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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Honeyboy Performs at Blues Jam, by Carey Miller

Robert Johnson Blues Jam

Carey Miller, The Clarion Ledger
May 8, 2008

"The gist: The Robert Johnson Blues Foundation celebrates the legacy of the pioneering Hazlehurst blues legend with a hall of fame awards banquet Friday followed by a blues jam Saturday.

"Hall of Famers: Friday's banquet will honor this year's two inductees into the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.

"There's Shaw native David "Honeyboy" Edwards, who at the age of 92 is still a force in the blues world.

"'He was the last man to play with my granddad," says Steven Johnson, who is the grandson of Robert Johnson and vice president of the Blues Foundation.

"Being honored posthumously is Ike Zinnerman, a veteran Alabama guitarist who it is said taught Robert Johnson to play.

"Performing at the banquet will be this year's Robert Johnson Gibson Guitar New Generation winners, 17-year-old Tyler Bryant of Texas and 15-year old Gabriel Lambirth of California.

"Jammin' in the park: Saturday's blues jam will also feature performances by Bryant and Lambirth, as well as some elder statesmen of the blues.

"'We're trying to bridge the gap between the younger blues generation and the older generation," Steven Johnson says. "We want to keep the blues alive."

"Hall of fame honoree Edwards will headline the festival, along with The Muddy Waters Reunion Band, which features an all-star lineup of Hubert Sumlin, Bob Margolin, Tom "Mookie" Brill, Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.

"Also performing will be R&B artist T.K. Soul, The Howlin' Wolf Reunion Band featuring Henry Gray, Jesse Robinson and the 500 lb. Blues Band, The Blues Gang and up-and-coming female guitar slinger Malina Moye."