It's a terrible loss, further diminishing the pool of old-school bluesmen and robbing Chicago of yet another vibrant icon. As many have written, he was a living piece of blues history. But we can continue to celebrate his long, rich life and enjoy the handful of recordings he made over his career. My personal favorite is the killer 1979 album he cut for the Folkways label. When it was reissued on CD by Smithsonian Folkways as Mississippi Delta Bluesman, I wrote, "His cracked, ravaged voice is distinguished by a noble soulfulness, and his guitar playing, punctuated by percussive string snapping, is nimble and spare; together they make for a concentrated goosebump-raising intensity that has little to do with the grimaces and wanky pyrotechnics that pass for passion on the contemporary blues scene."
Below you can see the trailer for the 2002 documentary about Edwards called Honeyboy.
photo: Bengt Nyman
Mick Rossi, Songs From the Broken Land (Orange Mountain Music)
Brian Ferneyhough, Terrain (Kairos)
Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics, Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics (Strut)
Ryan Trevor, Introducing Ryan Trevor (Galactic Zoo Disk/Drag City)
Uri Caine Bedrock, Plastic Temptation (Winter & Winter)