from the Memphis Jug Band up to Robert Petway and to the other Robert, the mythological Robert Johnson too, in this video (that is also an audio cd), David "Honeyboy" Edwards tells us something that he really knows about and that he knew directly from the living source itself. He tells us that all through his guitar and his archaic but still fluid and eloquent style, backed, with respectful discretion, by Jeff Dale on guitar and Michael Frank on harmonica on the first three songs and, then, by Jeff Dale & the South Woodlawners, in other words and besides the already mentioned Dale, David Lieberstein on bass, Geoff Mohan on harmonica and Clark Pardee on drums in the remaining tunes. This video, not so sublime regarding its cinematographic properties, owns undoubtedly a historical importance. Recorded at the G-Spot in Los Angeles on September 4th, 2010, in the same year David "Honeyboy" Edwards was honored of the Grammy Award for his career and one exact year before his passing, it returns us a lively 95-year-old man, still going strong and with his artistic and communicative skills nearly untouched.
The musical program is almost entirely made of classical tunes, drawn by the repertoires of Jimmy Rogers, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters and Robert Petway plus a couple of self-penned songs, Apron Strings first. The program is also available, in the same packaging, as audio cd with the addition, as a bonus track, of an alternated version of That's Alright. But what makes these recordings really unique is contained in the dvd, by the end of which, Edwards ventures in a long, fascinating monologue during which he narrates of his career and of all of his meetings and his remarkable friendships made in the blues world along the way.
Far from giving privileges and priorities to the movie art, the camera entirely concentrates here on the protagonist in such an almost static, obsessive way, returning us the whole taste and the ancient gestures of an art whose technique, often primordial, is expression and living testimony of a tradition - we could even say - oral. G.R.        

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