David “Honeyboy” Edwards – Happy Birthday

David “Honeyboy” Edwards was born June 28, 1915 in Shaw, Mississippi.  A rural Southern town that some joke only had one intersection.

Honeyboy has certainly moved from rural to international.  Now residing in Chicago, he is one of the last living links to Robert Johnson.  Having played with Johnson and been with him at the end.  He provides a look into blues history first hand.

Music wise, he is the real deal.  Honeyboy is one of the last original acoustic Delta blues players.  Truly a living legend,  He can still sneak a few riffs by the players that accompany him and has a love of playing.  Looking at 96 from behind a guitar.

Honeyboy was a part of many of the landmark times in the blues.  He also knew Tommy Johnson who came from the same area of Mississippi as Robert Johnson, and was a character himself.  Tommy Johnson’s family has some mythical stories to tell as well.

Honeyboy writes listening to Tommy Johnson taught him about playing guitar.  So when we often think about him and Robert Johns, it should be noted he was associated with many early legendary players who left their mark on the blues.

Honeyboy was recorded in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1942 by Alan Lomax recorded for the Library of Congress.  He recorded a total of fifteen sides of Honeyboy’s music.

1972 was the year Honeyboy met Michael Frank.  The two developed a strong friendship that lasts to today.  They eventually took their music to the North Side’s blues scene.  They played as the  Honeyboy Edwards Blues Band.  Sometimes performing as a duo, which they still do today.

Michael Frank

Michael Frank founded Earwig Records and it is the label Honeyboy recordw on.

In 2010 Edwards received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement.  2008 saw him get a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album 2008.

He was honored by the Blues Foundation with a Keeping the Blues Alive Award in Literature for his book, “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing.”

Edwards also has DVDs and movie appearances to his credit.

To me Honeyboy summed up his love for the music at a concert in Hartford at Black-eyed Sally’s.  The show was getting over and Michael Frank and Rocky Lawrence who accompanied him were walking off stage.  Frank went back to the mike and said Honeyboy wanted to play a few songs solo.  A real double treat for the crowd.  Afterwards we talked on stage until the crowd had left.

He played, sat and talked and met the fans.

Happy Birthday Honeyboy and many more.

Honeyboy with Pete Scheips, Chris D'Amato, James Varano and Rocky Lawrence at Black-eyed Sally's

Visit the BluesBeat News Blog each Thursday for a complete Blues Schedule.

About bluesbeatnews52

Blues columnist writing a weekly column dedicated to the Blues. The only column of its kind in a commercial (paid subscription) newspaper. Column appears in the Middletown Press, Bristol Press, Torrington Register-Citizen, and the New Britain Herald. Forcella has served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation representing the Journalism constituency. Served on the Board of Directors Connecticut Blues Society as Past President and Past Editor of newsletter. Recipient: Keeping the Blues Alive award in Journalism from the Blues Foundation. Has contributed both writing and photos to nationnal blues publications.

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