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Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater

Photo © 1997 by Chuck Winans.
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When Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater steps on stage he is there for one purpose -- to entertain his audience! He is famous for his showmanship, colorful stage presence, and one-of-a-kind shows.

Lean, lanky and towering over his band, Eddy is an electrifying southpaw guitar player who reels off rock 'n' roll, blues and country riffs as easily as taking a breath. His guitar style has often been compared to Chuck Berry and yes he has that famous guitar riff down pat (and even does an occasional "duck-walk"). But there is much more to Eddy Clearwater. His playing combines delta blues, rock 'n' roll, gospel, and country into his own unique blend of Chicago blues.

Born Eddy Harrington on January 10, 1935 in Macon, Mississippi, Eddy moved to Chicago in 1950 and was quickly integrated into the blues community. His cousin is Carey Bell, although he didn't know that until the late 70's. First calling himself Guitar Eddy he played with many of the west side players at that time including Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Luther Allison and Buddy Guy. He has some American Indian blood and considers the headdress, originally given to him by a friend, a good luck charm. Because of Eddy's idolization of Muddy Waters, some of the older musicians in town gave him the nickname "Cool Clear Waters" as an affectionate take-off on Muddy's name. Eddy recorded the song "Cool Water" in 1961, which solidified his new identity.

His consistently exciting live performances have cemented Clearwater's reputation as a masterful blues showman. Eddy is also performing after the festival at the Bayfront Blues Saloon Friday, August 14th.

Live Review: Eddy Clearwater 11/14/96

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.