Review

“The Last of the Mississippi Jukes”

– Producer notes for Robert Mugge

A portion of the time put in every second weekend by the King Edward Blues Band, one of the Subway Lounge’s two alternating house bands, is spent working as a self-contained unit, with veteran bluesman King Edward himself serving as singer and lead guitarist.

The song itself offers a vivid picture of a “smoke-filled room,” of “whisky and chicken wings” The film’s eleventh number showcases just such a situation, with King Edward leading his band in a rough-and-ready, down-and-dirty, no-frills version of the Mel Waiters classic “Hole in the Wall.” The song itself offers a vivid picture of a “smoke-filled room,” of “whisky and chicken wings,” and of the singer’s “high class woman” friend who, at first, turns up her nose at the run-down venue in question, but who ultimately winds up dancing there until dawn. In fact, you can almost hear the grease and spilled beer sliding down un-painted walls, thanks to Johnny Sharp’s squealing alto sax solo.

In other words, the song’s performance is a near-perfect evocation of a weekend night at the Subway Lounge itself.


“Done With the Devil”

– Liner notes from Jason Ricci
“Real blues” comes from growing up in it, and being born into it that’s what I saw As an individual and as a band, Shawn, Todd, Ed and I have always had an affinity for “Real blues” music and it is that same affinity, respect and love that has kept us from attempting to remake it exactly or market ourselves in any way like the African-American inventors and originators of the music. Blues music is THEIR music, my experience playing and living with Junior Kimbrough, RL Burnside and his sons, Big Bad Smitty, Eddie Cotton, King Edward, The House Rockers and others in Mississippi taught me, if nothing else, “Real blues” comes from growing up in it, and being born into it that’s what I saw… It comes from churches, it’s in families, histories, food, and their blood and its in all of those, not one alone.


Queen of Hearts Marker

on the Blues Trail

– www.visitmississippi.org

The Queen of Hearts, a primary venue for down-home blues in Jackson, … the Queen of Hearts, where owner Chellie B. Lewis booked musicians and … Queen of Hearts and was followed by bands led by King Edward (Antoine), Cadillac George…


Mississippi blues legends

recognized at Grammy Gala

– Carl Gibson, MPB (Mississippi Public Broadcasting) News

Mississippi has 26 natives in the Grammy Hall of Fame, a spot reserved for the world’s most celebrated musicians. And Mississippi has more Grammy award winners per capita than any other state in the nation. As MPB’s Carl Gibson reports, some contemporary greats from the Magnolia State are being recognized for their talent in a region known for its rich arts culture.

Zac Harmon grew up in Jackson’s Farish Street district and first picked up a guitar when he was 9 years old. Since then, he’s toured around the world, and produced several tracks on a Grammy-award winning album for Reggae Artist Black Uhuru in 1994. Zac defines blues as a form of expression, rather than a particular genre of music.

Zac Harmon: “It goes past the ears, it goes straight to the soul. Just this past year, I played at the Great Pyramids in Egypt. And I had probably 4,000 Muslims just clamoring for the blues, man. I mean, you wouldn’t believe it.”

At the fourth annual Grammy Gala in Biloxi, Harmon shared the stage with other Mississippi musicians like Jackson-born Jazz Singer Cassandra Wilson, recognized by Time Magazine as America’s best singer, and Mac McAnally, a Belmont native who has won two Grammys for Country music.

Harmon calls Mississippi the most fertile place for music in the world.

Harmon: “Everywhere I go around the world, people always ask, you know, ‘How did you get into the blues?’ And I’d always tell ’em, you know, ‘You don’t choose the blues – the blues kind of chooses you.’ And if you grow up in Jackson, it’s like air. And if you breathe, you’re gonna have the blues.”

Mississippi is best-known for producing some of America’s most celebrated performers like Robert Johnson, Sam Cooke, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. However, prominent musical talent from the state includes those with extensive technical, behind-the-scenes prowess.

Hartley Peavey of Meridian founded the Peavey electronics company, which now does business in 136 countries.

Hartley Peavey: “When I graudated from Mississippi State in 1965, I actually thought I knew something. But what I realized is a diploma is not much more than a learner’s permit. So my real education started when I started this crazy business, because I had no idea what I was getting into.”

Peavey is a long-time fan of the blues, back when it used to be called “race music.” He says even though he wasn’t cut out for the stage, he still wanted to make his living in the music business. According to Peavey, Mississippi blues greats inspired him to achieve his dream.

Peavey: “I remember the first time I heard ‘What’d I Say’ with Ray Charles. And Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley. And in fact, what got me interested in music as a career is in 1957, when I went to a Bo Diddley concert in Laurel, Mississippi.”

Some of Mississippi’s greatest bluesmen had to begin their careers as young African-Americans in a racially-charged atmosphere during the civil rights era.

We had to stand up on the stage during intermission time. We couldn’t get off, man. These days was hard Jackson-born Edward Antoine, who goes by the name King Edward, remembers when he first started performing as a youngster.

“King” Edward Antoine: “I’d been playing for white folks all my life. Like, white clubs, you know? And my band was black, and they couldn’t get off the stage. And the only one they would trust to get off the stage was me. But we had to stand up on the stage during intermission time. We couldn’t get off, man. These days was hard.”

King Edward, mentioned on three Mississippi Blues Trail markers, taught himself the guitar around age 18, and has since performed with Mississippi’s most legendary blues artists across the nation for most of his 74 years. He’s continued to remain in the Jackson music scene, watching his friends careers burst into stardom.

I grew up with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and Buddy Guy, Junior Wells Antoine: “I grew up with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and Buddy Guy, Junior Wells. My first album was with ACE Records. Johnny Vincent’s. There were some beautiful musicians.”

At the Grammy Gala celebration, King Edward along with other established performers were honored by both Hartley Peavey and by Governor Haley Barbour for their contributions to Mississippi. Governor Barbour, a Yazoo City native, says the Magnolia State has a lot to be proud of.

Gov. Haley Barbour: “We talk about how Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music. From gospel, rock and roll, and everything else you could imagine, started here. If it’s music, it’s Mississippi.”

This year, the National Recording Academy gave the lifetime achievement award to David “Honeyboy” Edwards, who is the 14th Mississippian to win the award in 40 years.


King Edward “King Creole”

– Big City Rhythm and Blues

“The Legendary King Edward,” as he’s often known around Jackson and Central Mississippi, is part of the senior class of blues musicians with his soulful blues guitar licks, rich blues voice, great facial gestures as he plays and his iconic blues hats. Many wonderful musicians have passed lately and King is now becoming a member of the “Senior class.” King was born Edward Antoine in Rayne, Louisiana, and learned to play zydeco from his cousin Clifton Chenier. King is still fluent in Creole French and it infuses his speaking.


Blues Traveling

The Holy Sites of Delta Blues

– Author Steve Cheseborough (p.188)

“The energetic King Edward, who wears a bowler hat and sometimes plays guitar with it, has been playing at the Queen of Hearts since its early days, and still does. He puts on a fierce performance whether there are five or fifty people in the club.”


King Edward playing for the Aussies

– Manivanh Chanprasith, The Vicksburg Post (Saturday, August 29, 2009)

The blues has brought two Australian radio hosts halfway around the world to Vicksburg.Hamish Blake and Andy Lee of The Hamish & Andy Show in Melbourn are on their Caravan of Courage tour, which is taking them — by camper — across America. The comedy duo stopped in Vicksburg Thursday and, each day, have broadcast their experiences, live, back to their homeland.While it’s not the duo’s first time in the States, it’s their first time in the South.

“Everyone here is so lovely,” said Lee. “We’ve definitely gotten the Southern hospitality.” Blake added, “We come from the Australian equivalent of the South. It feels very much like home — just the American version.”

While in Vicksburg Thursday, the two learned a little bit about the blues from local musician Kind Edward, who has been strumming his guitar since 1958. He is the lead guitarist for the Central Mississippi Blues Society Band, which performs across the state. After a quick lesson, Blake and Lee tried singing their own version during a King Edward set at LD’s Kitchen.

The Vicksburg Blues Society and Heritage League hosted the Aussies and their production crew during their one-day stay. Producers of The Hamish & Andy Show contacted Waring about filming the blues segment of the show in Vicksburg.


The real deal King Edward:

a genuine Mississippi Bluesman

– Stephanie Seabrook, Portico Jackson (November 2011)

“There’s a familiar expression that says, ‘They don’t make ’em like that anymore.’ This expression rings true especially when it comes to the concept of a genuine, old school legendary blues musician. This generation can still hear this rare breed of musician. Unfortunately, future generations will probably never experience an original, old school juke who plays the blues because he knows what it means to experience the blues. When it comes to the legendary bluesman King Edward, we are without a doubt living amongst the presence of blues royalty. King Edward… he’s the real deal.”