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Eddy Clearwater

During the 1950s, Chicago's West Side was a breeding ground for some of the world's greatest bluesmen. Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Freddie King and others ruled the clubs. With his fierce guitar playing, soulful and emotive vocals and wild stage shows, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater easily belongs on this list. A Chicago legend, Clearwater is an intense, flamboyant blues-rocking showman. He's equally comfortable playing the deepest, most heartfelt blues or rocking, good-time party music.

Between his slashing left-handed guitar work, his room-filling vocals, his self-defined “rock-a-blues” style (a forceful mix of blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel), his boundless energy and even his signature Indian headdress, Clearwater is among the very finest practitioners of the West Side blues working today.

Born Edward Harrington on January 10, 1935 in Macon, Mississippi, Eddy and his family moved to Birmingham, Alabama 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. Quickly though, through his uncle's contacts, he met many of Chicago's blues stars. Eddy fell deeper under the spell of the blues, and under the wing of blues star Magic Sam, who would become one of Eddy's closest friends and teachers.

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”Left-hander Eddy Clearwater is a forceful six-stringer who came out of Magic Sam but forged his own path...He lays down some gritty West Side shuffles and belly-grinding slow blues that highlight his raw chops, soulful vocals, and earthy, humorous lyrics...” (Down Beat)

Albums

Album Electricity by Eddy Clearwater

Electricity

Self Produced
2015

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Album West SIde Strut by Eddy Clearwater

West SIde Strut

Alligator Records
2008

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Reservation Blues

Bulleye Blues & Jazz
2000

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A Real Good Time -...

Disques Dreyfus
1990

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