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It's time for me to get back into the blues again. Been listening to a lot of old blues classics recently, people like Robert Johnson, Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson and one of the few remaining links to that era... Mr. "Honeyboy" Edwards. As it usually does, my renewed interest in the blues has lead me to search the internet and and see what new things I can find. This time I not only found a few great videos of David "Honeyboy" Edwards playing some incredible solo blues, but an interesting organization called the Blue Shoe Project.
Both of these videos come to us courtesy of the Blue Shoe Project and feature some incredible blues playing.
This first one is a little electric solo piece that's about as authentic as it gets and because it was performed at a high school (organized by Blue Shoe) also features a little bit of a unique interview with questions from the audience. Seeing these blues legends, especially some of the earliest, is like being in the presence of complete genius to me... I could listen to these guys play and talk about their experiences for hours and just soak of the wisdom and the soul... it must have been an incredible show.
This second video also features Honeyboy with some cool interview moments as well as some clips of him playing acoustic at another Blue Shoe performance, but also has a bit about the project and what they're trying to accomplish.
I think that the Blue Shoe Project is just about one of the coolest charities I've seen in a while. Not only are they working to keep the blues alive, they're taking these legendary artists and putting them out there for the younger generations to see and experience while they still can.. These artists, songs and styles are the roots of so many musical styles... all the off shoots of rock and roll, and need to be preserved. The only way to do that is to reach the youth of the world, and that is exactly what they are trying to do.
At the same time, they might just change the lives of a few kids out there as well. For me, discovering the blues and especially the work of the early blues legends was like being awakened... suddenly music was a completely different animal and even life itself was different. Maybe this project will reach a few kids in the same way as blues did for me, you never know. I just think the Blue Shoe Project is a great idea and I'm glad some people out there are doing what they can to keep this music and these great artists alive.
Anyway you look at it though, "Honeyboy" Edwards is blues master and an icon of Americana. Not only is it great to be able to share a bit about the Blue Shoe with everyone, but to be able to share a few clips from this legend at the same time... well it doesn't get better than that.
There's plenty of other videos of some great blues legends on YouTube courtesy of the Blue Shoe Project so don't hesitate to do a little digging and find some more (I've seen some amazing ones with Robert Jr. Lockwood as well). Also, make sure to check out more about the project itself at their website: http://www.blueshoeproject.org/