Hoboing With Honeyboy



Radio 2 celebrates the original hobo, David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, who died in 2011.

Radio 2 celebrates the life and music of the original hobo, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, whose death a year ago, severed a vital link to the music, memories and imagination that infuses all blues music.

American based music journalist and broadcaster Gianluca Tramontana conjures the "Wild and tangled forests, the broad, unhasting river flows, somewhere 'twixt Memphis and Tupelo", to the heart and home of Honeyboy.

Honeyboy Edwards was among the first generation of pre-war Mississippi blues musicians that rambled the countryside playing juke joints, picnics, house parties: anywhere music was needed.

He knew the first blues musicians to be recorded, such as Charlie Patton, and travelled with the founding fathers of blues music including Robert Johnson.

Honeyboy was one of hundreds of thousands teenagers hopping freight trains during the Great Depression. He travelled in search of work - to play music, but his weakness for gambling, wine and women often got him into trouble.

After the war he settled in Chicago where his reputation as the greatest country blues musician took hold.

Honeyboy's recent death marks the end of an era, that lives in the hearts of music lovers around the world. His life story is mostly untold, but it's a crucial slice of American history that has been in the shadows.

Tramontana hobos across the country - taking in Chicago, New York, Mississippi and the National Hobo Convention in Iowa - to understand the world and ways of a different type of American hero.