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j45nick

RIP, "Honeyboy"

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Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards died yesterday at age 95. His passing literally marks the end of an era. He was the last of the "original" recorded Delta bluesmen, having worked with Robert Johnson in the deep, dark past, and with other greats in more modern times, including Pinetop Perkins.

 

There's an iconic photo of him with his guitar case, on which his name is written in dramatic letters in big script, as well as "Mississippi delta blues". That guitar case was the inspiration for my own version of it, which I've posted here in the past in a picture taken in 1967 of me with my well-worn 1948 J-45 and its garish, presumptuous case. I was big-time into the delta blues then, as a white boy from Mississippi who rashly figured he could play as well as those old guys, who were just then being "re-discovered".

 

Fortunately, a reasonable amount of his recorded music--both acoustic and electric, in both Delta and Chicago styles--still exists, including a modest amount posted on youtube. He was not as well known as many of his contemporaries, but his music was full of raw passion and honesty.

 

God bless you, Honeyboy.

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Yes, truly a great, if expected, loss. He was a great performer. I had the pleasure of seeing him play (he must've been ninety-three) and was amazed at his dexterity on his little red Gibson. I had been in San Francisco for a friend's wedding, and happened to glance at a paper while I was there. Honeyboy was not only playing that night, but was walking distance from my hotel! $17.00 later I had my ticket to Delta blues heaven.

 

He gave a great show and was kind enough to sit onstage and indulge his fan's questions after the gig. He was the most vibrant, lucid 90+ year old, and could easily have passed for a man in his 70's. Anyway, I thanked him for his time, we hook hands and I now have a Library of Congress cd of his material signed by the man himself as a treasured souvenir of that memorable night.

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