Blues Guitarist Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater Dies

Courtesy of Alligator Records
– Eddy Clearwater

Bluesman Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater died of heart failure June 1 at the age of 83, his record label announced.

Clearwater was born Edward Harrington in Macon, Miss., and came up playing with gospel groups in Birmingham, Ala., before moving to Chicago in 1950 and connecting with Magic Sam and learning more about the blues.

Harrington was influenced by Chuck Berry’s sound to develop his “rock-a-blues” style, and took his performance name “Clear Waters” as a play on the legendary bluesman Muddy Waters.

Clearwater released 15 solo albums over his career and was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2016. The last reported date we have from The Chief was at Laid Back Festival in Chicago in 2016, with Blackberry Smoke, Gregg Allman, Peter Frampton and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band.

The musician is survived by his wife Renee, his six children and his two grandchildren. Services will take place Tues., June 5.