jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

July 4, 2005

Blues Star

Written by
cindy mcleod

During the Kaos Blues Festival, I had the privilege of meeting Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, one of the seminal forces in the blues industry. Mr Clearwater, who is a true gentleman, is also a strong family man, as witnessed in the photo galleries on his site www.eddyclearwater.com, and is usually accompanied by his lovely wife Renee when he travels. The two of them bragged of their beautiful grandchildren, their pride clearly evident. He has visited Calgary often, playing at the now defunct and much missed King Eddy, one of the greatest blues clubs Calgary has ever had, and the audience proved their love and undying loyalty for this great performer in their exuberant applause.

The Chief’s music is a fiery blend of blues, rock and roll, country and gospel, he is as colourful and vibrant to watch as his music is to listen to (see the gorgeous Debby Sereda photo below). A left handed guitar player, The Chief is a powerful entertainer, riveting the audience and driving his band with his burning guitar licks and the energy of his performance.

Nominated for several W.C. Handy awards, The Chief is one of the busiest bluesmen in the business today, performing over 200 shows a year. As is often the case with the greats, his true fame came first from Europe, followed by his soaring success in North America. He calls Chicago home, but we hope that he will visit us often!

Mr. Clearwater and Renee are charming people, and it was with great embarrassment that I learned from them that they were treated very poorly by our Canadian Customs people, and I want to apologize to them on behalf of all Canadians for the treatment they received. In this day and age of terrorism, we all understand the perils of travel and the necessity for increased surveillance at our borders, but Mr. Clearwater had all the legal documentation needed to travel here for his performance, and he and Mrs. Clearwater didn’t deserve to be given such a hard time. Nonetheless they did arrive on time for his show, and are we EVER happy he did!

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater
*photo by Debby Sereda

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