by Thomas Ellis
by Dylan Gibbs
Music Through the Generations
First of all, I have to give a heads up about an Evansville band that
went out in the bigger world a while back, The Beat Daddys. Larry
Grisham, et al, will be at Doc’s Nightclub for a semi-regular gig on the
big stage on Stringtown Road. A CD release gig is set for the weekend of
June 30 and July 1 so get up to Doc’s for all the funky blues.
TBD were definitely heavy on the local scene 15 years ago. Another band
that seems to have always been around is Blues 4U, the familiar
jazz/blues/standards group with a cast of characters just about everyone
in town knows. A mainstay of the group is the sax-blowing
skidlid-wearing Roy Carter, Sr. He’s still to be found up front, adding
his signature sound to the grooves laid down every Sunday at the
Deerhead, or at select gigs such as the upcoming W. C. Handy Blues and
What everyone in town may not know is that Roy’s musical talent was
passed onto his progeny, Roy Jr. His band, the six-piece group known as
HoneyRoy, has a sort of jazz/funk/blues vibe with complex textures and
deep grooves. They’re a regular in the Louisville scene, and Roy Jr.
plays a stripped-down jazz gig every week at the Alameda on Bardstown
Evansville’s his hometown though, and he’s returned here several times
to play gigs at – where else? – the Deerhead as well as at Club Royale.
It was there that a cross generational, off-the-cuff thing happened that
was likely to make some people feel old. Roy Sr. & Jr. and Evansville’s
guitar blues luminary Tommy Stillwell and his son Tommy II got together
on stage and rocked.
“We had two generations sitting there,” says Roy Sr. “It was kinda
nice.” Roy’s a pretty soft-spoken, understated sort of fellow…
“Usually your kid moves away and they have their life,” he continues,
“but music brings us together. It’s something we can always do together;
it’s really great.”
Roy the younger has a degree in music, so he knows what he’s doing, but
what’s maybe more interesting is his earliest schooling – in New
Orleans’ French Quarter. “I played harmonica for tips; people would stop
and give me lessons,” he laughs.
After bouncing around at various locales, he returned to Evansville and
the band Space Cake, which some of us fondly remember as a seriously
funky/psychedelic good time. They had some success playing up in
Bloomington before the group split.
Which in a nutshell brings Roy back to the present. Married, with a kid
of his own, he’s looking forward to playing outdoor festivals this
summer and “cultivate a regional following and milk it,” as he puts it.
Check out more HoneyRoy at honeyroy.com and his Myspace page,
You can get out and see what HoneyRoy’s all about in person on June 30
at the Deerhead. Roy Sr. will likely be there, too. And of course you
can see Roy the elder every Sunday night at the Deerhead, fronting Blues
4U’s cast of characters. By the way, since we’re looking at 15 years of
publishing this rag, Roy Sr. did mention that they made sure to call us
up before they went out to play under the name Blues 4U. “Sure” he says
we said, “no problem.” And I have no idea what a quote from someone
quoting something we said a long time ago is called… oh well. Rock on.
By Paul Kopasz
We just recently got to hear Honey Roy Do their thing, and frankly, we
were blown away. The band is led by Roy Carter Jr., whose flying
dreadlocks may be the first thing you notice but not the last. The man
oozes musical soul. Find out for yourself this week when the band does
it up at Stevie Ray’s.
Thursday, Dec. 28
One of the
best local bar bands just feeling its oats is Roy Carter Jr.’s Honey
Roy, which gigs consistently around town and, indeed, brings both da
noise and da funk. With a resume that would shame the likes of most
white-boy rockers, Honey Roy pulls the asses out of the seats and onto
the dance floor. Stax and Motown are constant concerns, but a passel of
New Orleans-style barrelhouse ballads and a clutch of originals gets the
group firing on all of its cylinders. Then a few Van Morrison influences
begin to arrive. From R&B classics and jam-band space-rock to
righteously soulful pop, these boys can and do play almost everything.
Seeing them might be the perfect Christmas hangover remedy.