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Eddy Clearwater


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Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater is a versatile, flamboyant Chicago blues rocker who can perform good-natured party music and original, deep, melancholy blues with equal finesse. “It’s country and blues and rock ‘n’ roll combined…high energy music,” Clearwater says of his trademark sound.

Born January 10, 1935 in Macon, MS, Eddy Clearwater (birth name: Eddie Harrington) grew up listening to Delta blues and country & western records. His family moved to Birmingham, AL when he was 13. There Eddy began playing guitar backing various gospel groups - including the now-legendary Five Blind Boys of Alabama. He was still playing gospel music when he arrived on Chicago’s West Side in September 1950, at age 15. “The West Side had a lot of blues at that time,” he recalls. “There were all these blues clubs…And the West Side was just starting to develop a sound, with people like Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Luther Allison.” Magic Sam became not only a major influence on Clearwater, but a friend and soul mate as well. By 1953, Clearwater made his move into blues. Performing as Guitar Eddy, he and his band began working the South and West Side taverns. In 1957, Eddy happened upon another of his major stylistic influences after hearing Chuck Berry’s “Oh Baby Doll” blasting from his car radio.

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