Mississippi-born/Chicago-transplanted bluesman Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater may be a regular fixture on the calendar at Buddy Guy’s Legends, but over Thanksgiving weekend, there was an extra feeling of kinship with the crowd. Not only did fans’ geographies range from the nearby Berwyn all the way to Argentina, but even the club’s founder was in the house to greet guests and take in some tunes.
Throughout them all and others that extended into the next morning, the left-handed Eddy Clearwater tore through a trusty six-string (either standing or seated in “The Chief” chair) with steady support from his longtime band.
Granted, Clearwater never reached the superstar status of Guy or say B.B. King, but he’s nonetheless a respected cornerstone of the local scene who’s garnered international appreciation, a Grammy nomination and a slot in the Blues Hall of Fame. And at 82-years-old, he’s still packing them in to standing room only status thanks to a career that dates back to the 1950s when he was backing the likes of Otis Rush, Magic Sam and many others, followed by an extensive solo discography that stretches right on up to his latest release “Soul Funky.”
For the late show at Legends, Clearwater once again came out to the beats of “They Call Me The Chief” with his trademark headdress (in honor of being raised by his Cherokee grandmother) and flashed a massive smile to welcome both aficionados and tourists alike. No matter one’s knowledge level, “The Chief” ensured everyone got a genuine experience, mining through his former tour mate Junior Wells’ “Messing With The Kid” and Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” with just as much gusto as his own “Find You A Job,” “Too Old To Get Married” and “That’s My Baby.”
Throughout them all and others that extended into the next morning, the left-handed Clearwater tore through a trusty six-string (either standing or seated in “The Chief” chair) with steady support from his longtime band. The results may have sounded like the down and dirty blues with tinges of rock n’ roll, rockabilly, gospel and country thrown in, but the spirit of the songs and room was so lively, they came across as nothing but a blessing.
For additional information on Eddy Clearwater, visit EddyClearwater.com.
For a list of upcoming shows at Buddy Guy’s Legends, visit BuddyGuy.com.