David "Honeyboy" Edwards

Honeyboy Edwards has been playing Mississippi Delta blues in its traditional, quirky, unadulterated and improvisational cadences since he left his home in Shaw, Mississippi at the tender age of 14 to travel the south with the legendary capo master Big Joe Williams. After apprenticing for a few years with Williams, he struck out on his own, and made associations with all of his contemporaries, the itinerant bluesmen of the 30's and 40's American south. Although he made few recordings (John Lomax did capture him on field recordings in the early 40's) during his traveling years, Edwards eventually settled permanently in Chicago in the mid-50's, and has made a number of fine traditional recordings with various labels. Although he has played all of the songs in his repertoire perhaps thousands of times, it appears that he has never played any of them exactly the same way twice. This is primarily because he uses the folk technique of building a story with "floating lyrics" and variable melodies, rather than the more compact hook-chorus-lyric-hook elements which became prominent with the advent of electronic recording.

Mentors: Big Joe Williams, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Son House

Proteges: numerous

Recommended recordings: Old Friends , Earwig Records, with Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton