AMS Flashback: Blues Great David “Honeyboy” Edwards
by Crazy Tomes
I had the honor of playing two songs with one of the greatest Blues men of all time (and the last pre-WWII Blues artist who still tours), David “Honeyboy” Edwards.
I met him on Jan 24th, 2008, at his first show at Cozy’s, a music venue in Sherman Oaks. We had a great conversation about the Blues. He is 95 years old and still plays and sings amazingly well. He taught me more about the Blues than I could ever describe. We had a great time hanging out, drinking and talking about music and all of the great artists that have inspired me so much. Honeyboy is a very nice guy who enjoys having conversations with people – and can still party!!
Honeyboy told me that he actually wrote the original version of Sweet Home Chicago and that he introduced it to Robert Johnson, the King of Delta Blues, who was his best friend, and Robert recorded the famous version. He told me some very interesting stories about Little Walter, Muddy Waters and other Blues legends that he brought to Chicago in 1945 to help start what later would be called “Chicago Blues“, before leaving back to the Delta. He told me all of the interesting stories and rumors surrounding Robert Johnson and the “Devil’s Blues“. He is the last living person who was actually good friends with Johnson. Honeyboy performed many Robert Johnson songs during his show, including Crossroads, and also paid tribute to Muddy Waters with Catfish Blues.
The next day at his show, I asked Honeyboy to sign my guitar, and when he did I played a little blues in front of him. He (and his manager, who is also his harmonica player) said they really liked my style and asked me if I wanted to play a couple of songs with him.
Although I used to play at Cozy’s every Monday and have a good reputation out there, I still couldn’t believe it would go THAT far!!
I couldn’t have been happier!!
It ended up being Honeyboy Edwards and I with our guitars on stage. We were joined by two former members of the late Paul Butterfield‘s band (on stand up bass and harmonica). We played two songs: Next Time I See You and Going Down Slow. On Going Down Slow, Honeyboy and I were trading guitar solos and it was just FANTASTIC!! He said some of the best compliments about me as a Blues musician and told me to NEVER give up doing that. He and his manager gave me their contact information and asked me to stay in touch.
Since then, Honeyboy and I have become friends and still talk on the phone all the time. I go to see him every time he comes to play in California to hang out with him, and even jam occasionally. He is still very encouraging of me, my music and my bluesy guitar style!!
Watch part of our performance together: