DAVE Honeyboy


























Dave 'Honeyboy' Edwards is one of the few remaining delta bluesmen who travelled the USA during the 1930ís and 1940ís and provides a direct link to the origins of Delta blues. Born in Shaw, Mississippi on June 28, 1915, his childhood friends included Robert Petway & Tommy McClennan. He played with most of the legendary blues performers of that time including friend Robert Johnson, Son House, Big Joe Williams and Charlie Patton among others. He was also present at the time of Robert Johnsonís death (along with Sonny Boy Williamson) and he has always claimed that he knows the "real" story behind that tragic event. Honeyboy was just 27 when Alan Lomax caught up with him in Clarksdale for some recordings in 1942 for the Library of Congress. These recordings were preserved and re-issued with new material on the 1992 Earwig album "Delta Bluesman."

He moved to Chicago in the 1950ís but his music still retained a raw Delta flavour. It has been said that Honeyboy has an impish quality about him with a wry sense of humour, and can relate hilarious stories about every blues performer he has ever met. During a typical performance however, Honeyboy lets his guitar do most of the talking. His playing is full-bodied, aggressive and intense with all the rough edges still in place. His slide-guitar playing on numbers like "Sweet Home Chicago" has been described as "like taking a ride on a southern freight train going around the bend at 90 miles an hour holding on for dear life"! He plays in a variety of styles from ragtime to hard edged delta blues. In 1976 he formed the Honeyboy Edwards Blues Band with Michael Frank, and when Frank later created the Earwig label, Honeyboy was one of the first artists he recorded.

David Honeyboy Edwards has been a regular visitor to the UK over the past twenty years or so. Back in September 1994 blues aficionado and BBC broadcaster Stephen Foster interviewed Honeyboy before a show at The Portland Arms in Cambridge, UK.

Here's their conversation, courtesy of BBC Radio Suffolk, which began by recalling Alan Lomax's recordings of Honeyboy back in 1942.......

Stephen Foster includes lots of blues, old and new, in the last hour of his weekday Drivetime show on BBC Radio Suffolk. Listen Live or Listen Again at www.bbc.co.uk/suffolk.

Stephen's interview with Honeyboy remains the property of BBC Radio Suffolk and should not be used or transcribed without prior permission

In 1996 Honeyboy was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, in 2005 he was Acoustic Blues-Artist of the Year (26th W.C. Handy Blues Awards), and in 2007 the Acoustic Artist of the Year (The Blues Music Awards).

On January 31st 2010 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award (Grammyģ) by the The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences of the United States, known as The Recording Academy.

Dave Honeyboy Edwards died on August 29th 2011 in Chicago from heart problems, aged 96.