The unlikely pairing of Lee's Liquor Lounge with W.C. Clark could just as well be called "the Survivors." A few years ago Lee's survived the urban renewal wrecking ball and about the same time Clark survived an auto accident (that took his finance's and one of his band members lives). Lee's Liquor Lounge, noted more as the local home to rockabilly and country music and not necessarily the blues, seemed like an unusual place to host Texan, W.C. Clark. But I'm glad they did, as Clark turned the local shrine to Elvis into a Texas roadhouse for the night. One of the many signs on the wall reads, "Lee's Liquor Bar, where Elvis never left the building," hangs directly opposite the glassed Elvis shrine that holds innumerable small Elvis statutes and other memorabilia. Lee's has character and you really have to see the place to appreciate it.
W.C. Clark, one of the revered elder statesmen of the Austin blues scene has been performing since the 1950ís where he has influenced just about every guitar hero who has come out of Texas. One of his groups back in the early 70ís had a young guitar player by the name of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Clark was also the co-writer of the song, "Cold Shot," one of Vaughanís big hits.
Born Wesley Curley Clark, November 16, 1939, in Austin, Texas, Clark didnít become more widely known until the release of his first Blacktop recording, Heart Of Gold in 1994. Texas Soul (1995 and W.C. Handy award winner in 1996), and Loverís Plea (1998) followed and these three albums are some of my favorites.
Perched as he usually is on a stool, wearing tinted glasses and hat, Clark was backed by a four piece band featuring saxophone, keyboard, bass and drums. Clark has the voice of a soul singer, with a range that gets right into the upper registers on occasion and is an impeccable guitar player favoring the well selected note instead of a rapid-fire flurry.
Clark likes to mix up his song selection and serves up some nice change of pace songs including his stellar version of Sam Cookeís "You Send Me" which sends chills up your spine. After hearing W.C. sing this song you know who one of his early influences was.
Letís hope both Lee's Liquor Lounge and W.C. Clark come back soon with more blues.
CLICK HERE to see the review from his 1998 Blues Saloon show.
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