David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards is Dead

And just like that, all those people he knew–all 95, almost 96 years worth–go from being the friends and acquaintances of a living man to slipping just a little further away from us. Yesterday, you could shake hands with a man who shook hands with Robert Johnson. Today you cannot.

Here’s Alan Lomax recording him in ’42. I think it’s hard not to hear what will become Chicago blues in his playing.

For fun, listen to this song. I don’t know if it’s how they have him miked or just the strong contrast between the times he’s doing it and the times he’s not, but the way he’s sliding on those strings is revelatory. And there are a couple of times when I worry that the guitar may literally come apart in his hands.