Piano Kid Edwards, some notes & transcriptions
Along with Black Bob, another mysterious & underrated barrelhouse pianist from the 1930s was Piano Kid Edwards, realname unknown. We have no infos about him, but we are lucky enough to have his only four sides recorded for Paramount. He recorded them in a single session for Paramount label on December, 1930 in Grafton, WI :
- Gamblin’ Man’s Prayer Blues (L-677-2-PM 13086)
- Hard Luck Gamblin’s Man (L-678-2-PM 13086)
- Piano Kid Special (L-679-1-PM 13051)
- Give Us Another Jug (L-680-1-PM 13051)
The first two cuts features his vocals while the rest are piano instrumentals.
I would also like to draw attention on his two instrumentals : it’s absolutely incredible how this pianist could play in so many different ways on the same session : ‘Piano Kid Special ‘ is a wild barrelhouse number featuring a lot of clear influences from Texas Pianist school : from ragtime patterns with the 1th and 5th on bass to slur notes on right hand and hard driving & strong piano style. This could suggest that he came to Chicago from the south. On the other hand, ‘Give Us Another Jug‘, a fine and sophisticated tune with evident echoes and quotes from Jimmy Blythe and Clarence Johnson, with unusual left hand work. For exsmple, his solo starts quoting Clarence Johnson’s final chorus on ‘You Shall Reap Just What You Sow‘, a roll made by Johnson & Blythe issued on their label ‘Staffnote‘ in the 1920s with #213.
Below two awesome transcriptions from my great friend Nathan Bello, one again many thanks to him for his priceless work !