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Showing posts with label Eddy Clearwater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eddy Clearwater. Show all posts

Friday, June 1, 2018

Eddy Clearwater has passed - My thoughts are with his family and friends


Grammy-nominated Chicago blues legend Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater died of heart failure on Friday, June 1, in his hometown of Skokie, Illinois. He was 83.

Born Edward Harrington on January 10, 1935 in Macon, Mississippi, Clearwater (as he came to be known) was internationally lauded for his blues-rocking guitar playing, his original songs and his flamboyant showmanship. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2016, and also won two Blues Music Awards including Contemporary Male Blues Artist Of The Year in 2001.

Clearwater was equally comfortable playing the deepest, most intense blues or his own brand of rocking, good-time party music – a style he called “rock-a-blues,” mixing blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel. Between his slashing guitar work and his room-filling vocals, Clearwater was among the very finest practitioners of the West Side style of Chicago blues. DownBeat called him “a forceful six-stringer...He lays down gritty West Side shuffles and belly-grinding slow blues that highlight his raw chops, soulful vocals, and earthy, humorous lyrics." Blues Revue said he played “joyous rave-ups. He testifies with stunning soul fervor and powerful guitar. He is one of the blues’ finest songwriters.”

Clearwater's musical talent became clear early on. From his Mississippi birthplace, He and his family moved to Birmingham, AL in 1948 when he was 13. With music from blues to gospel to country & western surrounding him from an early age, Clearwater 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, he 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, Clearwater 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 Clearwater’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, Clearwater added a rock and roll element to his already searing blues style, creating a unique signature sound. 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. He worked the Chicago club circuit steadily throughout the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s. He found huge success in the 1970s among the city's college crowd, who responded to his individual brand of blues, his rock and roll spirit and his high energy stage show.

Clearwater's first full-length LP, 1980’s The Chief, was the initial release on Chicago’s Rooster Blues label, launching him onto the national and international blues scene. Over the decades he recorded over 15 solo albums and never stopped touring, with fans from Chicago to Japan to Poland. His 2003 album on Bullseye Blues, Rock ‘N’ Roll City, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. He released West Side Strut on Alligator in 2008 to both international popular and critical acclaim. His most recent CD was the self-released Soul Funky in 2014.

Clearwater is survived by his wife, Renee Greenman Harrington Clearwater, children Heather Greenman, Alyssa Jacquelyn, David Knopf, Randy Greenman, Jason Harrington and Edgar Harrington and grandchildren Gabriella Knopf and Graham Knopf.

Services will be held on Tuesday, June 5 at 11:00am at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Best in blues recording, songwriting, and performance to be celebrated at the Memphis' Cook Convention Center. 
All six living Hall of Fame inductees will be in attendance

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Thursday, May 5, 2016, the Blues Foundation will present its annual Blues Music Awards at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The Awards are universally regarded as the highest accolade afforded to blues performers, and the awards ceremony is widely recognized as the premier event for professionals, musicians and fans from around the world. The mission of the celebration is to honor the rich cultural tradition of the blues by recognizing the past year’s outstanding achievements in performance, songwriting and recording. 
On May 4, at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts, the Blues Foundation will induct five legendary artists into the Blues Hall of Fame: Elvin Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, John Mayall, Memphis Jug Band, and Malaco Records' Tommy Couch Sr. and Wolf Stephenson. Elected by a select group of respected blues scholars and industry veterans, Hall of Fame inductees are recognized for their musical achievements and their contributions to blues history. 
Leading this year’s award nomination count are James Harman with five, and Anthony Geraci and Sugaray Rayford, who each have four. Harman and Geraci will go head to head in three categories: Best Song, Best Album, and Best Traditional Blues Album. Harman’s gift for musical storytelling, combined with the soulful sound of his newest release, Bonetime, propelled him to a nomination as Best Traditional Male Blues Artist, and his strong musicianship set the stage for his nomination as Best Instrumentalist — Harmonica. Geraci's piano finesse led to a nomination for the prestigious Pinetop Perkins Piano Player award. Vocalist-songwriter Rayford is nominated for Contemporary Blues Album and Contemporary Blues Male Artist, as well as Best Song and the B.B. King Entertainer Award
Cedric Burnside and Shemekia Copeland, 2016 Grammy nominees, each have three nominations here, as do Doug MacLeod, the Cash Box Kings, Victor Wainwright and Wee Willie Walker (see below for a complete list of nominees). 
The five new Blues Hall of Fame inductees have all had long and influential careers that have elevated each to seminal status in the blues world. Elvin Bishop was honored with the 2015 Blues Music Awards for Song of the Year. Bishop and his fellow 2016 inductees Clearwater, Johnson and Mayall all have bodies of work spanning more than half a century, and each continues to create new music and perform for new audiences. The legendary Memphis Jug Band’s music crossed racial divides during the first half of the 20th century, and inspired countless musicians to follow in their footsteps. 
For their behind-the-scenes contributions, Malaco Records partners Tommy Couch Sr. and Wolf Stephenson, who founded a Southern R&B empire that continues to be an influential force, are also Blues Foundation honorees this year. 
This year’s literature entry into the Blues Hall of Fame is Jeff Todd Titon’s book Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis, which has been widely recognized as one of the most important analytical studies of the blues ever written. 
The Blues Hall of Fame is also honoring several historic blues recordings: The classic Big Bill Broonzy/Memphis Slim/Sonny Boy Williamson album Blues in the Mississippi Night (Nixa, 1957: United Artists, 1959), and the vintage singles “Crazy Blues” by Mamie Smith (OKeh, 1920), “That’s All Right” by Jimmy Rogers (Chess, 1950), Billy Boy Arnold's “I Wish You Would” (Vee-Jay, 1955), “Blues Before Sunrise” by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell (Vocalion, 1934) and “Merry Christmas Baby” by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers (Exclusive, 1947). The last disc, with Charles Brown on vocal and piano, is the first Yuletide song inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. 
The Memphis-based Blues Foundation is internationally renowned for its tireless efforts in preserving blues heritage, celebrating blues recording and performance, expanding worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, the Blues Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies, representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world.   
The Blues Foundation’s signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international capital of blues music. The recent opening of the Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis, Tenn., now adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and its history.  
Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The 37th Blues Music Awards is also sponsored by AutoZone, BMI, First Tennessee Foundation, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Sony Legacy Recordings
HOF tickets are $100 each, reception at 5:30pm with ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m. BMA tickets are $150 each, tables of 10 for $1500; a special pre-party will begin at 5:30 p.m.; the BMA begin at 6:30 p.m..
For more information, log onto; tickets and membership details are available at
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37th Blues Music Award Nominees 

Acoustic Album 
Doug MacLeod - Exactly Like This
Duke Robillard - The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard
Eric Bibb - Blues People
Guy Davis - Kokomo Kidd
The Ragpicker String Band - The Ragpicker String Band 

Acoustic Artist 
Doug MacLeod Eric Bibb
Gaye Adegbalola 
Guy Davis 
Ian Siegal 

Anthony Geraci & the Boston Blues All-Stars - Fifty Shades of Blue
Buddy Guy - Born to Play Guitar
James Harman - Bonetime
The Cash Box Kings - Holding Court
Wee Willie Walker - If Nothing Ever Changes 

Andy T - Nick Nixon Band 
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats 
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones 
The Cash Box Kings 
Victor Wainwright & the Wild Roots 

B.B. King Entertainer 
John NĂ©meth
Rick Estrin 
Shemekia Copeland 
Sugaray Rayford 
Victor Wainwright 

Best New Artist Album 
Eddie Cotton - One at a Time
Igor Prado Band - Way Down South
Mighty Mike Schermer – Blues in Good Hands
Mr. Sipp - The Blues Child
Slam Allen - Feel These Blues

Contemporary Blues Album 
Buddy Guy - Born to Play Guitar
Eugene Hideaway Bridges - Hold on a Little Bit Longer
Shemekia Copeland - Outskirts of Love
Sonny Landreth - Bound by the Blues
Sugaray Rayford – Southside 

Contemporary Blues Female Artist 
Beth Hart Karen Lovely
Nikki Hill 
Samantha Fish 
Shemekia Copeland 

Contemporary Blues Male Artist 
Brandon Santini
Eugene Hideaway Bridges 
Jarekus Singleton
Joe Louis Walker
Sugaray Rayford 

Historical Album 
The Henry Gray/Bob Corritore Sessions, Vol. 1, Blues Won't Let Me Take My Rest on Delta Groove Records 
Hawk Squat by J. B. Hutto & His Hawks on Delmark Records 
Southside Blues Jam by Junior Wells on Delmark Records 
Buzzin' the Blues by Slim Harpo on Bear Family Records
Dynamite! The Unsung King of the Blues by Tampa Red on Ace Records 

Charlie Wooten
Lisa Mann
Michael “Mudcat” 
Ward Patrick Rynn 
Willie J. Campbell 

Cedric Burnside 
Jimi Bott
June Core
Tom Hambridge 
Tony Braunagel 

Anson Funderburgh 
Kid Andersen 
Monster Mike Welch 
Ronnie Earl 
Sonny Landreth 

Billy Branch 
Brandon Santini 
James Harman 
Jason Ricci 
Kim Wilson 

Al Basile 
Doug James
Kaz Kazanoff 
Sax Gordon 
Terry Hanck

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female) 
Diunna Greenleaf 
Fiona Boyes 
Ruthie Foster 
Trudy Lynn 
Zora Young 

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player 
Allen Toussaint 
Anthony Geraci 
Barrelhouse Chuck 
John Ginty 
Victor Wainwright 

Rock Blues Album of the Year 
Joe Bonamassa - Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks
Joe Louis Walker - Everybody Wants a Piece
Royal Southern Brotherhood - Don't Look Back 
Tinsley Ellis - Tough Love
Walter Trout - Battle Scars

“Bad Feet/Bad Hair” written and performed by James Harman 
“Fifty Shades of Blue” written by Anthony Geraci and performed by Anthony Geraci & the Boston Blues All-Stars 
“Gonna Live Again” written and performed by Walter Trout 
“Southside of Town” written by Sugaray Rayford and & Ralph Carter and performed by Sugaray Rayford 
“You Got It Good (and That Ain’t Bad)” written and performed by Doug MacLeod 

Soul Blues Album 
Bey Paule Band - Not Goin' Away
Billy Price & Otis Clay - This Time for Real 
Jackie Payne - I Saw the Blues
Tad Robinson - Day into Night
Wee Willie Walker - If Nothing Ever Changes 

Soul Blues Female Artist 
Bettye LaVette 
Dorothy Moore
Missy Anderson
Toni Lynn Washington 
Vaneese Thomas 

Soul Blues Male Artist 
Frank Bey
Jackie Payne 
Johnny Rawls
Otis Clay
Wee Willie Walker 

Traditional Blues Album 
Andy T - Nick Nixon Band - Numbers Man
Anthony Geraci & the Boston Blues All-Stars - Fifty Shades of Blue
Cedric Burnside Project - Descendants of Hill Country
James Harman - Bonetime
The Cash Box Kings - Holding Court

Traditional Blues Male Artist 
Cedric Burnside
Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin 
James Harman
Jimmy Burns
John Prime