Thursday, September 01, 2011

R.I.P. Honeyboy


Honeyboy Edwards, Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton, Kansas City Red, Floyd Jones; 1980-81 [Earwig Records]

Honeyboy’s music was so straightforward. It is amazing he carried on right up to just recently. He outlasted them all. And became pretty big. A fellow in Chicago named Michael Frank did a great job to get Honeyboy out on the road…to the Smithsonian, and everywhere… Michael formed a studio combo group around Honeyboy [despite the fact that he was a timebreaker from his heart] in the early 80s…Included Walter Horton, Floyd Jones, Kansas City Red, and Sunnyland Slim. They made a record called “Old Friends” on Michael’s Earwig label. Through Slim I got to meet Honeyboy. He invited us into his house (my wife Cecelia, Slim and Homesick James or Floyd Jones) and was very kindly cordial. Like a lot of South Side homes, they got the bottle of cold tap water out of the refrigerator and poured water for all. Old times. Good times. I am off today…we are moving about two doors down from where I am now. Sure enough, mucking about, I found a cassette from the day when we had the tap water. Honeyboy could talk a storm! But Sunnyland would be fast to interrupt! First time he saw Sunnyland was 1931 Whitehall Arkansas. Honeyboy was 13 years old and working on the levy. Left there and went to Amarillo Missouri. ‘’Was Monkey Red down there?’’ asks Slim. “Oh yeah!” says Honeyboy... Slim remembered Honeyboy and Little Walter sleeping on pool tables around Caruthersville. Someday, itll all be gone.

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