David Honeyboy Edwards

David Honeyboy Edwards

BandBlues

Inducted into Blues Foundation Hall of Fame 1996 and awarded KBA Award in Literature, & NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award. 90, he still performs worldwide. His guitar & vocal performances are moving, charismatic & intense. He is a reknowned oral historian.

Biography

David “Honeyboy” Edwards is one of the last of the original Delta Bluesmen, who traveled the South as hobos in the 1930s and who shaped early folk music into what later generations turned into rock ‘n’ roll. Still actively touring worldwide, he is in demand today both for his sharp memory as a purveyor of the oral history of the blues and for his music, performing at festivals, colleges, blues clubs and special events. Also, he is the only artist included in “A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings” who is still performing.
Honeyboy Edwards was born in the Mississippi Delta in 1915. The son of a sharecropper, Edwards quickly learned that the sharecropping life was not for him. After meeting delta bluesman Big Joe Williams, he left home in Shaw, Mississippi when he was a teenager, and traveled the south by hopping the freight trains of blues lore – the Pea Vine, the Southern, the Yellow Dog. He worked with Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Tommy McClennan, Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), Howlin’ Wolf, and countless others while honing his musical skills on the dusty street corners of small towns and in the good-timing houses and juke joints of bigger towns like New Orleans.
Not long after recording with Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1942, Honeyboy connected with teenage blues harmonica player Little Walter Jacobs, and headed up to Chicago, where he frequented the city’s famous Maxwell Street Market. After a short stint there he moved on to Texas, where he recorded as “Mr. Honey” for the Artist Recording Company, accompanied by pianist Thunder Smith of Lightnin’ Hopkins fame. He then recorded for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in Memphis before being called on by Chicago’s Chess Records, and finally making Chicago his home.
In Chicago he quickly became known as one of the city’s finest slide guitarists, frequently playing local clubs, juke joints, and the Maxwell Street Market. He also dedicated himself to his family, which included not only his wife Bessie and his growing family of children, but also his sisters and in-laws, who were leaving the South for the better opportunities Chicago presented.
In the 1960s his recording career accelerated once again, with recordings on the Milestone, Adelphi, and Blue Horizons labels. In the late 60s, the original Fleetwood Mac (featuring Peter Green) came to town and asked Honeyboy to appear as a guest on two albums they recorded in Chicago.
In recent years Honeyboy has done everything but slow down. He continues to record, including three albums on Chicago’s Earwig Music label, and several guest/featured spots with other artists. Honeyboy’s autobiography, “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing,” was released in 1995 to large critical acclaim. He continues to tour internationally, with recent tours in Argentina, Germany, Belgium, Macedonia, Turkey, Brazil, and Western Europe.
He is consistently called upon to do interviews in television, radio, and print media worldwide, and has recently been honored with such awards as the W.C. Handy Lifetime Achievement Award, The Chicago Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, and the National Academy of Recordings Arts and Sciences (NARAS – Grammy’s) Lifetime Achievement Award.

For additional information about Honeyboy Edwards, check out these websites:
www.davidhoneyboyedwards.com

www.honeyboyfilm.com

www.shs.starkville.k12.ms.us/mswm/MSWritersAndMusicians/musicians/EdwardsHoneyboy.html

Discography

David Honeyboy Edwards CD Discography:

African Portraits, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Teldec 6019)
Crawling Kingsnake (Testament 6002)
Delta Bluesman (Earwig 4922)
Drop Down Mama (Chess LP 411)
From West Helena to Chicago/Chicago Blues Sessions Volume 8 (Wolf 120.854)
Honeyboy Edwards: Mississippi Delta Bluesman (Smithsonian Folkways 40132)
I've Been Around (Savoy Jazz SVY 17297)
Juke Joint Blues (Blues Classics 23)
Old Friends (Earwig 4902)
Shake 'Em On Down (APO 2010)
Walking Blues (Flyright LPS 541, England)
White Windows (Evidence 26039-2)
The World Don't Owe Me Nothin' (Earwig 4940).

Set List

traditional Mississippi delta blues songs by Honeyboy and his contemporaries - Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, Robert Johnson, Tommy McClennan, Muddy Waters and others

sets average 50-60 minutes