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Hardcover The World Don't Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards Book

ISBN: 1556522754

ISBN13: 9781556522758

The World Don't Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

This vivid oral snapshot of an America that planted the blues is full of rhythmic grace. From the son of a sharecropper to an itinerant bluesman, Honeyboy's stories of good friends Charlie Patton, Big... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Fans of blues music will relish this autobiography

Fans of blues music and musicians will relish this autobiography of Delta bluesman Edwards, which charts his rise to fame and his survival in a critical musical world. His first-person observations of the changing blues style and field are especially meaningful given that so many blues titles are not written by participants in the field.

The Genuine Article

Honey and his astute collaborators have given us the genuine article: a poignant, detailed, uproarous chronicle of what Robert Palmer called the"Deep Blues," the Delta tradition from which all other blues styles emanate. If you've heard Honey sing either in person or on his fine recordings, you will hear the voice you read. He offers dozens of unforgettable moments, from the first sounds he ushers from a broken-necked guitar to his mother's death to the death of Robert Johnson, that are alive and chilling. My only criticism is that the photographs featured in the book are spartan, contemporary views of critical sites in this artist's life. More historical photography would have enhanced the text. The publisher of this well-designed softcover has made the text relaxingly readable. After my first 50 pages, I wanted to purchase all of Honey's recordings and read more about him. He is an articulate, funny, precise chronicler of his own life. If only I could do the same with my own life! First rate.

A great American life

This autobiography succeeds memorably on several levels. Told in spare, moving words, it provides a vivid picture of life in the Mississippi Delta long before the civil rights movements of the '50s. In addition, it's a kind of African-American "On the Road," told from the perspective of one who crisscrossed the Southern United States, scuffling to make a living playing the blues. And finally, it's a terrific history of the blues, told by a man who made a significant musical contribution himself and who played with nearly all the essential artists of the '30s and on.Edwards, born in the Delta around 1915, worked the fields as a kid before he learned to play the guitar and began hoboing around the South. He rode the rails, played in innumerable small towns, and polished his craft. Along the way, he hung out and played with the likes of Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter Jacobs, Robert Junior Lockwood, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and yes, Robert Johnson. The book describes how these architects of the modern blues passed songs, licks, and stories back and forth, keeping a form that relies so heavily on tradition dynamic and vital.A major strength of the book is Edwards' distinctive voice, transcribed by his collaborators to retain its distinctive rhythms and dialect. The book's title sums up his attitude. His memories include violent death, physical and emotional loss, and great material want. Still, you sense strongly that he wouldn't have had his life any other way. His narrative is devoid of self-pity, but it never glosses over the difficulty of the times he endured, which included stints in prison.The book concludes with useful appendices that define key terms and offer capsule biographies and discographies of musicians Edwards encountered. A good bibliography is also included. Highly recommended for those interested in the blues and in American social history. Great read.

The memoir of a great Bluesman.

What a life! 82 years old Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards is one last Bluesmen alive that knew Robert Johnson but that is not the basis of the book. Edwards has lived a life that makes anyone really understand what the Blues is all about and other bluesmen back in the 1930's and 40's who shaped blues music. Honeyboy's tales gives the reader his firsthand accounts of plantation life, the 1927 Mississippi River flood, vagrancy laws, makeshift courts, the racial problem and economics of southern blacks and the Depression. This book came about because of the stories that Honeyboy told his manager of 25 years, Michael Robert Frank, who is also the founder of Earwig Records and Janis Martinson, a freelance writer. Martinson did the transcribing and left Honeyboy's speech patterns intact. My friend, Travis Brown is from Tennessee and after reading this book remarked that reading the words of Honeyboy took him back "home". Martinson also did the research and wrote the three appendices that appear in the back of the book. Want to find out what the "killin' floor" is (was) than buy this book. Earwig has also issued a CD with the same title, I had that CD and Robert Johnson's in my changer while I read the book, they provided the perfect soundtrack to the theater of the mind.Tony Houston, 1999

A fascinating book about a fascinating life.

Janis Martinson should be congratulated on a remarkable achievement. She has woven seamlessly Honeyboy Edwards' recollections and ruminations into a deeply affecting but wholly unsentimental account of his life and his career. What emerges are a beautiful portrait of an extraordinary man, an informative history of blues music, a subtle indictment of racism and injustice, and a moving testament to the resilience of the human spirit. I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in blues, history, biography or just a good story
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