David “Honeyboy”Edwards passed away at his home in Chicago on August 29. He was 96. Often cited as the “last link” between post-war blues and the current generation of players, Edwards was born in Mississippi and learned to play guitar as a child; his mother played the guitar, while his father, a fiddler and guitarist, performed locally. Edwards’s father bought the boy his first guitar and taught him to play folk ballads. At just 14 years old, he began traveling with Delta blues players including Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, then started playing professionally at age 17.
In the ’50s, he moved to Chicago, where he performed in the city’s clubs and the open-air markets on Maxwell Street, and recorded for the Artist and Chess labels. His first taste of mass popularity happened with the blues revival of the ’60s, during which he recorded with Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, and Fleetwood Mac in its original configuration. Over eight decades, he knew or played with virtually every major blues figure.
In 1996, Edwards was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame. In 2008, he won a Grammy the collaborative album Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas. In 2010, was presented with a Grammy for lifetime achievement.
Edwards retired from touring in 2008. He continued to perform occasionally through this year, including a final performance, at a blues festival in Mississippi, in April.
Edwards is survived by a daughter, stepdaughter, and several grandchildren.