Alligator Signs Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater! New CD in '08!!

Kate Wallis
Wed Oct 24 20:15:11 EDT 2007

Got this from Alligator on MySpace:


"Chicago's premiere blues showman."

--The Chicago Tribune

Alligator Records is pleased to announce the signing of legendary Chicago blues guitarist and songwriter Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater. Clearwater, winner of the Blues Foundation's Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Blues - Male Artist Of The Year" in 2001, is known worldwide as a masterful guitarist and vocalist as well as a charismatic and joyful live performer. Alligator will release Clearwater's as yet untitled label debut in Spring 2008. Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of Chicago blues legend Lonnie Brooks, produced the CD, and added some of his own guitar work to the mix. 

According to Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, Eddy's addition to the Alligator line-up is a perfect fit. "It's a great honor to have an artist with Eddy's legacy and talent join the Alligator family. This is a special album; the combination of Eddy's soulful West Side guitar playing and Ronnie Baker Brooks' contemporary production and his tough, young band makes for some real fireworks. Plus, Ronnie's guitar playing really inspired Eddy to some of his very best guitar work on record ever." 

Born Edward Harrington in Macon, MS on January 10, 1935, Eddy grew up listening to blues and country & western. By the time he was 13, he was playing guitar with a variety of gospel groups, including the legendary Five Blind Boys Of Alabama. By the time he came to Chicago's West Side at age 15, he was still playing gospel, but soon fell under the spell of the blues, hearing greats like Freddie King, Magic Sam, Otis Rush and others. Magic Sam became a close friend of Eddy's, and in 1953 Eddy made his move into the blues. Originally under the name of Guitar Eddy, he began working the city's South and West Side bars. After hearing Chuck Berry in 1955, Eddy immediately adopted the rock 'n' roll sound into his blues playing.

With his personalized mix of West Side blues and Chuck Berry-style rock, Eddy was becoming more in-demand by the late 1950s. Nicknamed Eddy Clearwater (a word play on Muddy Waters) by drummer Jump Jackson, the southpaw guitarist quickly became known as a great showman with the ability to play the hardest blues, the most energetic rock, and a bit of country as well. He recorded a few singles in the early 1960s and never had to look too hard for a gig, as he worked constantly in Chicago-area nightclubs. 

It took over 20 years, but by the 1970s Clearwater's star was finally rising. He toured Europe twice that decade, and appeared on England's BBC television and made a record in France. His debut U.S. album, 1980's The Chief (named for Eddy's Indian heritage and his penchant for wearing a full Indian headdress on stage) was the first release on Chicago's Rooster Blues label. After two more albums for Rooster Blues, Clearwater followed with a steady stream of recordings for Blind Pig, Rounder and Cleartone.

With his new release, Clearwater has found a perfect home on Alligator Records, the world's premiere blues label. Heavy touring (booked by Piedmont Talent) along with Alligator's promotional muscle, will bring Clearwater's music to more fans than ever before.

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