Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater is the stage name of Edward Harrington (born January 10, 1935), an American Chicago blues musician. Blues Revue said Eddy plays “joyous rave-ups…he testifies with stunning soul fervor and powerful guitar. One of the blues’ finest songwriters.” He was born in Macon, Mississippi, on January 10, 1935. His family moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1948. He taught himself to play guitar at an early age (left-handed and upside down) and began performing with various gospel groups, including the Five Blind Boys Of Alabama.Clearwater is best known for being part of the Chicago blues scene since the 1950s. He performs both within the U.S. (especially around the Chicago, Illinois area, where he resides) and internationally, such as at Blues festivals inFrance, Germany, Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands. His sound has been described as “hard-driving Windy City blues, soul-tinged balladry, acoustic country blues and gospel uplift….good natured fretboard fireworks.”When he left the South for Chicago in 1950, he worked as a dishwasher while living with an uncle. Through his uncle he met many of Chicago’s blues masters, including fellow left-handed guitarist Otis Rush and Magic Sam. Once he heard the music of Chuck Berry, he began performing some of Berry’s material as well as writing in a Berry-influenced style. He still regularly performs songs by Rush, Magic Sam and Berry as well as his own original material In 1953, now known as Guitar Eddy, he began working regularly in Chicago’s south and west side bars. His first single, the Chuck Berry-styled “Hill Billy Blues”, was recorded in 1958 for his uncle’s Atomic H label, under the monikerClear Waters, a name given to him by his manager Jump Jackson as wordplay on the more famous Muddy Waters.He recorded a few more singles and began receiving local radio airplay. Eventually the name Clear Waters morphed into Eddy Clearwater. He worked steadily throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and he was among the first blues musicians to find success with Chicago’s north side college crowd. He toured Europe twice during the 1970s and appeared on BBC Television. Clearwater has been nicknamed The Chief and sometimes wears Native Americanheaddress] The release of his 1980 album The Chief under the Rooster Blues label announced that Clearwater's ascendancy to Chicago blues stardom was officially underway. Two encores for Rooster Blues, Help Yourself (1992) and Mean Case of the Blues (1996), cemented Clearwater's reputation. He became known as a masterful blues showman whose principal goal is to provide his fans with a real good time. Cool Blues Walk followed in 1998, followed by Chicago Daily Blues the next year, with Reservation Blues released in mid 2000. In 2004, he was nominated for a Grammy Award with Los Straitjackets for their collaboration, Rock 'N' Roll City.Vintage Guitar described his 2008 Alligator Records album, West Side Strut as “great blues. Eddy’s fat, voluptuous tone shows a masterful command of the guitar. It’s hard to believe he can reach such heights in a recording studio. One listen and you’ll wonder why Clearwater’s name isn’t respectfully spoken in the same breath as Freddie King and Otis Rush.Clearwater is married to his manager, Renee Greenman. Together they once owned 'Reservation Blues', a Wicker Park (Chicago) blues bar and restaurant. It is no longer in operation. He is the father of two children, Jason and Edgar Harrington. He has three stepchildren, as well as two grandchildren.
After the popularity of Storyville’s first best-selling boxed set of Chicago blues recordings, we’re delighted to present another outstanding 8 CD collection from the vaults of MCM Records. As in the first boxed set, the live atmosphere of these unedited performances shines through, revealing the true ambiance of the Chicago Blues club scene in the mid-1970s, as well as the individuals whose talents MCM Records would preserve. They captured an authenticity that rarely surfaced on the major label recordings that some of these artists made.
MCM was a labour of love by a young French woman, Marcelle Chailleux, and her future husband Jacques Morgantini. In the 1950's Jacques had brought the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Europe to appear at his French hometown event - a dedicated Chicago blues festival - but it was recent blues convert Marcelle who travelled to Chicago in the mid-1970s to record a unique collection of live performances.
Some of the performances presented here were by men who would become giants of the blues; others were by talented artists who never found wider fame and whose MCM recordings remain the only surviving evidence of their talent.
In this superb collection, you will find rare tracks by Eddie Taylor, Big Mojo Elem, Andrew “Blueblood” McMahon, Big Voice Odom, Hip Lankchan, Eddie Clearwater, Jimmy Dawkins, Jimmy Johnson, Magic Slim, John Littlejohn, Bobby King and The Aces. The recordings stem from famous Chicago blues venues Ma Bea’s, the Golden Slipper and Big Duke’s. Marcelle was only just in time to capture the genuine feel and sound of those old-time clubs before they disappeared. Jimmy Dawkins, bluesman par excellence, was her guide to the 1975 Chicago blues scene, and has said: “It was natural and ‘for real’ without over-preparation. You get the feeling of the room, the music, the audience, and the blues. It was the real thing. Places like Ma Bea’s and the old Golden Slipper are all gone now.” Jacques Morgantini writes in the liner notes: “These records capture the music that was played in the clubs at that time, the real Chicago blues sound! And that was exactly what Marcelle wanted: to give those musicians a chance to get themselves better known”.