FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 1, 2012
“Joyous rave-ups…he testifies with stunning soul fervor and powerful guitar. One of the blues’ finest songwriters.” –Blues Revue
West Side Chicago blues legend Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater will appear at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago on Saturday, June 30, 2012. Clearwater will be performing songs from his Alligator debut, WEST SIDE STRUT. Clearwater is an intense, flamboyant, blues-rocking showman. He’s equally comfortable playing the deepest, most heartfelt blues or rocking, good-time party music. DownBeat said, “Left-hander Eddy Clearwater is a forceful six-stringer…He lays down some gritty West Side shuffles and belly-grinding slow blues that highlight his raw chops, soulful vocals, and earthy, humorous lyrics.” Concert information is as follows:
Date: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Venue: Buddy Guy’s Legends
Address: 700 South Wabash Ave.
City: Chicago, IL
Ticket price: $20
Between his slashing guitar work, his room-filling vocals, and his self-defined “rock-a-blues” style (a mix of blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel), Eddy Clearwater is among the very finest practitioners of the West Side Chicago blues performing today. The blues world recognized his talent by giving him the Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues – Male Artist of the Year in 2001. His previous release, 2003’s Rock ‘N’ Roll City, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Now he’s back with his very first Alligator CD, the aptly titled WEST SIDE STRUT.
WEST SIDE STRUT, produced by young hotshot guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks (son of the legendary bluesman Lonnie Brooks), is an energized mix of West Side blues and old school rock injected with a tough, up-to-the-minute contemporary edge. Featuring some of Eddy’s hottest playing ever recorded, the CD burns with his stinging guitar and rough-and-ready vocals. Guests include Eddy’s old friends Lonnie Brooks, Jimmy Johnson, Billy Branch and Otis Clay as well as Ronnie Baker Brooks himself, playing some scintillating guitar parts.
Born Edward Harrington on January 10, 1935 in Macon, MS, Eddy and his family moved to Birmingham, AL in 1948. With music from blues to gospel to country & western surrounding him from an early age, Eddy taught himself to play guitar (left-handed and upside down), and began performing with various gospel groups, including the legendary Five Blind Boys of Alabama. After moving to Chicago in 1950, Eddy stayed with an uncle and took a job as a dishwasher, saving as much as he could from his $37 a week salary. His first music jobs were with gospel groups playing in local churches. Through his uncle’s contacts, Eddy met many of Chicago’s blues stars. He fell deeper under the spell of the blues, and befriended Magic Sam, who would become one of Eddy’s closest friends and teachers.
By 1953, as Guitar Eddy, he was making a strong name for himself, working the South and West Side bars regularly. After hearing Chuck Berry in 1957, Eddy added that rock and roll element to his already searing blues style, creating a unique sound that defines him to this day. He recorded his first single, Hill Billy Blues, for his uncle’s Atomic H label in 1958 under the name Clear Waters (his manager at the time, drummer Jump Jackson, came up with the name as a play on Muddy Waters).
The name Clear Waters morphed into Eddy Clearwater, and Eddy worked the local circuit steadily throughout the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s. He found huge success in the 1970s among the North Side college crowd, who responded to his individual brand of blues, his rock and roll spirit and his high energy stage show.
His first full-length LP, 1980’s The Chief, was the initial release on Chicago’s Rooster Blues label. Recording numerous albums for various labels during the 1980s and 1990s, Eddy’s star continued to rise. His 2003 CD Rock ‘N’ Roll City paired him up with the surf-rocking Mexican wrestling-masked group, Los Straitjackets. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award and earned Eddy a multitude of new fans.
Now, with WEST SIDE STRUT, Eddy has made the very best album of his life. He loves to perform and on any given night he can usually be found tearing it up on stage somewhere around the world. He’s played everywhere from Russia, Turkey, and Romania to Brazil and Alaska. He’ll hit the road hard in support of the CD, strutting his slicing guitar licks and bringing his “rock-a-blues” music and his uninhibited live show to fans ready for a taste of the real West Side Chicago blues, played by a master at the very peak of his abilities.