Thursday, May 3, 2001

Review - Mississippi Delta Bluesman

Artist: Honeyboy Edwards

Posted on Thu, May 3, 2001 at 4:00 AM

Mississippi Delta Bluesman
Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Mississippi Delta Bluesman

Originally released in 1979 on Folkways, this session of covers and originals from Delta bluesman David Honeyboy Edwards is a solid, if not exceptional, album. Edwards is a legend and one of the few living links back to the immortals of the Delta blues like Robert Johnson and Charley Patton, whom he played with. But Edwards also is at home with the postwar Chicago-style blues that became the blueprint for rock & roll.

Edwards' guitar picking is outstanding throughout "Mississippi Delta Bluesman," and his delivery is about as authentic as it gets. But Edwards was 64 during these recordings, and age had dried his delivery into a pinched baritone that really hampers his reading of songs like Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" and Howlin' Wolf's "Ride With Me Tonight." On the midranging "Next Time You See Me," Edwards lilting guitar runs and relaxed delivery remind us of the legends he rightly belongs with.

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