By BILLY HELLER
New York Post
By any measure, it's been a decent year for David "Honey
He won a Grammy for his work on "Last of the Delta
Bluesmen," had a part in the feature film "Walk
Hard," is touring and has a new album out, "Roamin'
and Ramblin' " (earwigmusic.com).
Not bad for a man who didn't even have electricity
in his house when he was growing up in the Mississippi
And at 92, Edwards must be thinking about the future,
because he treated himself to a new Gibson six-string
at a Chicago guitar store the other day. It's a long
way from when he first played, inspired by his father.
"My daddy was a sharecropper, and he played music
for hisself. He played guitar and violin," Edwards
says, pronouncing it "GIT-ar."
"Every time he put his guitar down, I'd pick it
"My daddy got me my first guitar in 1928 - I was
13. He bought it from a man who ordered it from Sears,
Roebuck and paid by the month. He paid $8 for it, and
my daddy gave him $4 for it. That was a lot of money
In addition to making music (ragtime and other dance
music, Edwards says), his father made whiskey "out
of corn, rye and sugar," and "home-brewed
beer" - which he tried at 13 and got drunk for
the first time.
In his long career - which took him from his Mississippi
Delta home north to Chicago, where he lives today -
Edwards has played with a host of blues legends: Charlie
Patton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lightnin' Hopkins, Magic
Sam, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson among them.
As for the legend that Johnson sold his soul to the
devil for the skill to play the blues, Edwards, who
played with him in 1937, says: "He told me he sold
his soul to the devil, but I don't know. He told everybody
he did it. He coulda done it. I know I didn't."
In 1942, Edwards was recorded for the first time, by
folklorist/musicologist Alan Lomax collecting songs
for the Library of Congress. Lomax gave him $20 for
his efforts, Edwards says.
He hadn't made a record before that because, he says,
"I didn't care about no recordings. I was gambling,
running around and making more money [playing music]
up and down the streets."
Traveling in the South, Edwards played in "li'l
ol' clubs and beer parlors and at country dances."
Saturday, with Koko Taylor and others, Edwards plays
at Town Hall for the National Heritage Masters: Blues