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Blues Hang Out (1989) [Blues Reference]

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Album Review

Eddy Clearwater has had a tough time shaking his "Chuck Berry imitator" label, and he includes Berry-tinged numbers at the halfway point and end of this nice, if thoroughly derivative, urban blues set recorded in 1989 for Black and Blue and recently reissued by Evidence on CD, with the familiar country boogie shuffle and tinkling licks. Clearwater could not do a set without the signature "Lay My Guitar Down," and this rendition is surging and enjoyable although inferior to the definitive one. Otherwise, it is a pile-driving and urgently performed date; Clearwater and Will Crosby swap slashing lines, crackling phrases, and answering fills. Clearwater's session contains several robust, entertaining passages, even if there is absolutely nothing you have not heard before.


Born: January 10, 1935 in Macon, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Once dismissed by purists as a Chuck Berry imitator (and an accurate one at that), tall, lean, and lanky Chicago southpaw Eddy Clearwater is now recognized as a prime progenitor of West Side-style blues guitar. That's not to say he won't liven up a gig with a little duck-walking or a frat party rendition of "Shout"; after all, Clearwater brings a wide array of influences to the party. Gospel, country, '50s rock, and deep-down blues are all incorporated into his slashing guitar attack. But when he...
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Blues Hang Out (1989) [Blues Reference], Eddy Clearwater
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