Honeyboy Edwards has recorded in every format
Story by Kevin Halverson/Muse Electronics As stated in the liner notes in the upcoming release: "At 84, David "Honeyboy" Edwards is once again on the cutting edge of recording technology. He has recorded 78s, 45s, 33s and CDs. By participating in this, the first blues recording in DVD format, Edwards has recorded in every format of the 20th Century." This project began as many do, as an inspiration. The goal was to capture and preserve one of the true Blues legends in such a way as to convey both the man and his music. Despite his long career, no visual record of a Honeyboy recording session has been made. Unlike the "MTV" type of music videos that we are all familiar with, Shake 'Em On Down was to be an audiophile project at every step. Contiguous takes of both audio and video enhance the experience by allowing the listener to peer into the actual recording event. Rather than simple speculation as to the relationship between players, one can see the interplay and techniques each member brings to the performance. In order to be true to the audiophile nature of the project, a carefully balanced use of the available data rate was required. Most DVD projects use low data rate Dolby Digital® audio in order to squeeze more playing time into a single layer. On Shake 'Em On Down, high performance PCM audio at 96 kHz sampling rate and 24-bit depth was used to preserve every nuance of the recording. This required a whopping 4.6 million bits per second of the DVD's available data rate. (In contrast, a typical Hollywood blockbuster DVD movie devotes only 300,000 to 600,000 bits per second to 5.1 channels of audio.) This leaves much less available data rate for the video content than would normally be available, so the best processes were applied to preserve the high-resolution, wide-screen look of the performance. With careful execution and expert craftsmanship, Shake 'Em On Down is both an audiophile recording of the highest resolution and an opportunity to see the actual recording as it happened. In closing, also from the liner notes: "Can there be another Delta blues musician who has seen more than Honeyboy Edwards? From playing Southern jukes to standing on Beale and Maxwell Streets to recording for Alan Lomax in 1943, then Sun, Artist and Chess records in the 1950s, it is only fitting that 84-year-old Edwards should be the first blues artist to record using the technology of the future."