another great thing that happened this summer, was on august 25th, 2004 i got to see David Honeyboy Edwards at club Passim!!! it was unreal......i'm sure if you've read this far you probably already know who mr. edwards is, but if you don't, he is one of the last of the great delta bluesmen that's still alive.......he was born in 1915, and at 89 years old is still touring...and still kicking ass. he wrote a book called 'the world don't owe me nothing' and there is also a film about him, which is available here at http://www.honeyboyfilm.com/, which is definitely worth checking out ......honeyboy grew up in the mississippi delta and got to play with charley patton, son house, muddy waters and most of the other delta blues giants we know of......he travelled with robert johnson and was with him the day he died.........he moved to chicago and played on maxwell street......he has been all over the world, with just his voice and acoustic guitar.......and he's seen some stuff......it really is amazing. and he is still out there, playing and singing. so, needless to say, i was pretty excited about getting to see him live, especially in a tiny room like passim, where i was about 8 feet away from him, and you could hear a pin drop.....sadly, there weren't a lot of people there, but in a way, that doesn't suprise me.....i think bob margolin was there, but i digress.
i got there early, but not TOO early, and my friend theresa condito who was working said that she hoped i brought a dobro, because honeyboy hadn't arrived yet, and they were nervous about him maybe not showing up........they hadn't heard a word from him, until about 9 minutes before he was scheduled to start playing. he walked in calmly, went straight to the stage, took out his guitar and started tuning it. as soon as he sat down, i started crying. i'm that way.
i couldn't believe that this man who was there for all of this amazing blues history, and so involved in all of this music that i love so much and means so much to me was right there in front of me, a few feet away, and i didn't even pay twenty bucks for it.......it was almost too good to be true.
he sat there calmly while they introduced him, like he was waiting for the bus. he seemed to be completely unselfconscious. it was like he wasn't even there, but in a good way. sort of like the way a tree is there, and it doesn't need to yell at you "hey, LOOK AT ME, i'm a TREE"....which is an incredibly rare thing among performers these days if you know what i'm saying, and if you don't, you can just turn on your tv right now and wait three seconds for that apple computer commercial to come on so that fucking bono and 'the edge' can scream at you that their new 'ablum' is ready for your consumption.....oops. got off track again. anyways, to continue on, honeyboy played for about 45 minutes, took a little break, played some more, and then told some stories and stuff. it was one of the best shows i've ever seen in my life. in the first set, he did some incredible stuff, and i couldn't believe how aggressively and passionately he played his guitar....i mean, it was all out, like every note counted, and that he meant all of it.....like it should be. like he might never get to play again. he was totally in the moment, and a thousand percent there....it really was awesome, and i was really grateful to be there.....it was like going to college for blues.....and the way you should be when you get on a stage....i learned a lot, i can tell you that.
when the first set was over, he said in to his mic 'i'm just gonna sit up here and wait, so if you wanna talk, come on up.' it was the greatest!!! he didn't need to go 'backstage' or have his 'posse' tell him how great he was or massage his toes, or kiss his pinky ring. he just sat there and drank his water and talked to people. it was amazing.
in the second set, he did a few songs, and then asked if people had any questions or anything, so people would ask him stuff and he just told stories about it. it was unreal....!! i could have sat there for days......finally when he got tired, or just felt like enough time had gone by, he said 'show's over' and just started laughing. he sat up there and talked to people for a while longer, signed people's cd's and stuff and then off he went......
i can't even tell you how grateful i am that i got to see that.........it's a night i will never forget. it gives me a lot of hope and inspiration....i only hope i can be a fraction of the person he is as i continue to try and make the music i'm making, and i pray that i have the courage and the strength to keep on going like he does, no matter what is or isn't happening.....it really was inspiring.....and in the end, it just gives you yet ONE MORE reason to become a MEMBER at club passim, http://www.clubpassim.com/membership/ , because they are the ONLY place around that is putting on great music like this, and they really need your help to stay alive and open, so that we can continue to keep this beautiful music alive.......