Eddy The Chief Clearwater
Eddy The Chief Clearwater
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Eddy The Chief Clearwater
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Eddy The Chief Clearwater
Soul Funky  Eddy 'The Chief' Clearwater's new album... 
 with Special Guests Ronnie Baker Brooks, Billy Branch and Johnny Iguana
CD's on sale now for ONLY $17.99
Eddy The Chief Clearwater
SOUL FUNKY - click for video

Eddy The Chief Clearwater
GOOD TIMES ARE COMING - click for video

Eddy The Chief Clearwater

Eddy The Chief Clearwater

Listen to clips from tracks on Eddy's new CD: Soul Funky
They Call Me The Chief
Ronnie Baker Brooks - Ronnie Baker Brooks Music BMI
Eddy Clearwater - Cleartone Music BMI
Too Old To Get Married
Ronnie Baker Brooks - Ronnie Baker Brooks Music BMI
Good Times Are Coming
Eddy Clearwater - Cleartone Music BMI
Came Up The Hard Way
Eddy Clearwater - Cleartone Music BMI
Root To The Fruit
Ronnie Baker Brooks - Ronnie Baker Brooks Music BMI
Cool Blues Walk
Eddy Clearwater - Cleartone Music BMI
Please Accept My Love
King, Riley B / Bihari, Saul — Universal Music Publishing Group
Find You A Job
Eddy Clearwater - Cleartone Music BMI
Lonesome Town
Eddie Angel / Baker Knight - Eddie Angel Music BMI
A Good Leavin' Alone
Eddy Clearwater / Ronnie Baker Brooks - Ronnie Baker Brooks Music BMI - Cleartone Music BMI
Soul Funky
Eddy Clearwater - Cleartone Music BMI
Ending Midnight Groove
Eddy Clearwater - Cleartone Music BMI

Eddy The Chief Clearwater
Soul Funky Live includes free guitar pick

CD Baby

Upcoming Tour Dates
Nov. 21, 2014, Friday - De Casino - St. Niklaas Belgium
Nov. 22, 2014, Saturday, De Tambooer, Hoogeveen Holland
Nov. 23, 2014, Sunday, Le Monmartre, Brussels, Belgium
View All Tour Dates

“Rollicking roadhouse rave-ups and soulful Gulf Coast R&B”
— USA Today

“ A joyful musical tour of the territory between New Orleans and Austin. Ball’s voice can break your heart with a ballad or break your back with a rocker.”
— Boston Herald

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Eddy The Chief Clearwater

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Eddy The Chief Clearwater
“Backlit by six pillars of fire illuminating the way to The Blues That Time Forgot. Raw. Real. Playful. Ruthless. Surreptitiously Libidinous to the Dirtiest Extreme. Piercing and Powerful Beyond the Point of Exhaustion. And it’s all captured on “Soul Funky” as something so wild seldom is.”
— Terry Abrahamson, Chicago Blues Guide

With the release on his own Cleartone label of Soul Funky, cut live at SPACE in Evanston, IL in January of 2014 with his cooking band and special guests Ronnie Baker Brooks and Billy Branch, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater once again underscores why he’s long been hailed as one of Chicago’s top blues guitarists.

Born in Macon, Miss., Eddy Harrington started playing guitar after he moved to Birmingham, Alabama at age 13. His uncle’s acoustic model was designed for a righty, but that didn’t stop him from playing it upside down. “That’s the way I picked it up,” he says. “I said, ‘Well, if I’m going to do it, I have to do it this way.’ ‘Cause at that time, they wasn’t making left-handed guitars.” He initially confined his musical pursuits to the sanctified arena. “I played gospel in church,” he says. “I wouldn’t sing, but I’d just play guitar. I was too shy to sing.”

That same good-hearted uncle, Rev. Houston H. Harrington, relocated to Chicago and bought his Eddy an electric axe from Sears, Roebuck after he followed suit in 1950. “He sent me a ticket on the Greyhound bus for $15,” says Clearwater. “I wish I would have kept the ticket!” The reverend also introduced his nephew to the teeming local blues scene. “He took me around to some clubs,” says Eddy. “He took me to Sylvio’s to see Muddy Waters, also to see Howlin’ Wolf. At that time, Little Walter was still with Muddy. But I didn’t start playing until I was about 17.” Eddy gigged with Little Mack Simmons before heading his own trio, Guitar Eddy & the Cutaways. &lduo;I had a cutaway Gibson ES-295, a gold-colored one,” he explains.

A few years later, Eddy was driving down Michigan Avenue in his Ford when out of its radio leaped Chuck Berry’s “Oh Baby Doll,” changing his life forever. “That’s the first record I had ever heard by Chuck,” he says. “I thought his sound was so unique, I started listening for his music. And the next thing I heard was ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and ‘Maybellene,’ and I said, ‘Oh, now this guy is really different!’”

The reverend had by that time launched his own Atomic-H label, and Eddy joined its roster in 1958. “I jumped at the opportunity. Just the idea of making a record, I said, ‘Man! Oh, boy!’” he says. “I recorded ‘Boogie Woogie Baby’ and &rlsquo;Hill Billy Blues.’”It was pressed up under the name of Clear Waters, an alias drummer Jump Jackson dreamed up as a takeoff on Muddy”s moniker. “A Minor Cha-Cha,” his 1959 Atomic-H encore, stands as a definitive West Side instrumental, loaded with Clearwater’s slashing lead axe.

As one of the early disciples of the West Side guitar sound along with Magic Sam and Freddy King, Eddy was there when Chicago blues was modernized. “We were very close, Sam and I. He was my idol, man,” says Clearwater. “I got a kick out of being around Freddy. He was so dynamic onstage, man. He had this abundance of energy.” Eddy broke new ground locally by hooking up with a Mexican-American band, Mando & the Chili Peppers, and teamed for a time with Eddy Bell & the Bel-Aires, who played straight rock and roll on the suburban circuit (under his birth surname of Blazonczyk, Bell would later become Chicago’s polka king).

“He got to see me doing some Chuck Berry stuff,” says Clearwater. “He invited me to come and do some recording with him.” Eddy played lead guitar on Bell’s 1960 rockers “Hi Yo Silver (The Masked Man)” and “Johnny B. Goode In Hollywood.” Bell designed a unique Telecaster for his buddy. “He covered the guitar with the leopard skin,” says Clearwater. In one memorable promo photo, Eddy combined that flashy axe with a tiger-patterned suit coat.

Eddy wouldn’t be limited to a sideman role for long. He made three 45s of his own in 1961: the blazing Berry takeoff “Cool Water” for Jackson’s LaSalle imprint (again as Clear Waters) and two rocking singles for Federal Records A&R man/pianist Sonny Thompson, “I Was Gone” b/w “Twist Like This” and “A Real Good Time” b/w “Hey Bernadine.” “I had known Sonny for awhile, so I went in and talked to him and told him I’d like to make a record,” says Eddy. “He said, ‘Let me hear some of your material.’ I went down and I played some of my stuff for him. Then because of the Chuck Berry influence, that’s why he said, ‘I’d like to sign you up and do some recording over there.’” The Federal 45s listed him as Eddie (sic) Clearwater.

Versatile Eddy never had a problem finding places to play during the ’60s. “I worked in the suburbs a lot, because people would always associate me with Chuck Berry,” he says. “Before blues got popular on the North Side, I was playing a lot of hillbilly bars, playing country and rockabilly.” Clearwater took the Berry angle to its ultimate end with his jumping ’65 U.S.A. single “The Duck Walk,” which made a dance out of Berry’s favorite onstage move. Its flip, “Momee, Momee,” cast Eddy as a lad begging his mother to allow him to attend a rock and roll show starring Berry. This may have been the first concept single!

Blazonczyk had launched his own Versa label by 1969, pressing up Eddy’s surprisingly funky dance workout “Doin’ the Model” (“I Don’t Know Why,” the impassioned soul ballad on the opposite side, was a distinct departure as well). Following in his uncle’s footsteps, Eddy eventually established Cleartone to release a 1975 single pairing his “True Love” and “Lonely Nights.”

The southpaw axeman cut an entire LP for Cleartone that ended up on the British Charly label under the title Two Times Nine (it contained the original version of his impassioned blues “Came Up The Hard Way,” revived on Soul Funky). Another album Eddy made in 1977 for veteran producer Ralph Bass ended up in the vaults until Delmark unearthed it 18 years later as Boogie My Blues Away. Eddy’s practice of wearing a Native American headdress onstage inspired the title of The Chief, his 1980 breakthrough set for the Rooster Blues logo.

“That’s the one that kind of put things on the map for me, you might say. We recorded it in one day. We started that afternoon, and we finished like 12 o’clock at night,” says Eddy. He encored in 1986 on the same label with Flimdoozie (Otis Rush guested) and 1990’s A Real Good Time—Live! before moving over to Blind Pig for Help Yourself in 1992. Mean Case of the Blues started out as a self-released 1996 project on Cleartone before it ended up licensed to Rounder’s Bullseye Blues imprint.

A longterm relationship blossomed with Bullseye Blues that also encompassed 1998’s Duke Robillard-produced Cool Blues Walk, Reservation Blues a couple of years later (that was also the name of his local blues club at the time), and 2003’s Rock ‘n’ Roll City, a stomping collaboration with the guitar-wielding masked marauders known as Los Straitjackets. “I was feeling in a kind of a rockin’ blues/rockabilly mood,” explains Clearwater. “I said, ‘I want to do something with just a little bit different twist from just normal straight blues.’”

West Side Strut, Clearwater’s most recent studio effort for Alligator in 2008, installed Ronnie Baker Brooks, the son of Eddy’s old pal Lonnie Brooks and a dazzling guitarist in his own right, as his producer and writing collaborator. “I always knew that he was a very brilliant musician,” says Eddy. “I approached him, and I said, ‘Well, how would you like to produce my new CD?’” The combination clicked splendidly, resulting in a highly contemporary release that earned plenty of acclaim.

West Side Strut went to #1 on the Living Blues Magazine Chart. The song, ‘They Call Me The Chief’ penned by Ronnie Baker Brooks has become the traditional ‘warrior chant’ and introduction of ‘The Chief’ at his concerts. Eddy steps out wearing his headdress (he has been wearing them since the release of his album, ‘The Chief’ on Rooster Records) to a very powerful rhythmic beat. ‘I feel a sense of pride and respect being paid to my grandmother who was a Cherokee Indian,’ says The Chief.

Now, with the release of Soul Funky (his first live album since 1990), the Chief’s onstage magic has been vividly captured anew on CD. He’s still rocking houses all over the globe with his West Side-soaked blues, riddled with stinging guitar and impassioned vocals. He’s soulful and funky, all right, but most of all, Eddy Clearwater rocks the blues Chicago-style.

Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater is Grammy nominee for his album, Rock N’ Roll City with Los Straight Jackets. He is also a Handy Blues Award recipient and nominee for Best Blues Male from the Blues Foundation/Blues Awards and a inductee as a Master Guitarist into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.


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