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David "Honeyboy" Edwards

In the early 21st century, living links to the immortal Robert Johnson were few. After the passing of Robert Jr. Lockwood in 2006, David "Honeyboy" Edwards was generally regarded as the last of the Delta bluesmen who had actually played and traveled with Johnson himself, and with Edwards' death in Chicago in August 2011 at age 96, that last link passed into history. For much of his life, Edwards was something of an underappreciated figure, but not in his latter years -- his slashing, Delta-drenched guitar and gruff vocals were as authentic as Delta blues ever got. Edwards had it tough growing up in Mississippi, but his blues prowess (his childhood pals included Tommy McClennan and Robert Petway) impressed Big Joe Williams enough to take him under his wing. Rambling around the South, Honeyboy experienced the great Charley Patton and played often with Johnson. Musicologist Alan Lomax came to Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1942 and captured Edwards for Library of Congress-sponsored posterity. Commercial prospects for the guitarist were scant, however -- a 1951 78 for Artist Record Co., "Build a Cave" (as Mr. Honey), and four 1953 sides for Chess that laid unissued until "Drop Down Mama" turned up 17 years later on an anthology constituted the bulk of his early recorded legacy, although Edwards was in Chicago from the mid-'50s on. The guitarist met young harpist/blues aficionado Michael Frank in 1972. Four years later, they formed the Honeyboy Edwards Blues Band to break into Chicago's then-fledgling North Side club scene; they also worked as a duo (and continued to do so on occasion for many years thereafter). When Frank inaugurated his Earwig label, he enlisted Honeyboy and his longtime pals Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton, Floyd Jones, and Kansas City Red to cut a rather informal album, Old Friends, as his second release in 1979. In 1992, Earwig assembled Delta Bluesman, a stunning combination of unexpurgated Library of Congress masters and then-recent performances that showed Edwards had lost none of his blues fire. He remained active up through the first decade of the 21st century, collaborating with Henry Townsend (who died in 2006), Pinetop Perkins (another legendary bluesman from Edwards' generation who died in 2011), and Lockwood on Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas, which won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. David "Honeyboy" Edwards also received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in 2010. The next year, Edwards announced his retirement due to his declining health. A month after that proclamation, David "Honeyboy" Edwards died from congestive heart failure on August 29, 2011. His first posthumous album, I'm Gonna Tell You Somethin' That I Know: Live at the G Spot, arrived in 2017. ~ Bill Dahl
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Stations Featuring
David "Honeyboy" Edwards

    All Blues

    All Blues
    9 songs

    Acoustic Blues

    Acoustic Blues
    1 song

Albums by
David "Honeyboy" Edwards

Top Songs by
David "Honeyboy" Edwards

  1.   Song
  2.   Gambling Man
  3.   Little Boy Blue
  4.   Roamin' and Ramblin'
  5.   I Was in New Orleans Last Night
  6.   She Worries Me All the Time
  7.   Riding the Rails
  8.   How Long
  9.   Crawling Kingsnake
  10.   Boogie Rambler
  11.   Talking About Little Walter
  12.   Just Like Jesse James
  13.   Don't Be so Evil
  14.   Big Road Blues
  15.   Big Fat Mama
  16.   Further Up on the Road
  17.   I Feel So Good Today
  18.   Banty Rooster
  19.   Loved Ones
  20.   Country Boy by Perry Townsend
  21.   Angel Child
  22.   Skin & Bones Blues
  23.   Blue & Lonesome
  24.   Eyes Full of Tears
  25.   That's Alright featuring Jeff Dale & the South Woodlawners
  26.   Louise
  27.   The Army Blues
  28.   Eternal Darkness
  29.   Freight Train Tale
  30.   Strollin' Down Highway 61
  31.   Smoky Mountains
  32.   That's All Right, I'll Be Around
  33.   I'm a Prisoner
  34.   Apron Strings
  35.   When You Get Lonesome
  36.   I Love You Baby
  37.   Bad Rooster
  38.   Bumble Bee
  39.   Anna Lee
  40.   Monkey Face Woman
  41.   Take Me in Your Arms
  42.   Ride With Me Tonight
  43.   Pony Blues
  44.   Catfish Blues
  45.   Honeyboy Speaks With Pete Welding About Robert Johnson & Tommy Johnson by Pete Welding
  46.   Ida Lou Blues
  47.   My Baby's Gone
  48.   Love Me Over Slow
  49.   Sweet Home Chicago
  50.   Drop Down Mama
  51.   That's Alright
  52.   Worried Life Blues
  53.   Over the Seas Blues
  54.   Louise, Louise Blues
  55.   43rd Street Jump
  56.   Interview
  57.   Sometimes I Worry
  58.   Darkness Awakes
  59.   Low Down Dog
  60.   You're the One for Me
  61.   Bull Cow Blues
  62.   Things Have Changed
  63.   Hambone Blues
  64.   When I Came In
  65.   Linda Lu
  66.   Bald Headed Woman
  67.   Blues Like Showers of Rain
  68.   The Woman I'm Loving
  69.   I'm a Country Man
  70.   Shake 'Em on Down
  71.   Long Tall Woman Blues
  72.   Bullfrog Blues
  73.   Next Time You See Me
  74.   Things Gonna Be Alright
  75.   Heartache
  76.   Standing on the Corner
  77.   Blues, Blues
  78.   Sweet Home Chicago/Dust My Broom
  79.   Maxweel Street Shuffle
  80.   You're the One
  81.   The War Is Over
  82.   Freedom Train
  83.   Key to the Highway