With Special Guest
A Honeyboy Edwards show is a rare, unselfconscious performance of living blues history.” – David Whiteis, Chicago Reader
David “Honeyboy” Edwards is a living blues legend. As one of the original Delta bluesmen, he is an important part of American culture, and his story really tells the story of the blues in this country. Even at 93, his singing and guitar playing is every bit as emotive as it has been throughout his career. In 2008 he received a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues album, and has been awarded Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C. Handy awards) for Best Acoustic Blues Artist in 2005 and 2007.
Edwards was born in 1915 in Shaw, Mississippi, the heart of the Delta. He first heard Tommy Johnson when he was 14 years old, and took an immediate interest in learning the guitar. Leaving his parents’ sharecropping life behind, he followed Big Joe Williams along the freight trains of the south, learning the blues in rail cars and on street corners. His story from here on is intertwined with nearly every major blues figure since. He spent the 1930s performing with Tommy Johnson, Tommy McClellan, and the great Robert Johnson, and claims to have been present the night Johnson drank the poisoned whiskey that killed him.
In 1942, he recorded fifteen sides for folk historian Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress.
Edwards has spent the last few decades doing what he does best: bringing his unique style of acoustic Delta blues to the people who love it. The accolades keep coming: he is a 1996 inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame, and has been featured as narrator or performer in at least six films. This is a unique opportunity to hear one of the last original Delta bluesmen.
“Honeyboy Edwards is among the last authentic performers in the blues idiom that developed in central Mississippi during the second and third decades of [the 20th] century….Through him, an entire body of great American music lives on.” – Robert Palmer, author of Deep Blues and former pop music critic of The New York Times
“At 93, living legend David (Honeyboy) Edwards still does about 100 gigs a year. He finally won a Grammy last year for “The Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas” and was recently in the film comedy “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.” The gruff-voiced, finger-picking guitarist was a friend of historic bluesman Robert Johnson — they shared a stage the night Johnson died — and was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1942 and Chess Records in the 1950s.” – Jon Bream, Star Tribune