Honeyboy Edwards at Cozy's in Sherman Oaks

Honeyboy Edwards’ show at Cozy’s last year was bittersweet. It was amazing to see the 94-year-old guitarist get up and play the delta blues he learned in 1940s Mississippi. And while he makes B.B. King look young, it was also strange to watch a guy play the same songs he’s played for so many years in front of small audiences.

The music itself was great, if a little repetitive. Edwards’ fingers aren’t as nimble as they once were, but who can blame him. Before the show I glanced over at the bluesman only to see him double-fisting (a whiskey and a Heineken) — just like the music, it seems some things never change.


Chris Robinson plays the harmonica on "Thorn in My Pride"

The Black Crowes’ latest tour made a stop at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella this past December. The venue was a little unconventional for the band (Chris Robinson asked the audience at one point “What is this place, a fuckin’ casino?”), but the acoustics were great and there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.

The set lacked material from their two most recent albums (“Warpaint” and “Before the Frost”), but given that this tour might be the band’s last for a while, it’s understandable that they focused on their entire catalogue. Rich Robinson and Luther Dickinson’s playing was fantastic and the show proved to be the best Black Crowes concert I have seen.

Set list: Waiting Guilty, Another Roadside Tragedy, Wiser Time, Oh! Sweet Nuthin’, I Ain’t Hiding, Thorn in My Pride, Girl From a Pawnshop, Hotel Illness, Jealous Again, She Talk to Angels, Hard to Handle, Shake Your Moneymaker (Encore)

Luther Dickinson on slide

Leaf Hound grew out of the London-based band Black Cat Bones, one of the many groups that dipped into hard rock, blues, and proto-metal in the late 1960 and early 70s. They are a curious band that sounds like everyone else and no one all at once. Much of the 1971 LP, “Growers of Mushroom” draws on Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but the aggressive playing and raw production give the album an edge that those two groups lacked.

The comparisons to Zeppelin and others are obvious. Guitarist Derek Brooks does his best Jimmy Page, but doesn’t have the same pedigree, chops or inventive phrasing of Page. Vocalist Peter French’s style sounds like an amalgamation of Robert Plant and Terry Reid, and listeners will likely conjure those two singers within the first few minutes of “Freelance Fiend,” the album’s opening track. To French’s credit, he does have an idiosyncratic delivery and uncommon confidence which make his performance intensely listenable. Leaf Hound is rounded out by rhythm guitarist Mick Halls, bassist Stuart Brooks, and drummer Keith George-Young, all of whom are serviceable and keep the tunes moving.

“Growers of Mushroom,” originally released on Decca, is a quick listen with 11 tracks, only one of which is longer than 5 minutes. In the end, all the comparisons to other heavy rock bands don’t mean much — this is the kind of record that ought to be played loud and late at night.

Highlights: Freeland Fiend, Drowned My Life In Fear, Work My Body, With A Minute To Go