In 2004 a Grammy-winning album documented the extraordinary live summit among Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Robert Lockwood Jr., and Henry Townsend. It was appropriately titled Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen. Today, only Perkins and Edwards survive. Edwards, 93, not only remains a compelling performer of country blues, but is also a living repository of tales about crisscrossing the South early in the last century with the likes of Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, and Sonny Boy Williamson. Playing slide and a slashing guitar style learned in part from Big Joe Williams, and singing with a grainy eloquence, Edwards, a sharecropper's son, lived the quintessential, itinerant blues life, along the way recording for Sam Phillips at Sun Studios, for Chess Records in Chicago, and finally settling in the Windy City in the 1950s. His latest album, the again appropriately dubbed Roamin' and Ramblin' (Earwig), matches contemporary (2007) recordings with nuggets stretching all the way back to 1942, when Alan Lomax recorded him in Clarksdale for the Library of Congress. For this rare Dakota appearance, Edwards will be accompanied by harmonica player Michael Frank, also his longtime manager, who has been playing with him since 1972.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7 p.m. Starts: March 18. Continues through March 19, 2009