047 – Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater – The Chief of West Side Blues — A1Blues.Com

047 – Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater – The Chief of West Side Blues

by A1 Mark on August 7, 2008

Congratulations to Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, The Blues Foundation has nominated him for a 2009 Blues Music Award in the category of “Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year” & “Traditional Blues Album of the Year” for his CD West Side Strut.

A1 Artist Spotlight.Com did a phone interview with Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater about his CD West Side Strut. Listen to the Podcast with interview and music of Chicago’s best known West Side Blues Chief, Eddy Clearwater.
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Eddy Clearwater
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Eddy Clearwater was born Edward Harrington in 1935. While a teenager, his family moved from his home state of Mississippi to Alabama. It was there that he learned to play the guitar and back various gospel groups. In 1950 Edward moved to Chicago just as the blues scene was taking off. In just three years he was out performing in clubs. Towards the end of the fifties he was releasing singles. Jump Jackson who was a drummer as well as a bandleader changed Edward’s name. Jackson’s band had backed Roosevelt Sykes, St. Louis Jimmy, Robert Nighthawk, and even John Lee Hooker. By the late fifties he started his own record label and booking agency. Eddy was signed to his booking agency. Jump Jackson felt Eddy Clearwater would be easier for people to remember. Eddy was a big Muddy Waters fan so instead of muddy water he’d be Clearwater. Eddy’s style of music is a cross between Chuck Berry and Magic Sam. Eddy said his sound is a westside blues style. He describes it as a rawer blues, minor cords, heavy bass lines, guitar, harmonica orientated. The opening song on West Side Strut “A Good Leavin’ Alone” Eddy said is a good example of west-side blues. In other words good old rockin’ blues-rock with a strong beat and harmonica. Don’t get me wrong Eddy does other styles of music as you will hear on the podcast. It appears Eddy spent much of the sixties and seventies in the USA. He did go on two tours of Europe in the seventies, one of which had Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Jimmy Johnson. Wow, what a show that must have been. Eddy puts on a very high-energy show that gets everybody up on their feet and having a good time. The French record company MCM put out his first LP in 1979 called Black Night which was a live record. In 1980 the very long overdue first USA LP come out called The Chief. Many consider this one of his best records. Music reviewer Bill Dahi said The Chief was “one of the best Chicago blues LP’s of the 1980′s. Eddy has gone on to make about 15 records on several different labels including Cleartone, a label he once owned. Eddy Clearwater is now on the prestigious Alligator records, this is his first CD by them.
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Eddy Clearwater
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Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater has a new CD called West Side Strut. The first two tracks “A Good Leavin’ Alone” and “Hypnotized” are hard hitting songs. Eddy is proving a 73-year-old can play better than a lot of the kids. Eddy and the band are giving us a first class performance. “A Good Leavin’ Alone” comes from an old southern saying about if you can’t get along with someone you’re dating it is better to just give them a good leavin’ alone in other words break up with them. Both songs are hard hitting blues rockers followed by “Gotta Move On”, a softer slower blues song. This is one of my favorite songs because the brass section really does a fine job. It really creates a nice atmosphere and the sax solo is great. “Walking Through the Park” and “Blue Over You” are back to upbeat rockers. Ronnie Baker Brooks produced, wrote, and co-wrote some of the songs as well as playing guitar. Hats off to Ronnie for doing a wonderful job, first class on everything. Two good examples of this is “Come Up the Hard Way” and “Do Unto Others”. Ronnie also wrote a fun rocker called “Too Old to Get Married (To Young to Get Buried)”. Ronnie’s father Lonnie Brooks trades guitar licks and vocals with Eddy on this fun rockin’ song. This is the song you have to call your radio station to play or better yet buy the CD and call the radio station so others can hear it. This song should be a hit because it has everything that’s great. Bet you can’t just play it once. West Side Strut ends with a beautiful gospel song called “A Time For Peace”. Eddy wrote this wonderful song but could not get the last verse so Ronnie finished the song. They are very touching and meaningful words if only we would live by them. West Side Strut shows how creative Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater really is. He does blues, blues-rock, rock, a western song and R&B, the only thing Eddy cannot do is a bad song. With songs like “A Good Leavin’ Alone”, “Gotta Move On”, “Too Old to Get Married”, and “A Time For Peace” this record is a real winner. Eddy told me he had always dreamed of playing the guitar full time. Thank God Eddy’s dream came true because we are all benefiting from Eddy’s dream. If you like the songs in this podcast please buy Eddy Clearwater’s CD West Side Strut.
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Eddy Clearwater
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Songs in the podcast are:
1. Hypnotized
2. Rock-A-Blues Baby
3. Blue Over You
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Eddy Clearwater
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Eddy Clearwater’s Website
More information about Eddy at Alligator Records
Buy Eddy Clearwater’s CD West Side Strut from Alligator Records
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Alligator Records
Check out other Alligator artist like Roomful of Blues, Michael Burks, & Smokin’ Joe Kubek. NEW CD’s by JJ Grey & MOFRO, aslo Lil’ Ed & the Blue Imperials. Listen to great artist on their Streaming Radio.
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