Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Like Father like son? After years as a successful blues musician, Benoit's Eddie Shaw appears to be going the other direction, following in his film star son's footsteps onto the big screen.
Like so many bluesmen before him, saxophonist Eddie Shaw went from Mississippi to Chicago to play the blues. Eddie is of course well known for his solo work and also for his earlier career work playing tenor sax behind Hound Dog Taylor, Freddie King, Otis Rush, Earl Hooker, Magic Sam and most notably Howlin' Wolf. He took over Howlin' Wolf's band, the Wolf Gang, and became the Wolf's personal manager. Eddie also arranged the tunes on The Howlin' Wolf London Sessions (with Eric Clapton) and Muddy Waters' Unk and Funk album.
Not a bad resume.
Eddie's son Stan Shaw went in another direction, from Chicago to Hollywood. You've seen Stan in "Fried Green Tomatoes" "The Boys in Company C" (Where Stan's character does sing a little blues) and "Harlem Nights".
Now more than 30 years after Stan broke into acting, Eddie is turning up on the big screen. First, there was last year's natural performance as elder bluesman Time Trenier in the terrific but sadly overlooked John Sayles independent film "Honeydripper." (do yourself a favor, rent it)
Here's a clip from the film courtesy YouTube complete with Spanish subtitles and commentary about Eddie from writer/director John Sayles:
This won't be the last we see of Eddie Shaw at the movies. Stan is working to get his dad back up on the big screen, and this time in an even more comfortable role: himself. Stan is in the final production stages of a soon-to-be released blues documentary called "Roots of my Father, Blues Royalty."
According to an earlier story in the Illinois Entertainer, Stan Shaw has interviewed friends in and around Benoit, Mississippi. The film will of course include concert footage and interviews with Eddie about his lengthy music career.
He's a bluesman, not a movie star. But who says he can't be both?
Look for the film to be released early next year.