David "Honeyboy" EDWARDS – Roamin' and Ramblin' 2008

David “Honeyboy” EDWARDS – Roamin’ and Ramblin’ 2008

Blues

David Heneyboy Edwards is a Blues Awards (Handy) winner and Grammy nominee.

Born June 28, 1915.
One of the last living links to the original Delta blues generation, David “Honeyboy” Edwards has often been overlooked and underappreciated even by hardcore blues fans. Blues roots don’t run any deeper than Edwards’, though – he can count respected Delta bluesmen like Tommy McClennan and Tommy Johnson as childhood friends, he witnessed the legendary Charley Patton perform in person, and he performed himself alongside the nearly-mythical Robert Johnson. Still, Edwards’ status as an elder statesman of the blues has only recently been chiseled into stone.

Since Edwards’ 1996 induction into the Blues Hall of Fame, the Delta bluesman has enjoyed a surging wave of popularity. An in-demand crowd-pleaser on the festival circuit, the 90+ year old Edwards still floors audiences with his performances and an ambitious touring schedule that often tops 100 shows a year. Although Edwards hasn’t enjoyed the commercial success of many of his peers, he has earned the respect of blues music critics and historians, and has twice been named “Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year” in the Blues Music Awards.
Honeyboy Edwards’ Roamin’ and Ramblin’

Producer, musician, and Earwig label founder Michael Frank conceived of Edwards’ Roamin’ and Ramblin’ as a duets album, of sorts, Frank working to recreate some of the lively guitar-harmonica collaborations that Edwards was known for during the first few decades of his lengthy career. To this end, Frank recruited some of the best harp players around today, both well-known and lesser so – folks like Billy Branch, Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones, Sugar Blue, and folk-funk bluesman Bobby Rush – to accompany Edwards on eleven new tracks.

To round out the collection and pay proper respect to both Edwards’ history, as well as one of the bluesman’s old friends, Big Walter Horton, a number of vintage recordings are included, ranging in age from 1942 to as recent as 2004, with a couple of mid-1970s tracks thrown in for good measure.

Roamin’ and Ramblin’ kicks off with “Apron Strings,” a mid-tempo blues tune with livewire guitar, a solid vocal performance by Edwards, and some incendiary harpwork courtesy of Bobby Rush. Edwards’ take on the blues classic “Crawling Kingsnake” is downright haunting, the song’s swampwater vibe bolstered by Edwards’ smoky vocals and voodoo guitar strum, Billy Branch’s harmonica blasts punctuating and underlining Edwards’ voice.
“Trouble Everywhere I Go” is a stripped-down, solo Edwards’ track from 1976,
a fine performance highlighted by the singer’s bluesy vocals and imaginative six-string work.
**
The list of true living Blues legends, with connections to the early days of the music is growing short, to be sure. One of the names on that ever-shortening list is David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and he has just released a new CD on Earwig Records.
Born on June 28, 1915, in Sunflower County, Mississippi there is no doubt that Honeyboy Edwards is among the genres eldest players and definitely the real deal. Edwards was taken under the wing of Big Joe Williams in 1932. It was not until Alan Lomax caught up with him in 1942 that he was first recorded for the Library of Congress. Edwards jokingly comments that the record companies couldn’t find him because of his constant touring…a statement probably closer to the truth than not.
Partly because he never stayed in one place for very long, he did not record again until 1951. Well-versed on both guitar and harmonica, Honeyboy played and recorded with nearly everyone. A lot of his recordings included the work of other harmonica players. Michael Frank, at Earwig Records wanted to recapture some of the magic of those duets on this recording. To say he accomplished his goal is a massive understatement…Roamin’ and Ramblin’ is a delightful piece of work. The release offers fresh takes on some old gems, some new material and some previously unreleased old takes, plus a few short “Blues tales.” Weave it all together and you’ve got pure magic. From beginning to end, Roamin’ and Ramblin’ is one gem after another. The combination of guitar and harmonica is one of the most beautiful sounds in heaven and earth and these are some of the most beautiful examples I’ve heard. This disc covers the time period from 1942 to the present…and David “Honeyboy” Edwards is right on the money.
For any lover of Blues, from traditional classic to contemporary, this disc should be considered essential listening. This one’s a keeper.
By Bill Wilson.
**
Harkening back to the golden ear of pre-WWII blues, when Honeyboy and the greatest Delta harmonica players gigged together, before any of them had recorded or gained notoriety.
Featuring Honeyboy’s old school guitar and vocals – fresh takes …    Full Descriptionon old gems and first time release of historic recordings. New 2007 sessions with harmonica greats Bobby Rush, Billy Branch and Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones, previously unreleased 1975 studio recordings of Honeyboy and Big Walter Horton, and circa 1976 concert tracks –solo and with Sugar Blue.
**
Billy Branch- (Harmonica),
Bobby Rush- (Guitar), (Harmonica), (Vocals),
Sugar Blue- (Harmonica),
David Honeyboy Edwards- (Guitar), (Harmonica),(Vocals),
Michael Frank- (Harmonica),
Walter Horton- (Harmonica), (Vocals),
Rick “Cookin'” Sherry- (Washboard),
**
01. Apron Strings    2:46
02. Crawling Kingsnake    3:06
03. Trouble Everywhere I Go    2:39
04. I Was in New Orleans Last Night    3:05
05. How Long    4:08
06. Maxweel Street Shuffle    3:25
07. The Army Blues    3:50
08. Roamin’ and Ramblin’    3:35
09. Talking About Little Walter    1:23
10. Smoky Mountains    3:20
11. Strollin’ Down Highway    1:39
12. Low Down Dog    1:43
13. Little Boy Blue    3:55
14. Freight Train Tale    1:03
15. Riding the Rails    3:47
16. She Worries Me All the Time    3:39
17. Boogie Rambler    2:22
18. Shufflin’ the Blues Conversation    1:47
19. Jump Out    1:56
**


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