RIP: David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards - 1915-2011
David “Honeyboy” Edwards, the son of a sharecropper, the grandson of a slave and — for an extraordinary 80-plus years — the voice of the Delta blues, died Monday at his home in Chicago, said his longtime manager, Michael Frank. He was 96 and had been in declining health with heart problems.
Edwards picked cotton and pulled corn on Mississippi Delta plantations from age 9, living the hard life that the blues were created to address. As a young man, he hoboed across the South with a guitar on his shoulder, rode the rails, got thrown in prison for vagrancy and on various trumped-up charges and, along the way, made music with the founders of the art form: Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son House, Tommy McLennan, Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Joe Williams.
"Honeyboy — that’s the end of the line," said veteran Chicago blues musician Billy Branch, who recorded and performed with Edwards. "He’s the last of the bluesmen from his generation. He was that direct connection with the fabled Robert Johnson, and with [Edwards’ death] it is the end of that particular style."
"You could play the blues like it was a lonesome thing — it was a feeling," he said in a 1997 interview with the Chicago Tribune. “The blues is nothing but a story…. The verses which are sung in the blues is a true story, what people are doing … what they all went through. It’s not just a song, see?” (LAT)
David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards - Just Like Jesse James