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Blowin' Like Hell

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Album Review

The title says it all. William Clarke cooks on Blowin' Like Hell, his first CD. And these are new sounds. Songs like "Lollipop Mama," "Gambling for My Bread," and "Lonesome Bedroom Blues" (all written by Clarke) are just great tunes. "Must Be Jelly" won Clarke a W.C. Handy Award for blues song of the year in 1991. You'll find yourself humming them. Clarke's timing and music are right on the money, with the great Alex Schultz on lead guitar. There is no doubt that Clarke is one of the few modern bluesmen who are exploring and extending the amplified blues harp tradition without violating any of its principles. No one plays chromatic blues harp with this kind of passion and sheer conviction. Hear for yourself.

Customer Reviews

Modern blues-harp classic

This is without a doubt one of the best blues collections of the modern era. The late William Clarke blows the harp with an unbelievable intensity and has the vocals to match. His original songwriting runs the gamut from slow burning blues to swing. The always fantastic Alex Schultz on guitar make this CD a must for blues fans. Buy this CD and enjoy every single song!!!!

Stellar performance

A protoge of the great George "Harmonica" Smith, Clarke really internalized Smith's sound in a way that made it his own. If you want to get acquainted with Chromatic Blues Harmonica and West Coast Jump Blues you should get to know Clarke, Rod Piazza, George Smith, Mark Hummel and Rick Estrin (Little Charlie & the Nightcats). Clarke was a prodigy from jump, and his later work really shows his maturity as a Bluesman. This disc illustrates his emergence as a solo artist. This is a must-have for any student of the Blues.

Must be Jelly!!

YEAH! I like it! For some seriously cool blues, pick this one up right now!


Born: March 29, 1951 in Inglewood, CA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

The heir apparent to Chicago's legacy of amplified blues harmonica, William Clarke was the first original new voice on his instrument to come along in quite some time; he became a sensation in blues circles during the late '80s and early '90s, stopped short by an untimely death in 1996. A pupil and devotee of George Harmonica Smith, Clarke was a technical virtuoso and master of both the diatonic harp and the more difficult chromatic harp (the signature instrument of both Smith and Little Walter)....
Full Bio