Clarence Edwards

Soon on Wolf Records

The Story of Clarence:

In the 1990s, after a long hiatus from recording, Louisiana swamp blues veteran Clarence Edwards was rediscovered and began to garner some recognition just before his untimely demise. As one of 14 siblings, Edwards was born March 25, 1933, in Lindsay, LA. After his family moved to Baton Rouge, Edwards began learning the guitar by listening to old Charley Patton records. He joined a band called the Boogie Beats, featuring his brother Cornelius, Landry Buggs, and drummer Jackson Acox, when he was in his twenties. In addition to his work with the Bluebird Kings, Edwards was also shot in the leg during an altercation outside the Silver Moon Club in Alsen one night. Over the course of his lifetime, Edwards supported himself not only with music, but also with farming, eventually landing a job at Thomas Scrap. He, his brother Cornelius, and violinist James “Butch” Cage recorded together for folk chronicler Harry Oster between 1959 and 1961. Following those sessions, Edwards’ next recordings — made for producer Mike Vernon in 1970 — were more conscious of contemporary trends; they have appeared on compilations such as Louisiana Blues and Swamp Blues.
 Until the mid-’80s, Edwards remained relatively silent, until blues legend Tabby Thomas helped revive Baton Rouge blues. It was thanks to Thomas that Edwards began performing regularly again, not just locally, but also at blues festivals. In 1990, Edwards finally recorded his first full-length album for Sidetrack, and titled it Swamp’s the Word (which was later remastered by Red Lightnin’). The following year, 1991, saw the release of another album, Swampin’, this time for New Rose, and 1992 brought Louisiana Swamp Blues, Volume 2. 4 is a compilation of mostly Edwards solo sessions as well as sessions with a small ensemble. Aficionados generally praised Edwards’ work, but sadly, just as he was beginning to gain wider recognition among them, he passed away at the age of 60 in his hometown of Scotlandville, LA.