Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

EDDIE "THE CHIEF" CLEARWATER

WEST SIDE STRUT

2008-05-06

From the hard hitting intro to the first track, "A Good Leavin’ Alone", 73 year old Chicago blues guitarist Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater announces he’s not ready to grab the easy chair and go quietly into old age. With producer and second guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks cutting him no slack, Clearwater attacks his guitar with the fury of someone a quarter of his age but with the skill of someone who has performed everywhere from street corners to the finest blues clubs in the world. While hard hitting Chicago blues is the primary menu item here, with Muddy Waters’ "Walking Through the Park" getting a hot wired treatment by virtue of Clearwater’s guitar work and Billy Branch’s classic harmonica sound, there are a few changes of pace such as the soul drenched ballad, "Gotta Move On", which gets plenty of background heat from a solid horn section, "A Time for Peace" with its gospel choir and "Do Unto Others" which finds Clearwater sharing vocals with special guests Lonnie Brooks, Otis Clay and Jimmy Johnson. Other side trips include "Too Old To Get Married", where Clearwater tries on his Delbert McClinton R & B shoes and trades hot licks and vocals with long time buddy Lonnie Brooks, and "They Call me the Chief" where he veers into 70’s rock territory. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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