October 5, 2017
Since 1932, International House has served the University of Chicago and greater Chicago community as a residential cultural center for international exchange and understanding. Celebrate 85 years of international friendship and public programming during the Founder’s Day Celebration featuring the high-energy “rock-a-blues” vocals and guitar of the legendary Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater. Reception begins at 6:00 PM, and the concert starts at 7:00 PM.
During the 1950s, Chicago's West Side was a breeding ground for some of the world's greatest bluesmen. Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Freddie King and others ruled the clubs. With his fierce guitar playing, soulful and emotive vocals, and wild stage shows, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater easily belongs on this list. A Chicago legend, Clearwater is an intense, flamboyant blues-rocking showman. He's equally comfortable playing the deepest, most heartfelt blues or rocking, good-time party music. DownBeat said, "Left-hander Eddy Clearwater is a forceful six-stringer...He lays down some gritty West Side shuffles and belly-grinding slow blues that highlight his raw chops, soulful vocals, and earthy, humorous lyrics."
Between his slashing left-handed guitar work, his room-filling vocals, his self-defined "rock-a-blues" style (a forceful mix of blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel), his boundless energy and even his signature Indian headdress, Clearwater is among the very finest practitioners of the West Side blues working today. The blues world recognized his talent by giving him the Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues – Male Artist of the Year in 2001. His last release, 2003's Rock 'N' Roll City, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Now he's back with his very first Alligator CD, the aptly titled West Side Strut.
The event will feature appetizers and birthday cake.
Open to the public. The concert is free for all.
Presented by the Global Voices Performing Arts Series and made possible in part by the generous support of Bart Lazar, AB'82.