Old Friends

Old Friends…together for the first time…nearly fifty years after their paths first crossed, a legendary group of old blues friends from Memphis...


  • Old Friends…together for the first time…nearly fifty years after their paths first crossed, a legendary group of old blues friends from Memphis and the Mississippi Delta finally gathered in a Chicago studio to record together for the first time. Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton, Floyd Jones and Honeyboy Edwards knew each other since the early 1930s: Kansas City Red, the youngster of the bunch at 54, met the others one by one during the 1940s, and over the years, in Chicago and down South, the bluesmen worked with one another off and on in various combinations. Not until 1979, at a prestigious Carnegie Hall concert in New York, did all five play together on the same stage, and it was 1980 before the quintet recorded as a unit.

    The music has the unforced feel of (Chicago’s) blues of the late 30s and 40s without once sounding anachronistic. The five musicians (playing as a quintet) share the vocal duties, providing striking contrasts….All the material is original in the true sense, not just old blues with reshuffled lyrics and new titles, and the quintet interprets it with real conviction.

    – Manchester, England Evening News

    1. Apron Strings 3:03 David Honeyboy Edwards
    2. Gamblin’ Man 2:47 David Honeyboy Edwards
    3. 43rd Street Jump 2:54 Sunnyland Slim
    4. The War Is Over 3:16 David Honeyboy Edwards
    5. When I Came In 2:50 David Honeyboy Edwards
    6. Banty Rooster 3:43 Floyd Jones
    7. Mr. Freddy Blues 3:35 Floyd JonesOver the Seas Blues 4:11 Floyd Jones
    8. I’m a Prisoner 5:17 Kansas City Red
    9. Freedom Train 4:53 Kansas City Red
    10. Lightnin’ Struck the Poorhouse 4:36 Kansas City Red
    11. Linda Lu 5:56 vocalist Kansas City Red (Ray Sharpe, Greg Mark Music)
    12. Lula Mae 4:47 Kansas City Red
    13. That’s All Right, I’ll Be Around 3:52 Kansas City Red
    14. Heartache 4:59 Sunnyland Slim
    15. Sometimes I Worry 4:13 Sunnyland Slim
    16. I’m Going Back Home 3:45 Big Walter Horton
  • Release Date: November 17, 1981

    David Honeyboy Edwards, guitar all tracks
    Floyd Jones, bass
    Sunnyland Slim, piano
    Kansas City Red, drums
    Big Walter Horton, harmonica, except track 5 – Honeyboy Edwards
    Vocalist and Writer are listed in track listing

    All songs except #12 are published by Earwig Music Company, Inc. (BMI) and administered by BMG Rights Management US LLC DBA BMG Bumblebee

    Recorded June 8 and 9, 1979 and March 29,1980 at Acme Studio, Chicago, IL by Michael Rasfeld
    CD mastered by Paul Smith, Acme Studio, remastered for reissue by Jim Godsey, JBG Audio

    1980 Cover photo by Stan L. Shapin in front of Honeyboy’s house on Chicago’s south side, left to right, Honeyboy Edwards, Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton, Kansas City Red and Floyd Jones.
    Graphic design for LP, Renetta Auchinleck
    Graphic design for CD, Al Brandtner Design