musings of a subway performer and lifelong troubadour

RIP Delta Dave Johnson NYC busker

Added on by Cathy Grier.

I have performed in the NYC subway's since 1999, I have met so many talented musicians.  One of them, and honestly one of my favorites was Delta Dave.  Sadly he died suddenly of a heart attack last week. I am mourning the loss of this incredibly talented artist, who always had a smile and performed some of the best Delta Blues I've heard in a long time. A quiet soul and to make him even grander, was wheelchair bound. I used to love to come across him performing in the W 4th corridor. One day I asked him what the lyric was he was singing, he replied "what can you do without earth and sky." indeed. 

RIP Delta Dave. I had the pleasure of capturing him on my little camera multiple times.  Here is a clip I made of him a few years back.

an obit written by Music Under NY consultant Tim Higginbotham:

With sadness we announce the passing of our Delta Dave last month. Dave’s sound was founded in the Mississippi Delta and Chicago blues style. His vocals, harmonica and guitar playing while harkening to his influences Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Lightning Hopkins and Howling Wolf… had their own rich authenticity. Dave performed around the world with a number of notable blues musicians - Honey Boy Edwards, John Hammond, Jr., Little Smokey Smothers, Louisiana Red, R L Burnside and more before forming his own band- the Delta Dave Blues Band. They recorded their 1st cd “Pignose Boogie” in Jacksonville, Florida. He later  developed his own “one man band” performing set-up. In 2005 we were pleased to bring Delta Dave onto the Music Under New York roster. Over the years his unique, robust style and good will have been instrumental in the continuing heritage of the blues, as well as the stature of our program.
Delta Dave you are dearly missed but we hear you clearly from the great beyond!
delta dave_by cathygrier