Delta blues veteran David "Honeyboy" Edwards has remained utterly true to his roots throughout a career that began in Mississippi in the 1930s and has spanned nearly 60 years. These days he's playing mostly solo electric guitar, and it suits him perfectly: his voice is rough and intense in the great tradition of Charlie Patton, and eccentric timing and phrasing--showing the influence of Big Joe Williams and Tommy McClennan, among others--bring an added sense of immediacy to his creations. Despite the occasional botched chord or faltering intonation, a Honeyboy Edwards show is a rare, unselfconscious performance of living blues history. His searing, barebones rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago" alone is worth the price of admission. Curtis Crawford, meanwhile, picks dexterous acoustic patterns in the style of masters ranging from Blind Lemon Jefferson through Furry Lewis to Blind Willie McTell. Crawford's love for the material elevates his show far above museum-piece detachment; his sure-fingered agility and drawling, down-home manner create a delightful counterpoint to the rough immediacy of Edwards's music and persona. Thursday, U.S. Blues Bar, 1446 N. Wells; 266-4978.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.