Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater – Cool Blues Walk

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Produced by Duke Robillard and utilizing his band as the backing unit, Cool Blues Walk is tightly focused from note one, making a marvelous framework for “The Chief” to do exactly what he does best. With the exception of the covers “Sen-Say-Shun,” “Stranded,” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” Eddy Clearwater wrote every tune aboard in his usual wide range of styles from the rocking “Very Good Condition” to the country-ish “Nashville Road” to the shuffling “Boppin’ at the Top of the Rock.” Clearwater continues to surprise with a rare appearance playing piano and singing the decidedly non-blues-like ballad “I Love You” which also features Marilyn Mair and Mark Davis adding mandocello and mandola to this distinctive tune. Robillard  shares solo space with Clearwater throughout the album, and their exchanges on the moody “Blues for a Living” is solid blues playing in two contrasting styles. Perhaps Clearwater’s most focused album to date, this 1998 outing captures a ’50s West Side bluesman still at the peak of his abilities.

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