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